Useful Tools: products to help you fight bed bugs
last updated 8/16/2013
Below are some links to items that Bedbuggers and/or pest management professionals have recommended to others on the site as useful for helping to get rid of bed bugs. If you shop via the links and banners below, the merchants pay us a small commission which helps to support the running of this website, at no additional cost to you. (Please read our advertising Disclosure Policy.)
See miscellaneous other products carried by US Bed Bugs for Paul Bello’s book The Bed Bug Combat Manual, David Cain’s book Bed Bug Beware).
Detecting and monitoring for bed bugs
Bed Bug Blue Fecal Spot Detection kits
Bed Bug Monitors (Passive and Interceptor/Pitfall/Barrier): ClimbUp Interceptors, BlackOut Bed Bug Detectors, Packtite Passive Monitors/BBAlert Passive Monitors, Bed Bug Barriers and Bed Bug Defenders
Bed Bug Monitors (Active): The Bed Bug Beacon
Dealing with bed bugs in your stuff
Packtite and Packtite Closet
Ziploc Bug Bags (XL, XXL)
Nuvan prostrips and Hot Shot No Pest Strips (dichlorvos, DDVP)
Encasements and bedding
Protect-a-Bed AllerZip and other Encasements for mattresses, box springs, pillows, etc.
National Allergy (recommended for washable cotton blankets).
See miscellaneous other products carried by US Bed Bugs for SofaSafe sofa encasements, BugZip travel products, and books
Treatment for bed bugs
Dry Vapor Steam Cleaners
Diatomaceous earth (DE) and other dusts
Do It Yourself treatment with pesticide sprays — also see books by Paul Bello and David Cain under miscellaneous other products carried by US Bed Bugs
National Allergy (recommended for vacuums)
See miscellaneous other products carried by US Bed Bugs (for GreenClean laundry bags, BugZip Drawer liners and luggage encasements).
You may also be wondering about:
Where to shop in Canada?
Why do we recommend USBedBugs.com?
Other shops you may find useful? BedBugSupply.com, DoMyOwnPestControl.com, and National Allergy
Our Bedbugger store at Amazon.com
Detecting Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Blue Fecal Spot Detection Kits can help determine if you have bed bugs. Read the FAQ on Bed Bug Blue.
Detecting bed bugs and monitoring for bed bugs: passive and pitfall or Interceptor style bed bug monitors
ClimbUp Insect Interceptors may be used to determine whether you have bed bugs (or continue to have bed bugs). You can read about ClimbUp Insect Interceptor passive bed bug monitors here.
A newer player in the interceptor market is BlackOut Bed Bug Detectors, an interceptor developed by Jeff White of Bed Bug Central. I’ve had positive feedback on these from at least one expert on the forums. The manufacturer claims they’re sturdy, the dark color is more attractive to bed bugs, and they don’t require powder to be added. You can purchase BlackOut at Amazon.com:
If you want an interceptor but ClimbUp Interceptors and BlackOut Detectors do not suit your bed frame, consider the Bed Bug Barrier. You can purchase the Bed Bug Barrier Passive Monitor Glue Trap from US Bed Bugs, and either style is currently $6.99 per barrier (or under $28 if your bed has four feet). We have not had a lot of feedback about this product.
The Allergy Guy in Canada sells the Bed Bug Defender, a bed bug monitor which seems to be similar to the ClimbUp Insect Interceptor, though we have heard less about it.
You can also purchase the passive bed bug monitor designed by David Cain at US Bed Bugs: Packtite Passive Bed Bug Monitor. Read more about the Packtite Passive Monitor (prior to 2013, was marketed in North America as the BBAlert Passive Monitor, under which name it’s still sold in Europe) in this FAQ on bed bug monitors.
Detecting bed bugs and monitoring for bed bugs: active bed bug monitors
Bed Bug Beacons are a relatively new product on the market, from the inventor of the Packtite. We have already had reports from users who caught bed bugs in this monitor after two weeks of use. Please note: active monitors like the Bed Bug Beacon are intended to help you confirm whether you have bed bugs. They are not a substitute for treatment. You can read more about the Bed Bug Beacon here. You can purchase the Bedbug Beacon CO2 Monitor at US Bed Bugs.
Dealing with bed bugs in your stuff
The Packtite and Packtite Closet are useful tools which allow you to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs in items you may have around your home, including items which can’t go in the dryer, such as delicate clothing, stuffed animals, shoes, books, paper, and so on.
