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The pesticide approach often requires multiple visits due to pesticide resistance and dispersal of the bed bugs.  Few pest control companies will claim to be able to eliminate bed bugs in a single visit. 
Insecticide application may cause a dispersal of bed bugs to neighboring areas of a structure thus spreading the infestation.  Furthermore, the problem of insecticide resistance in bed bug populations increases their opportunity to spread. 
Exterminators often require individuals to dispose of furniture and other infested materials.  It is advisable to break or mark these infested items to prevent their being unintentionally recycled and furthering the spread of bed bugs.
Non-residue methods of mattress treatment are desired in place of contaminating mattresses with insecticides.  Spraying the mattress with insecticide is undesirable as the room must be suitably ventilated, sufficient time must be given after application before the mattress can be used again, and there is a risk of the user having an allergic reaction to the chemicals.  Other possible side effects of insecticide exposure include cancer and neurotoxicity.  Concerns over the possible effects of pesticides on the health of people and pets make the practice of chemically treating the mattresses problematic.
Physical isolation

Bed Bug Certified Mattress Encasement from Mattress Safe®
Isolation of humans is attempted with numerous devices and methods including zippered bed bug certified mattress encasements, bed bug tents, bed-leg moat devices, and other barriers.


Bed bug certified mattress and box spring encasements are effective at eliminating 70% of bed bug hiding spots.  In addition to reducing hiding spots, quality encasements are tested to be bite proof, penetration proof, and escape proof, offering the ability to use and reclaim the mattresses and furniture during and after completion of a thorough pest management program.  Many pest management companies will use mattress and furniture encasements in conjunction with regular pesticide control methods.


Even with isolated beds, bed bug infestations persist if the bed itself is not free of bed bugs, or if it is re-infested.

Bed bug certified tent enclosures provide protection from bed bugs while you sleep before and during a treatment program.  Used
in conjunction with proper pest management protocol, a bed bug certified tent will increase your security for a bite free night.  A bed bug tent protects you from any bed bugs that might be lurking in other areas of your bedroom.  If bed bugs are able to get on your bed, you will be safe while sleeping in a bed bug certified tent.
Disposal of contaminated belongings
Disposal of items such as mattresses, box springs, couches, etc., is a costly process and rarely solves the problem.  Instead, new furniture is usually infested.  The movement of infested furniture also facilitates the spread of bed bugs.

Click here to view bed bug certified encasements for your furniture.


Vacuuming helps reduce bed bug infestations but does not eliminate bed bugs hidden inside of materials.


Cold treatment
Freezing equipment is used to kill pests with cold temperatures.  An example of this would be Cryonite, which uses the cooling properties of CO2 to spray a snow at a temperature of -78.5°C.  Though bed bugs can tolerate a broad range of temperatures, -14 to 44 °C, they cannot survive body freezing or extreme heat.  As with approaches such as vacuuming and steaming, freezing sprays may not reach bed bugs that are hidden inside walls, furniture, or appliances.
Clothes dryer
A clothes dryer can be used for killing bed bugs in clothing and blankets.  Infested clothes and bedding are first washed in hot water with laundry detergent then placed in the drier for at least 20 minutes at high heat.  This does not eliminate bed bugs in the mattress, bed frame, or the surrounding environment.  Sterilized fabrics from the dryer are thus easily re-infested.  Continually treating materials in this fashion is labor intensive and by itself does not eliminate the infestation.

Steam treatment can effectively kill all stages of bed bugs.  Unfortunately, bed bugs hide in a diversity of places, making steam treatment very tedious, labor intensive, and time consuming.  There is also the risk of the steam not penetrating materials enough to kill hidden bed bugs.  The steam may also damage materials such as varnished wood, or cause mold from the moisture left behind. Steam treatment processes must be very thorough and must be repeated. The primary areas to be treated are the mattress, box spring, bed frame, bed covers, and pillows, as well as the carpets, curtains, and other items in the infested room.

Room or building heat treatment
This method of bed bug control involves raising room temperatures to or above the killing temperature for bed bugs, which is around 45 °C.  Heat treatments are generally carried out by professionals and may be performed for a single dwelling or even to heat fumigate an entire building.  A drawback for heat treatment is the amount of time required to bring core temperatures high enough to effectively kill bed bugs that may have taken refuge within materials.  This contributes to professional heat treatments being generally expensive procedures.  Following a heat-treatment, a room may be easily re-infested as bed bugs are able to retreat into cracks and crevasses in walls, ceilings, and floors where they may escape treatment.

Portions of content provided by:
Entomologist Paul J. Bello, PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC. - Author of "The Bed Bug Combat Manual"