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.
CrossFire 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.
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.
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.