August 1, 2014

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Natural Products for Bed Bug Control

Natural Products for Bed Bug Control (.pdf) 

Two adult bed bugsMany people have shown an interest in using natural products for bed bug prevention and control, the purpose of this information sheets is to provide you with some things to think about when deciding how to control a bed bug infestation. 

Products that are being sold as insecticides must be registered with the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) unless they are natural and generally regarded as safe. These products can be classified as a 25B Exempt Product. (Visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/regtools/25b_list.htm for more information) Because these products are not registered with the EPA the companies that make them are not required to test them the same way that other insecticides must be tested. This means that they may not work as well as registered products and that there may be other concerns.  Each state has different requirements for these 25B exempt products.

This means that you cannot be sure how well these products work. Understanding and using these products may require additional work on your part. For any insecticide product to work correctly you must understand and follow the directions, keeping in mind that product packaging may not have complete directions. 

Before buying these products you should:

  • Check to see if the product kills on contact or the product has a residual kill.
    • If it controls on contact, it means that you have to spray the bed bugs directly to kill them.
    • If the product has residual kill, it means that bed bugs will die if the insect crawls across a treated surface during a specific time period.
  • Check to see if there are independent laboratory or University efficacy studies that describe in detail how they tested the product and under what conditions the product worked.
    • Look for independent information from other people who have used these products. 

Natural Products for Bed Bug Control (.pdf)