Do Organic Solutions Work Against Bed Bugs?

Organic bed bug solutions may be taken broadly to mean pest control solutions that don’t require the use of pesticides. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to exterminate even within professional circles. There is a lot of good and bad information for homeowners who would like to attempt to treat the infestation without using potentially dangerous and toxic chemicals.

There are few chemical-free options that work while others aren’t as effective as touted by DIY enthusiasts.

Non Toxic Bed Bug Solutions That Don’t Work

These are commonly touted on DIY forums but these don’t work. Professional exterminators spend a lot of money on chemicals and active ingredients to eliminate bed bugs and would be happy to reduce their expenses if these options actually worked.

Boric Acid

Boric acid may be toxic to ants and other bugs but it has to be ingested to work. Bed bugs feed solely on blood so this isn’t going to happen. Boric acid is definitely ineffective for treating bed bugs.

Natural Bed Bug Sprays

Any kind of product that you can buy over-the-counter without a license should be taken with a grain of salt. Bed bugs, like most common household pests, have become immune to ordinary pesticides. The claims on these natural bed bug sprays are also often exaggerated. In the off chance that these sprays actually work, it is extremely difficult to get into all the places where bed bugs hide without specialized equipment.

The same goes for any home-made organic or natural bed bug sprays. There is no combination of ingredients that could mix in your home that could possibly get rid of a bed bug infestation.

Non-Toxic Bed Bug Solutions That Work

There are a few non-toxic options that you can use to treat your bed bug problem. Some of these aren’t exactly organic in the strict sense of the word but as you will discover later, there are limited options on what you can actually apply to treat bed bugs.

Cold

Bed bugs are actually very good at resisting the cold and surviving in cold weather and lower their body fluid freezing point. This defence is however limited as the bed bugs begin to die at temperatures below 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit. How effective this method depends on the duration of the treatment. At 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit, the bed bugs will take about 80 hours to die. Lower the temperature further to below -4 degrees Fahrenheit and the critters die in about 48 hours.

This is a good option for items that you cannot launder such as select electronics, toys, books, shoes and picture frames among others. Simply place the items in a plastic bag and seal before placing in the freezer with the temperature as low as it will go for up to 5 days.

Heat

Heat is also very effective for killing bed bugs in all stages of their development. You want to sustain consistent high heat for a steady period of time. As a rule of thumb, bed bugs die at a constant temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes. You may want to sustain this temperature for at least 90 minutes to be sure that you have killed all the critters including bed bug eggs.

Washing your clothes in the highest temperature setting your fabric will allow and repeating with the dryer is effective for killing bed bugs in your clothes.

Diatomaceous Earth

This seems to be the only true ‘organic’ solution that actually works for bed bugs. Diatomaceous earth is effective for killing many pests including fleas, ants and bed bugs. The powder absorbs fats, oils and moisture of bugs it comes into contact with and therefore killing them. It is slow to work but still the only truly effective organic solution for bed bugs. Its success is however limited by the difficulty treating cervices, cracks and out-of-reach areas with diatomaceous earth.

Hire a Licensed Exterminator to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Only an exterminator can get rid of bed bugs permanently. The treatment process typically requires a combination of treatment methods and products and close monitoring. It is a labour-intensive process that you definitely cannot replicate on your own.

Hire a professional exterminator in Toronto to get rid of bed bugs. The expert will also help seal gaps and cracks that are letting in the bugs and suggest other measures you can take to prevent this problem in the future.

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.