Once you come across the evidence of bed bugs in your home, you’ll want to eliminate them fast. Unfortunately, these bloodsuckers are devilishly difficult to eradicate. They’re small and flat, so they can hide virtually anywhere. They can also reproduce very quickly.
Bed bugs have evolved over the years and become resistant to certain earlier types of pesticides. So what type of products should you use?
Insecticidal strips are innovative products that can help you with your pest problem. However, not all of them are effective on bed bugs. Here’s everything you need to know about bed bug strips.
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How Do Bed Bug Strips Work
Pesticide strips are used to kill a range of household pests such as cockroaches, beetles, spiders, ants, clothes moths, earwigs, flies, and silverfish. However, they may not necessarily work on bed bugs.
Bed bug strips are specifically labeled for use against bed bugs.
Based on their mode of action, they can be categorized into two kinds:
- Slow release strips.
- Glue strips.
Slow release strips are more commonly used than glue strips due to their effectiveness. Let’s take a closer look at each of these products.
Slow release strips
Most of these strips contain dichlorvos or permethrin as their active ingredient. The ingredient is released from the strips as an invisible and odorless vapor over a period of days and kills the bugs.
Dichlorvos, also referred to as DDVP, has been proven to be highly effective against bed bugs. It’s highly volatile, so it diffuses through enclosed spaces excellently. As a result, it’s very beneficial as a fumigant. A block of pesticide containing DDVP can emit vapors that kill and repel bugs within 1,200 cubic feet. The fumes can last up to 4 months.
DDVP strips are lethal to all the bed bug life stages, including eggs. They also kill bugs that are resistant to pyrethroids, which are found in many modern insecticides.
You can also ward off these nasty, parasitic insects by using a bed bug repellent. Go here to learn about this product.
These strips contain a strong glue adhesive that captures bed bugs, preventing them from crawling away and hiding. The glue may contain elements that attract bed bugs onto the strip such as pheromones, heat, and carbon dioxide. Some strips may not have any lures or attractants, meaning their efficacy is determined by where you place them.
Some pest control devices such as bed bug monitors and detection traps have glue strips concealed in them.
You can use bed bug glue strips for several purposes, such as:
- preventing bed bugs from moving to your bed via its legs;
- trapping bed bugs trying to find or come out of a hiding spot;
- detecting and monitoring potential infestations;
- gauging the efficiency of your control technique.
How to Use
Insecticidal strips will only be effective if you use them correctly. Improper use can not only make them ineffective but also affect your health. Breathing excessive amounts of the vapors emerging from the strips can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, restlessness, muscle tremors, and sweating.
Studies have shown that the health effects of overexposure to these strips tend to resolve themselves. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that you should use them with care.
Did you know that you could also control bed bugs by setting off a bug bomb? Read this to get a better understanding of bed bug bombs.
Precautions to take when applying the strips
- Don’t overuse the strips. A single 16-gram strip is enough to treat 100-200 cubic feet. For example, a typical walk-in closet measuring 6′ by 12′ by 8′ is about 575 cubic feet. Such a space would need 3-5 strips. Using 6 or more strips would be over-applying the product.
- Don’t use the strips in places with unwrapped food like the kitchen and storage areas.
- Don’t use the strips in parts of your home that pets or people occupy for over 4 hours a day.
- Don’t cut strips into smaller pieces or remove them from their holder.
- Don’t allow pets and children to play or sleep in areas where you’ve placed the strips.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the strips.
Where to apply the strips
When applying strips, it’s best to use gloves because they prevent any skin contact. You should also carefully follow all the instructions on the product package.
Here’s a look at some of the places and items you can treat using bed bug strips.
Near hot spots
Placement is key to achieving success with glue strips. Make sure you place them near potential or known infestation points.
For example, you can place the glue strips underneath sofas and beds, around bed legs, and along walls.
