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What Kills Bed Bugs On Contact?

If you are dealing with bed bugs, it will be helpful to know that there are several things that will kill them on contact including: heat treatments, aerosols, and liquid sprays. Let’s take a closer look at these instant bed bug killers.

Heat Treatments

Using heat to kill bed bugs is one of the most effective methods. At approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit, bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs can no longer survive. This heat may come from a washer, dryer, hot box, or steam machine. Laundering is perhaps the least expensive and easiest approach, but it will not work with all contaminated items, so steam is an excellent alternative. It is important to remember that steam machines usually only penetrate approximately ¾ of an inch, so it will likely not reach all hiding spots. Steam is a great option for mattresses, box springs, curtains, and carpets. Check out our in-depth article onhow to kill bed bugs with heat.


Aerosols for bed bugs contain insecticide with an added propellant so that they can be sprayed out of a can. These aerosols work best when directly sprayed on the bed bugs and are particularly effective when sprayed into hard to reach areas like cracks and crevices or on mattresses or upholstered furniture.Harris Egg Kill Bed Bug Aerosol is an excellent aerosol spray that specifically targets bed bug eggs and can be used in combination with other products. Another type of aerosol is a bug bomb or fumigator. They kill only the bed bugs that are directly exposed to the chemicals and not the ones hiding. Bug bombs broadcast large amounts of chemical throughout the room instead of focusing on specific areas. These fumigators are mostly ineffective for bed bug control and should generally be avoided.

Liquid Sprays

Insecticide for bed bugs also comes in liquid form. These types of liquid products can kill bed bugs on contact, and they can also work as residual insecticides that remain active for several weeks or even months. Pyrethroid sprays tend to be stronger and last longer than many other types. They have become one of the most popular forms of chemical control. Recently, however, some bed bug populations have become resistant to pyrethroids. In these instances, alternative classes of chemicals may be necessary. Harris has developed aPyrethroid-Resistant Bed Bug Kit that contains everything you will need to eliminate bed bugs. These “on contact” methods and products are only one step in the overall treatment of bed bugs. It is recommended that you follow an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that focuses on prevention, sanitation, and the use of various classes of chemicals. When using chemicals, always use ones that are EPA labeled for indoor use on bed bugs, and always follow label directions. For full directions on how to eradicate bed bugs from your home, PF Harris is America’s oldest EPA registered pest control brand. Find out what PF Harris can do for you today.

More Bed Bug Questions Answered:

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like Not sure that you actually have bed bugs check out this blog post that contains descriptions and images to help you identity the pest you are dealing with. How to Search for Bed Bugs The ultimate guide for searching for bed bugs, offers easy to follow steps to locate the problem. How Long Can Bed Bugs Live? Found out how long bed bugs can live and the deciding factors of survival.