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July 24, 2019 3 min read

To find insecticides that can effectively eliminate bedbugs from your house, you can use the following:

  • Seek the attention of expert pest control personnel. They can help inspect and treat your space in the case of an infestation.
  • If you’re treating your house yourself, search through EPA’s list for certified and good quality insecticides to use.
  • The CES unit around your place of residence can also help you select an insecticide that is peculiar to the infestation in your home.
  • Also ensure you adopt safe and regionally acceptable methods and products for treating bedbug infestations.

The EPA, being the body responsible for assessing the efficiency and process safety of pesticides, has approved and certified over three hundred insecticides types for managing bedbug infestations. While some of these products have been approved for use by everybody, others can only be used by licensed pest control experts.

Categories of Pesticides

Every pest-killing chemical in the market belongs to one of the seven categories of certified insecticides as listed below:

  1. Neonicotinoids,
  2. Pyrethrins,
  3. Pyrethroids,
  4. Desiccants,
  5. Biochemicals,
  6. Pyrroles,
  7. Pest growth controllers.

DDVP, also referred to as dichlorvos, belongs to a separate certified group of insecticide used as strips in small spaces.

Each of the aforementioned group of chemicals work differently and so are able to overcome the immunity constantly developed by bugs overtime. Using a combination of these insecticides can be highly effective as the pests may not be able to completely breakdown every chemical in the mixtures.


Also known as synthesized nicotine, this chemical compound affects the insect’s nervous nicotine receptors and enforces a continuous overloading of its nerves until a system breakdown results. Bedbugs known to be resistant to other categories of insecticides still remain prone to this category.

Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids

These two chemicals happen to be the commonest insecticides in use and are somewhat similar in function. While pyrethrins are organic compounds extracted from the chrysanthemum flower, pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives of pyrethrins.

Both chemicals are able to efficiently eliminate bedbugs from their hideouts and kill them. Nonetheless, with pyrethrin-resistant bugs, these chemicals always only result in a change of habitat for bedbugs.

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids can be applied with foggers and are usually more effective when combined or used along with other classes of insecticides. Due to the increase in the rate at which bedbugs are developing resistance to various insecticides, it is also helpful to vary the categories of insecticides used for every round of bedbug treatment applied in your house.


Bedbugs survive by relying on their wax-filled outer coverings. Once this layer of wax is removed, they dry out and eventually die. Desiccants are known to dry out this waxy layer and ultimately lead to the death of bedbugs.

Bedbugs cannot possibly develop any form of immunity against this group of insecticide because their mode of bedbug elimination is completely physical unlike other categories that are chemical making it possible for the pests to breakdown the chemicals contained in them. The effects of desiccant insecticides are usually prolonged and does not interfere with human activities at moderate amounts.

However, ensure that the desiccant you intend using for a bedbug infestation is legally approved for bedbugs. Also ensure that its grade is suitable as an insecticide as there are separate desiccants for pools and food use. This is so that people are not put at risk on inhaling the desiccants. Also ensure that they are not placed on spots where they’d pose a health risk to human beings and pets – this helps to restrict the use of desiccants to cracks and crevices.

The following are substances used as desiccant insecticides:

  • Boric acid, and
  • Diatomaceous sand.


The only biochemical compound certified for use as a bug-killing pesticide is neem oil. Usually extracted from Neem tree seeds commonly found in Africa and Southeastern Asia, this oil comprises of compounds and chemicals with insecticidal tendencies. Neem oil is also an active ingredient in most cosmetic products, shampoos and toothpastes. It has also been proven to effectively eliminate adult bedbugs as well as their eggs and nymphs.


Of all the chemicals belonging to this class of insecticides, chlorfenapyr is the only pyrrole certified for use as a bedbug-killing insecticide. This chemical works after it has being activated by a biological process. After the activation, the pyrrole in question is changed to another compound that distorts the bug’s cellular activities, which ultimately leads to its death.

Pest Growth Controllers

These chemicals are known to camouflage as the bug’s growth hormone but end up changing some growth patterns in the insect. These chemicals may tamper with chitin production and therefore affect the insect’s production of their outer coverings. They may also disrupt certain cycle development processes.

While some growth controllers stop the development of bedbugs, others make them grow at extreme rates.