I thought with all the hype and confusion going around regarding bed bugs and bed bug treatment, it would be helpful if I wrote an entry about the different methods available. Now, there are quite a few bed bug treatments that may or may not work, so I’ll just stick to summarizing the ones I’ve looked into and the ones that seem to be the most well-known.
1. Chemical Treatment: This is a very debatable form of bed bug control. Hundreds of people claim chemical treatment works while hundreds claim it doesn’t. This one is hard to actually give an accurate measure of effectiveness for, mainly because many people will not use it correctly. This is probably one of the biggest downsides to chemical treatment- if you don’t apply a pesticide correctly and at the right rate, it will probably end up being ineffective. You have to follow instructions EXACTLY when it comes to pesticides; more is NOT better! Chemical treatments also have a chance of becoming ineffective after a while, if the targeted pests develops a resistance. However, the chances of that happening are very slim unless you’re dealing with roaches. Chemical treatment is probably the strongest and least expensive approach to getting rid of bed bugs.
2. Professional Chemical Extermination: This is one of the more expensive ways to eliminate a bed bug infestation and is typically easier to access. By hiring an exterminator, you exert minimal effort and can (hopefully) relax knowing that a pro is taking care of everything for you. I said hopefully because sometimes, even exterminators don’t do the right treatment. Therefore, when hiring an exterminator to treat bed bugs, research in depth to make sure that the company is a reliable bed bug killer. Also expect to see him/her at least 3 more times; bed bug extermination requires several visits over the course of a year.
3. Steam Treatment: Steam treatment is also a costly bed bug control method, but it seems to be growing in popularity because it does not require the use of any chemicals. The main disadvantage to steam cleaning is that it can mainly only be used on beds, clothes, certain furniture, etc. Usually, using a steamer is not recommended on wood, which may melt, or walls/furniture, since the paint would melt. However, for relatively mild infestations that are centered in a bed or another treatable area, steamers provide a chemical-free, effective method of eliminating bed bugs. There are also two types of steam cleaners available, dry and wet, to cater to the different needs of different situations.
4. Thermal Treatment: Now this is probably the newest form of bed bug control. Whether it’s by using a giant funnel or many special tubes, thermal treatment consists of pumping high heat throughout your entire home to basically burn bed bugs to a crisp. Like I mentioned, this is relatively very new so even I’m not aware of any of the specifics regarding this form of treatment. One thing I do know, however, that it is expensive, to say the least (I’ve never heard of a treatment going below $1,000). It is also risky, based on what I could tell from watching this video. But according to this video, thermal treatment is totally worth it (make sure to note the date though… the video was made in 2008 while the previous one was made in 2011)! So I’d say it’s up to you guys if you want to use this form of treatment.
5. Silica Gel Treatment: I take that back, this is probably the least expensive way to treat bed bugs, but it is also probably the most ineffective. If you think about it, finely ground silica gel powder is basically the same as a dust pesticide, so there is a danger of inhaling it. It also can only be applied in the same limited areas as a dust insecticide, so if you’re looking to treat your mattress or around your bed, you’re out of luck. In addition, there’s pretty much no video evidence that backs this method up. There are sites that claim it works, and it very well might, but I personally need to see things to believe them, and until there’s concrete proof, I’m wary of this form of treatment. Read this previous blog post for more info.
This concludes the biggest and most popular/talked about types of bed bug treatments I can think of. Sorry about the super long post, but hopefully it was at least somewhat informative. Do you guys know of a bed bug treatment that I should also mention in here? If so, please let me know