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Bed bugs are one of the most insidious home pests, thanks to their tiny size, rapid breeding, and ability to survive for months without a meal. Add to this the trauma of having an insect invade your bed and bite you while you’re sleeping, and you have a real cause for concern on your hands. Fortunately, there are many different bed bug sprays that have been developed to eradicate a bed bug infestation.
To help you find the best solution for your needs, here, the best bed bug sprays and powders.
Best Overall: Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug Killer
If you’re looking for a versatile way to attack your bed bug infestation, Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug Killer is a top choice. The 1.5 gallons of quick-acting solution will kill bed bugs on contact. It also kills the eggs, meaning you can spray it directly onto nests or into crevices and cracks where the bugs may be lurking.
What really makes the Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug Killer stand out is its battery-operated wand. Use the wand to continuously spray along baseboards, the edge of mattresses, and along the top of curtains. Since the formula is non-staining, you can spray without worry. Instead of using a pump spray or aerosol can, the wand ensures even, consistent application. People also appreciate the fact that Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug Killer is odorless and is formulated for even pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs.
Best Spray Bottle: HARRIS Black Label Bed Bug Killer
If you want a handy, ready-to-go bottle of bed bug spray at your side, Harris’ Pyrethroid Resistant Bed Bug Killer is a great option. This highly effective formula is designed to eradicate even the most stubborn of bed bugs that have become resistant to pesticides containing pyrethroids. What sets this bed bug spray apart is the fact that it offers residual protection to kill remaining bugs for up to 16 weeks.
While Harris Pyrethroid Resistant Bed Bug Killer is available by the gallon, order the convenient 32-ounce spray bottle to keep handy and spritz bed begs at first sight. As with most bed bug products, this spray is most effective when used in conjunction with thorough cleaning and multiple treatment options.
Best Powder: Rockwell CimeXa Insecticide Dust
For a bed bug powder that is long-lasting and effective, skip diatomaceous earth and head straight for CimeXa Insecticide Dust. CimeXa is a bed bug powder made from a manufactured silica powder, unlike diatomaceous earth which is a naturally-occurring substance. Both products work to dry out the exoskeleton of bed bugs, which eventually kills them. The silica in CimeXa essentially acts like a sponge to absorb water from the bugs, though, whereas diatomaceous earth scratches the cuticle protecting the exoskeleton—making it hard to retain water. The important thing is that CimeXa has been found by many people to be vastly more effective as a bed bug powder.
For long-term control, it’s hard to beat CimeXa’s staying power—simply apply the powder, keep it dry, and it can keep working for up to 10 years. A suggested usage is to take a paintbrush and apply a thin layer along baseboards or in cracks and crevices where bed bug activity has been noticed. You’ll only need a little since the fine particles of silicon dust will attach to passing bed bugs using electrostatic charge. Even though this product is considered to be non-toxic for humans, be careful in applying CimeXa to avoid inhaling the dust and keep it out of the reach of children.
Best Natural: Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer
If you’re concerned about harsh chemicals and are looking for a natural bed bug spray, try Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer. This bed bug spray has an organic, non-toxic formula and is also non-staining. Many people with small children or pets appreciate the fact that Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer doesn’t have any harsh chemicals. The formula does have a noticeable scent due to plant oils, but most users didn’t find it to be too offensive—especially since it's all-natural.
While the Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer is an effective, natural bed bug spray, it only kills on contact and doesn’t have residual effects. So for serious infestations, best results are seen when this product is used along with other treatment methods.
Best for Mattresses: Bedlam Plus
If bed bugs have invaded your space, you need to treat your mattress with a bed bug spray. While there are a lot of suitable bed bug sprays for mattresses, Bedlam Plus is a popular option. This water-based spray is safe for most surfaces, including your mattress if you don’t want it to become stained by pesticides. The Bedlam Plus spray will kill bed bugs on contact, but also has up to two weeks of residual killing power.
A common question might be whether or not you can spray the entire surface of your bed with this bed bug spray for mattresses. The answer is yes, you can—but you don’t necessarily need to. Since bed bugs prefer to hide rather than be exposed in the open, they’re most likely to be live and breed in enclosed spaces and crevices. For that reason, it’s recommended to spray Bedlam Plus along the tufts, seams, and folds of your mattress.
