MM Novato Reviews

A common myth perpetuated online is that insecticides are completely ineffective against bed bugs. This idea that chemicals won’t work against bed bugs is usually followed by a recommendation for natural or alternative treatments. What would be really unnatural is if an insect were to become completely immune to every pesticide ever made. While bed bugs […]

CrossFire Bed Bug Concentrate Review

A common myth perpetuated online is that insecticides are completely ineffective against bed bugs. This idea that chemicals won’t work against bed bugs is usually followed by a recommendation for natural or alternative treatments. What would be really unnatural is if an insect were to become completely immune to every pesticide ever made.

While bed bugs can still be killed by pesticides, they have grown resistant to certain formulas. That’s why it’s important to use the newest formulas, not the old-school compounds that have been retired to the discount brands. CrossFire is one of the newest formula targeted specifically for bed bugs. It’s a fast-acting and hard-hitting residual spray from MGK. Is this dual-action concentrate the modern answer to bed bug infestations? Let’s dig in and find out.

Dual-action formula

CrossFire Bed Bug ConcentrateCrossFire is the latest bed bug formula from MGK, and has been in development for years. It combines two active ingredients, metofluthrin and clothianidin, for that dual action effect. By combining a broad spectrum contact killer with a long-lasting, chemically stable residual, CrossFire is able to deliver a quick knockdown of the population and continue to kill over time.

Metofluthrin is the first actor in the compound, delivering quick kills on contact and in the minutes afterwards. Metofluthrin is most commonly used as a mosquito repellant, impregnated on paper strips and positioned in outdoor areas like campsites and patios.

As with any pyrethroid, there is an inherent risk that certain strains of bed bugs will develop a resistance. Today’s bed bugs can secrete chemicals that digest toxins on their shell, rendering them harmless. Some chemicals that enter a bed bug’s internal organs can even be flushed out by sophisticated biological pumps.

To combat these defenses, MGK included a synergist called PBO. PBO, or piperonyl butoxide, is well known for inhibiting a bed bug’s natural defense mechanisms. This allows contact killers like metofluthrin to do what they do best without fear of resistance.

CrossFire’s residual killer is clothianidin, a synthetic insecticide that’s chemically similar to nicotine. Nicotine has been used as a pesticide since the 18th century. Scientists designed clothianidin to break down very slowly, allowing it to stay effective for months. Clothianidin has been used for years to protect seeds from chewing and sucking insects. It also happens to be extremely effective as a broad spectrum residual spray indoors.

Both chemicals penetrate the bed bugs’ exoskeleton and attack their central nervous system. This causes their nervous system to overreact, causing paralysis then death. CrossFire is non-repellant, and kills within 5 minutes of exposure. It’s also been proven effective against resistant strains of bed bugs and their eggs.

Using CrossFire

Formulas and theories are all well and good, but what about actually using CrossFire to kill bed bugs? As with any other insecticide, CrossFire isn’t a silver bullet. It’s meant to be used alongside other treatment methods, both chemical and non-chemical, making up a complete treatment solution.

What’s interesting is that CrossFire is currently the only liquid concentrate we offer that doesn’t have a signal word on its label. This means that CrossFire’s ingredients are considered to have minimal toxicity to humans. Even so, we still recommend that you follow the basic safety guidelines suggested by the EPA and the manufacturer. This includes wearing long sleeves, shoes and socks, and taking care to keep the chemicals off your skin and out of your eyes and mouth.

Chapin SureSpray concentrated sprayer

To use CrossFire in a bed bug treatment, mix 13 ounces in a gallon of water. Start with a half gallon of water in your spray tank, measure out and pour in the CrossFire concentrate, then add the other half to start agitating the mixture. Shake the tank to make sure it mixes thoroughly and you’re ready to go.

Apply CrossFire to cracks and crevices, like on or around baseboards, floorboards, bed frames, headboards, furniture, door and window frames, closets, beneath floor coverings, and the edges of the carpet. CrossFire can also be applied directly to the seams and folds of your mattress and box spring. Spray until the fabric is damp but not wet, and wait for the bed to dry before you put your linens back on. Make sure that you read and follow the product label and MSDS for safe and effective usage.

CrossFire is a modern and unique approach to bed bug sprays. Its dual-action formula makes it effective as both a contact killer and long-term residual, and the broad indoor labeling and minimal toxicity make it an ideal choice for treating homes and apartments for these persistent pests.

