Bedbug poison comes in multiple forms. This page describes some
of the latest and most popular treatment options. Bedbug poisons
usually take 5 different forms including: sprays,
dusts, liquids, fumigation or silica gel products.
It goes without saying that pesticides are poisonous.
manufacturers directions carefully and keep out of
the reach of pets and children.
All of the products listed will kill bed bugs on contact and
act as a
bed bug poison. Differences come down to how they are
applied, chemical vs. natural and the types of surfaces that are safe
Our simple recommendation is that if you are a home owner, consider
spray (pump spray) or Bedlam
(aerosol) to treat the mattress and box spring and
cracks/crevice. If you'd like a spray just for cracks and
crevices, use Phantom
since it has a longer residual effect.
After treatment, spread bed bug dust in cracks and crevices
and inside the box spring for a long residual effect. Be sure to seal
both the box spring and mattress in a zippered
cover after it dries from the spray.
Details on each type of bedbug poison is provided below:
BedBug Poison: Sprays
Sprays come in aerosol or pump, and are either comprised of
insecticides or natural enzyme or plant extract formulations.
Sprays are also differentiated by any residual or lasting
effect they have after they are applied.
BedBug Spray Recommendations:
If you are looking for a good general purpose Bed Bug spray or bed bug
poison, and you need to treat the mattress, bed frame, around furniture
as well as cracks, crevices etc., then Sterifab
(pump spray) and Bedlam
(aerosol) are good choices. Both are
rated mattress safe, and will kill bed bug eggs.
Preference is more based on whether or not you prefer a pump
aerosol spray. These use pyrethroidsphenothrin/ as the active
Both products have up to a 10 day residual effect, so treatment should
be combined with other longer term products such as Phantom
(see below) or the use of a bed
Cracks and Crevice:
It would be helpful to also purchase a spray such as Phantom
for cracks and crevices. It has a long residual effect, so the
treatment will help to kill any bed bugs or late hatching nymphs (baby
bed bugs) that you might have missed. This is a very
effective product and is somewhat new to the market. It also
is undetectable to the bed bugs, so they will talk through it, making
it lethal to the bed bugs. The active ingredient in Phantom
bed bug spray is Pyrrole - Chlorfenapyr.
Organic or Natural Bed
Bug Spray: If you prefer to use natural or
organic products, there are a few effective spray choices.
These products use plant extracts as a bedbug poison (Bed
Bug Patrol), or enzymes (Kleen
Free) to kill bed bugs. These products are
effective on contact, but do not have a residual effect. if
you have children or pets that are frequently in the room, these
products are worth considering. No matter which product you
use, make sure the sprays dry before children, pets enter the room.
If you use a natural product, consider a spray to
be only part of the treatment since they don't have a residual or long
lasting effect. They "knock down" or kill bed bugs when the
spray comes in contact with the bed bug itself. It should be
used with a bed
bug dust (described below), vacuuming, and washing all linen
in hot water, and the use of a hand steamer (also explained below).
BedBug Poison: Dusts to Kill Bed Bugs and Silica Gels
Dust and gel (which are ground into dust) work by attaching to bed bugs
as they crawl through the dust. The dust clings to the bed
bug, breaking through the outer layer of the insect, which in turn
causes death. Dusts and gels are used after spray, heat,
vacuuming and other treatments as a last layer of defense. It
is perfect for spreading around electrical outlets (since it is dry),
along baseboards, inside box springs etc.
Bed bug dust is a natural products that also goes by the name of
diatomaceous earth. It is relatively low cost and can be
bought online from companies such as Dermisil
for Bed Bugs for a relatively low price (under $25 per16 oz
bag). New construction in cities where bed bugs are a problem
as New York are now using bed bug dust products inside walls as a
preventative in anticipation of the insects moving from apartment to
A silica based product which is also referred to
as Drione dust has similar properties and is available in a product
BedBug Poison: Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)
An insect growth regulator (IGR) interrupts the life cycle of the bed
bug by making them sterile so that they can't reproduce.
Since it doesn't kill on contact, but works to reduce the
size of the bed bug population over time, it is often used in
combination with other products. One well known brand of bed
bug IGR is Gentrol.
Micro Encapsulated BedBug Poison Products
Another class of products are referred to as being micro-encapsulated or concetrated.
These include Onslaught® (esfenvalerate), Demand CS
(lamba-cyhalothrin, pyrethroid), and a suspended concentrate (liquid),
Suspend SC (deltamethrin). All of these products have a
lasting residual effect and are best used in cracks/crevices.
They are all professional grade products and may not be
available to home owners in certain places, depending on local law.
In general, these types of products are sold in a concentrated form,
are then mixed with water and sprayed in cracks/crevices (not mattress
safe). Here are some specifics: They are all used
for a variety of insects, including bed bugs ,and have indoor and
outdoor use (see labels). Most can also be mixed with an IGR
or insect growth regulator for added impact.
A general surface (non food, mattress), crack and crevice or spot
treatment which can be used in 21 day intervals if necessary indoors.
It can also be used outdoors around the perimeter of
buildings. It can be applied with a paintbrush or as a spray.
The product can also be mixed with Archer IGR (insect growth
regulator). SuspendSC :
This product when used according the manufacturers instructions can be
used throughout the home (not on mattress). it is a
concentrate which is then mixed with water. It is applied via
a spray tank. It is used as a general service and crack and
Onslaught: This product uses what is known as a controlled release
technology to provide a long lasting residual effect.
BedBug Poison: Fumigation
Bed bug fumigation using insecticides is often used when an
entire building is infested and the treatment of individual apartments
is impractical. While this can be an effective approach, it
requires the evacuation of a building for a period of time.
It is not preferred since it is the use of a chemical on
every surface in the apartment. Applications also do not have
a residual effect.
As an alternative to bedbug poison, forced air heaters are often used,
an option which is available from professional exterminators that are
part of the Temp
Air system. This involves a company bringing in
large forced air heaters, which super heats the apartment or building
to the required temperature. Bed bugs and their eggs are
killed at 113 degrees F. The Temp Air system heats beyond
this point so that the proper temperature is reached in each place that
a bed bug might be hiding.
The target temperature, which is 120 degrees in all parts of the
building (to ensure 113 is reached), must be maintained for at least 2
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