How To Kill Bed Bugs

How to kill bed bugs is a common question and one that requires some thought before making a decision. Primarily you have three main methods for killing bedbugs today. One is called a traditional chemical program which involves the use of pesticides which are designed to affect insect in such a way that it can no longer function effectively and it dies. Another method of chemical treatment is the use of organic products which are not as highly synergized but are still designed to kill the insect by reducing its ability to function.

The second method is the use of a fumigant. A fumigant is not a bug bomb. It is an odorless colorless gas that penetrates even through the tiniest pores of wood, plaster, sheet rock and more. It will not penetrate through plastic and it will not penetrate through glass. But pretty much everything else it moves through. What it does is displaces oxygen replacing it with a poisonous gas killing everything in its path.

Third method is the use of heat. This is been proven time and time again to be the Achilles’ heel of this insect. Temperatures above 117° will kill this insect. A temperature of 130° held for 10 minutes will kill all viable eggs. At the normal maintain temperature of 140° eggs are dead in minutes while bedbugs in all their stages are dead in seconds.

Then we have a product called Cryonite. Cryonite is the use of CO2 dispersed as a missed to contact and kill any insects that it impinges on.


With a chemical program it is typically recommended that 2 to 3 treatments are provided approximately 2 weeks apart. This is to coincide with eggs because in most cases our pesticides are very limited in their ability to kill the egg. With the latest problems of resistance we are finding that are chemical programs of becoming less and less effective as time moves forward in the complete elimination without the threat of spreading them to adjacent units are other areas of the home. Costs are typically modest to load depending on what type of treatment program you purchase. It is important to make sure that you get a warranty and also get references to ensure that the company that is providing your service knows what they are doing and have treated these insects successfully in the past.

With fumigation the home or building is typically abandoned for 2 to 3 days while the treatment process occurs. In wooden structures the house must be tented to hold the gas within. The benefit of this method is that it will typically kill everything within the structure and it has a very high success rate over 95%. One of the main drawbacks is the loss of the use of the home for it 48 to 72 hour period. In addition typical costs can run from the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the structure being treated.

With heat we have the benefit of similar efficacy rates as fumigation although complete eradication is usually achieved in 8 to 12 hours depending on the size of the structure. There are some items that are too sensitive to treat with heat such as oil paintings and glued and wax items but most items can be safely treated this way. Cost is a factor as thermal remediation or bedbug heat treatments are typically to to sometimes three times as costly as a chemical program. But the entire population is usually eradicated in one visit, there is very little chance of spread if it is done properly, and there is much less prep work that has to be done by the tenant prior to treatment.

With Cryonite we find that failure rates are very high when it is used as a stand-alone method of bed bug elimination. This is because bedbugs by their very nature are crack and crevice dwelling insects. Cryonite must penetrate into these areas to impinge on to their exoskeleton to actually bring about the death. When you’re dealing with an item such as a box spring where you have lots of wood stuffing cotton etc. the ability to penetrate this is almost impossible. Compare that to placing that boxspring into an oven such as with the use of heat. Eventually you’re going to cooked all the way through killing everything within. Cryonite just is not have that ability and we do not recommend it as a stand-alone treatment for bed bug elimination.


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