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10 Worst Bed Bug Cities in 2019 – Did Your City Make the List?

Worst Bed Bug Cities in America

“Worst Bed Bug City” is an award that nobody will show up to receive. It’s not pleasant to think of your hometown as a bed bug “hot spot”. But while bed bugs are active in all 50 states, some urban and metro centers see more infestations per year than others. Let’s go through the list and discuss why these bed bug cities are the unlucky winners:

#10: Phoenix, AZ

Bed bugs in Phoenix

The capital of Arizona is the only state capital with more than a million residents, making it easily the most populous capital city in the country. Its sprawling suburbs give Phoenician bed bugs ample opportunity to find new homes to infest. On top of that, Arizona’s famously hot and dry climate leads to long summers with residential air conditioning running day and night. This mild indoor climate is ideal for temperature-sensitive pests like bed bugs.

Phoenix has been one of the top 10 bed bug cities for a few years in a row now. Public sightings of bed bugs have been reported by the local news over that time, with bed bugs spotted in hotels, airports, restaurants, schools, and even libraries.

#9: Atlanta, GA

Bed bugs in Atlanta

The 9th worst bed bug city is also the 9th largest metropolitan area in the US. As the home to the world’s busiest airport, it makes sense that Atlanta would struggle with bed bug infestations. These creepy critters have lots of commuters and travelers to hitch rides with, allowing them to easily move from one infestation to the next.

But it’s not just about population and travel. Atlanta also has a warm, humid climate, with long summers and generally mild winters. These conditions are ideal for bed bugs to thrive and reproduce, since their activity level is tied to the overall temperature of their surroundings. In places where it’s warm most of the year, bed bugs will spend less time hibernating and more time feeding and breeding.

#8: Washington, DC

Bed bugs in Washington DC

The nation’s capital is one of the most visited cities in the world, with over 20 million tourists flying in annually. While the city itself is not exceptionally populous, commuters from nearby Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city’s daytime population significantly during the week. Unfortunately, many of those commuters will take home more than a paycheck.

A recurring theme of our lists of bed bug cities is weather. Like Atlanta and Phoenix above, DC is also home to a toasty, humid climate. With warm springs, hot summers, and mild falls, bed bugs have a long season every year to feed and reproduce without any temperature fluctuations interrupting them.

#7: Baltimore, MD

Bed bugs in Baltimore

Continuing the trend of bed bug cities in subtropical climate zones is Baltimore. This independent city features warm springs and autumns most years, while only three months out of the year have daily average highs below 50°F.

But Baltimore offers more perks to its native bed bugs than just sunny days and air conditioning. It’s a large metro area on its own, and is within commuting distance of Washington, DC, a major travel hub and fellow bed bug cities finalist. Add on the city’s thriving tourism and shipping industries, and you have a recipe that allows bed bugs to travel into Baltimore and stay put.

#6: New York, NY

Bed bugs in New York City

The five boroughs of NYC used to be one of the five worst bed bug cities, but The Big Apple seems to have turned things around in recent years. While there are still hundreds of thousands of infestations treated every year, New York has slipped down the ranks of bed bug cities.

The decline in infestations may be due to government efforts by the city and state. The City of New York offers a bed bug hotline to report infestations, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development conducts urgent inspections after reports are received. Under the NYC Bed Bug Disclosure Act, landlords are required by law to notify prospective tenants about any bed bug infestations that have occurred on their property within the last year.

#5: Cincinnati, OH

Bed bugs in Cincinnati

For various reasons, the state of Ohio has faced some of the worst of this bed bug epidemic over the years. Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati have all been frequent flyers on our lists of bed bug cities, and this year is no different. For 2019, the third-largest city in Ohio is the fifth worst of the big bed bug cities.

Cincinnati has three major sports teams, a huge university, a modern streetcar system, and a nearby airport that acts as a major travel and shipping hub. There’s a lot in the city to attract visitors and residents, and a lot of opportunities for those newcomers to bring bed bugs with them. While winters are colder in Ohio than in the subtropic states, summers in Cincinnati are long and warm enough to give bed bugs plenty of time to mature and reproduce.

#4: Detroit, MI

Bed bugs in Detroit

While the city itself has seen major population decline over the last several years, Detroit’s metro area is second only to Chicago’s in the American Midwest. With its busy airport and riverport, as well as the busiest crossing between the US and Canada, Detroit welcomes visitors for business and pleasure every day. That means bed bugs have ample opportunity to get around town to their next infestation.

