Success rate of bed bug extermination

Success Rate of Bed Bug Extermination Methods (2024)

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

According to a study on bed bug extermination success rate in apartments, posted on National Library of Medicine:

  • Non-Chemical Methods: 67% success rate, with some apartments achieving complete eradication.
  • Chemical Treatments: 33% success rate, indicating a lower effectiveness in comparison.
  • IPM Approach: 44% success rate, demonstrating a moderate level of success.

In this article, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty details of bed bug extermination. We'll explore the various methods used by pest control agents, their effectiveness, and the factors that can influence the success rate.

We've based our insights on extensive research and the expertise of bedbug exterminators. So, if you're battling a bed bug invasion or simply curious, stay tuned. We promise to make this journey enlightening and worth your while.

What Is the Average Success of Bedbug Treatments?

spray for bedbugs

Non-Chemical Methods (Heat Treatment and Steam Treatment)

Following the statistics mentioned above, it's pointed that non-toxic extermination techniques, like thermal and steam eradication have an encouraging 67% success rate.

That's because bed bugs often take shelter in areas unreachable by conventional means. It could be within any hidden corner of the room. What could potentially reach them? High temp!

Chemical Treatments (Pesticides)

Chemicals, which primarily includes bedbug sprays, doesn't hold much ground with a success rate of only 33%. Although those products may appear to be a quick and easy method to solve the bed bug problem, it doesn't usually end up being the most effective.

The bugs are notoriously resistant to many types of insecticides. And considering they usually hide inside nooks and crevices away from reach, it's challenging for pesticides to make any significant impact.

Additionally, while insecticide methods may potentially kill the visible insects, they often leave behind hidden eggs, preparing for a new wave of infestation. Thus, rendering the method inefficient in complete eradication.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Adopting a more holistic approach towards bed bug elimination, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) demonstrates a fair middling success rate of 44%.

IPM incorporates multiple strategies like temp control, chemicals, and even recommendations for best practices in keeping a clean environment. Using this method, exterminators target not only the existing problems but also anticipate potential uprisings by tackling bed bug eggs and possible breeding sites.

Spotlight: The Aprehend Biopesticide

Aprehend is a biopesticide treatment, used by our pest control expert at Pest Agent: as a new solution brought in by Environmental Pest Control (EPC) that was tested for the first time in Canada in this facility.

Result of their case study: (Source here)

  • Initial Die-Off: Observing a mass die-off within two weeks post-treatment.
  • 90-Day Follow-Up: Achieving a 90% death rate by 60 days and discovering less than a dozen bed bugs site-wide at the 90-day inspection, marking a significant milestone in bed bug eradication efforts.
  • What Are the Factors Influencing Extermination Success?

    1. Bed bugs are experts at hiding, and their favourite hiding spots include mattresses, furniture, and drawers. It's not uncommon for a few to remain behind post-extermination, starting a new outbreak cycle.
    2. The temperature at which extermination is carried out plays a significant role. Non-toxic methods like heat and steam treatments are only good at around 117-122 degrees Fahrenheit, only then can it penetrate deep inside hiding places and kill off the bug population. Though it's a potent method, it's not always feasible due to the potential harm to home furnishings.
    3. Resistance to certain types of substances used in sprays is another factor that hinders extermination success. Over the years, bed bugs have evolved and developed resistance against various pesticides, making extermination a challenging task.
    4. The cost and frequency of extermination services also have a role to play. After all, real extermination success is measured over a period and not by a single visit. Multiple treatments might often be necessary for complete elimination, which can be rather costly for many homeowners.

    What Are Causes and Common Sites of Bed Bug Infestations?

    Understanding the reasons behind bed bugs and their preferred hideouts is crucial. Knowledge about their behavior can help improve the success rate of extermination treatments. Let's see some common causes and places that foster the growth of these pesky bugs.

    Buying Used Furnishings

    We all love a good bargain, but buying used appliances comes with its set of risks. Especially mattresses and drawers, can harbor bed bugs, their eggs, or even larvae.

    Suppose you purchase this furniture without thorough inspection. In that case, there's a great chance you may introduce an infestation to your home without knowing. Hence, whenever you buy used furnishings, ensure it's treated and cleaned properly. It's always a good idea to call pest control companies for an examination. The cost could save you from a larger expenditure in fighting a full-blown invasion later.

    Schools and Colleges

    Surprisingly, educational institutions prove to be a hotbed for bed bugs. Many students live in close-proximity dormitories or apartments, creating perfect conditions for bed bugs to spread. Bugs can easily hitch a ride on clothing or bags and travel from room to room, infecting large populations quickly.

    Prevention methods, regular checks, and quick response at the first sign of bedbugs are ways to maintain control over the situation in these institutions.

    Ultimately, maintaining above average standards of cleanliness, regular and thorough inspection, particularly in high-contact places like lounges and study rooms, can help reduce infestation rates.

    Box Springs

    An often-overlooked hideout for bed bugs are box springs under our mattresses. The dark, undisturbed, and blood-rich environment provides an ideal breeding ground for them. They can live and breed here for an extended period, undetected.

