By Dr. Bob Cartwright
Technical Manager, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
Bed bugs can be a difficult pest to control, even with the best chemistry. When treating for these pests, here are a few key things to keep in mind:
• Use advanced formulations. The formulation of the insecticide is essential to ensuring bed bugs pick up the active when crossing a treated surface. Complex microcap formulations enhance the probability of a bed bug picking up a lethal dose of insecticide.
• Rotate classes for resistance management. In selecting residual insecticides, it’s important to use different products with different modes of action for long-term resistance management. Not many different modes of action are available at this time, so a rotation among classes — pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and pyrroles, for example — is recommended to help avoid insecticide resistance in the long term.
• Treat harborage. Direct insecticide applications into as many potential hiding places as possible. It may be necessary to dismantle bed frames, headboards and footboards to expose potential resting places. You may also need to remove wall hangings, outlet covers and furniture drawers. Insecticide foams are a great option to push the insecticide into areas that cannot be easily reached with liquid sprays. Foams can be injected into cracks underneath and behind baseboards, etc.
• Check labels. Many products are labeled for crack and crevice only, so check the label to make sure that the product you select allows for multiple application sites. Generalized treatments should be directed to areas where bed bugs are likely to travel when leaving harborage areas.