Bed Bug Myths

There are a number of commercial products on the market that claim to completely end your bed bug infestation. These include insecticides and bug bombs, but they don’t always work well on their own.

Unfortunately, most of these claims are not enough to end your infestation once and for all; some products prove useful as only part of the solution and not the sole answer to your bed bug problems. The following are some common bed bug myths.


Pyrethrums are a class of chemicals that are toxic to insects, while being somewhat safe for humans. Pyrethrum sprays are marketed as bed bug killers and are some of the most popular choices in bed bug insecticide on the market these days. They are much safer and more natural than DDT, a potentially cancer-causing pesticide that was used to deal with bed bug infestations before being banned in 1972.

While pyrethrum may work at first, bed bugs can quickly become immune to its main chemical, pyrethrin: According to UC Berkley, as few as one bed bug with a pyrethrin-resistant mutation can live long enough to pass the mutation off to its children. The result, after the mutation goes through several generations of bed bugs, is that every single bed bug becomes resistant to the chemical. By itself, the spray has little chance of getting rid of an entire infestation–you are only filling the air with chemicals once the population has become resistant to the insecticide.

Bug Bombs

Using a bug bomb, or insect fogger, to end your infestation is one of biggest bed bug myths around. Bug bombs release insecticide (usually pyrethrin) into your living quarters via aerosol. Bug bombs claim to cover all areas of infestation, but this claim is essentially false. Bed bugs are very small–a young nymph is about as big as one of the letters embossed on a penny, and an adult is only several times larger. Bed bugs are able to crawl into places that the chemical can’t reach. This spreads the infestation to other places in your home. Bed bugs flee as soon as they can detect the bug bomb’s chemicals, making the product nearly useless and filling your air with chemicals more than any spray.

When it comes down to brass tacks, bug bombs are less precise and more harmful to the air than insecticide sprays. But neither works as a solution. A licensed extermination company can recommend the approprate treatment to ensure total eradication.

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