While their rank as one of the worst bed bug cities may seem bleak, it’s actually a nice improvement for a city that once topped our list. Due to active efforts by both government agencies and pest management professionals, reports of infestations are down by about 15% this year compared to 2017 and 2018.

#3: Chicago, IL

Bed bugs in Chicago

The third most populous city in the country is also the third most popular city for bed bugs. The metro area that’s affectionately referred to as “Chicagoland” is an absolutely enormous array of cities and suburbs that is home to 10 million people. This gives bed bugs plenty of options to hitchhike from one of Chicago’s airports or public venues to one of so many nearby residences.

As an international hub for finance, industry, and transportation, Chicago has heaps of planes, trains, and cars moving in and out all day, every day. Bed bugs love hiding in clothes, luggage, and personal belongings to travel from their birthplace to a new home, where they can settle down and start a new infestation of their own.

#2: Philadelphia, PA

Bed bugs in Philadelphia

Continuing the trend of bed bug cities in the Northeast and Midwest is Philadelphia, the second top travel destination for American bed bugs. Sitting at the center of the densely populated Boston-Washington corridor, Philadelphia welcomes travelers from Boston, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, and DC, along with other visitors from around the world.

Much like neighboring Baltimore, Philadelphia features a humid subtropical climate. This means hot and muggy summers with short winters, a favorite arrangement for bed bugs looking to start a family.

#1: Columbus, OH

Bed bugs in Columbus

Back to defend its title, Columbus has retaken the rank of one of the worst bed bug cities in America. But with less population, less travel, and colder winters than many other cities on the list, how does Columbus keep coming up as number 1?

Like with other cities, the popularity of Columbus is definitely a factor. As one of the fastest-growing cities in North America, Columbus features both a bustling urban populace and a rapidly expanding metro area made up of suburban communities. This means that both urban pedestrians and local commuters face a risk of crossing paths with bed bugs in the city’s many public places.

While not as warm year-round as the southern bed bug cities on this list, Ohio’s capital still has long, hot, and muggy summers thanks to its humid continental climate. The average daily high is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit for more than half of the year, and the cold and dry winter period tends to come on gradually rather than snap in overnight. This works out favorably for bed bugs that have grown accustomed to the same temperatures that humans are comfortable in.

Did your city make the list? Do your part by reducing the risk of infestation! Early prevention is key, so check out our guide on how to prevent bed bugs, both at home and on the go.

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MM Novato Treatments

The most common way that people get bed bugs is by bringing them home from somewhere else. That’s why it’s natural for bed bugs to incite panic on first sight. When you spot a bed bug, you have no way of knowing how many countless more might be hiding nearby. How can you tell if […]

What To Do If You Found Just ONE Bed Bug

Seeing one bed bug

The most common way that people get bed bugs is by bringing them home from somewhere else. That’s why it’s natural for bed bugs to incite panic on first sight. When you spot a bed bug, you have no way of knowing how many countless more might be hiding nearby. How can you tell if the bed bug is a lone traveler or a sign of an infestation?

Bed bugs are masters of both hitchhiking and hiding. It’s hard to say for sure whether the bed bug you found is all alone or not. Yet that’s an important question to answer because it determines your next steps. Should you be working on prevention or eradication?

First Thing First: Make Sure It’s a Bed Bug

It may seem like an obvious thing: you found a reddish/brownish crawling bug that looks like the bed bugs you’ve seen online or on TV. Yet many supposed bed bug sightings are actually false alarms. Since different pests spread differently, and are treated differently, it’s important to be sure of exactly what you’re dealing with.

Adult bed bug

Bed bugs have a distinct body shape, shell pattern, and color. They are especially distinguished as an adult, which is when you’re most likely to see them crawling around in the open. Unlike beetles and most other indoor pests, bed bugs have mostly flat bodies rather than rounded or bulbous abdomens. They have a reddish-brown hue and thick bands that make their shell appear vaguely striped. Most importantly, their abdomen ends in a point, similar to the narrow tip of an apple seed.

Brown carpet beetle

If you found a dark round bug crawling on your bed or elsewhere in your home, don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s a bed bug. The pest might actually be one of many common indoor pests, such as carpet beetles, cigarette beetles, or flour beetles. If it’s smaller than a bed bug, it might actually be a mite or a tick. If the legs are much larger than a bed bug’s, it’s more likely a roach or a spider.

