There is nothing more alarming than waking up with three red bug bites in a row. The signature bite marks of bed bugs can cause discomfort, panic, and can even motivate people to throw out their belongings or at worst, move. Bed bug killing products can be a saving grace, allowing quick and effective extermination without hiring an expensive professional. In order to save you the trouble of testing out the competing brands, we put them to a head-to-head test. Here’s what we learned:
EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer
- Easy to use. The EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer comes with a ready-to-use spray nozzle affixed atop the bottle. For people hunting for bed bugs in hard to reach or awkward places, or even in various rooms, this product gets the job done quickly because of its transportable size
- Safe for the family. While some products use a cocktail of chemicals to eliminate pests, this product uses a natural neuron blocker that only effects insects and not invertibrates (like you and me)
- Cost. Clocking it at under $20 per bottle, this product can get the job done with buying only one bottle for a reasonable price
- Residue. While some users will opt for the natural formula no matter what, the product can leave some residue on the hard surfaces it is sprayed on. Be mindful of where you spray!
- Scent. If bed bugs are infesting your home, the smell of the product may not be that big of an issue in comparison – but some may need to leave the house for a bit so the air can clear
This product from EcoRaider is a natural “BioBased” bed bug killer that contains no pyrethroids, deltamethrin, neonicotinoids or chlorfenapyr. The special formula is a neuron blocker, an effective method for killing adult bed bugs and nymphs almost immediately upon contact.
Harris Liquid Spray Bed Bug Killer
- Stain-free & without odor: One of the biggest worries when cleansing a home of bed bugs is the crummy residue and pungent smell that can waft through the house for days. Offering a stain-free and odorless formula, this product is great for discrete and unimposing bed bug killing
- Long trigger nozzle. The built-in extended trigger nozzle is perfect for hard-to-reach places. Often bed bugs can hide in the most cumbersome spots in a home. This product was quite effective at getting to every nook and cranny
- Volume. With this gallon container, users do not need to be shy about using this product however much they need. Ideal for use immediately and for follow-ups
- Use with other products. Harris recommends using this product along with a diatomaceous earth or silica powder. Though these aren’t expensive products, the user must wait for the Harris insecticide to dry and may not want to opt for a two-purchase, two-step process for eliminating bed bugs
- Weight. Weighing in at around 8 lbs, this product may be too heavy for some users to use over an extended period of time, lugging back and forth between rooms. For an extreme infestation, keep in mind your ability to transport this product around the home
The Harris Liquid Spray Bed Bug Killer uses a water-based formula featuring deltamethrin as its active ingredient. Coming from Harris, America’s oldest EPA-registered company, customers can rest assured that this product is EPA-approved for indoor use.
Safer Diatomaceous Earth Insect Killer
- Dual-action. This product is designed not only to kill pests upon contact; the dual-action formula is specifically designed to eliminate bugs when they ingest the diatomaceous powder as well. Diatomaceous Earth is a fossilized fresh-water algae with tiny sharp edges that dehydrate pests by cutting open their exoskeletons. Because of its dry and absorbant nature, it sucks up all the insect’s internal moisture when ingested and kills the bug
- Variety of pests killed. This product is great for people with various pest problems – either indoor or out. Safer brand claims this killer can effectively eliminate ants, bedbugs, centipedes, crickets, earwigs, fleas, millipedes, roaches, silverfish, among many types of bugs
- Price. Available for purchase at under $10 for a four pound bag, this product can really go along way in pest control. This insect killer rests right in the middle of the intersection of value and efficiency
- Doesn’t work when wet. While many will find this product very useful, if the pests need to be eliminated near a source of water – or even sweaty sheets during the summer – customers may look for a product that can work when water is in the environment
- Layers of dust. Due to the powder consistency of the product, it will need to be sprinkled over areas that need bed bug elimination. This leaves a coat of powdery-dust that may be harder to clean or more unsightly than some customers would prefer
The Safer Diatomaceous Earth Insect Killer uses silicon dioxide to kills insects by starvation and dehydration. The formula is effective at not only eliminating bed bugs, but this insect killer can remove ants and other crawling insects with a high degree of efficacy.
