It is important to begin with the thought that The Common Bed Bug can NOT be managed like any other insect pest. This is a tenacious, difficult pest where insecticides cannot be the only tool you use. Unlike nearly any other structural pest you have to accept that you must eliminate 100% of the bugs and their EGGS if you are to be successful. You also have to accept that there is liability involved with bed bug control simply because of the wide publicity these pests have received and the frustration the customer has knowing they brought them home from somewhere else.
Effective management must involve the customer, and you must explain to them exactly what their role is - laundering, dryer cycles, bagging, etc. It is possible that the female bugs may have glued eggs to any surface in the infested rooms, including within electronic equipment, on curtains, anyplace on, in, or around furniture and beds, on the walls, behind floor molding and carpet edges, etc., and you need to treat in some manner every possible place where the bugs or their eggs could be found. If the customer is going to move out for a few days it is imperative that they not take bed bugs with them, meaning they must where clothing they have already run through the dryer and then saved in a sealed bag, they should not take other clothing or their luggage, etc.
It may be less about the specific insecticide you choose than it is about the thoroughness of the application. Many different products are being used by our industry, but what I will offer is the list given by a speaker at the recent NPMA conference, of most used products. These are, in order of choice, Phantom, Temprid, Bedlam, Gentrol, Alpine, Transport, DeltaDust, Suspend, Tempo, Drione. This does not mean that other products may work well too if you place them where the bugs will rest on them for days at a time, and there also have been other new products on the market since this list was formulated. Also keep in mind the use of Nuvan strips for fumigating electronic equipment and other items that cannot be treated with heat or other insecticides. Many technicians also include some synergized pyrethrum liquid with their residual product, and this seems to help with the overall effectiveness of the material.
For the past 8 or more years there have been tremendous numbers of articles and educational events on this pest, and if you have not taken advantage of these up to now it is imperative that you start. You must learn everything you can about the Common Bed Bug if you hope to be successful, and not expect to treat them as you might an ant or cricket or cockroach infestation. They are unlike any other pest we face. You need to be familiar with the various bed bug monitors that can be used to assist the overall effort. You need to recommend mattress and box spring encasements, and some of the most successful companies mandate their use by the customer.
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Please note, Mr. Pest Control is answering questions supplied by PMP customers across North America. His answers are generated from industry and manufacturer-provided information. The answer may not be specific to the laws and regulations for your State, Province, Territory or Country. In addition, products mentioned may not be registered and or available in all areas. Always check with your local Univar office for specific information to your area. Always read and follow label directions.