The black Packtite, available only in the US, is smaller and less powerful but will do a good job of killing bed bugs. It runs about $310 US as of September 2011.
The green Packtite Closet, available in the US and Canada, is larger, contains a bar for hanging clothes, and is more powerful, meaning it can kill bed bugs in your stuff in less time. It costs about $669 US or $699 CA as of September 2011.
You can order Packtite or Packtite Closet shipped from US Bed Bugs to the US or Canada (shipping is free to the contiguous US!):
You can also order the Packtite Closet shipped directly from Canada from The Allergy Guy:
Lots of people use large zipper bags to store clean clothing (because they can be opened and resealed again and again – good for daily use. Ziploc Big Bags (Large, XL, XXL).
Nuvan prostrips and Hot Shot No Pest Strips (dichlorvos, DDVP)
This falls under the handle with care category, along with pesticides and dusts. DDVP strips are sold in North America under the names Nuvan Prostrips (except NY and CT in the US) and Hot Shot No Pest Strips (including NY and CT in the US). Experts tell us it is possible to treat items including electronics (which can’t be heated in a Packtite, for example) by carefully sealing DDVP strips in an airtight manner along with the items to be treated inside bags (or possibly sealed bags inside stackable containers, to protect the bags).
DDVP is not intended to be used where people are present (hence the need for an airtight seal which is not disturbed), Follow all label instructions. Take special care when using this product around pets, children, and others who may disturb the sealed item.
P Bello is a pro in our forums who has offered answer questions about using these products in the past. You can also read threads on our forums which are tagged “DDVP”.
Those in NY or CT can obtain Hot Shot 5580 No Pest Strips from Amazon. Note: despite the incorrect description on Amazon’s page, DDVP is not a repellent, but a product for killing bed bugs in an unoccupied space.
No pest strips may also be found in hardware stores.
Encasements: Many pest management professionals recommend a good encasement to keep bed bugs locked into (or out of) the box springs. Their use on mattresses is commonly recommended in North America, though controversial for reasons explained in our FAQ. Click here to read more about mattress and box springs encasements, shop for them, and receive special discounts for Bedbugger readers!
You can purchase Protect-a-Bed AllerZip encasements direct from the manufacturer:
Or from US Bed Bugs:
Many people use dry vapor steam cleaners to kill bed bugs, either as part of a self-treatment plan, or to supplement the work of a pest management professional. (If you’re supplementing a PMP’s work, be sure and ask them when and where it is safe for you to steam; you do not want to clean away the pesticides they have laid down.) Dry vapor steamer rentals are rare.
Pest Management Pro John Furman (aka KillerQueen in our forums) tells us he uses a continuous-fill VaporClean TR6, but he also recommends the TR5 for consumers (a less expensive model available for under $500). You can click here to view Vapor Clean TR Pro5 and Pro6 Steamers at USBedBugs.com, and you can also buy the Vapor Clean TR Pro5 ($599 CA as of September 2011) from The Allergy Guy.
You can read more about steaming techniques and models in our Steamer FAQ.
Bedbugger.com does not recommend self-treatment. However, if you must self-treat (and we know many are unfortunately in this position), please do your research and learn as much as you can before attempting to buy or apply products. The FAQ on DE is a good starting point, and the Comprehensive Guides in our Resources page are another good resource.
The information below is more or less a repeat of the “where to buy DE” section of the FAQ on DE.
Food grade DE (with or without added residual pesticides) can be purchased form many pest control firms, some hardware stores, and online from DoMyOwnPestControl.com, BedBugSupply.com and Amazon.com.
Do My Own Pest Control sells both natural and chemical dusts, including Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth in 4 lb. bags, Mother Earth D (now only available in 10 lb. pails) (see Potter study above, which recommends Mother Earth D).
This company also sells other brands of dust containing residual pesticides including Delta Dust (see Potter study above) and Tempo Dust, and the bellows dust applicator some experts and forum users have recommended (see FAQ on DE). Note that Delta Dust and Tempo 1% Dust contain DE plus residual insecticides, so please do additional research and, as always, use products according to label instructions, with caution.
Amazon sells a variety of food grade DE which frequently changes, and Pest Pistol – Used to Kill Bed Bugs – Insert Diatomaceous Earth bellows dusters. See widget below for some current options including MotherEarth® D Pest Control Dust 10 lb..
Note that KillerQueen (John Furman of Boot-a-Pest) recommends using a respirator mask for applying DE (specifically, he recommends Comfo Classic brand) with P100 cartridges (see FAQ on DE).