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MM Novato FAQ

A common issue when dealing with bed bugs is knowing when the coast is clear. If you can’t see every bed bug in the area, you can’t know when to declare victory. You may have steamed, sprayed, and encased every nook and cranny that you can reach, but you don’t know if it’s enough. Can […]

FAQ: How Long can Bed Bugs Live Without a Meal?

A common issue when dealing with bed bugs is knowing when the coast is clear. If you can’t see every bed bug in the area, you can’t know when to declare victory. You may have steamed, sprayed, and encased every nook and cranny that you can reach, but you don’t know if it’s enough. Can bed bugs still reach you and your family? Are they still feeding and breeding? If not, how long can bed bugs live without a meal? Let’s talk about what it takes for bed bugs to starve to death:

How Bed Bug Feeding Works

Before we dig into bed bug survivability, it’s important that we understand how bed bug feeding works. After a bed bug egg hatches, the nymph goes through five instar stages before it becomes an adult. While nymphs still behave and feed like an adult bed bug, they are much smaller and weaker. This has an effect on their lifespan if they are unable to feed.

The bed bug life cycle

In ideal conditions, a nymph will feed about once a week. With a blood meal digested, they are able to molt into the next instar stage. They need to do this six times to become sexually mature. That means that each bed bug needs to feed at least six times before it is able to reproduce.

While reports on actual timing varies quite a bit (more on that soon), data shows that younger instar nymphs starve to death faster than adults. First instar nymphs will starve 30% to 50% faster than adults in the same environment. This is yet another benefit of cutting off the bed bug population’s food supply.

Unfortunately, bed bugs are a lot better at living without food than humans and other animals are. They have evolved to enter a hibernation-like state when a food source is unavailable. To help cope with this fasting period, the bugs will form a “hunger bubble” that fills their gut.

Conflicting Reports

So with all this information available, how long can bed bugs live without feeding? The bad news is that it’s difficult to give a single solid number to answer that. There are some very old studies that people like to cite as a source, while newer studies have conflicting results.

The most common figure we see online is 18 months for an adult bed bug to live without a meal. This comes from a commonly cited source from Lister Institute entomologist A. W. Bacot’s 1914 paper, “The Influence of Temperature, Submersion and Burial on the Survival of Eggs and Larvae of Cimex lectularius“. In the paper, Bacot describes how he studied starving bed bugs in various life stages. He kept a mixed population of adult and immature bed bugs in an outhouse (not the kind you’re thinking of) for 18 months. Some bed bugs in the mix reportedly survived fasting that long, and were allowed to feed after.

Bacot’s test is later cited by C. G. Johnson in 1941. Johnson published a paper that year in Cambridge’s Journal of Hygiene. In his experiment, he allowed 51 bed bugs to feed until they reached adulthood. They were then deprived of a food source and observed. On average, these bugs died only four and a half months later. The hardiest specimen made it to six months before expiring.

Other Variables

Bed bug lab research

Unfortunately, there’s more to bed bug starvation than basic timing. New strains of bed bugs may have different survival characteristics. In 2009, entomologists reported that a Virginia strain of bed bugs could only survive two months without feeding. These results also suggest that bed bugs from different strains may live shorter or longer than other bugs.

To complicate matters even further, the area temperature affects the bed bugs’ survivability. Researchers conducted a test of bed bug nymphs that were fed only once, allowing them to molt into the first instar stage. Their survival time without feeding varied drastically in different ambient temperatures.

At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the first instar nymphs lasted an average of 28 days after their meal. Turning the temperature up to 98.6 degrees dropped the average to just 17 days. For adults in the tests, the averages were 39 days at 80 degrees and only 33 days at 98.6 degrees.

Conclusion

If we were to focus our estimates on more recent studies, we could deduce that today’s bed bugs can be expected to live from two to six months without a meal. So what does all this have to do with your bed bug treatment efforts? Not a lot if you’re approaching your treatment appropriately. An effective treatment shouldn’t depend on isolating yourself from hungry bed bugs and then waiting for them to starve to death.

There is no debate about the importance of stopping bed bugs from biting you. They need to feed to reproduce, so it’s top priority that you stop that from happening as soon as possible. You also don’t want to keep itching and scratching. That’s the whole point of treating the infestation in the first place!

