Bed bug infestations can be very demanding and determining the best way to get rid of your infestation can be even more stressful. You are likely trying to determine the how to get rid of your bed bug infestation. You will need to know the different types of bed bug treatments and which one is best for you.
This article will give you a full understanding of the most popular bed bug treatments:
- How they work
- Estimated cost and affordability
- Duration of treatments
- Level of efficacy
Top Treatments for Bed Bug Infestations
The most common bed bug treatments and solutions to kill bed bugs and completely exterminate bed bug infestations include:
Take into consideration that each bed bug treatment method is different. Not every treatment option will be viable to get rid of your infestation.
Bed Bug Chemical Treatments
Bed bug chemical treatments typically involve a bed bug exterminator applying one or a combination of three kinds of chemicals:
- A contact insecticide to kill bed bugs on direct contact,
- A residual spray chemical to kill bed bugs when they walk over the residual (typically over a longer period of time)
- A powder chemical to deter bed bugs from hiding and nesting in cracks in furniture and floorboards.
Bed Bug Chemical Treatment Pros
- Cost Effective: Bed bug chemical treatments are usually one of the most affordable bed bug treatments. The cost usually ranges from 400 – 800$(CAD) depending on the solution.
- Prevent Future Infestations: Powders and residual chemicals can help prevent and deter future bed bug infestations. The chemicals act as a barrier and can prevent bed bugs from re infesting / spreading further.
- Quick Treatment: Chemical treatments are very quick compared to other bed bug treatments. It usually only takes a professional exterminator 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Effective for Smaller Infestations: Chemical treatments have a much higher success rate when the infestation is small. The majority of bed bugs will be killed with a direct spray. There will also be a higher the chance that bed bugs will not be missed with direct spray.
Bed Bug Chemical Treatment Cons
- Chemicals are Becoming Less Effective: Bed bugs have become increasingly resilient to the chemicals used in killing them. Modern research has shown that bed bugs can survive 1000 times the amount of pesticide that was considered lethal 10 years ago.
- Multiple Treatments: Chemical treatments typically require one or more follow up treatments to completely eradicate a bed bug infestation. This is because the most effective way to kill bed bugs with chemicals is direct contact. If the exterminator is not thorough and meticulous with hitting all bed bugs and their eggs, it will not work. There is a high chance some bed bugs will survive and continue to spread the infestation until the next treatment.
- Tedious Preparations: Bed bug chemical treatments require a considerable amount of preparation to increase the treatments effectiveness. Home owners will be expected to de clutter their home, wash and bag all clothes, and potentially seal cracks in floorboards. All drawers/ cabinets will needed to be cleared out to maximize the effectiveness of the chemical treatment.
- Exposed to Chemicals in Your Home: The chemicals used to kill bed bugs are “relatively” safe for residential use. Some pets and people can be sensitive to these chemicals and can experience negative side effects.
Bed bug chemical treatments are a common choice for people dealing with a bed bug infestation because of how affordable they are. If you choose to go with a bed bug chemical treatment, make sure that you know which types of chemicals are being used. Ask if the exterminator how many follow up treatments they offer and how long in between treatments they will wait. If you want to completely get rid of your bed bug infestation as fast as possible, find another treatment option.
Bed Bug Aprehend Treatments
Aprehend treatments for bed bugs are very similar to chemical treatments. Aprehend is a residual bio pesticide spray that has residual use. Apprehend is essentially a fungus that will attach and grow on bed bugs if they walk over areas that the spray is applied. The fungus will eat and kill the bed bug over a couple weeks and spread spores that can infect and repeat the process to bed bugs close by.
Aprehend Treatment Pros:
- Cost Effective: An affordable bed bug solution, roughly costing 750 – 1000$(CAD) depending on size of space and severity of infestation.
- Chemical free: Aprehend is a chemical free bio pesticide which can be a safe alternative for anyone who is concerned about the harmful chemicals commonly used to exterminate bed bugs.
- Quick Treatment: Aprehend treatments are often very quick, usually taking 30 minutes to an hour to spray an apartment or average sized home.
- Prevents Future Infestations: Has residual effects that can last up to 3 months. This means that your space will have additional protection from re-infestations for up to 3 months.
Aprehend Treatment Cons:
- Multiple Treatments: Aprehend has been proven to be one of the most if not the most effective pesticide for killing bed bugs and their eggs. However, apprehend can still not eliminate the entirety of a bed bug infestation, and multiple aprehend sprays may be required.
- Longer Time to kill: Aprehend takes one to two weeks to start to kill bed bugs. This is because the biopesticide is a fungus that grows on the bed bug and eats it until it eventually kills the bed bug. A typical chemical based pesticide used to kill bed bugs works right away on direct contact.
- Tedious Preparation: Aprehend treatments will require very similar preparations as chemical treatments. Home owners will be expected to de clutter their home, wash and bag all clothes, and clear all drawers/ cabinets in infested areas to maximize the effectiveness of the apprehend spray.
