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Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on blood. Their bites cause itchy bumps to emerge on the skin. A person can use bed bug sprays to help control infestations.
Any household can attract bed bugs, regardless of cleanliness. However, it is possible to control and prevent bed bug infestations.
One way to control an infestation is to use bed bug sprays. These sprays contain chemicals that kill bed bugs, but they can take time to work.
In this article, we discuss some different bed bug spray options and provide other tips for controlling infestations.
Please note that the product information below is research-based. No one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried these products.
Bed bug infestations can be difficult to control, and they can require multiple forms of treatment.
Some people hire professional help with tackling an infestation, but it is often possible to treat the problem with the help of chemical bug sprays instead.
The EPA have developed a bed bug product search tool comprising more than 300 products.
- choosing a product that suits individual needs
- avoiding using sprays inside if the manufacturers have designed them for outdoor use
- following the instructions on the label correctly
- being aware that these products are not always effective and that other treatments may be necessary
Some products have specific purposes. For example, they might be for:
- the whole house
- a single room
- cracks or gaps in surfaces, walls, and flooring
It is important always to follow instructions for using bed bug sprays with caution.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), misusing these products can cause people or pets to become ill.
Spraying products directly onto sofas and mattresses can also be damaging.
The EPA state that people can choose from seven types of bed bug sprays:
- Pyrethrins and pyrethroids: More than 2,000 registered products contain these pesticides. A person can use these inside the house to flush out and kill the bed bugs.
- Desiccants: These products remove the protective coating around a bed bug, causing it to dehydrate and die. Bed bugs cannot develop resistance to desiccants as they can with other bed bug products.
- Cold-pressed neem oil: This oil, which comes from Azadirachta indica — a type of evergreen tree in Asia and Africa, can effectively kill bed bugs.
- Pyrroles: These chemicals affect cell functioning and cause death in bed bugs.
- Neonicotinoids: Bed bugs are unable to become resistant to this synthetic form of nicotine.
- Insect growth regulators: These cause bed bugs to either grow too rapidly or stop growing early.
Here are some bed bug sprays that people may wish to try:
Bonide Bed Bug Killer RTU
Bonide Bed Bug Killer RTU is an example of an EPA-approved pyrethrin-based product.
It is a good option for travelers who wish to reduce the risk of encountering bed bugs in hotels.
The product is odorless and suitable for indoor use. A person should spray the mattress, focusing on the seams and tufts. They should also take the bed apart and spray all the joints, baseboards, and moldings, as well as the floor.
A person can use Bonide’s website to see where this product is available for purchase.
Proof Bed Bug & Dust Mite Killer
A product that uses cold-pressed neem oil is Proof Bed Bug & Dust Mite Killer.
This spray is another product that is appropriate for indoor use, including:
- on mattresses
- on sofas
- on floorboards
- on carpets
- in cracks
- in the kitchen
- in the bedroom
- in the bathroom
The manufacturers state that it is a natural product that continues to kill bed bugs and their eggs for up to 2 weeks.
Bedlam Plus Bed Bug Insecticide Spray Aerosol
The Bedlam Plus spray targets pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs.
The product works on mattresses, wooden flooring, and carpet for up to 2 weeks.
The manufacturers state that it will not stain fabrics and surfaces that are water-safe.
Rockwell Labs CimeXa Dust Insecticide
CimeXa Dust Insecticide by Rockwell Labs is a desiccant-based bed bug product.
It is suitable for applying to cracks, crevices, and upholstered furniture and beds.
The product can continue working for up to 10 years if people use it in an area that remains undisturbed.
Harris Bed Bug Killer Value Bundle Kit
Harris provide treatment kits with a combination of different treatments, such as:
- a spray
- a powder
- an aerosol spray
- bed bug traps that a person can place at the base of each bedpost
These products work together to provide protection for up to 16 weeks.
Bed bugs are tiny round insects with a reddish brown coating. It is possible to see most adult bed bugs with the naked eye. Bed bugs can hide in a variety of places, including:
- box springs
- bed frames
- dresser tables
- behind wallpaper
- inside cracks and crevices
- under any other objects around the bed
Some signs of bed bugs to look out for include:
- small dark spots on mattresses, pillows, or any upholstered furniture
- brownish red stains on bed sheets and mattresses
- tiny white eggs
- live bed bugs moving around
- a musty, sweet odor
Bed bugs also cause bites around the body. These bites are typically small bumps that can appear either in a straight line or randomly on the body.
They typically cause itching and irritation in the area, and some people may also experience an allergic reaction.
According to the FTC, some bed bugs have developed resistance to common types of chemical sprays.
Tips for preventing and managing bed bug infestations include:
- checking any used furniture for signs of bed bugs
- reducing clutter around the home
- vacuuming the floors regularly
- sweeping doorsteps
- sealing cracks and crevices where possible
- putting clothing or bedding in the dryer at a high temperature
- using a heating chamber to treat other items that may have bed bugs in them
- using cold treatments to freeze and kill bed bugs
Bed bugs are a public health pest. Controlling infestations can require multiple different forms of treatment. Bed bug sprays are one form of treatment that can help.
People should always follow the instructions when using these products to avoid causing harm to household members or damaging furniture. In some cases, hiring professional help may be necessary to get rid of an infestation.