Bed bug sprays are a highly effective and a simple way to treat and kill bed bugs. Sprays are easy to obtain and are able to treat difficult to see and reach areas of your home, which is perfect for killing bed bugs since they prefer to hide when not feeding.
But there are literally hundreds of bed bug sprays on the market - How do you choose the Best Bed Bug Spray for your home?
Many of the higher end bed bug sprays not only kill bed bugs on contact, but also provide residual treatment as well, meaning they will kill bed bugs that come in contact with areas sprayed previously. This is a key feature of an effective spray, and a feature you don't want to be without.
Bed Bug Sprays should not be used as the only treatment option but should be combined with other treatments like steaming, and diatomaceous earth for the most effective overall treatment strategy.
Our studies and experience has shown that combing multiple treatment strategies together, significantly increases your changes of success when killing bed bugs.
Determining the Best Bed Bug Spray for Home
As mentioned, Bed Bug Sprays are just one of the many bed bug treatment options, but they have a few key advantages:
- Generally very effective, and kill bugs on contact within a very short period of time
- Inexpensive - Bottles of sprays generally cost $20 - $60.
- Easy to find, purchase and use
- Many different product options are available
The last item is both a pro and a con. Having numerous options to choose from is a great thing, but the problem is how do you know which one to use? How do you know which sprays work and which ones don't? While there are many products on the market, there is a very short list of products that actually work.
Also consider that bed bugs are tough to treat and kill, and getting rid of an infestation in your home often requires additional treatment methods beyond just sprays including steaming, vacuuming, and use of diatomaceous earth.
We've researched a number of bed bug sprays, and want to help you answer the question: What is the best bed bug spray for home use. Here are the products we know that work, receive industry awards, high reviews from customers, and would highly recommend for home use:
Best Bed Bug Sprays for Home - Our Top 3 Picks
Here are our top 3 picks for Bed Bug Sprays, based on our own independent research, and on a Rutgers University conducted research study. All of these products are EPA approved.
Be Careful - Many Bed Bug Sprays Don't Work
Unfortunately, with bed bug infestations around the world on the rise, various businesses have begun producing bed bug products to meet the market need.
Some of these products and sprays work great - others, well they sadly don't work at all. In fact, the FTC has filed charges against a few companies due to their deceptive advertisements and false claims.
ALL of the products above are scientifically proven to work and are on the EPAs list of approved Bed Bug Products. If you decide to choose a bed bug spray other than the ones we recommend above:
- Be sure the product is on the EPA list of approved bed bug products Not only will checking this list ensure the product works, but it will ensure it is safe as well.
- Read reviews from actual product owners, to be sure they work and work well.
- Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions, and use the sprays properly. Failure to do so could not only be dangerous, but it could make your bed bug infestation even worse.
Do you really have bed bugs?
Before you do anything, you'll first want to verify that you actually have bed bugs. See, bed bugs look very similar to other bugs, and their bites are also similar.
How do you know if you have bed bugs? The following check-list will help you confirm:
If you still think you have bed bugs, but can't find any sure signs, it's best to engage a professional, who can verify for you.
How to prepare to use a Bed Bug Spray
Before you begin spraying, you'll need to prepare the room. Properly preparing and prepping the room will make the bed bug spray far more effective at killing bed bugs, and much safer for you to use.
- Start by purchasing your preferred bed bug spray above, and also a respirator.
- Start by removing any and all clutter and personal items from the room. You'll need to be very careful here, as the clutter has a high chance of being infested with bed bugs. As you remove each item, inspect it very carefully for bed bugs and or bed bugs eggs. If you find either, place the item in a trash bag We'll deal with them later. If they are washable, follow the same steps found in 2 and 3 below.
- Strip off all bedding, drape, and linens, and place them in a dissolvable laundry bag, or trash bag. Immediately take it to your dryer, and dry it on the longest setting at the highest temperature. We would recommend doing this twice.
- Remove all clothing from closets and furniture and place them in a dissolvable laundry bag, or trash bag. Again, take them to your dryer, and dry it on the longest setting at the highest temperature. We would recommend doing this twice.
- Cover your Mattress and Box Springs with Bed Bug Approved Covers. This will seal in any bed begs, and keep new bed bugs out.
- Remove any wall hangings, again, carefully inspecting them for bed bugs as you do. Place them in plastic bags. Again, we'll deal with these later.
- With everything out of the room except your bed and furniture, begin looking for signs of bed bugs, bed bug themselves, or bed bug eggs. We recommend using a LED Light Equipped Magnifying Glass. Be sure to look in corners, cracks, and on the underside of items.
- While inspecting, look in electrical outlets (be sure to turn off the power before removing electrical outlet covers), look around moldings, and in carpet.
- As you find locations with bed bugs, write them down and/or mark places were you found bed bugs or signs of bed bugs.
- Open the windows of the room you'll be treating, and close the door. This will ventilate the room, and protect the rest of your home.
- Read over the manufacturer's instructions for the spray you will be using and understand them.
- Wear your respirator (follow the manufacturers instructions), and begin spraying liberally in any and all locations where you found bed bugs or signs of bed bugs. After 24 hours, repeat your inspection process from step 7, and if you find new signs of bed bugs, or bed bugs themselves, repeat treatment.
You will want to continue repeating bed bug spray treatment until you no longer see new signs of bed bugs.
If after 2-3 attempts, you still see bed bugs or new signs of bed bugs, consider adding in some additional treatments like Steaming or Diatomaceus Earth. Both are also very effective, especially when combined with a proven bed bug spray.
For items kept and placed in bags as part of steps 2 and 6, you'll need to make some tough decisions. In general, you'll want to throw away these items, as keeping them risks re-infestation.
If they are important, and you would like to keep them, we would recommend purchasing a ZappBug portable heater. Place the items in the device and turn it on based on the manufacturer's recommendations - This will kill any bed bugs and eggs on the items. Repeat this for anything you want to keep, before returning them into your home.
For additional information on Detection of bed bugs and Treatment options, See our Detection and Treatment pages!
Preventing Further Infestation
We hope you're reading this because you followed the instructions above, and you haven't see bed bugs or signs of bed bugs in your home for a week or more. If so, congratulations!!! Seriously, you have overcome something that many people around the world are still battling with.
Before all of your hardwork goes down the drain, and bed bugs move back in, now is the time to take extra precautions, and prevent bed bugs from returning. Unfortunately, once you've gotten bed bugs, the chance that you'll get them again is pretty high.
But you can reduce that significantly, but putting into place just a few simple procedures, and taking some steps to protect your home, and some early detection mechanisms.
We won't go into the details here, but you can read all about this on our Bed Bug Prevention page.
We already said this, but it's worth repeating: Bed Bug Sprays generally only kill bugs that the spray comes in contact with. The best bed bug sprays do offer some amount of residual kill, but it's not high.
The reality is that you can't see the majority of your bed bugs in your home. They are hiding behind your walls, furniture, mattress, carpet, and a million other locations.
Bed bug sprays are effective, but generally only when combined with other treatment methods. Failing to use additional treatment methods to kill the bed bugs you can't see will result in the hidden bed bugs reproducing and just replacing the ones you've killed with the spray.
Additional treatment methods include steaming, vacuuming, and use of diatomaceous earth.