STERI-FAB is a popular spray used for bed bugs and can be found in pint or gallon size. The primary ingredient of STERI-FAB (60%) is Isopropyl Alcohol, which is also known as rubbing alcohol. For the other 40%, we recommend reading the label (too many long words to list).
STERI-FAB has long been utilized by mattress retailers to sterilize pre-owned mattresses before they are re-sold and as a general disinfectant. STERI-FAB leaves behind a trace residue, which can be seen under a black light allowing state inspectors to see what areas have been treated.
To kill bed bugs with STERI-FAB, the bottle says:
The infested area should be sprayed thoroughly and repeatedly directing the spray into all crevices, cracks, hiding laces, seams, creases and folds.
STERI-FAB treats bed bugs by simply drying them out and is very effective as contact killer. Being a contact killer, it has no residual or long lasting effectiveness after about 15-20 minutes as it dries quickly. That being said, STERI-FAB works well on the mattress and box spring before encasements are applied. It also works well in cracks and crevices and on fabric items. Always apply a small test application on furniture to ensure STERI-FAB does not damage the surface.
After STERI-FAB is applied, a residual chemical such as deltamethrin is often used. Deltamethrin continues to kill bed bugs for up to 16 weeks on some surfaces (check the label for directions and safety information). Once the residual chemical is dry, powder can be applied as an additonal step to improve success.
In summary STERI-FAB does work well as a contact killer leaving very little chemical trace behind after a short period of time, but should be followed up with a residual and powder for longer lasting effectiveness. Steri-Fab may be purchased at Bed Bug Supply.