Useful Tools: products to help you fight bed bugs

by nobugsonme on August 17, 2007

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.)

Got Bed Bugs? Click here

Product Index

Books
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, 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)

Travel
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?
Recommended suppliers: US Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Supply.
Other shops you may find useful? 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.

Order Bed Bug Blue from USBedBugs for as low as $28.95

You can purchase Bed Bug Blue in a consumer (9-test) kit for $28.95 or a professional (100-test) kit for $99.95 from US Bed Bugs.

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ClimbUp Interceptors

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.

Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Monitor

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Bed Bug Barrier

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.

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Bed Bug Defender
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.

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Packtite Passive Monitors/BBAlert Passive Monitors
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.

PackTite Passive Bed Bug Monitors at USBedBugs.com

You can view the manual for the Packtite Passive on the US Bed Bugs website.

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Bed Bug Beacons

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.

Nightwatch
The Nightwatch is an active monitor which uses refillable CO2 tanks and replaceable lures. It’s pricy to purchase (about $350 at Bed Bug Supply as of 5/2014) but sometimes rented out by PCOs.


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Dealing with bed bugs in your stuff

The Packtite Max, Packtite 2, 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 Original, has been replaced by the new and more powerful Packtite Max, as of January 2014. It can be purchased from Bed Bug Supply or
US Bed Bugs. As of Jan. 2014, the Packtite Max is not yet for sale outside the US. As of 3/30/14, it is currently out of stock in the US, due to demand.

PackTite Bed Bug Killing Heaters

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 Closet shipped from US Bed Bugs to the US or Canada (shipping is free to the contiguous US!):

Order PackTite Closet Bed Bug Killing Heating Unit

You can also order the Packtite Closet shipped directly from Canada from The Allergy Guy:

PackTite Bed Bug Killing Heaters

Other “bed bug oven” products are marketed by Thermalstrike and Zappbug.

The ThermalStrike Expedition, Thermalstrike Heated Luggage, and new Thermalstrike Ranger are available from the manufacturer, Protect-a-Bed, and Thermalstrike and ZappBug products are also available at Bed Bug Supply.

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Some people find dissolvable laundry bags or ziplocs helpful.

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 from US Bed Bugs or Hefty Big Bags (with zipper) from Bed Bug Supply.
Order Ziploc Big Bags from USBedBugs.com

Dissolvable “Bug Bags” are somewhat pricy but they can seal your laundry and dissolve in the wash, which may make dealing with bed bug-infested laundry easier.

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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 and exercise caution. 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”.

If you are outside of NY or CT, you can obtain Nuvan Prostrips from Bed Bug Supply or Do My Own Pest Control.

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.

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Encasements

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:

AllerZip Bedding Encasements at USBedBugs.com

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DIY Treatment: Steamers

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.

Many Bedbuggers have used the Vapamore MR-100, which is an economical model at $299 with free shipping from Bed Bug Supply (with free 2-day express shipping) or US Bed Bugs (free ground shipping), or $319 CA from The Allergy Guy in Canada.

 

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.

Buy Vapor Clean TR Pro5, Pro6 Steamers from USBedBugs.com

Vapamore MR-100 Dry Vapor Steamer FREE 2-DAY EXPRESS SHIPPING (58 PSI)

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Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and other dusts

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.

do it yourself pest control products and supplies

Bed Bug Supply sells J.T.Eaton Kills Bed Bugs brand Diatomaceous Earth, CimeXa silica dust, and the bellows dust applicator some experts and forum users have recommended (see FAQ on DE).

click here to learn more

click Here to View Our Selection of Bed Bug Products

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 at 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):

You can also search for other P100 respirator masks and cartridges on Amazon.com.

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Treatment: other kinds of DIY (Do-it-yourself)Treatment with pesticides (besides DE)

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.

do it yourself pest control products and supplies

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.

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Recommended Suppliers: Bed Bug Supply and US Bed Bugs

Why do we like them so much?

Bed Bug Supply and US Bed Bugs carry many — but not all — of the same products  (monitors, steamers, travel products, etc.) and prices may vary between the stores and at different times.

Both companies have shipping and return policies which are favorable, though again not identical. Unlike most retailers, these two companies have restrictions on some or all returns, in order to ensure you receive an undamaged, non-defective product while at the same time ensuring you remain free of bed bugs which might be “returned” with an unwanted product and passed on to another customer.