However, there’s more to a bed bug treatment than just cutting off their food supply. The truth is that bed bug survival time without a meal is mainly relevant only in a laboratory setting. In the real world, bed bugs will search for a meal until they find one. There isn’t a question of if they’ll starve to death, but when they’ll find a new host to feed on.

There’s also the concern of their dispersal making treatment harder. By cutting off their original path to a meal, you will likely cause the infestation to spread as they search for a new way to feed. That’s why it’s important that you cut the bed bug population down as much as possible while also preventing them from feeding. Learn how to kill bed bugs quickly and keep them from biting you with our recommended treatment solution.

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MM Novato FAQ

The bed bug epidemic has taken the country by storm. You can find bed bugs in all 50 states, and they seem almost impossible to get rid of. Luckily this nationwide frustration has prompted our brightest minds to get to work. New bed bug treatment methods are hitting the market every year due to tireless […]

Cryonite vs Steam for Bed Bug Treatments

Cryonite vs Steam

The bed bug epidemic has taken the country by storm. You can find bed bugs in all 50 states, and they seem almost impossible to get rid of. Luckily this nationwide frustration has prompted our brightest minds to get to work.

New bed bug treatment methods are hitting the market every year due to tireless research and development. One of the most popular inventions for bed bug professionals is Cryonite, a portable CO2 machine designed to freeze bed bugs to death. But how does Cryonite stand up to bed bug steamers, which aims to kill bed bugs with extreme heat instead of cold?

What is Cryonite?

It’s well known that bed bugs are highly susceptible to extreme temperatures. Heat over 180 degrees Fahrenheit can kill bed bugs on contact. With that in mind, many companies have developed tools specializing in delivering the heat. There are dozens of steamers on the market designed specifically for pest control.

Cryonite may be the first device on the market that went in the other direction. This machine is designed not to kill bed bugs with heat, but with freezing cold temperatures. Cryonite machines use a patented pressure hose that converts liquid carbon dioxide into a dry ice solid. This powdered snow is then blasted out to hit bed bugs with temperatures way below freezing points, killing them instantly.

Cryonite treatments are growing in popularity among pest control operators. They’re a safe alternative to pesticide chemicals and even to steam vapor. They can be used on surfaces and materials that may be damaged by the water vapor or heat from a steamer. They’re also very easy and fast to use, and carry a low ongoing cost of operation.

Steaming vs Freezing Bed Bugs

Dry vapor steam

A lot of pest control professionals have begun comparing steaming bed bugs versus freezing them with Cryonite. When you kill bed bugs for a living, you need to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. Your toolkit needs to be efficient, cost-effective, and suitable for the treated environments. These different factors make choosing between tools like Cryonite and steam difficult.

One advantage of Cryonite treatment is that it is safer for some surface materials than steam. Steamers emit water vapor, albeit a minimal amount if you use a high pressure steamer. They also hit surfaces with over 180 degrees of hot air. This moisture and heat can be harmful to materials like hardwood, laminate, and some leathers. Since Cryonite emits cold dry powder, it can safely be used to treat these types of surfaces for bed bugs.

However, there are other factors in real-world usage that tip the scales in steam’s favor. First and foremost is the issue of penetration. The key advantage of steaming for bed bugs is its ability to penetrate soft materials. The water vapor transfers heat inches into a material being treated, killing bed bugs hiding out of sight. This is essential for hitting bugs hiding in mattresses, box springs, couches, and other upholstered furniture. Since Cryonite is an air-propelled solid, it cannot penetrate those materials.

Another issue with Cryonite treatments is that they release too much pressure. The dry ice solid is expelled from the pressure hose at such a high velocity that bed bugs may be blown away. A bed bug that is knocked out of place may survive, and is now able to scurry out of sight somewhere else.

Professional-grade steamer models almost always feature steam pressure adjustment. This allows the operator to turn down the pressure when treating open spaces like the top of the bed or couch. With a lower pressure output, a steamer can deliver lethal heat to a bug without blowing them away and giving them a chance to survive.

A final drawback of Cryonite is its price. While the ongoing costs of both water and CO2 are low, Cryonite rifle systems start at almost $4,000. Additional rifle features can add thousands more to the price. Meanwhile, professional-grade steamers like the Armato 9000 start at under $1,000.