Best Budget: Trapper Max Glue Boards
For a budget bed bug solution, try glue boards. While it isn’t a bed bug spray and may not be the fastest way to eradicate the problem, Trapper Max Glue Boards can prevent bites and provide peace of mind. These glue boards can be folded flat, then taped around the legs of bed frames or other furniture. Since bed bugs crawl up to the top of the bed, a tightly secured glue board will stop the bugs from reaching their destination.
You’ll still need to eradicate any bed bugs and eggs from your mattress or furniture, and it’s also suggested to move furniture away from the walls to prevent bed bugs from accessing your bed by another route. But for a few dollars, the Trapper Max Glue Boards are super sticky and will collect any bed bugs that are trying to make their way to your mattress.
Best for Travel: rest easy Bed Bug Spray
Relieve vacation worries by getting a bed bug spray for travel. The Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray is a perfect way to ward off an infestation when you’re on the road.
This travel-sized bed bug spray comes in a convenient 2-ounce bottle that will easily pass TSA-safety requirements and won’t take up a lot of space in your luggage. It has a cinnamon scent that's a nice contrast to some of the harsher smelling travel bed bug sprays available.
Use the Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray to treat mattresses and furniture when you’re traveling. While it isn’t designed to treat a home infestation, it can create a barrier that will keep you from picking up bed bugs when you travel. It is a great idea to use this bed bug spray for luggage also.
If you're looking for a versatile way to fight an infestation, our top pick is Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug Killer (view at Home Depot). Its battery-operated wand allows for easy, continuous spraying to help you reach your whole space. For a long term solution to prevent infestations, consider CimeXa Insecticide Dust (view at Amazon), which will continue working for years.
What to Look for in Bed Bug Sprays
Bed bug sprays are usually either water-based or oil-based. The advantage of water-based spray formulas is that they generally won’t stain soft surfaces, making them the more common option on the market. In addition to bed bug sprays, there are also powder treatments made from silica. These work to dry out the exoskeleton of bed bugs and are often used along baseboards of infested rooms.
Most bed bug sprays can be used on a variety of surfaces, but if you have a specific application in mind, then look for a formula and applicator that are best suited for your purpose. Bed bug sprays are generally designed to be used in treating the nest site, along with baseboards, furniture, draperies, and other places the insects may be hiding out. Bed bug sprays for mattresses are also popular. It's worth noting that many of these formulas can also be used on other furnishings as well, but not all bed bug sprays can be used on mattresses due to the potency of various insecticides.
To get the upper hand on a bed bug infestation, most sprays are formulated with powerful insecticides, like pyrethroids. When the directions for use are carefully followed, these sprays are considered safe for household use but you should always take precautions to protect children and pets. Natural bed bug sprays exist as well using the power of plant oils like geranium oil, but be forewarned that a bed bug infestation can be very hard to eradicate without the help of insecticides.
How do bed bug sprays work?
After application, the insecticides within a bed bug spray act to kill bed bugs on contact, reducing their population and preventing reproduction. Most sprays also are effective at killing bed bug eggs, which is one of the keys to preventing a resurgence and shortening an infestation.
How often do you have use bed bug spray?
Most bed bug sprays will offer treatment effects for at least 2 weeks, with some products extending protection for as long as 16 weeks. Silica-based bed bug powders can continue working for years as long as the powder remains dry.
Where is it safe to use bed bug spray?
To combat a bed bug infestation, you should generally treat your mattress, bedframe, baseboards, furniture, and any other areas where you’ve noticed being bitten. Bed bugs prefer concealed areas rather than open, visible locations so covering every inch of surface area on your furniture is generally not required.
Most bed bug sprays are safe for use on general household objects, but you should read the label for any warnings or indicators of possible staining. It’s especially important to note whether a specific spray is safe for use on items that you will be in very close contact with for an extended period of time, like mattresses, bedding, or clothing. Not all insecticides are considered safe for such purposes.