Learn About Insecticides

Insecticides, the term referring to pesticides that are created specifically to kill insects, have been widely used in the battle against bed bugs. The majority of these methods are unsafe, and are highly toxic to humans. Since treatments are usually performed in sleeping areas, there has been a demand for the development of products other than insecticides—and for good reason.

A Brief History of Treatment with Insecticides

Today, many forms of treatments exist for bed bugs. We have heat treatments, fumigations, and even some innovative methods like the freeze treatment. Until recent years, however, people had very few options for dealing with bed bugs. And before DDT arrived on the scene, people of all walks of life had to deal with these blood sucking little beasts.


Since 1939, when DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was discovered to be a powerful insecticide, it has been used around the world for the treatment of bed bugs. In 1970’s the United States, along with most other develop nations, banned the use of DDT. While it was a powerful insecticide that aided in the fight against widespread malaria, insects quickly developed a resistance to DDT and other similar chemicals. Bed bugs, like the rest of insects, also developed a resistance to this chemical and its derivatives. Additionally, DDT was discovered to be very harmful to human health. Even before the ban of DDT, pest control companies were looking for an alternative to this harmful chemical.


Developed when people began to realize the problems involved with the use DDT, pyrethroids became a popular replacement. But although they were effective for some time, bed bugs began to develop a resistance to this insecticide as well. Pyrethroids remain legal to this day, and are widely used by pest control companies as insecticides, in different concentrations. In lower concentrations these insecticides can be purchased at many local stores with no license, yet because of safety concerns they are not that effective. Licensed professionals can use pyrethroids in high concentrations, though bed bugs are somewhat resistant to even the concentrated form of this insecticide.

Safe Alternatives to Insecticides

Heat treatment, a relatively new bed bug eradication solution, has received a lot of acclaim recently for both its effectiveness and its safety. Bed bugs are very sensitive to high temperatures, and the heated air is able to completely penetrate a structure. Unlike chemical treatments and fumigation, which can be expensive, unsafe to human health, extremely time consuming (with multiple required visits), and even humiliating to the affected person, heat treatments are relatively inexpensive, completely safe, fast, and discreet. Each year more and more companies switch from insecticides to heat treatments, in hopes of delivering to their clients a powerful, non-toxic solution to their bed bug problem. At R. Dana Pest Control we perform spot heat treatments, coupled with our K9 detection team.