Bed Bug Sightings in Public

Bed Bugs on NYC Subway

Bed bugs are expert travelers. They can hitchhike from place to place by hiding on coats, backpacks, luggage, and more. This is the main way that infestations spread: a pregnant bed bug hitches a ride from one home to another through a public setting. This often occurs on planes, trains, buses, waiting rooms, and other public places with a lot of foot traffic.

With that in mind, it’s important to understand why you might spot a bed bug in public, and why that’s not necessarily reason for panic. When seen in public, bed bugs are most likely in the process of traveling between infestations. Bed bugs feed on sleeping humans, and as such need a consistent sleeping host nearby in order to thrive in one place. Since bed bugs won’t have a reliable food source in public, nests there are unlikely.

Spotting a Bed Bug at Home

Bed bugs on mattress seam

Seeing a bed bug near where you sleep is a bigger concern. Whether it’s a juvenile or an adult, appearing well-fed or not, you can’t be sure if the bug has recently fed on someone in your home. To make matters worse, the number of bed bugs you see out in the open offers no indication of how many bugs are actually in the area. For every bug you see out and about, there could be dozens more hiding out of sight.

Once you’ve identified at least one bed bug in your home, you’ll probably wonder if it came alone recently or was born there as part of a nest. Bed bugs feed and reproduce every 5-10 days. This means that the “window” from lone traveler to early infestation is only that narrow. If you’ve been on the go in the last 5-10 days, such as on a business trip or holiday, there’s a chance that this is the only bed bug in the home. If not, you’re most likely dealing with an established infestation.

“It Depends”

While we prefer to offer concrete facts and advice, this article in particular has a lot of “if”s and “maybe”s in it. That’s the reality of gauging bed bug infestations: you can’t know if it’s an infestation until you find the infestation (or don’t). The only way to know for sure is with a thorough investigation, so let’s talk about how that would go:

Start by stripping the bed of its sheets, covers, and pillows. Then thoroughly inspect the mattress, box spring, headboard, footboard, frame, sheets, covers, pillows, and anything else that was on the bed. Once you’ve checked out all of the seams and folds of the bed, move on to nearby furniture, then the other cracks and crevices throughout the room. Make sure to search slowly and carefully so that you don’t miss any signs of bed bugs. Use a flashlight and a stiff card (like a bank card) to help scrape stuff out of tight spaces. Remember that bed bugs have flat bodies and they can fit in tight spaces – pretty much anywhere a credit card can fit.

Inspecting a mattress for bed bugs

Of course, no visual inspection is 100% reliable. Even if you don’t find any other signs of bed bug activity in the room, you should play it safe with some basic prevention steps. The main method of preventing infestations is to isolate the bed to make sure bed bugs can’t reach its occupants while they’re asleep.

Move the bed away from the walls and any nightstands or other furniture. Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame. The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. If you don’t have a bed frame with legs, you should purchase one to sleep in, at least until you are bed bug free.

SafeRest encasement installation

To complete the isolation, wrap the mattress and box spring in bed bug proof encasementsand place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of the bed. The encasements ensure that no bed bugs that evaded your search can escape or feed, and they make future inspections much easier by providing a single smooth surface. The traps will prevent bed bugs from climbing up your bed legs, stopping them from reaching you in your bed. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the edge of the interceptor and fall into the perimeter pitfall where they can’t escape. With the ClimbUps in place, you can monitor the population of bed bugs in the room over the next several weeks (and even longer to avoid future infestations).

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MM Novato FAQ

Bed bugs are notoriously hard to spot. Many victims have a hard time confirming whether or not they have a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites don’t always leave marks, and when they do the marks are often mixed up with spider bites or skin rashes. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that […]

Bed Bug Feces: Everything You Didn’t Want to Know

Bed bugs are notoriously hard to spot. Many victims have a hard time confirming whether or not they have a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites don’t always leave marks, and when they do the marks are often mixed up with spider bites or skin rashes. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that everybody poops — even bed bugs.

Bed bugs live, grow, and reproduce by feeding on mammal blood. Each bug feeds every 5-10 days, biting multiple times and using an anesthetic in their saliva to numb the pain. Some times, bed bugs begin dropping feces from earlier blood meals just after they’ve finished feeding. Bed bug feces are left behind as the bug flees for a nearby hiding place.

If you find a dark spot or streak on your bedding, you might be worried that it’s from a bed bug. You may also be concerned that the feces left on your bed can get you sick. But how can you be sure that you’ve found bed bug feces? And what are the feces doing for your health? Let’s dig in and learn what we need to know… even though we don’t want to know.

