What Chemicals Do Exterminators Use for Bed Bugs?

In this article, we examine some of the most effective bed bug treatment substances.

So if you are the type of person who keeps on wondering what chemicals bed bug exterminators use to get rid of bed bugs, this is the article for you!

Currently, in the US, for example, there are over 310 types of chemical substances that one can use to get rid of bedbugs in homes cars, and business premises.

While most of the chemicals may be accessed over the counter, some of these chemicals are reserved for expert or professional pest control agencies.

The limitation is usually put in place to minimize cases where maximum-risk pesticides fall into the hands of people who are not competent enough to use them because this may result in accidents and casualties.

Regulation of Pesticides that Kill Bed Bugs

The EPA is responsible for the regulation of the substances used to treat bed bug infestation. As such, it has put in place guidelines to be followed before a given drug is made available to the consumer market.

First, the EPA demands that the manufacturers of the pesticides register with the organization to ensure all aspects ranging from effectiveness and safety are understood.

The EPA, therefore, ensures that:

  • Proper dissemination of current information to both the public and professional pest control agencies on the use of certain pesticides
  • There is research and development of new effective chemicals to kill bed bugs
  • The public is properly educated about bed bugs and effective safety precautions when using the chemicals

Professional Bed Bug Chemicals

The strongest bed bug killers have been categorized into 8 main categories. The classification is generally based on how these chemicals work while exterminating the bed bugs.

These classifications are:

#1 Pyrethroids

These are synthetic chemicals that are poisonous to bed bugs. They are manufactured to get rid of most household pests such as mosquitoes, silverfish, and mites.

The only challenge one may face when dealing with these bed bugs is the resistance from some bedbug strains.

Mode of Action: Poisonous and Flushing Out

Advantages: Kills bed bugs fast

Disadvantages: Some bed bugs may develop resistance

#2 Pyrethrins

Pyrethrins are similar to pyrethroids only because they are natural they come from the pyrethrum plant.

Pyrethrins are also commonly used in pesticides to get rid of other household pests and parasites such as cockroaches, mosquitoes, and mites.

Mode of Action: Flushing out and poisonous to bed bugs

Advantages: Kill bed bugs instantly

Disadvantages: Bed bugs may develop resistance

NB: It should be noted that in cases where bed bugs develop resistance, it may necessitate a combination of both pyrethrins and pyrethroids for a double-impact approach

#3 Neonicotinoids

These compounds work in a very unique way. Their mode of operation is movie-like, especially at the cellular level.

Anyways, for anyone who understands how the nervous system in living organisms works, the mode of action here is easily understandable.

As may be deduced from the name neonicotinoids contain nicotine but in synthetic form. They target the bed bug nerves causing them to fire repeatedly and uncontrollably resulting in nervous failure.

The nervous failure guarantees the death of the bed bugs.

Mode of action: Attacks bed bugs’ nervous system

Advantage: Kills bed bugs’ resistance to both pyrethrins and pyrethroids

#4 Biochemicals

While there are many chemicals used to kill bed bugs, neem oil is the only biochemical authorized to kill bed bugs and their eggs in the US.

This magic oil prevents the further reproduction of these bugs. The inability to produce ensures they quickly get extinct.

Mode of Action: Affects the bed bugs’ reproductive cycle

Advantage: It is generally safe for the users

#5 Pyrroles

Pyrroles are chemicals that get into action after they have been activated by another compound, in this case, the targeted pest.

When the bedbugs come into contact with the pyrrole, they release a chemical that reacts with the pyrroles creating a new harmful compound that then kills the bed bugs.

The only acceptable pyrrole in the US currently is Chlorfenapyr (C15H11BrClF3N2O), and it may also be used to get rid of mosquitos.

Mode of Action: Creates a poisonous compound when in contact with the bed bugs

#6 Desiccants

Desiccants such as diatomaceous earth and boric acid work in a unique way. These compounds attack the bed bugs physically by destroying their exoskeleton.

Once the exoskeleton has been destroyed, dehydration due to excessive loss of moisture leads to the dehydration of the bugs and subsequent death.

Care should be taken by using only desiccants authorized by the EPA.

Mode of Action: Attack bed bug’s exoskeleton and cause dehydration

Advantages: Acts long-term

Disadvantages: Pose inhalation risk to the users

#7 Insect Growth Regulators

These bed bug extermination chemicals work uniquely. They affect the bed bugs at the growth level by either hastening or slowing down growth.

Slowed or hastened growth means they do not achieve the reproductive age properly and that makes it hard to reproduce. In the long run, the bed bug population is destroyed.

Mode of Action: Attacks the growth rate of bed bugs

Advantage:  They do not affect the bed bug lifestyle as they work.

Disadvantage: Slow action process

#8 Narrow Use Chemicals

This refers to specific chemical compounds used for treating bed bug infestations in small spaces/rooms. An example in this category is an organophosphate known as DDVP.

Mode of action: Small-space poisoning

Advantage: Highly effective

Disadvantages: Limited usage and application in homes, offices, and cars

Why Bed Bugs Are So Hard To Kill

FAQs on Pesticides that Kill Bed Bugs

Below are the commonly asked questions insofar as effective and professional bed bug treatment chemicals are concerned.

What chemical kills bed bugs and their eggs?

In a study involving approved label rates conducted by the EPA, it was determined that neem oil is an effective chemical to kill both bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adults

What chemicals does Orkin use to control bed bugs?

Orkin uses conventional chemicals, which include pyrethrins, pyrethroids, and desiccants to get rid of bed bugs in homes.

READ MORE: How do you get bed bugs in the first place?

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