What are control and elimination measures used in the prevention of bedbug bites?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Structural insect proofing can be performed to prevent the bugs from entering homes and beds, in addition to using control measures such as spraying infested buildings with insecticides such as malathion. Eradication of a bedbug infestation may require a professional exterminator.

Bedbug control can be challenging. One approach is room heat treatment, vacuuming, and nonchemical pesticides, and possibly chemical ones.

A heat treatment method to eliminate bedbug infestations in room contents has been evaluated. [33] High temperatures caused temporary immobilization even with exposures that did not have lethal effects. One method for limited heat treatment of furniture and other room contents required equipment costing less than US$400 and provided an opportunity for residual pesticide application with minimal disruption in use of the treated room.

Baited traps may be effective tools for evaluating bedbug control programs and detecting early bedbug infestations. Carbon dioxide was significantly more attractive to bed bugs than heat. [34]

Widespread resistance to pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides favors consideration of the newly developed fungal biopesticide Aprehend, containing Beauveria bassiana, against insecticide-resistant bedbugs. [35] Aprehend may be equally effective against insecticide-susceptible and insecticide-resistant bedbugs and represents a possible new tool for bedbug control. Insecticide resistance may develop to malathion, diazinon, and λ-cyhalothrin, rendering them ineffective against bed bugs in selected geographic areas. [36]

Bedbug management in homes and apartments may benefit from early detection, a key to slowing spread and reducing management cost. [37] A variety of passive monitors that detect low-level bedbug infestations are on the market.

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