Upholstered furniture is one of the most difficult items to treat. Bed bugs easily hide in upholstery. Treatments such as steam cleaning may not penetrate the upholstery deeply and thoroughly enough.
Pest strips are the best option for treating upholstered furniture.
Take these steps to treat the furniture:
- Encase the piece of furniture in a big plastic furniture bag.
- Place one strip inside the bag.
- Seal the bag tightly.
- Leave the bag unopened for one week.
If you encounter bed bugs while traveling, you can easily bring the critters home with you.
If you know or suspect they are hiding in your luggage, take these steps to kill them off:
- When you return home, unpack your entire suitcase outside the house.
- Wash your clothes with the hottest water possible and then dry them in your dryer set on high.
- Put your suitcase and a pest strip in a large garbage bag.
- Seal the bag and leave it that way for at least 2 weeks. The vapor that the strip releases will kill all the hitchhiking parasites.
- If your suitcase has lots of seams, pockets, and other potential hiding places, you may have to give the strip about one month for it to penetrate every nook and cranny. Let the bag sit for 4-6 weeks.
Other personal items
You can also use no-pest strips to kill the bloodsucking bugs in your shoes, books, electronics, appliances, and other things that are non-washable or can’t be treated with heat or liquid pesticides.
Put the items to be treated in a sealed plastic bag together with a pest strip. Leave them there for a week.
For the washable items you treat with pest strips, be sure to clean them using soapy water before reusing them. You should air out all washable and non-washable items for at least 2 hours once you’re done with the treatment and before using them.
The Best Bed Bug Strips
Now that you have a good understanding of what bed bug strips are and how they work, the next thing you should know is some of the products that are worth considering. We’ve done the homework for you and found the products that are head and shoulders above the rest.
Based on our findings, the two top brands are Nuvan ProStrips and Hot Shot No-Pest Strips. Let’s take a look at what each has to offer.
1. Nuvan ProStrips
Nuvan ProStrips are manufactured by AMVAC Chemical Corporation. Their active ingredient is the effective DDVP that is toxic to bed bugs and their eggs. These strips also get rid of cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, earwigs, spiders, wasps, silverfish, and moths.
The strips can remove bed bugs from attics, storage units, crawl spaces and other enclosed areas of your home as well as from infested household items.
How do they work? Nuvan ProStrips work through emitting DDVP vapors to kill bed bugs. These vapors diffuse through open voids as well as cracks and crevices where the critters may be hiding.
They take about 2-3 days to kill the adults and nymphs. They take about one week to kill the eggs.
What are customers saying about the product? Majority of the users of this product have found it to be useful. It worked for them as described. The product was able to eradicate bed bugs within 7 days. Some users describe the product to be worth its price.
The product has received a few negative reviews. Some people find the product to be expensive. Others were unimpressed by the intense odor left on the treated items.
If you don’t want to include pesticides in your pest control program, one DIY solution you can turn to is baking soda. So how do you use baking soda for bed bugs? Get the answer in this article.
2. Hot Shot No-Pest Strips
Hot Shot has a well-known line of indoor pest control products. These strips use DDVP to kill bed bugs and prevent their eggs from hatching. They also control other non-flying and flying pests.
You can place the strips on a flat surface or hang them using the hook provided.
How do they work? The strips work by slowly releasing DDVP vapor continuously. The vapor kills both the visible and hidden bugs that it comes into contact with. It also prevents new infestations. They provide continuous protection from the creepy crawlers for 4 months.
One Hot Shot strip can treat a 10×13-foot room that has an 8-foot ceiling.
What are customers saying about the product? From most customer reviews, you can conclude that the product works. Most customers have managed to keep bugs at bay with it.
A few customers didn’t like the time the product took to kill the bugs.
Bed bug strips have raised controversy in some circles due to their potential negative health effects. It’s important to note that these products will be safe and effective provided you use them in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. You also need to give them a number of days or weeks to work on the bed bugs.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.