Did you know that the best ally of bed bugs is fear? It’s true! Fear causes panic and anxiety. Those emotional responses can cause folks to make knee-jerk reactions in trying to solve their immediate bed bug problems. The intention of this article is to focus on bad information that may cause a bed bug problem in your home to become worse over time. Included are the top 5 myths about bed bugs.

Myth # 1.  We should bring back DDT. Not true. DDT’s mode of action is to bind sodium spores ultimately causing the bed bug’s nervous system to misfire. Guess what? DDT does the same thing to humans, wildlife and pets.  DDT also had a mode of action that made chemical resistance a real possibility that would affect the effectiveness of the pesticide over a period of time.

Myth #2.  Bed bug bombs are a good way to treat a bed bug infestation. Many of the so-called bombs contain pyrethrins mentioned in myth # 1. Along with the fact that these foggers cause bed bugs to typically run into cracks and crevices instead of flushing the insect out of cracks and crevices that provide harborage areas. Granted, some bed bugs may be killed in the process, but this type of treatment is not very effective at all.

Myth # 3.  There is only one way to kill bed bugs. This is not true although some treatment techniques are better than others.  Heat is a very good treatment strategy and can be very effectively used in combination with steam, dust and/or labeled pesticides in combination. Serious bed bug issues require serious treatments.

Myth # 4.  If I turn up my furnace high enough, I can eliminate a bed bug infestation by myself. A temperature of 122 degrees will kill all stages of a bed bug’s life cycle. The catch is that to get a temperature to that temperature inside walls or inside furniture or mattresses where bed bugs hide, the air temperature may have to reach temperatures above 140 degrees for several hours with items being moved around to make sure all areas reach a lethal temperature. Let’s face it, furnaces are not made to reach this type of temperature and salamander heaters are just plain dangerous.


Myth # 5.  Bed bugs will die on their own if one waits long enough because they will just stop feeding. A bed bug can live up 18 months if a blood meal is not available. If a blood meal is available, the bed bug will find it. Why would a bed bug just quit feeding if a blood meal is available? The answer is that they wouldn’t.

Give our office a call to discuss your bed bug problem with our professionals.