Aprehend treatments are becoming increasingly popular in eliminating bed bug infestations. It is a great option for someone who does not feel comfortable with harmful chemicals in their home. It’s also ideal for someone who does not want to spend a lot for a bed bug treatment. A key concept to keep in mind is that Aprehend will take some time to be effective and will not always be a complete solution for a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Spot Steaming/ Vacuuming Treatments
Spot steaming/ vacuum bed bug treatments are labour-intensive treatments that involve the use of vacuums and steamers. They’ll suck up or kill bed bugs on direct steam contact. These are the worst treatments for getting rid of a bed bug infestation and should only be considered for reducing the populaion. These types of treatments can be done with cheap, commonly owned equipment, such as a standard vacuums and small steamers. These treatments can also be done on your own with very little research.
Spot Steaming/Vacuuming Treatment Pros:
- Low Cost: Spot steaming/vacuuming bed bug treatments are the cheapest treatments for exterminating bed bugs and pest control companies that offer spot steaming/vacuuming treatments usually charge 350 – 650$ (CAD) for these services, depending on the size of space and severity of infestation.
- Minimal Preparations: The preparations required for these treatments is very minimal, usually just requiring the home owner to de clutter their space.
Spot Steaming/Vacuuming Treatment Cons:
- Very ineffective: Spot steam/vacuum bed bug treatments are extremely ineffective at eliminating the entire bed bug infestation. If every single bed bug and their eggs are not either steamed of sucked up by a vacuum, the infestation will not be eliminated. Bed bugs will often hide in the smallest and hard to reach nooks and crannies. Getting every last bed bug and egg is almost impossible with these treatments. Pest control companies know how ineffective these treatments are and will also rarely offer a guarantee.
Spot steaming/ vacuuming bed bug treatments are the cheapest extermination solutions for bed bugs, however are the worst option for getting rid of a bed bug infestation and should be used in addition to chemical or apprehend treatments. Home owners that are considering to go with these treatments should save their money and attempt this on their own. We recommend hiring a pest control company to perform another treatment type.
Bed Bug Heat Treatments
A bed bug heat treatment is without a doubt the best method for exterminating an entire bed bug infestation. Bed bug heat treatments are a labour-intensive process that involves multiple exterminators using industrial heaters and high-powered fans to heat sections, or an entire house/ apartment to kill bed bugs.
The ambient temperature will be brought up to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the lethal level for bed bugs, and will get as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the ambient temperature has been raised to lethal temperatures, exterminators will move around items and furniture within the space to make sure there are no cold spots for bed bugs to survive. Bed bug heat treatments can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours depending on the size of space being treated, severity of infestation, and equipment being used.
Not all heat treatments are the same, some pest control companies use electric heaters, while others use propane fuelled heaters. Electric heaters raise the ambient temperature much slower than propane fired heaters, and often require a large generator to power them which can limit their usage.
Propane heaters fall under two categories, exterior heaters that are positioned outside the space and feed hot air into the space, usually by large tubes, and then interior propane heaters that are positioned inside the infested space and heat the space directly inside.
Exterior propane heaters are limited to where they can be used. They are not capable of treating spaces above the first few ground floors. They are very large/loud, often turning people off who are looking for a discreet bed bug treatment.
Interior propane heaters are very versatile and can heat almost any space, excluding extremely tight or cluttered spaces. Interior propane heaters are great for people who want a discreet treatment since all the equipment will be within the space and create little noise.
Bed Bug Heat Treatment Pros:
- Extremely Effective: Heat treatments are the most effective method for exterminating an entire bed bug infestation. if performed properly will kill all bed bugs and their eggs in just one treatment. Other solutions such as chemical treatments often require multiple sprays/visits to get rid of a bed bug infestation. Pest control companies that offer heat treatments will usually offer a guarantee with their heat treatment. This is to ensure they will come back for free worst case scenario.
- Chemical free: Since bed bug heat treatments use heat to exterminate bed bugs, there are no dangerous chemicals used.
- Single Day Solution: Bed bug heat treatments take roughly 5-10 hours depending on the size of the space being treated, allow home owners to return the same day and get back to living normally.
Bed Bug Heat Treatment Cons:
- Expensive: Bed bug heat treatments is the most expensive option for exterminating bed bugs. Bed bug exterminators charge anywhere from 1000 – 3500$(CAD) for a heat treatment. The price depends on the size of space, severity of the infestation, and location.
- Considerable Prep: The preparations for a bed bug heat treatment can be time consuming. Exterminators will commonly ask for home owners to de clutter their home and follow the preparation checklist we send out.
There are many solutions for a bed bug infestation however some are far more effective than others. When deciding on which treatment is best for you, really consider how fast you want your bed bug infestation exterminated and how much money you are willing to spend while also considering the cost of additional re treatments for the less effective options.