Identifying Bed Bug Feces

One of the most reliable ways to confirm a bed bug infestation is to find and possitively identify bed bug feces. But since the fecal matter can look similar to other types of markings, it’s important that you be sure of what you found.

Bed bugs leave their feces everywhere, from pillowcases and sheets to sofa cushions, baseboards, and outlets. Bed bug poop is made up of digested blood. When wet, it’s still dark red like blood would be. When it dries, the mark turns into a very dark rust shade, and will usually appear black in most lighting.

Like many animals, bed bugs poop while they walk. It’s gross, but it’s efficient when you’re constantly on the move in the wild. Since bed bugs walk with their bodies flat and close to the ground, their droppings tend to drag along their tail on release. This results in bed bug feces looking more like thin, black streaks rather than what we would consider characteristic of poop.

Not sure if that black smudge, spot, or streak is from a bed bug or not? A reliable way to confirm that a mark is made of bed bug fecal matter is to dab it with a wet cloth or paper towel. Bed bug feces will smudge when wiped, and the previously black mark will stain red when wet. While the red color may not appear on the surface that the fecal matter was found on, it should show up on the damp cloth that you used.

Can Bed Bug Feces Impact Your Health?

A common concern when finding bed bug feces is wondering what effects it might be having on your health. While the exact health impact of a bed bug’s fecal matter is still uncertain, recent studies have pinned down certain chemicals in the feces, and it’s not all rosey:

Bed bug feces contain histamine, a component of their aggregation pheromone. Histamine is released from bed bug fecal matter along with the pheromones released when bed bugs are congregating. This is where the “sweet” odor comes from in a heavily infested area.

While humans naturally release histamine in response to an allergic reaction, it can ironically trigger allergy symptoms when we come in contact with it in our environment. People exposed to histamine may experience itching or asthma symptoms.

A study published in 2018 found that dust collected from homes with prior bed bug infestations had much higher histamine levels than dust from bed bug-free households. Long after the bugs are gone, the histamine released from their poop lingers in a home. It’s possible that the remaining histamine can still trigger symptoms in the same way that other exposures to histamine can.

Fecal Stains During Bed Bug Treatments

Inspecting for bed bug feces plays a critical role before, during, and after your bed bug treatment. Now that you know what bed bug feces looks like, it’s important to integrate it into your treatment routine.

First, bed bug droppings are a key way of identifying bed bug activity. Since droppings are released after bed bugs feed, and are left in the path of their escape from a host, you’ll find them near where they were feeding as well as where they went to hide afterwards. A positive identification of bed bug feces can also help confirm if you have a bed bug infestation if you weren’t sure yet.

An important part of your bed bug treatment, and one we focus heavily with our 4-step solution, is treating and isolating where you sleep to prevent feeding. Bed bugs need to feed in order to mature and reproduce, so cutting off this cycle is essential to getting rid of bed bugs for good. With that in mind, you’ll need to keep an eye out for new bed bug feces after you’ve treated, encased, and isolated your bed.

If you do find new fecal streaks even after isolating your bed, it’s a sign that bed bugs have been feeding despite your efforts to prevent their access to a meal. This means that the bugs can continue to develop and lay eggs once they’re sexually mature, so it’s important to address how they’re still able to feed. Go over every potential access point, such as any part of the bed still touching the walls, floor, or other nearby furniture. Check that ClimbUp Interceptors are installed properly under every leg of the bed, and that encasements are securely enclosed around the mattress and box spring. As long as the bed is fully treated, encased, and isolated, there shouldn’t be any more poop popping up.

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MM Novato Reviews

Pest control manufacturers have waged war against bed bugs for over a century. From the early days of tobacco leaves and organophosphates to the dual-action formulas of today, the arms race rages on. Since bed bugs have evolved to resist traditional chemicals, developers have had to stay on their toes with the latest and greatest […]

Bedlam vs Bedlam Plus: Heavyweight Bed Bug Sprays Compared

Bedlam vs Bedlam Plus

Pest control manufacturers have waged war against bed bugs for over a century. From the early days of tobacco leaves and organophosphates to the dual-action formulas of today, the arms race rages on. Since bed bugs have evolved to resist traditional chemicals, developers have had to stay on their toes with the latest and greatest treatment methods.

