Are you wonder can pesticides kill bed bugs? They are amongst the most hard-to-get-rid-of pests. This is because they infest and spread very quickly. They move from one space to another and the adjoining areas very quickly.
Professional pest control is the best choice to get a successful elimination of bed bugs. Using pesticides is one of the ways to kill bed bugs.
Substances that control pests like bed bugs, insects, etc., are pesticides. An insecticide, herbicide, fungicide, rodenticide, bactericide, nematicide is a pesticide. But can besticides kill bed bugs? Yes, they can. However, the elimination may not be 100 percent.
They should be exercised with attention and caution. Different pesticides work on bed bugs in different modes and kill them.
What is pesticide resistance?
Bed bugs develop resistance to certain pesticides like organophosphates and DDT. When used repeatedly, the chemical actions of the pesticide cease to affect the bed bug. This is called pesticide resistance.
Pesticides that come in spray forms are:
- Contact sprays – These sprays kill instantly. A contact spray evaporates and works within seconds on bed bugs.
- Residual sprays – These may take a long time to kill bed bugs. Spread it on a perimeter for some time to kill bed bugs passing over the area
Pesticides and their mode of action
EPA has over 300 registered products that kill/control Bed bugs. They fall into different chemical categories. These pesticides are employed widely for the control and elimination of bed bugs.
- Insect- growth regulators
We will see how these pesticides kill bed bugs based on their categories. It is essential to use different pesticides timely as the bed bugs can develop pesticide resistance.
- Dichlorvos: DDVP is used for a narrow enclosure. It is an organophosphate strip for treating bed bugs in a small enclosure.
- Pyrethroids and Pyrethrins: These are the most popularly used compounds for bed bug control. These compounds in a pesticide are lethal. They flush the bed bugs from their concealed place and eliminate them by killing them.
With pesticide resistance, they flush out temporarily or move to a different hiding place. Combining these compounds with other chemical compounds can improve control of bed bugs, in such a case.
- Desiccants: Desiccants such as Boric acid destroy the protective and waxy external bed bug coating. This results in dehydration of bed bugs, eventually killing them. These are efficient as their mode of elimination is by physical destruction of the bed bug.
This way, the bed bugs cannot develop resistance to this chemical compound, unlike other pesticides. The effect is long term. Use it only on crevices and cracks to avoid the risk of inhalation.
- Biochemicals: The only registered biochemical for bed bugs is cold-pressed neem oil. Neem oil comes from the extraction of neem tree seeds. This product has shown bed bug control at eggs, nymphs, and adult levels.
- Pyrroles: The only pyrrole registered for bed bug control is Chlorfenapyr. This is a pro-insecticide. This implies that its action in the bed bug results in the formation of a new chemical that disrupts specific functions within its cells.
- Neonicotinoids: These are synthetic nicotine forms. They act on the nervous system’s nicotine receptors and result in consistent fire. This results in the death of bed bugs.
With a different mode of killing, pesticide-resistant bugs can be killed with this pesticide.
- Insect-growth regulators: These chemicals work similarly to the growth hormones in bed bugs. They change the chitin production and change them to adults rapidly. Some cease the development of insects.
How effective are pesticides?
Pesticides have to be used more than once to get desired results and total elimination. This is because the infestation is very quick with live eggs. Also, pesticide resistance develops and the results of eradication of bed bugs are not 100 percent.
Exterminators or pest control companies advise disposal of the infested furniture, preferably to prevent the spread. Pyrethroids and DDT result in pesticide resistance and seem to be inefficient in the total elimination of bed bugs.
This results in other chemical approaches that attack the bug by altering them physically and kill them. Combining more than a single chemical compound can help in killing bed bugs.
Can Pesticides kill Bed Bugs? – Conclusion
Different pesticides have a different mode of action on bed bugs to control or kill them. However, they have to be used more than once and in various combinations. This is to avoid pesticide resistance in bed bugs. So, pesticides can kill bed bugs, but not eliminate them.