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As bed bug infestations generally increase in the springtime, we receive a lot of phone calls from customers asking what can they do to prevent the problem in advance, or, if they have found bed bugs, what kinds of products will help eliminate the problem.
Our experience has been that as far as pesticides go, there are very few over-the-counter products that will elminate a problem, keep a small infestation from becoming a larger one, or prevent a problem from taking hold. We’ve heard too many testimonials where customers attempted to bring an infestation under control with over-the-counter products, only to have a problem worsen one or two months after the original problem was detected. As an over-the-counter would typically be described as a pesticide you’re able to purchase at a hardware store or pharmacy, the strength of these pesticides doesn’t match what you can purchase online at a pest control website, or at a local pest control center. Additionally, the experience a pest control company can provide for you – including their quality of pesticides – will usually exceed the do-it-yourself option in terms of application & experience.
Alarmingly, we also see visually that certain over-the-counter products can be sprayed on a bed bug with no effect – the bed bug will keep walking. Any product advertised as a bed bug “contact kill” should be able to eliminate a bed bug almost immediately after application.
As far as traps and monitors go, we see many instances where these products will work in catching a bed bug here and there, but almost no instances where these measures will help eliminate a problem completely. Even as an identification tool, traps & monitors are certainly better than taking no action trap at all. But, they’re only as good as a bed bug’s willingness to walk into it. A bed bug’s target meal remains one thing – blood – and nothing has been able to replicate a bed bug’s preferred meal when that meal is readily available.
Our continuing advice is, if you’ve identified bed bugs in your home or business, or believe you may have a problem, call someone with the experience available to help answer the important questions you’ll obviously have.