One of the foremost leaders in bed bug control is MGK. The company was founded at the beginning of the 20th century, and has been a modern innovator in bed bug research. They were the first to develop a product specifically designed for bed bugs: Bedlam. A few years later, they followed up with Bedlam Plus, the first product designed for resistant strains of bed bugs. But how do the two solutions compare? Which is right for you? Let’s take a closer look and find out:

Dual-Action Bed Bug Sprays

Bedlam Bed Bug SprayWhen commercial pesticides first appeared around World War II, we treated for bed bugs using organochlorines such as DDT. Organochlorines were organic compounds that attacked the peripheral nervous system, keeping sodium channels open after activation to cause paralysis and death. This mode of action became the standard for pesticide development in the decades to follow.

But bed bugs wouldn’t be stopped by DDT forever. Thanks to their uncanny ability to build resistant to pesticides, bed bugs quickly evolved to shrug off DDT along with its competitors. Now that bed bugs have resurged in population and spread all over the Western world, pesticide manufacturers have had to go back to the drawing board to come up with a modern solution.

In 2006, MGK introduced the first pest control product specifically designed for bed bugs. Bedlam was also the first to employ a dual-action aerosol formula to provide a quick knockdown and a long-lasting residual killer. This resulted in a solution that killed 85% of exposed bed bugs within a minute of the application and killed 98% of the remaining bugs over the next two weeks.

Bedlam and Bed Bug Resistance

Bedlam Plus Bed Bug SprayBed bugs are notoriously hard to kill. Worse yet, they’re difficult to treat on a larger-than-individual scale, whether we’re talking about a bedroom or a continent. Just as bed bugs have grown resistant to DDT since its US ban in the 70s, so too have their genetic detox tools been used to address more modern methods of attack.

At the time of its release, Bedlam was the most effective version of a pesticide class called pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives of the naturally-occurring compound pyrethrin, which attacks bugs’ sodium channels in a different way than the organochlorines of the early 20th century did. While Bedlam doesn’t rely on a pyrethroid to do all of its killing (it is a dual-action formula, after all), that pyrethroid is a big part of what makes its knockdown work.

Today, researchers have identified widespread strains of bed bugs that have developed an innate resistance to pyrethroid chemicals. These unique genes allow resistant bed bugs to secrete chemicals on their shell, digesting the pyrethroid compound before it gets a chance to enter the bug’s bloodstream. These pyrethroid-resistant bed bug strains now make up the majority of the Western population encountered today.

To combat this newly resistant threat, MGK went back to work on developing a compound that would effectively neutralize any bed bug infestation. In 2012, they released the fruits of their labor: Bedlam Plus. This unique formula combines the same proven dual-action formula seen in Bedlam with a unique synergist that counters the resistance method that bed bugs use to protect against pyrethroids. The synergist proved effective, as Bedlam Plus was able to achieve a 100% kill rate on all of the most common strains of resistant bed bugs.

Which is Right For You?

Both Bedlam and Bedlam Plus are in active use in the field today. They both offer an easy to use, water-based foaming compound that combines a fast knockdown with long-lasting residual control. Their broad labels allow flexible use throughout a bedroom or other indoor area, and their low odor, non-staining solution is generally safe wherever water would be.

The odds of bed bugs in your home being resistant to pyrethroids is very high, with estimates of resistant strains making up as much as 85% of the Western population today. While both products are likely to cut down on your infestation’s population and activity immediately after use, only Bedlam Plus can ensure that resistant bed bugs will die as well. Nonetheless, neither product should be used to treat bed bugs on their own, and when combined with other products to form a complete bed bug treatment solution, both Bedlam and Bedlam Plus will do their job well.

Bedlam

Bedlam controls Bed Bugs, Dust Mites,Fleas, Lice and Ticks by killing on contact and providing lasting residual performance. Bedlam is labeled for use in the toughest hiding places. As a water-based product, it won’t stain water-safe fabrics. Bedlam works for the most demanding jobs. You can rest assured.
Starting at:

$16.95
Bedlam

Bedlam Plus

Bedlam Plus features a dual mode of action that kills the toughest pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs fast. Featuring the perfect combination of quick kill and residual control, Bedlam Plus is proven to keep killing pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs and their eggs for two weeks after treatment.
Starting at:

$18.65
Bedlam Plus
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All About Beauveria Bassiana: Can This Spray-On Fungus Kill Bed Bugs?

Beauveria bassiana on a bed bug
A bed bug killed by Beauveria bassiana. Source: Penn State University

Bed bugs have been feeding on our blood since ancient times, ever since their early ancestors left the caves along with primitive humans. But bed bugs have only been a daily threat in North America for the last 10 years or so. To make matters worse, these new strains of bed bugs are resistant to previous treatment methods.