You can purchase these Do My Own Pest Control: a Comfo Classic respirator mask (with two cartridges), or purchase the half-face respirator mask or a pair of P100 cartridges separately.
Amazon sellers also offer the expert-recommended Comfo Classic masks and P100 cartridges (in sets of six):
As a general rule, as noted above, Bedbugger.com does not recommend self-treatment. However, if you must self-treat (and we know many are unfortunately in this position), please do your research and learn as much as you can before attempting to buy or apply products.
Bed bugs are a lot harder to treat than fruitflies, ants, cockroaches, and so on. It’s hard to kill them all, but it’s quite possible you will spread them deeper into your home, making problems worse. People often misuse pesticides in ways which can harm their families and pets. This FAQ outlines some of the reasons Do-it-yourself (DIY) bed bug treatment is not the best solution for most people.
However, in some cases, it may be necessary for you to pursue DIY spray and dust treatments. You may find supplies for DIY treatment at online suppliers such as Do My Own Pest Control or Bed Bug Supply. Please do your research first, and then pay attention to labeling information regarding safe and effective use of products.
Be very wary of products or suppliers which claim an easy or quick solution. DIY bed bug treatment is possible but isn’t easy. We recommend you do your own extensive research about bed bug treatment using reliable sources, before you purchase or use a product (the Comprehensive Guides and Pesticides Resources in our Resources page and the manuals by David Cain and Paul Bello may be very helpful). Always follow all label instructions and safety precautions when applying pesticides. If you do not understand the directions, do not use the product.
Some products labeled for bed bugs may still be problematic. Experts tell us not to use foggers or bug bombs to treat bed bugs, even though the product is labeled for bed bugs. These products don’t effectively eliminate bed bugs and may spread them deeper in the home.
And never attempt DIY heat treatment. Killing bed bugs using heat is a science and not for amateurs. People have reported doing this and making bed bug problems worse, or even burning down their homes.
Be careful with rubbing alcohol. While it is a contact killer, it is also highly flammable. People have burned their homes down using it to kill bed bugs.
Why do we like US Bed Bugs?
- US Bed Bugs does not take returns. This is to prevent the spread of bed bugs from one customer to another, which could potentially happen if items are returned and resold. This is the US Bed Bugs Policy:
At USBedBugs.com by NorthShore Care Supply we are committed to ensuring that all of our products and services meet the highest of quality standards. If any items are received in a damaged or defective condition or are missing, please contact us immediately (within 5 days of delivery) and we will immediately investigate and resolve any issues with your order. For problems with PackTite Heaters, customers must contact PackTite directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL – NO RETURNS ACCEPTED FOR ANY REASON
Effective January 23, 2011, USBedBugs.com will not accept returns for any reason once merchandise has been shipped – ALL SALES ARE FINAL. We guarantee that all merchandise is factory new and will never resell used or returned merchandise. We have instituted this policy so that our customers can be assured that merchandise has not been exposed to bed bugs in the home of any prior customer. Even sealed boxes are at risk of bed bug infestation so we can not accept returns for items that are unused or unopened either. Once the items have shipped, the goods are yours. Please understand that this strict policy for is for the safety of our customers and employees and no exceptions will be granted for any reason.
It’s important to understand that the company is guaranteeing you receive an undamaged, non-defective product, while ruling out the possibility of returns based on changing your mind about purchasing the product.
The check-out process at US Bed Bugs now requires customers to check a box signifying they understand and agree with these policies.
Many of us will be glad of this policy. However, if you do not agree with it, or you’re not sure about whether you will keep an item you are ordering, keep in mind you can also choose to buy some of the same products via the Bedbugger Amazon Store; please note that items sold on Amazon by US Bed Bugs/North Shore Care which are listed as “fulfilled by Amazon” are shipped directly by Amazon and therefore subject to Amazon’s own — more lenient — return policies.
The US Bed Bugs returns policy is a very unusual one, and it is a very good one where bed bug-related products are concerned. It assures you that items bought directly from this merchant should be bed bug-free. Many merchants cannot promise this.
- US Bed Bugs gives Bedbugger readers a special free shipping code. Shipping on products over $50 is normally free, but you also get free shipping even on smaller orders if you live in the US and use the coupon code on our banners. (They do ship to Canada, but the coupon code does not apply. They also ship to Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, US Military and other territories with a US ZIP code.)
- Their shipping is fast. Orders made by 4 pm CST M-F ship the same day. The free shipping in US is FedEx Ground (2 days to NYC), though other options are available including USPS Priority and Express and FedEx Express.
