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Competitive Treatments Explained
Out of frustration with pyrethrins, we are seeing an increase in non-approved pesticides being used indoors to treat bed bugs. Do not use or allow anyone to use non-approved pesticides in your home or place of business. They are dangerous. Even over-application of pyrethrins has caused dizziness, lethargy, asthmatic reactions, and severe nervous system problems. Read the labels. Only use pesticides as approved. There is a reason they are not approved for indoor use.
You should also be aware that several states have petitioned regulatory agencies to change usage requirements for dangerous outdoor termite pesticides to be used indoors on bed bugs. If they were dangerously carcinogenic (cancer causing) indoors before the bed bug pandemic, they are still dangerous now. The urgency of fighting bed bugs should not necessitate regulatory agencies bowing to public pressure and commercial interests. There is a reason those chemicals were not originally approved for indoor use.
“Using the wrong pesticide or using it incorrectly to treat for bed bugs can make you sick, may not solve the problem, and could even make it worse by causing the bed bugs to hide where the pesticide won’t reach them.” ENS Newswire.com.
The only family of pesticides approved for use on mattresses, linens, and indoor living spaces. 16 states are reporting bed bugs that are completely resistant to pyrethrins. “Over time, bed bugs have evolved to develop resistance to many of the chemical pesticides currently used. In fact, bed bugs were widely resistant to DDT by the mid-1950s.” Bed Bugs CDC-EPA Statement
The truth is, most bed bugs are completely resistant to the chemical pesticides currently used.
According to a 2009 LiveScience article written by Robin Lloyd, bed bugs collected in New York were 264 times more resistant to Pyremethrins than bed bugs collected in Florida.
The chances of the bed bugs you are dealing with being susceptible to pyrethrins are slim, at best. It is more likely the bugs will simply scatter and feed from more remote hiding places.
Scam Treatments for Bed bugs
There are numerous internet solutions and powders that are unregulated. Locally, there are also scams involving useless powders and sprays, which are not certified.
“The expensive sprays, powders and plastic barriers may give you peace of mind – and nothing else….If you want nails, go to the hardware store. If you want drugs, go to the pharmacy. But if you want to kill bedbugs, go to the experts.” NYDailyNews.com
Virtually all of the scammers promise eradication of bed bugs. The very fact that their products are unregulated should tell you the extent of their effectiveness. There is a reason that none of the well-known Entomologists at the university level such as Dr. Michael Potter, Dr. Karen Vail, or Dr. Stephen Kells, recommend any of these alternative treatments.
“Keep in mind that any pesticide product without an EPA registration number has not been reviewed by EPA, so the agency has not determined how well the product works.”
Many of these scam “over-the-counter” treatments involve spraying a solution directly on the bed bugs. That very assumption illustrates the limits of their knowledge. Even a solution of dishwashing detergent and water will kill bed bugs if it is sprayed directly on them. That is not the issue.
Bed bugs hate light and typically only bite when its victims are sleeping. How many nights can you stay up trying to spray the elusive bed bugs? And equally as important, what about the eggs that are hidden? These scam products do nothing to the eggs. Even if they work sprayed directly on the adults, the eggs will continue to hatch and new nymphs will feed on their victims as they sleep.
A white, chalky dust that is mined from the exoskeletons of diatoms. Diatoms are a hard-shelled type of algae. Their exoskeletons are very sharp. Therefore many “green” pesticide companies are selling Diatomaceous Earth for bed bug control. If the bugs travel through the powder it will cut their exoskeletons and cause some of the bed bugs to die through dehydration.
D.E. should only be used along baseboards or in walls. It can help to curtail the movements of bed bugs but will never completely interrupt the life cycle of bed bugs. It works well when used with heat treatment, as heat treatment will kill the eggs even in cracks, crevices, and wall cavities.
Steam kills any bed bug adult, nymph, or egg it actually touches. It is usually used with a combination of pesticides. See the pesticides for those limitations and concerns. Steam in and of itself will work, if direct contact can be made with every bed bug.
Cryogenic freezing uses a tank of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to create “snow” that will kill any bed bugs or eggs contacted. By its very nature “snow” has insulative qualities. That is the concept behind the Eskimo Igloo. The “snow” created by cryogenic freezing will kill anything at the surface, but has problems getting deep into cracks and crevices where bed bugs are known to hide and reproduce.
In addition, a tank of CO2 will cover approximately 100 square feet. If you consider the total surface area including furniture, floor, walls and ceiling of even a small bedroom, you will understand the limitations of Cryogenic freezing. A 10×10 bedroom has 600 square feet of possible hiding places for bed bugs, not including the surface area of beds and furnishings. Treatment is incredibly time consuming and labor intensive. Remember bed bugs are not limited just to beds. It is quite the opposite. They are found in baseboards, bedroom furniture, closets, electrical receptacles, televisions, and electronics. They can be scatter throughout a room, especially if they have been sprayed with pesticides.
There are two types of chambers being used. One is housed in a truck or trailer outside the structure to be treated. The second is assembled in a hotel room.
External Thermal Chamber
Uses heat to treat belongings and furnishings outside the business or home.
In-room Thermal Chamber
Chamber is assembled in the room and items are placed inside the chamber for heat treatment.