How We Picked
Thankfully there are several brands that we trust for bed bug elimination. Infestations can happen during any season, in unexpected places, from hard-to-reach nooks, and at embarrassing crossroads in our lives. Given that every infestation has a wide range of severity and customers will have different qualifications that they hope their bed bug killer fulfills, it is hard to know what you are getting into when buying bed bug killer. With that in mind, here are some of the different aspects we weighed when reviewing the top brands:
- Optics – Having bed bugs can be an embarrassing thing – not only will the classic “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” bite pattern give it away – but so will some bed bug killers. We evaluated the products based on the residue they left on products, whether sheets and other soft materials needed to be washed afterwards, whether a layer of dust will remain after cleaning, and whether the products leave stains. Some products have a strong odor that will keep the cleaning less discrete and more of a nuisance in the home.
- Results – We always hear about bed bugs not only causing chaos in someone’s life, but these pernicious pests can come back again and again, sometimes months later, even if the problem seems solved. Products that target both adults and baby (nymph) bed bugs boast an efficacy that might take care of the problem now and in the future. Some products offer dual-action killing formulas – meaning they are lethal upon the touch as well as ingestion. Ideally users will find a product that they only need to use once and can put the rest of the cleaner in the closet.
- Ease of Use – Lots of products out there promise results – but only if properly applied. Proper application means thorough coverage of potential problem areas, and some problem areas are hard to access. Spreading a powder over large areas or intimate parts of the home, such as a bedroom, may not be ideal for all customers. Carrying a large bottle around may be tiresome for some users, and they may not feel inspired to do as thorough a clean-up as may be necessary. The more thorough the cleaning, the more likely the bugs are dead and the less likely the bugs will come back.
- Formula Composition – Each product uses different techniques to kill bed bugs. Neuron blockers, insecticides, and powders all do the trick – but not all users will want certain chemicals sprayed around their home or office. Aside from odor and the leftover residue, the formula of each product affects its usefulness, how quickly it is effective, and how much of it needs to be used for it to be effective.
- Times needed to apply – Though all products are advertised as being effective, some need multiple uses before eliminating a pest problem. This can vary from user to user – but if you are someone who wants to get the job done thoroughly the first time but without having to think of it again, take a look at more heavy-duty cleaners. Some of the more mild cleaners need multiple uses before guaranteeing success.
- Price – Though none of the leading brand will bankrupt you, no one needs the extra pressure of cost when dealing with the loads of issues that come along with dealing with bed bugs. Lower cost products may be efficient but less discrete or easy to use, while higher priced offerings may be more effective the first time.
Not sure which bed bug killer is best for you? Here are some considerations to make when deciding your purchase:
- Where is the infestation? Every product has its pros and cons when it comes to ease of application. Outdoor, indoor, bedroom, office – all have differently shaped rooms, angles, corners, nooks, and collections of belongings. If you are trying to get rid of an infestation in a spartan guest bedroom or your daughters room with all of her toys, there will be different considerations to make when purchasing a bed bug killer.
- Do you have other pest problems? Some products are specially designed to eliminate bed bugs. While that will probably do the trick for some people, others may opt for a product that they can use no matter the infestation. (Sorry in advance if you are dealing with more than one infestation at a time!)
- Who will be using this product? Though most leading brands offer products that can be used indoors and by most users, some products are heavy, others have long extended nozzles, and some require sprinkling powder everywhere. If you are not strong enough to hold a large bottle for long periods or don’t want the hassle of sprinkling powder everywhere in your home or office, keep in mind who will be using this product and how they will be using it.
- Will you need to use the space immediately? Some products need some time for the odor to clear. Others will need to be cleaned thoroughly even after the pests are gone. If you need to get rid of the pests but still reside or work in the space, consider some of the less obvious or intense-smelling cleaners. Some post-bed-bug clean-up can take a long time, so do your research and figure out which product fits your timeline.
- Results. Not all the products will kill bugs as effectively as others. Though a user will never be able to know how bad their infestation truly is, it is important to know what you are getting into. For a problem that is recurring or seems to be aggressive, try out products that offer wide coverage and quick results. When in doubt, some products are doubly effective when combined with another type of bed bug killer.