Caveats to Both Methods

When comparing Cryonite to other treatment tools, it’s important to remember that these are just tools in a treatment. Neither Cryonite nor steam are an end-all, be-all solution to a bed bug infestation. If such a thing existed, our jobs would be much, much easier. Until then, bed bug treatments need to be performed in multiple steps and with multiple tools.

Cryonite systems and steam cleaners are an effective way to kill bed bugs on contact. However, they are not able to kill bed bugs over time, or to address any bed bugs that they did not reach. They also have no way to prevent bed bugs from reaching the same place again, such as a freshly treated mattress or sofa. Finally, neither tool is guaranteed to be safe or effective for every type of surface in your home.

For a comprehensive bed bug treatment solution, you’ll need more than just these tools. With that in mind, both tools are very effective and practical contact killers, but in most cases we prefer steam treatment. Check out our steam comparison page to see which professional bed bug steamer is right for you.

(Note: Cryonite is a registered trademark of Cryonite USA, who holds copyright of the product photo shown.)

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MM Novato Treatments

The NightWatch bed bug monitor is the best way to monitor for bed bug activity in an unoccupied room. It’s the only active monitor on the market to combine three different luring mechanisms: heat, carbon dioxide, and a kairomone odor attractant. This effective professional tool is also very simple to set up and maintain through […]

How to Set Up a NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor

The NightWatch bed bug monitor is the best way to monitor for bed bug activity in an unoccupied room. It’s the only active monitor on the market to combine three different luring mechanisms: heat, carbon dioxide, and a kairomone odor attractant. This effective professional tool is also very simple to set up and maintain through the monitoring job. Let’s go over how to put together a new NightWatch monitor and have it ready for action.

NightWatch CO2 bottle with brass fitting

The first thing you’ll need to do is fill up a CO2 bottle so it can be hooked up to the NightWatch. The bottle we carry is a 20-ounce aluminum bottle with a brass fitting. Other bottles will work as long as they have that brass fitting on top. Due to federal shipping regulations, we have to ship the bottle empty, so you’ll need to take it to a store that offers Co2 fill-ups, such as a paintball supply or sporting goods store.

The filled CO2 bottle needs to be screwed into the outlet in the rear of the NightWatch. Keep screwing it in clockwise until it locks in firmly to ensure the CO2 release system is fully pressurized. Once the bottle is installed, it’ll keep the NightWatch working for 2-4 days. The LCD display will show a “CO2” message when the bottle is empty.

NightWatch kairomone lure

The other lure that needs to be attached is the kairomone odor attractant. This will come in the form of a plastic cartridge with an opening on top covered by a label. Peel off that label so that the chemical odors can be released through the opening, then set the lure on top of the NightWatch’s radiator. Make sure to line up the round opening at the end of the lure so that it fits into place securely.

NightWatch pitfall trap

Finally, we can connect the pitfall traps to the side rails on either side of the unit. These pitfalls have textured ramps that bed bugs can climb up as they search for the source of the lures. The bugs will then fall into a smooth and slick plastic well that they can’t escape from. The operator will be able to check these pitfalls regularly for captured bed bugs.

Once everything is in place, we can attach the top cover and voila! Our NightWatch is assembled and ready to get to work. All that’s left to do now is find a good spot to place the NightWatch, plug it in, and set the clock.

The NightWatch is often used to monitor for bed bugs in unoccupied rooms. In that case, you’ll want to make sure that the heat and chemical attractants are distributed evenly throughout the room, so you should leave the NightWatch somewhere near the center of the room. If the room is furnished, place the NightWatch near the headboard of the bed. This will situate the trap closer to the bed bugs’ likely hiding places. Use an extension cord if you have to in order to reach the right spot.

Setting the NightWatch timer

Once you’ve found a place for the NightWatch and plugged it in, you’ll need to set the clock to the correct time so that it will turn on and off at night. The NightWatch is configured to run between 10 PM and 6 AM, which is when bed bugs are most active. To set the clock, simply use the “TIME SET” button below the LCD display until the time shown is correct. Press once on the button to move it forward one minute, and hold down the button to move the hours forward. Once you’ve done that, the NightWatch is ready to go!

NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor

When the NightWatch is running, you’ll hear some clicking and hissing sounds every few seconds. These are the sounds of the carbon dioxide being triggered and released. The carbon dioxide bottle will need to be refilled or replaced about every four days, and the kairomone lure will need to be replaced once a week. If you keep the lure running nightly and go two weeks without seeing any bed bugs in the NightWatch’s pitfall traps, you can safely declare the room bed bug free.

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MM Novato Reviews

One of the most difficult things people deal with when they suspect that they have bed bugs is confirming an infestation, or knowing when an infestation has ended after treatments. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to find; when they’re not looking for a meal, they prefer to tuck away into tight spaces where they can’t […]

NightWatch Active Bed Bug Monitor Review

One of the most difficult things people deal with when they suspect that they have bed bugs is confirming an infestation, or knowing when an infestation has ended after treatments. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to find; when they’re not looking for a meal, they prefer to tuck away into tight spaces where they can’t easily be seen. Bite marks aren’t a strong indicator of a bed bug infestation, since the marks could be from an allergic reaction or from bites from other pests, such as ants or mosquitoes.

In order to confirm the presence of bed bugs in a room, especially in unoccupied rooms such as family rooms or recently vacated bedrooms, pest control professionals often employ the use of active bed bug monitors. These devices feature a luring system that imitates a sleeping person, drawing bed bugs out of their hiding places and into a trap that the operator can check regularly. Today we’re going to be reviewing the best professional bed bug monitor on the market: the NightWatch.

The NightWatch has been on the market for years. It was developed as the first professional-grade bed bug monitor, and is still the best tool for the job today. The secret to its success is that it uses three different luring methods: carbon dioxide, radiated heat, and a kairomone scented lure. This combination is the best way to mimic a sleeping host, which is the key to drawing bed bugs out of their hiding places throughout a room so that an operator can confirm their presence.

NightWatch unpacked

The NightWatch comes in a few basic pieces, and setting it up for use is pretty simple. The packaged unit comes with a power cord, two pitfall traps (one for each side of the monitor), a three-pack of kairomone lures, and a top cover that conceals the kairomone lure and part of the radiator. Everything you need is included except for a Co2 bottle, which can be ordered separately on our site and filled for a few bucks at most local paintball supply or sporting goods stores. Any bottle around 18 to 24 ounces in capacity should fit as long as it has a brass fitting.

NightWatch kairomone lure

To attach the filled Co2 bottle, insert it into the opening opposite of the LED display and screw it into the outlet inside. Then, remove the label covering the opening of the chemical lure and place the lure on top of the unit. Be sure to connect this round opening to the peg on top of the NightWatch. Now you can attach the top cover and the pitfall traps on either side of the unit.

Setting the NightWatch timer

Bed bugs are most active at night while we sleep, which is why the NightWatch features a digital clock, and will only emit Co2 and heat from 10 PM to 6 AM. When you plug in the NightWatch, you’ll need to use the “TIME SET” button to set the appropriate time. Once everything is set up, the NightWatch will continue to work on its own for 3-4 nights, which is when the Co2 bottle should be refilled or replaced. The kairomone lure should be replaced every seven days; refill packs are available here.

Without an active bed bug monitor, and without a human host to act as the bait, it’s difficult to determine if there are bed bugs in a room. A bed bug will only feed once every five to ten days when a host is available. If they can’t find one nearby, they may enter a hibernative state and remain dormant for up to a year.

NightWatch active bed bug monitor

The NightWatch active bed bug monitor is the most effective way to solve this problem. It can be used to confirm bed bug activity in unoccupied rooms, such as recently vacated bedrooms, hotel rooms, or apartment units. The NightWatch also essential when treating these unoccupied spaces, since it can draw bed bugs out of hiding to make sure that they come in contact with any chemical sprays or powders that have been applied. Whether you need an active monitor for confirmation, prevention, or treatment, there is no better choice on the market than a NightWatch.

NightWatch Bed Bug Trap and Monitor (Includes FREE Kairomone Lures 4-Pack)

The NightWatch Is The Most Advanced Active Bed Bug Monitor On The Market Utilizing a Kairomone Lure, CO2 And Heat To Effectively Monitor And Trap Bed Bugs.
Our Price:$399.95
$299.00
NightWatch Bed Bug Trap and Monitor (Includes FREE Kairomone Lures 4-Pack)
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