    Treatment for box springs can be difficult due to the construction of springs, housing endless hiding spots for bugs.

    However, professional exterminators have the necessary tools and knowledge to treat such places effectively. Treating these hard-to-reach areas ensures a more thorough and successful extermination process. Hence, don't ignore the box spring when you suspect a bed bug problem.

    Professional help is a call away. Remember, what exterminators do for bedbugs is not just removing them from visible surfaces but ensuring they are eradicated from every hidden corner.

    How to Detect Bedbugs?

    Detecting bedbugs in the early stages can be a difficult task. Nonetheless, being aware of the signs can save you from substantial costs and discomfort, and significantly heighten the success rate of extermination.

    Corroded Stains on Sheets

    One of the primary indications of bedbugs is the presence of rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets and even walls. These stains are caused by bed bugs being crushed after a hearty blood meal or their excretion. (It's a grim scenario, but it's what we're working with.)

    Upon suspecting an infestation, you need to conduct a meticulous inspection of your bedding and appliances. Pay special attention to the folds and seams of your mattress, inside box springs, and the back of your headboards. Remember, bed bugs love to play hide and seek.

    đź’ˇ Pro Tip: Use a flashlight to aid visual inspection. The light can reveal even the smallest of eggs or nymphs.

    Dark Spots

    Another significant sign are the dark spots that bed bugs leave behind. These spots are essentially their droppings and can be found on walls, bedsheets, and around appliances. They may look like a marker stain and are usually around the size of a dot.

    Aside from visual clues, you can also rely on other senses - specifically your sense of smell. Some people describe the odor of a bedbug problem as a "weird" or "sweet" smell, reminiscent of overripe raspberries or coriander.

    Professional pest control companies are equipped with the necessary tools and expertise to effectively detect and treat bed bugs. If you notice any of the above signs, don't hesitate to call the pros immediately. They can provide a comprehensive service, often including a pest control consultation, thorough inspection, and a treatment plan tailored to your situation.

    Proactive prevention is paramount. The quicker we make a move against these pests, the better we ensure their effective elimination, thereby reducing their populations.

    What Are the Top Bedbug Extermination Methods?

    As we navigate through bed bug extermination, it's essential to apprehend the methods available. Every mode of action we'll explore has its unique advantages and drawbacks. Here's a quick overview of the top 3 techniques:

    Method Success Rate Cost
    Heat Treatments High $$$
    Steam Cleaning High $$$
    Chemical Treatments Medium-High $$

    Heat Treatments: Most Effective

    Heat treatments holds the #1 rank due to their effectiveness. Bed bugs and their eggs can't survive in high temperatures, making this method one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal against infestations.

    Here's how it works: Professional exterminators will raise the temperature in your home to above 122 degrees Fahrenheit, the lethal threshold for bed bugs.

    This heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are. The process can take several hours and must be managed carefully to ensure every bug is eradicated.

    Steam Cleaning: Most Trending

    The rising star in bed bug control is steam cleaning. This method uses high-temperature steam to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. Steam penetrates deep into mattress seams, furniture joints, and tiny cracks where these pests may hide.

    While steam cleaning can be a highly beneficial and eco-friendly way to handle bedbugs, it's not as easy as it sounds. Thorough coverage is essential; even a small, missed area can lead to a new problem. Thus, it requires meticulous attention to detail and persistence.

    Chemical Treatments: Most Affordable

    Our most cost-effective method, spray extermination, includes the use of insecticides, dusts, and aerosols. Exterminators apply these in areas where bed bugs have been found and their travel routes.

    Although sprays can be highly effective in controlling small infestations, they do come with some challenges. Pesticides must reach every bug to work, and since these insects are masters at hiding, some bed bugs may escape. Additionally, certain populations have developed resistance to common pesticides, decreasing their efficacy.

    We must note that while each method has its pros and cons, professional pest control companies often combine strategies for maximum effectiveness. Relying on a single method may not always eliminate an infestation, as bed bugs are resilient and can quickly bounce back.


    We've explored the top bed bug extermination methods, shedding light on their effectiveness and challenges.

    Heat extermination stand out as the most potent, yet insecticide treatments offer an affordable alternative. Steam cleaning is on the rise, showcasing the need for thorough coverage. It's clear that professional pest control companies often mix methods to boost success rates.

    The resilience of bed bugs means that relying on one method might not completely wipe out an infestation. So, when it comes to bed bug extermination, it's about finding the right combination to ensure success.

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    Frequently asked questions

    Can bed bugs develop resistance to heat or steam treatments?

    No, bed bugs can't develop resistance to high temperatures, making heat and steam extermination effective long-term solutions.

    How often should I inspect my home for bed bugs?

    Regular inspections every 3 to 6 months are recommended, especially if you live in an area prone to bedbugs or have experienced them before.

    What are the initial steps to take when a bed bug infestation is suspected?

    If you suspect bedbugs, immediately inspect bedding, furniture, and crevices for signs of bed bugs, and consider contacting a professional exterminator for an assessment.