Bedbug Information and More from J.T. Eaton
Frequently Asked Questions About Bedbugs and our Bedbug Products
- Do bedbugs travel from person to person, on animals, in vehicles, etc?
Bedbugs are not like lice, but they are transient insects so they do travel. People can take bedbugs with them as they have been found in vehicles, movie theatres, schools, hotels, etc.
- Can bedbugs fly or transmit diseases?
Bedbugs do not have wings so they can't fly, but can move rapidly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces. They have not been found to transmit diseases to hosts but people can have allergic reactions to their bites.
- Can you see bedbugs and their eggs?
Bedbugs are about the size of an apple seed when they are full grown and reddish brown in color. Eggs are about the size of a poppy seed. They are usually found in clusters of 5-6 eggs and can be seen with the naked eye.
- Why do you have different Kills Bedbugs options?
JT Eaton has 4 insecticides labeled for killing bedbugs - an oil based spray, two water based sprays and one diatomaceous earth powder. Each has its own use and benefits. JT Eaton will be coming out with an aerosol spray with residual protection in 2013.
- What is diatomaceous earth and how should it be used?
This a "natural" remedy against bed bugs that is made from tiny fossils of single-celled algae that will clog up the exoskeleton of an insect and dehydrate them to death. Diatomaceous earth can be used where sprays cannot; in and around electronics, outlets, and inside of walls. You also shouldn't breathe it in directly if you can avoid it. The Diatomaceous earth that's designed to be used in swimming pools should not be used for insects. JT Eaton offers diatomaceous earth in our KILLS BEDBUGS AND CRAWLING INSECTS powder.
- Which is better - water based or oil based?
Each product has advantages and disadvantages. Some people prefer to not have any residual insecticide left after treatments. Others prefer to have the long-term killing power of a residual chemical. The water based insecticide may cause staining on fabrics that are labeled "dry clean only" and therefore an oil based product may be more appropriate. Each product should be tested for staining before being used.
- How soon do the bedbugs die?
Bedbugs will die soon after application, depending on a number of factors. Insects sprayed directly will die very quickly (more so with KILLS BEDBUGS) and slightly slower when crawling across an area of KILLS BEDBUGS II after the spray has dried. Factors such as temperature will affect the time also.
- How often do I apply it?
KILLS BEDBUGS has no residual effect and therefore should be re-applied if / when additional live bedbugs are noticed or suspected. KILLS BEDBUGS II and KILLS BEDBUGS, TICKS AND MOSQUITOES provide some residual protection, but because the product is affected by factors such as temperature, treatments can be repeated as necessary, but not more than once per week.
- Do the sprays have odors?
They have odors and therefore we recommend that people and pets vacate treated areas until all insecticide odors and any wetness is gone. It is advisable to not come into contact with treated items until the chemical has dried. This can take about a day depending on the saturation of the item and the circulation of the room. Always use products as directed.
- How much do I use in a room or apply on the mattress?
Each product is powerful and only a light spray is required. It is more important to lightly spray all areas rather than heavily spray a limited area. There is never a need to saturate fabrics with insecticide. The recommended usage for the Kills Bedbugs products is one ounce per every 100 sq. ft.
- How long before I enter the room after spraying for bedbugs?
The room should be vacated long enough for there to be no odor from the insecticide and all wetness has evaporated. This can be facilitated by opening windows to air out the room.
- How soon can I sleep on the bed?
A treated bed can be used once the odor from the insecticide is gone and the wetness has dried up. The bedbug sprays are not to be used on sheets, pillowcases, blankets, etc. as these items should be laundered or dry cleaned, based on label directions. Fresh bedding should be used after the bed has been treated with the insecticides.
- Should I spray the clothing in my closet?
Both KILLS BEDBUGS and KILLS BEDBUGS II are not labeled for application directly on clothing, but both products can be used in closets and clothes storage areas. REST EASY BEDBUG & INSECT CONTROL FOR LUGGAGE can be applied directly only luggage to prevent the pickup of bedbugs, fleas, ticks, spiders and cockroaches when traveling.
- Safe for use around pets?
Neither bedbug product should be applied directly to pets, but both KILLS BEDBUGS and KILLS BEDBUGS II can be applied to pet areas but fresh bedding should be placed in animal quarters when the insecticide has dried following treatment.
- Safe for use around babies?