Bed Bug Supply

  • Bed Bug Supply takes returns only on new, unopened, and unused products. They take no returns at all on Packtite, Thermalstrike and Nightwatch products. You are protected if items are damaged on arrival. Items which arrive damaged are replaced or serviced either by Bed Bug Supply or the manufacturer.
  • Bed Bug Supply offers “free” 2-5 day shipping on all orders (shipping charges apply outside the Continental US). They ship the same day if you order by 4pm EST M-F.
  • Bed Bug Supply advertises “discreet” shipping.
  • Click here to shop at Bed Bug Supply.

US Bed Bugs

  • US Bed Bugs does not take returns.  If any items are received in a damaged or defective condition or are missing, you will need to contact US Bed Bugs (within 5 days of delivery) for resolution. For problems with PackTite Heaters, customers must contact PackTite directly via email at service@packtite.com.
  • US Bed Bugs ships to Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, US Military and other territories with a US ZIP code (but free shipping offers don’t apply outside the Continental US).
  • US Bed Bugs offers fast shipping. 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.
  • Although normally shipping is not free on orders under $50, you can get free shipping on any order at US Bed Bugs if you use Coupon Code BBFREE at checkout. (We do not know of an end date for this coupon.)

Many of us will be glad of the no-return policies. 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 and listed as “fulfilled by Amazon” are shipped directly by Amazon and therefore subject to Amazon’s own — more lenient — return policies, even if the seller is, for example, US Bed Bugs/North Shore Care.

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Miscellaneous items at US Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Supply

www.bedbugsupply.com- click here

Bed Bug Beware Book at USBedBugs.com

The Bed Bug Combat Manual at USBedBugs.com

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Other Suppliers: Do My Own Pest Control, National Allergy

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 sellers. 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.

na_logo130x199.gif

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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.

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What about Canada?

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.

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Updated 5/2014

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1 bugobsessed November 18, 2007 at 12:51 am

To fill holes around pipes and such, I purchased “Good Stuff” by Dow. It fills, seals and insulates large gaps around plumbing and HVAC. It’s great! 16oz. can for about $5.50 at Home Depot in the plumbing aisle.

2 crawledon December 18, 2007 at 12:04 pm

For gaps around heat pipes and radiators you can purchase heat resistant silicone caulking. For those in NYC, I purchased mine at Grand Metro Hardware on Broadway and 96th.

3 Blue_Ox January 22, 2008 at 2:05 am

That Dap / Alex Plus caulk I recommended seemed fine at first, but now, about 3-4 months after applying it, it is cracking and shrinking really badly. Maybe there is a higher quality caulk out there that would be better.

4 nobugsonme January 22, 2008 at 2:18 am

Thanks Blue_Ox, I crossed out the recommendation above for that product.

5 DeathToBBs January 27, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I think Hefty is a better brand than Ziploc. The large Ziploc’s you have to press your fingers together to close and when letting the air out, the ziploc becomes undone. Hefty bags are zippered and easier to close and open. If you are careful enough, then the bags can be used a lotta times. Even thought the Hefty’s have handles, I don’t use them because I find that the bags wear out and break. I carry the bags from the bottom to give them support.

Just a suggestion from experience.

6 nobugsonme February 6, 2008 at 2:46 am

Added flea traps for people who need to rule out fleas.

7 hazel March 11, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for the usefull information!!

8 L. mcCormack April 4, 2008 at 1:57 pm

My grandmother’s journals from the Depression era yielded this advice on ridding oneself of bedbugs.
” Horrid bedbugs! For these, burn sulfur in the presence of water. in every room. On no account should any living thing, man or animal be present for the entire day. Upon return what cannot be washed and all food stuffs not sealed in crockery or tins must be washed or burnt or buried according to kind. ”
There is no formula or recipe, so to speak, but perhaps someone out there can find it for us. I’m certain the result is a toxic, likely acidic cloud that kills the bugs and is none too good for anything else either.
I have no idea of the legality or environmental impact of her advice and IN NO WAY do I advocate or even suggest anyone try this. I merely put it forth as an interesting look at how such infestations were handled before the modern era and in the hope that a qualified pest control person may be able to apply the knowledge in a safe and modern method.

Editor’s note: READERS, DO NOT TRY THIS. It is dangerous and you could harm yourself or others, and could be legally liable. Bed bugs can be treated safely and effectively in a number of ways, and I suggest working with qualified professionals who can solve your problem more quickly, more safely, more effectively in most cases.

Note to L. mcCormack, thanks for sharing the story. We have heard of this before, and it is interesting as you state, but there is no reason for people (including professionals) to implement something dangerous like this with much more effective methods available.

I know that you warn people against it, but I also know that desperate people will try almost anything (having heard some horrific things already–including some with tragic consequences), and I implore readers not to experiment with this.

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