This resurgence has triggered a race to find new methods of controlling bed bugs. While there are now several effective contact and residual insecticides, there hasn’t been a successful non-chemical solution yet. The researchers looking into Beauveria bassiana are hoping to change that.

Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that infects certain insect pests. It’s normally used to treat agricultural crop pests but is showing promise as a nontoxic bed bug killer. The question is: if approved for indoor use, can this spray-on fungus be an effective bed bug treatment solution?

History of Natural Bed Bug Treatments

Bed bugs have been described in writing for thousands of years, and the science surrounding them has been bizarre for most of that time. Some of the earliest written references of bed bugs included medicinal properties for treating snake bites, ear infections, and hysteria.

One of the earliest ways people attempted to treat bed bugs in their home was to lay bean leaves under their beds. These leaves have tiny barbs that pierced the bug’s shell. It worked fairly well, considering the lack of other options available at the time. Other remedies included bowls of oil, fumigation by burning decayed leaves, and plant ash applied much like diatomaceous earth powder is today.

While their presence in human society has been constant over the ages, bed bugs grew especially common in Western homes with the advent of electricity. With year-round heating available, bed bugs were suddenly able to survive even the harshest winters indoors. This caused their numbers to multiply drastically, prompting scientists to take drastic measures.

Shortly after World War II, DDT became the insecticide of choice to get rid of bed bugs. Thanks to its powerful organophosphate properties, DDT nearly wiped out the bed bug population in Western nations for the rest of the 20th century. However, it wasn’t 100% effective, and bed bugs that were exposed to it and survived sometimes mutated to develop resistances over generations.

Today’s bed bugs are resistant to DDT and many pyrethroids that were developed after DDT was banned in Western countries. To combat this, insecticide manufacturers have developed newer pyrethroid compounds and fast-acting synthetic killers. On the natural side of the industry, developments like pyrethrin, diatomaceous earth, and even alcohol-based solutions have shown promise, but nothing is 100% effective for an entire infestation.

How Beauveria Bassiana is Different

In 2012, some researchers turned their attention to a biopesticide called Beauveria bassiana. This is an entomopathogenic fungus, which is a fancy way of describing a fungal parasite that can kill insects. Beauveria bassiana is capable of infecting a broad range of insect hosts, and as such has seen success as an agricultural biopesticide. But until a few years ago, there had been no published research on how Beauveria bassiana could be used against bed bugs.

Beauveria bassiana acts on contact: when the fungal spores land on the cuticle (the skin-like shell) of a bed bug, they geminate and grow inside their new host. Once rooted inside, the fungus spreads and produces toxins while draining the host of nutrients until it dies. Once the host is dead, the fungus makes its way back out to the cuticle and covers the host’s body with white mold that releases millions of new spores. Those new spores will then travel through the atmosphere until they reach other bed bugs, repeating the process.

After 10 days of exposure, all bed bugs exposed to Beauveria bassiana were killed while the control group had survived. Source: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology

Preliminary research has shown that Beauveria bassiana is 100% effective in a contained laboratory setting. Within just 10 days of exposure, bed bugs of all life stages had succumbed to the parasite. This naturally occurring fungus has typically been researched for control of soil-borne pests like aphids and beetles, but is safe for exposure to humans and most other non-insect animals.

Beauveria Bassiana in a Bed Bug Treatment

Bed bugs infected with Beauveria bassiana
Bed bugs infected with Beauveria bassiana. Source: Inside Science

Because it hasn’t been approved for residential use, it’s too soon to say if (and how) Beauveria bassiana can be integrated into a home bed bug treatment. While it’s widely labeled for agricultural use, use on bed bugs has mostly been limited to the previously discussed lab testing.

Should it be approved and offered for use by homeowners and rental property managers, Beauveria bassiana could be a promising improvement in natural bed bug treatments. Where other non-chemical treatment methods fall short, especially in residual efficacy, Beauveria bassiana shows to be a reliable residual solution that can kill any bed bug that becomes exposed to it.

However, Beauveria bassiana will never be a “silver bullet” in bed bug treatments. While it may someday prove to be more effective than a residual spray or powder that’s applied in the same spaces, no single product is likely to replace a complete, holistic treatment solution.

To reliably get rid of bed bugs, it will always be critical to combine chemical and non-chemical solutions, both for contact killing and residual control. You’ll also still need products like SafeRest encasements and ClimbUp Interceptors to ensure that bed bugs can’t reach you in your bed to feed and reproduce. To learn how to use the best modern products in a combined treatment, check out our proven 4-step solution.

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