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Posted 11/10/2020 in Bed Bugs by Pest Control Approved

Chemical Bed Bug Treatments

Chemical Bed Bug Treatments

When treating bedbugs, there are two choices: heat treatments and chemical treatments. While heat treatments are effective, they must be applied to every inch of the home. Re-infestations are possible if areas are missed and multiple treatments may be necessary. Chemical treatments have the advantage of being longer acting. Certain insecticides leave a residue that will kill bugs for weeks or months. 

There are three types of insecticides that can be used. Most often, they are used in combination to kill all bugs and eggs. The three types are: fast acting insecticides for surfaces, residual insecticides for inside furniture, and dust insecticide for crevices and voids. Insecticides are often applied in two or three sessions. Each session takes thirty minutes to two hours to dry.


Types of Chemicals


In general, pesticides are a substance that is used to kill or repel animals and plants. Insecticides are pesticides that are used on insects. They can require multiple applications and some bed bugs have resistance to standard pesticides. For this reason, multiple chemical methods are often used. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most common type of pesticides used to treat bed bugs

Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids  

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are botanical insecticides derived from the chrysanthemum flower. They are lethal to all bed bugs, but resistance is becoming more common. They operate by attacking the nervous system of insects who ingest or touch it. They quickly become paralyzed and die. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids can be used as liquid spot treatments or dust formulas. Dust formulas work best for attics and wall voids. They are often found in foggers. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids should not be used on fabrics or linens. Although pesticide resistance does occur, new types of insecticides have been made and can be effective. 


Desiccants are hygroscopic chemicals. They take away moisture and induce dryness. They are commonly used in packaged foods. In extermination, desiccants are used to destroy the waxy outer coating on bed bugs. This causes the bug to dehydrate and die. They work by physical contact. It is effective because it is long lasting and bed bugs cannot become resistant. However, it does not destroy eggs. An insecticide is necessary to kill the eggs. If using a desiccant, make sure it is rated for bed bugs. Other desiccants can be harmful to humans. 


Biochemicals are a new way of combatting pesticide resistance. There are currently two biochemical methods used to treat bed bugs: neem oil and fungi. Cold-pressed neem oil is derived from trees in Southeast Asia and Africa. It contains compounds that kill all stages of bed bugs. It comes in a spray that can be used indoors. It has been EPA approved but is a relatively untested treatment. It should only be used for spot treatment at this stage.

New research has also suggested that certain fungi can be used to kill bed bugs. The fungi are harmless to humans but kills the bed bugs. Studies thus far suggest that it works on contact within 24 hours. However, this technology is in the initial stages and not easily available for personal use. 



Pyrroles are a newer insecticide. They are organic compounds that are harmless until ingested by insects. Once ingested, they form a new chemical that disrupts cellular function. Unlike other insecticides, bed bugs have no resistance to pyrroles.  They are therefore able to kill more insects and are long lasting. However, they take time to work so they are best when paired with a pyrethroid that acts instantly. Some formulas combine pyrroles and pyrethroids into one product


Neonicotinoids are synthetic forms of nicotine. They were created to combat pesticide resistance. They act on the insect’s nerve receptors. Neonicotinoids are highly toxic to insects and effective at low concentrations. They are water soluble, allowing them to be distributed into affected soil.  Neonicotinoids are also fairly animal safe. However, their use is restricted in many states so check local guidelines. 


Recommended Bed Bug Products 

Temprid FX

Temprid FX is an insecticide that combines a pyrethrin and a neonicotinoid. It is a suspended concentration where the active ingredient is a solid that does not dissolve in water. This makes it easy to use, inflammable, and dust free. It is a sprayed insecticide that can be used indoors or outdoors except in New York where only indoor use is approved. Temprid FX uses beta-cyfluthrin, a pyrethrin, that kills quickly. It is a stomach poison that causes paralysis and death. It also contains imidacloprid, a slower acting neonicotinoid that can transfer by contact from one bed bug to another.


- Non-toxic to people/animals

- Not easily absorbed through human skin

- Inflammable 

- Contains quick acting and long acting compounds

Suspend SC

Suspend SC is a sprayed insecticide or foam containing deltamethrin. Deltamethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid derived from Chrysanthemum blossoms. It kills from direct contact or ingestion. Like Temprid FX, it is a suspension concentrate. It is easy to use and safe for plants and bedding. It has little odour and is pet safe. It also leaves a residual amount of product on surfaces to kill for weeks. Because Suspend SC is a long acting insecticide, it should be used in combination with a fast-acting product.


- Pet safe

- Plant and fabric safe

- Low odor

- Long acting

- Restaurant approved


Tempo SC Ultra & Tempo 1% Dust

Tempo comes in a powder or liquid form.  Both contain the active ingredient beta-cyfluthrin, a pyrethroid. It works on the nervous system to quickly kill bed bugs. Tempo SC Ultra is a liquid which can be sprayed indoors or outdoors. It is often used as a general room treatment. Tempo 1% Dust is the powder form that can be used in cracks, crevices, and voids. It leaves a residual insecticide that last for weeks.


- Kills nymphs and eggs

- Low odor

- Plant safe

- Doesn’t stain


Demand CS

Demand CS is a newer water-based pyrethroid. The active ingredient iambda-cyhalothrin is in a capsule that releases the ingredient as the product dries. It kills through direct contact or ingestion. Because of its water base, it binds to surfaces to kill for weeks. It is primarily used for cracks and crevices but can be mixed with water to create a spray or foam. Demand CS should not be used on bedding or furniture


- Pet safe

- Restaurant approved

- Does not degrade in storage

- Does not hurt earthworms or microorganisms in soil


DIY Application and Extermination 

Step 1: Identify bedbugs – Catch a specimen to examine. Put it in a small container with alcohol to preserve it and bring it to a pest expert.

Step 2: Determine the Extent of Infestation – Carefully examine home using the steps found in our Bed Bug Identification article.

Step 3: Choose Chemicals – Choose long and short acting treatments that work for different areas. Often, this requires more than one product. Make sure to check for interactions between products.

Step 4: Prepare Room(s) – Dispose of or treat contaminated items. Remove pets and children from the property before using treatments.

Step 5: Treat mattress and Furniture – Use an aerosol spray or heat on mattresses and furniture before covering and removing from the property until treatment is finished.

Step 6: Treat Room – Use concentrated, spray to cover room. A pump sprayer with a suspended solution is a good option. Coat baseboards, floors, corners, etc.

Step 7: Hard to Reach Areas – Use aerosol spray or dust for hard to reach areas such as baseboards and wall voids. These sprays can be applied with a duster, if needed.

Step 8: Repeat as Needed – Two to three applications are often necessary.  


Main Areas of Treatment: 

  • Mattresses and bedframes.

  • Inside the crevices and cracks of bed frames and other wooden frameworks.

  • Behind the baseboards.

  • In and around cushions.

  • In furniture.

  • Behind loose wallpaper.

  • Behind posters, paintings, and other wall-hanging items.

Treating Bed Bugs is hard, most home-owners who attempt to rid their property of an active infestation fail. It's important to hire a Bed Bug Exterminator as soon as possible for the best chance at elimination, contact one of our listed Pro's today!

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