Use Caution When Selecting Pesticides for Bedbug Control
Before buying the first pesticide on the shelf that promises to eradicate bedbugs, check the label, warns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency says that this year's widely publicized bedbug outbreaks across the United States have spawned an increase in the number of companies offering solutions—often with unrealistic promises of effectiveness or low cost.
Because bedbug infestations are so difficult to control, frustrated managers and residents have been improperly using pesticides that are not intended for indoor residential applications at greater rates than the label allows, says the EPA. Using the wrong pesticide or using a pesticide incorrectly to treat for bedbugs can make residents and their pets sick, and can also make the units unsafe to live in—and may not solve the bedbug problem.
Keep in mind that pesticides are only one tool to use in getting rid of bedbugs (see “Be Proactive to Prevent Bedbugs,” Insider, May 2010). The EPA recommends a comprehensive approach that includes prevention and non-chemical treatment of infestations. But if you need to use pesticides, the EPA suggests you check that the label states that the product is for use on bedbugs, has an EPA registration number, and says that it has been approved for indoor use.
For more information on bedbugs and how to control them, as well as for guidelines for choosing a professional pest control company, visit http://epa.gov/pesticides/bedbugs.