Both KILLS BEDBUGS, KILLS BEDBUGS II and KILLS BEDBUGS, TICKS AND MOSQUITOES are all labeled for Home use. KILLS BEDBUGS II is specifically labeled to be used in "play rooms". KILLS BEDBUGS, TICKS AND MOSQUITOES is specifically labeled to be used in "classrooms". Children should not be permitted to enter treated rooms until all odors and any wetness from the insecticides are gone
- What if I get it on my skin?
Both KILLS BEDBUGS and KILLS BEDBUGS II have specific first aid directions on the labels giving treatments if the product gets on the skin, get in the eyes, is inhaled or swallowed.
- Will it stain?
Because we have no control over where the products will be used and under what conditions, we recommend that each product be tested for staining by spraying in an inconspicuous areas and allowed to dry to insure there will be no staining.
- How are bedbugs treated with heat?
Heat can kill bedbugs, but heat needs to be at least 120 Fahrenheit, so adjusting your thermostat will not do the trick. Steam cleaning, laundering in hot water and running through the dryer for about an hour can be effective. Whole-room heat and fumigation treatments require all belongings and furnishings to be left in place, however additional treatment-specific preparation is required. For whole-room heat treatment, the preventive use of insecticide in walls and under carpet edges, prior to treatment, may complement treatment by killing bugs attempting to move away from the heat. Using the heat method does not afford residual protection against bed bugs which may have been missed.
Temperature/ Exposure Time Required to Kill All Bed Bug Stages:
113 F (45 C) 7 hours
118 F (48 C) 90 minutes
122 F (50 C) < 1 minute
When steaming, follow these procedures:
Place the steamer head in direct contact with the surface. Move the head slowly across the surface (about 1 foot every 10-15 seconds). Apply steam treatments to areas where live bed bugs or eggs have been observed and critical areas where bed bugs are suspected. For steam treatments surface temperatures should reach 160 - 180 F (71 - 82 C) to ensure that surface temperatures rapidly exceed 122 F (50 C).
*Heat treatments must be done carefully due to the risk of fire.*
- How are bedbugs treated with cold?
Cold can kill bedbugs, but the temperature should be less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so adjusting your thermostat will not do the trick. Freeze treatments can be applied to most surfaces and may be beneficial in treating bed bug-infested items that otherwise are difficult to treat including toys, plastics, books, and other items. This technology leaves no residual and is used primarily for killing bed bugs and eggs on contact.
- Should carpets be removed and furniture be thrown away once infested?
Carpets do not need to be removed, but thorough vacuuming and steam cleaning is recommended. Mattresses should also be vacuumed regularly. A stiff brush can be used to scrub the mattress seams to dislodge bed bugs and eggs. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and discard in a container outdoors to prevent captured bed bugs from escaping into the home. Disposal of beds, furniture, clothing, and other items because they are infested with bed bugs should generally be discouraged in residential situations and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. When disposal of infested materials is necessary, steps should be taken to minimize the likelihood of spreading bed bugs in accordance with applicable laws or ordinances for discarding bed bug-infested items. Prior to removal from the infested area, mattresses, box springs, and furniture should be sealed in plastic to trap bed bugs inside. If left for pick-up, furniture should be labeled as bed-bug infested, and then damaged to render it unsalvageable. Disposal should be coordinated with trash pick-up, or items should be taken directly to a disposal site.
- How can people who are treating bedbug problems prevent taking them home?
The most effective way to prevent taking bedbugs home from treatment site is to not bring any potentially infested items into your home. People should assume beds and other items are infested in a site that is being treated and act accordingly. Avoid leaning across or sitting on infested beds or furniture; minimize contact between clothes and equipment and infested items. Bring a minimum of equipment into an infested room and place it in an open area. Perform an inspection of clothing and equipment before leaving an infested site. Launder all clothing immediately upon returning home from work. Footwear can often be heated in a dryer to kill all bed bug stages. KILLS BEDBUGS, TICKS AND MOSQUITOES can be applied directly to clothing and more to prevent the pickup of bedbugs. Spray outer surfaces of clothing only and allow clothing to dry prior to wearing.
- Regarding the Limited instructions on the bottle of 204-O:
The directions on all insecticides are registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency which reviews each label for completeness, clarity and understanding. The directions for the use of the products are believed to be adequate and should be followed carefully.