Another concern that arises in association with the use of chemical application is the potential for resistance to the insecticides being applied. In recent years several different researchers have found high levels of resistance in bed bugs to synthetic pyrethroids, a class of pesticides that makes up a large portion of the pesticides we have available to us today. |
Chemical methods are not the only way to control bed bug infestations. In fact some non-chemical measures are among the most effective in reducing bed bug populations. Vacuums play a major role in bed bug management efforts.
Insecticide treatments in sleeping areas are a potential health risk so it is very important to use products which can be safely used in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses or bed linens unless the insecticide label specifically says you can treat them. Read all product labels carefully!
Bed bug resistance to pyrethroids has been documented in a recent study by researchers at the University of Kentucky 2007, 2010. Most insecticide products that can be used in the home belong to this class. But, because we cannot predict which bed bug populations have resistance, these products still must be used, because they are the only choices we currently have.
Insect growth regulators, which interfere with insect molting and reproduction have been effective tactics for managing a number of structural insect pests, including cockroaches and fleas. However, a recent study at Virginia Tech showed that bed bugs were not adversely affected by hydroprene.
Another area that is hotly debated is whether or not fogging applications are advisable. Many companies fog structures as part of their management effort. Other companies argue that fogging is not advisable, as it will cause the bed bugs to disperse throughout the structure and drive them deeper into their harborages. Again, comments one way or the other are purely speculation as no scientific data exist to demonstrate exactly what the effect of a fogging application is on a population of bed bugs. Despite the fact that no data exist on this subject, the position that is most likely to be correct is the one that argues against fogging for bed bugs. The reason that this is the case is that Pyrethrum the chemical that is typically used to fog is known for its ability to flush or displace insects from their harborages. For this reason it seems likely that the same may be true for bed bugs as well. In addition, the pesticide fog will not effectively penetrate into the tiny cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide.
Rather than debating which product is most effective, greater attention should be placed on the ability of the pest management professional that is implementing the control program. The quality of the bed bug management effort and the level of consumer cooperation will ultimately determine the level of control that will be achieved.
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