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An extreme closeup image of a bedbug

Bed Bug Infestation Management

Once bed bugs are found, there are several management methods. Combining many methods usually yields the best result.


Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to kill with insecticides. Bed bugs are also known to be resistant to many insecticides, especially pyrethroids. Organophosphates and carbamates are still effective, but are not registered for indoor use.

Most spray insecticides have to be directly applied to the insect to be effective. This makes the spraying process labor intensive. Spray treatment has to be repeated after two weeks to kill any nymphs that hatched since the last treatment.

Dust formulations are prefered for bed bug treatment since they transfer between surface more easily than sprays.

Insect growth regulators (IGRs) have been tested with conflicting results.

It's importanct to know the difference between the modes of application in order to determine the most effective treatment:

  • Mattress and Crack-and-Crevice: for areas that are normally difficult to reach. Includes dusts and some sprays.
  • Indoor Surface: for areas where bed bug can be found travelling between feeding sites and harborages (e.g. bed frames, room perimeters).
  • Indoor Space: for killing exposed insects on contact. Most oftem aerosols and preferred for treating sensitive materials.
  • Fumigation: for treating enclosed structures. Kills all stages of bed bugs and should be considered in severe infestations. If total bulding fumigation is not possible, consider containerized fumigation. Fumigation will not prevent reinfestation.

Nonchemical Control

Non-chemical control of bed bugs includes

  • Physical removal,
  • Sealing and encasements, and
  • Heat treatment.





Reproduced with permission from the January 2008 issue of PCT magazine. Articles on VikaneĀ® reproduced from Fumigation Update with permission of Dow AgroSciences.

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