Should a Bed Bug Infested Bed be Treated With Pesticides?

Never treat a bed with pesticides unless you are using a product that has been specifically designed and intended for such use. It is equally important that you follow all pesticide label directions carefully and that you never use a product in a manner that is inconsistent with the label directions. Very few pesticides are allowed to be used to treat beds due to the obvious concerns associated with pesticide exposure. However, there are some EPA registered pesticide products that do have label directions permitting various types of treatments to mattresses and box springs. However, just because you can treat beds with certain products doesn’t mean that it is a good idea to do so.

We do not recommend treating infested beds for the following reasons. First, most pesticides work well on contact but not nearly as well as a dry residual. This means that bugs you spray directly will typically die, but many of the bugs that encounter the treated surfaces after the chemical has dried are likely to survive. The question must be asked; why spray bugs that you can see when a vacuum cleaner or steam can accomplish the same thing. In addition, because many chemicals are not very effective when dry, repeated applications will need to be made to deal with the new bugs as they arrive at the bed from surrounding areas. Thus it is our opinion that the repeated use of pesticides on sleeping surfaces results in an unnecessary level of pesticide exposure that could have been avoided through the use of effective non-chemical measures.