- Their shipping is discreet. The plain brown box says “Samela, Inc./NorthShore” and does not mention bed bugs or pests!
- Since you may need more than one item, the one-stop shopping and the free shipping at US Bed Bugs can’t be beat. US Bed Bugs sells the above-mentioned Packtites, Protect-a-Bed Allerzip encasements, and ClimbUp Interceptors in sets of 4, 12, or 72, as well as GreenClean Dissolvable Laundry Bags (sealed bag goes right in the washing machine — note that as of 2011 some forum users have had bad experiences with these bags, leading to speculation that they may not work well in newer, high efficiency machines), BugZip luggage encasements and drawer liners (read about them here and here), SofaSafe Sofa Encasements (be sure and read about them on the forums), Paul Bello’s book The Bed Bug Combat Manual, and David Cain’s book Bed Bug Beware.
Bed Bug Supply carries many of the same products as US Bed Bugs (monitors, steamers, travel products, etc.) and prices may vary between the stores.
Do My Own Pest Control is a good source for pesticides, as noted above, if you must do your own pest control. But they also carry other products like steamers, monitors, etc.
Important note: We appreciate many of the products available and we want to give you suggestions on where you can find them, but we don’t agree with everything being marketed by any of these stories. Product lines carried by various stores may be quite different (e.g. encasements) so be sure and do your research about brands and products before comparison shopping. Don’t rely on a store to tell you if the products it’s selling are the most effective.
When do it yourself treatments are touted as “easy” or “quick,” don’t buy the hype. Those products may work but remember that DIY treatment is often if not usually the most difficult, slowest option and it may take longer to resolve the problem. If you need to self-treat, seek advice from a pest management professional (there are some on the forums who will answer questions about this). Do your own outside research and read all instructions carefully.
National Allergy is a great source for vacuums, all-cotton blankets (easy to wash and dry on hot) and other items. They have also updated their encasements with the BugShield System, as detailed in our encasements page (view National Allergy encasements here). Shopping via the National Allergy link on the encasements page, below, or in the sidebars, gets you a discount on your purchases 7% discount on orders under $174.99, or 10% on orders over $175, if you shop via the link below. This link takes you to the vacuums section, but the coupon which loads is valid on your entire purchase.
Our Amazon Store
Other products you may find useful are available from our Amazon store. We recommend you read the FAQs and forums first to determine which items are currently being recommended and how people are using them.
If you’re purchasing items from Amazon which are also available from US Bed Bugs, we strongly suggest you purchase items directly from the merchant instead (see notes about why we love US Bed Bugs above). Items from US Bed Bugs/North Shore Care (or any other merchant) which are “fulfilled by Amazon” are shipped by Amazon, not the merchant, and due to Amazon’s policies, may have been returned by another customer. If the item is sealed in plastic, this is probably not a problem. However, you may prefer to shop directly with a company like US Bed Bugs that does not accept returns. If you shop directly with other merchants, you should research their policy on returns. Be aware that any merchants’ items listed as “fulfilled by Amazon” may have been returned.
- Killing bed bugs (contact killers such as Kleen Free; Steri-Fab; and mechanical killers like DE)
- Vacuums and steamers (especially PCO-recommended dry vapor steamers
- Storage and disposal (L, XL, XXL ziploc bags, contractor bags, mattress bags, cable ties, etc.)
- Detecting bed bugs (ClimbUp Insect Interceptors, flea traps to rule out fleas, flashlights, black lights, glue traps, handwarmers, etc.)
- Isolating the bed (but remember to shop for encasements here)
- Protecting the bed (ClimbUp Insect Interceptors; sheets; but remember to shop for encasements here)
- Relief from bites and itching (recommended by readers)
- Miscellaneous (including books by forum regulars David Cain and Paul Bello, shoe holder for dryer)
Shipping within Canada may be less expensive from a Canadian firm. Many of the products Bedbugger users and pros recommend including Vapor Clean TR5 and TR6 Professional Steamers, Vapamore Steamers, Packtite Closet, diatomaceous earth, dissolvable laundry bags, and BugZip luggage encasements, interceptor monitors, and more, are sold by The Allergy Guy in Canada. (The Allergy Guy also ships to the US — just click the US flag at the top of the site.)
Note that US Bed Bugs also ships to Canada, assuming the product is legal for sale in Canada. So you can buy the Packtite Closet, for example, but not the Packtite Original which can’t be shipped to Canada. More on US Bed Bugs here.