Guide to Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Phantom Insecticide For Bed Bug Problems

For the public, bed bugs elicit fear and emotional distress. For the Pest Management Professional (PMP), bed bugs represent control problems.

Whereas certain chemistries have been singularly effective on nuisance pests such as ants, cockroaches or even termites, successful management of bed infestations relies upon the utilization of a host of disciplines ranging from planning to exclusion practices, in addition to the application of pesticides. In short, when it comes to bed bugs, dedicated professionals that realize long-term success are true IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practitioners. While we have utmost confidence in the ability of Phantom termiticide-insecticide (chlorfenapyr) to control bed bugs, implementation of IPM practices will serve to achieve long-term gratifying results for you and your customer. Bed bug adults are about 3/8″ in length and undergo gradual metamorphosis in which growth stages are preceded by a molt. These early “nymphal” stages, or instars, each require a blood meal to molt. First instar stages are smaller than the head of a pin! Bed bugs will undergo five instar stages before adulthood. This can take less than 50 days under ideal conditions. There can be several generations per year and the adults can live over 300 days. Although bed bugs do not fly, they can travel over 100 feet in search of a host. Physically, bed bugs are flattened enabling them to place themselves in the smallest of harborages. Many such areas serve to provide shelter from disturbance, as well as places to lay their eggs. This characteristic makes it difficult for technicians to find and treat infested areas and is compounded by the fact that eggs and early instars are extremely small. Egg hatch subsequent to certain spray treatments is a common source of control failures. IPM measures incorporating non-pesticide elements such as heat, cold, vacuuming and exclusion with caulking and mattress encasements can all strengthen bed bug control programs and ensure success.

Bed Bugs and the Phantom label

Bed bugs are only one of nearly thirty nuisance pests on the Phantom label. Allowable treatment sites relevant to bed bug infestations are residences and commercial establishments including schools, hotels and motels, hospitals, nursing homes and pet shops, among others.

Apply Phantom as a spot treatment or in cracks and crevices. While you can treat bed bugs directly, also apply Phantom to likely hiding areas and runways that bed bugs would likely use to gain access to the host.

In conjunction with performing labeled mattress treatments, remove and wash bedding. Laundering in the standard wash cycle and drying can destroy bed bugs and their eggs.

Treatment of Sensitive Areas: Mattress

Bed bug harborage areas are strongly associated with mattresses. When considering that a human may spend an average of 1/3 of the day lying atop a mattress, the applicator must carefully follow label instructions to avoid unnecessary chemical exposure. While a general surface spray to the mattress is prohibited, many areas that bed bugs frequent and utilize as harborage areas are treatable with Phantom using spot treatments or applications in cracks and crevices. Not all areas where bed bugs are found are specifically addressed. Similar sprays to other surfaces where people will be laying or sitting or are prone to normal human exposure is inconsistent with the label language and a violation of the directions-for-use specified on the label.

Bed Bugs: Areas to Inspect and Treat

The Phantom label allows for the treatment of bed bugs and other nuisance pests in a variety of sites where they are found using spot treatments or applications in cracks and crevices. Common places where bed bugs are found include: mattress (seams, folds, and edges), night stands, headboards, bed frames, picture frames, dressers, pipe chases, baseboards, floor cracks, paneling, peeling wall paper, wheel casters, drapery, decorative items, and luggage. Spraying bare electrical outlets without covers is not advisable due to the conductivity of water-based sprays.

Bed Bugs and Non-Repellency

Phantom is nonrepellent to bed bugs. Conversely, bed bugs are repelled by pyrethroid insecticides. This reaction is similar to that of a mosquito repellent; they don’t bite you, because they won’t land on you (repelled). While bed bugs directly exposed during inspections and treated with pyrethroid insecticides might succumb to sprays (with exception to resistant strains), survivors are known to abandon nesting sites and seek safe harborage in a different but untreated site, thereby scattering populations and increasing inspection difficulty. On the other hand, Phantom is a nonrepellent; laboratory studies on bed bugs show no preference between lying atop fresh Phantom residues or untreated surfaces. Because Phantom is long-lasting, these “deposits” remain active to control both subsequent and newly introduced populations. Phantom is also a highly successful “preventative” treatment.

Nonrepellency has another advantage. This feature allows for the use of Phantom with other non repellent competitive chemistries, such as the IGR-Gentrol®, without compromising the performance of the individual components.

Phantom: Single Rate. Simple Mixing.

Phantom@ termiticide- . forms a milky white s when mixed with water. prepared dilution and will not stain or disco substrates that water itself is not known to affect. To prepare a dilution, simply add 3 oz. of Phantom per gallon of water. Agitate and apply! That’s it. Based upon normal use patterns; initial and subsequent “follow-up” applications will require much less than a single gallon, making Phantom an economical choice! If the job is delayed or canceled, no problem. Phantom is stable and simply needs to be resuspended by shaking the container. It is important to remember that Phantom is nonrepellent and should not be mixed in containers with repellent insecticide residues.

TIPS OF THE TRADE

1. Conduct careful and thorough inspections. Look for tell-tale blood (fecal smears), cast skins and even odors in the absence of seeing active bed bugs.

2. Look in the not-so-obvious places. Aggregate populations of bed bugs are sometimes well away from the host.

3. Working in tandem will help avoid strains and back injuries. Proper inspection often requires moving heavy objects away from the wall. Another “pair” of eyes will also help in inspection.

4. Read the label and follow the directions for insecticides used.

5. Communicate with and educate your clients. Make clients aware of what you intend to do and that cooperation is crucial to success.

6. Give your clients realistic expectations of the results.

7. Implement IPM practices as part of your program.

8. Re-inspect the premises within a couple of weeks after treatment to assess performance and take necessary steps to mitigate infestations.

9. Bed bug control is labor intensive. Make sure you accurately estimate all aspects of the job when bidding and selling bed bug programs.

10. Good bed bug control is all about planning and execution. Take the time to develop a strategy on how to control, then systematically perform those measures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I encase just the mattress?

While encasing just the mattress will offer superior sanitation protection, encasing the mattress alone will not help with a bed bug infestation. In fact, most of a bed bug infestation will be present in the box spring, so it is always necessary to encase BOTH the mattress and the box spring.

Are the encasements washable?

Absolutely! Protect-A-Bed’s encasements can be machine washed and dried. It is important to note that when washing the encasements, DO NOT use bleach or any form of bleach alternative.

Also, when drying the encasements make sure the zipper is fully closed, the encasement is dried with other towels and linens, and that the setting of the dryer is on MEDIUM.

NOTE:

Only remove the encasements to wash in a PRE-INFESTATlON setting. Never remove the encasements in a POST-INFESTATION setting .

Can I use chemicals on the mattress prior to encasing them?

All commerically available chemicals can be used prior to encasing the bedding. However, allow the chemical agent to sufficiently dry before covering the bedding.

Monica Bird (946 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.


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