bed bug closeup

Why haven’t we been able to get rid of all bed bugs yet? In the perfect world, a bug bomb would eliminate these pests all over the world.

Bed bugs are small insects that hide in cracks and crevices. They are active mainly at night when they are looking for something to eat, and that something is YOU. People only become aware of bed bugs after they have been bitten. Itching from bed bugs can cause people to panic, especially since they’ve increased as much as 500 percent in the past decade. Consumers often take this panic to the store and see all these sprays that claim to “kill on contact” and think their problems are solved. That’s not the case.

A study at Ohio State University, done by entomologist Susan Jones, provided the first scientific evidence that these sprays shouldn’t necessarily be recommended.

The Bed Bug Study: Summarized

The study was published in the Journal of Economic Entomology in June of 2012, and the article on the topic can be read here. There’s even a video on the study.

“There has always been this perception and feedback from the pest-management industry that over-the-counter foggers are not effective against bed bugs and might make matters worse, but up until now, there has been no published data regarding the efficacy of foggers against bed bugs,” said Susan Jones.

Most over-the-counter treatments contain pyrethroids as their active ingredient and claim to kill “flying and crawling pests on contact.”

The research team took three different foggers and five different bed bug populations, one of which was susceptible to pyrethroids was used as a control group. Essentially, there was either little to no effect, or only an effect when direct contact was made. Even the pyrethroid-susceptible bed bugs were not affected by the sprays when they were covered by a thin cloth.


So, sure, “kills on contact” is not a lie, but it’s specifically direct contact and bed bugs are very good at hide ‘n’ seek. Even when they’re somewhere as simple as under a wrinkle in your sheets, these mists will do nothing to help you. Even when contact is made, there are different populations of bed bugs with different resistance levels.

“If you use these products, you will not get the infestation under control; you will waste your money, and you will delay effective treatment of your infestation. Bed bugs are among the most difficult and expensive urban pests to control. It typically takes a professional to do it right,” says Jones.

If you want to see your problems go away, talk to a professional. Suburban Exterminating has been handling pests the right way for over 60 years. Call today for a free estimate or to schedule a service: 516 or 631-864-6900.

Bug Bombs Proven Ineffective for Bed Bugs Serving Long Island and surrounding areas

Richmond | Kings County | Nassau County | Suffolk County

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