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“I’ve been spraying, but I still get bit!”

by Tommy Underhill
October 21, 2019

A good person just like you recently told me, “For over a year I’ve been spraying bed bug foggers and still get bit. Some times I spray every night. I don’t often see adults, but babies are everywhere. I’m afraid to sleep! Directions on the Hot Shot bottle say I only need to treat every two weeks... why must I every other night?” Another friend had heard that heat treatments only drive the bed bugs to hide, then they come back. Let’s chat about both of these concerns.


Chemicals and Pesticides

I jumped over to a nationwide retailer’s website and entered “bed bugs” in the search bar. The site overwhelmed me with more than nine pages of bed bug products: bed bug sprays, bed bug powders, bed bug foggers and bombs, and bed bug traps. I’m already feeling over my head!


About sprays and foggers

Hot Shot, like most bed bug sprays and foggers, contains the active ingredients 0.1% imiprothrin and 0.025% Lambda-Cyhalothrin. Both of these chemicals are synthetic pyrethroids, man-made substances that mimic the insecticidal properties of a substance naturally occurring in chrysanthemums.

Foggers like Hot Shot require direct contact with bed bugs and their eggs to begin killing them.

Another product that caught my eye was EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer Spray. This spray’s active ingredients are geraniol, cedar wood oil, and sodium lauryl sulfate... essential oils. The product title at the top of the page claims “100% Efficacy Kills on Contact, Including Eggs and Resistant Type, Residual Protection, Green and Non-Toxic, Children and Pets Safe”. Presses all the right buttons.

Sprays like EcoRaider require direct contact with bed bugs and their eggs to begin killing them.


Are Sprays and Foggers Effective?

A study published in PMC in 2014 titled Efficacy of an Essential Oil-Based Pesticide for Controlling Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius) Infestations in Apartment Buildings by Changlu Wang, Narinderpal Singh, and Richard Cooper tested the field efficacy of an essential oil-based bed bug control product, EcoRaider, compared to a pyrethroid, like Hot Shot, and neonicotinoid mixture spray.

This study found that after 12 weeks of treating per the label’s directions, EcoRaider caused a 93% bed bug count reduction. The pyrethroid (Hot Shot) had the same efficacy with a 93% reduction. The third mixture spray had a 92% effectiveness.

Let’s take a closer look at those results.

When I was in high school, I thought I was doing really well when I scored 93% on a test. I got the A!

In the world of treating bed bugs, anything less than a 100% kill is a total failure. And waiting 12 weeks to achieve that is only adding insult to injury as the surviving bed bugs continue feeding on you and making more baby bed bugs.


But they say it’s 100% effective

How can something that kills on contact not be 100% effective?

It’s quite easy, actually. bed bugs don’t live on the surfaces of our world. They hide behind bed frames, in small cracks and crevices. bed bugs crawl deep into furniture between cushions and crawl into tiny vents in electronics. They lay their eggs in hard-to-reach places. If the spray or fog doesn’t touch them, it can’t kill them.


Heat is Different

Unlike a spray or fogger that settles on the surface, heat gets to where the bed bugs live and hide.

  • Thermodynamics tells us that heat penetrates all items in the treatment zone. Just like cooking with a convection oven, we get everything up to lethal temperatures and then hold that temperature long enough to kill all the bed bugs— adults, nymphs, and eggs.
  • Unlike sprays and foggers, heat leaves no irritating or allergy-inducing residues behind to bother you, your family, or your pets. There is nothing poisonous or any ingredients which are generally regarded as safe with heat. A bed bug heat treatment is 100% safe to you and your family.
  • Because heat kills all the living and unhatched bed bugs in one treatment, there is no need for a repeat treatment. The only way a successfully-treated area will have a reinfestation is if someone brings them back in to the area.
  • Bed bugs are small. If you were the size of a bed bug, a typical room would be the size of six football fields. Dr. Mike wrote about the belief that bed bugs can migrate out of a heat treatment.
  • Bed bugs are not very smart. As the room starts to heat, we’ve watched them drop from higher areas to lower locations in an attempt to escape the heat. As the heat continues to build, bed bugs become more disoriented and begin the dance of death. At this point, there is no way for them to escape.

A professional heat treatment is much more effective than sprays or foggers. When you treat a home or business with equipment from GreenTech Heat Solutions, we know you will kill all the bed bugs and their eggs in only one day. Your customers and tenants will sleep soundly that night, possibly for the first time in a while. Call us at 888-699-3944 for answers to any specific questions you might have.

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