Bed Bugs: Top Four Methods of Extermination

Bed bugs haven’t gone away, and the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be if this unfortunately popular pest catches up with you at home. 

What are the common treatments for bed bug infestation?  Do they work?  Does any one approach work better than all the others?

For answers, we went to bed bug expert Jeff Eisenberg, author of The Bed Bug Survival Guide and founder of New York City-based Pest Away Inc.  Eisenberg says there are four common treatments for bed bug infestations, and each has its pros and cons.

Traditional Pesticide.  These can be effective, but some strains of bed bugs have developed special enzymes that have created a resistance to pesticides.  This means the bugs aren’t affected by pesticides – both modern-day pesticides and the ones used fifty years ago.  Also, the  process of using traditional pesticides takes much longer than other treatments.  However, this approach can be effective with the right expertise and “know-how” of an experienced pest control company.Alt=Bed Bugs Treatment and Exterminationbed bugs top four treatments

Steam.  Applying a 285-degree dry steam to cracks and crevices is one of the quickest and most effective ways to eliminate bed bugs.  However, steam also requires a great deal of technique and the use of proper equipment and procedure. 

Cryonite.  Cryonite is sometimes touted as a “miracle cure” on bed bug exterminators’ TV commercials, but there can be serious issues with this form of bed bug treatment.  Cryonite is liquid CO2 in the form of dry ice snow, applied in great quantities.  Eisenberg says, “More often than not, the cryonite doesn’t make direct contact with the bed bugs, which allows the population to persist.  Or, the bed bugs simply aren’t killed by the cryonite.  People love the idea of it, but it is the least effective tool for eradicating bed bugs.”

Thermal.  Thermal remediation is a technique wherein a pest control company brings high-temperature heating equipment into your home and bakes the place.  “Conceptually, this is a great idea,” says Eisenberg. “However, there are many setbacks associated with thermal remediation. Essentially, the treatment often sends the bed bugs running to cooler spots in walls and adjacent rooms in the house.  It can be pretty pricey and, when done in a home, the entire neighborhood will know you are getting treated for bed bugs because all of the equipment will be set up outside your house. Although it’s alluring because there isn’t any prep work involved, this is still not the most effective treatment.”  In his Bed Bug Survival Guide, Eisenberg does concede that thermal remediation “kills all the bed bugs that aren’t smart or fast enough” to sprint for the cool spots – but what about all the bugs who were quick and clever enough to survive?

There is no one ideal bed bug treatment option for every home.  The right treatment for you could depend on the size of your home, whether or not you’re willing to use chemicals, and dozens of other potential factors.  Weigh the pros and cons of each approach and decide which works best for you.  The bottom line is, you don’t have to share your space with bed bugs.  It’s your choice.   

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