Richard Fagerlund knows how to kill bed bugs in one visit

by nobugsonme on December 16, 2006 · 13 comments

in bed bugs

In his Ask the Bugman column in the SF Gate, PCO / pest advice guy Richard Fagerlund claims he uses a treatment for bed bugs which does not require repeat treatments, just one:

It is too lengthy to go into a complete bedbug treatment in the column, but I describe it in my newsletter (November issue) and show you how to do it on my DVD.

I use diatomaceous earth, Tri-Die (silica gel) and PT-565 almost exclusively and haven’t had to make a second visit in years.

He says the protocol he uses with the above pesticides is included in his November 2006 Newsletter. But his website tells us the newsletter is a $45 subscription and the “free trial issue” available is the October one.

No one in NYC is curing bed bugs with one visit, that I’ve heard. Pest Away have told a number of people that they will, but they have to make one repeat visit (possibly more).

Fagerlund, I can’t afford $45 for a lot of pest newsletter issues, but if you want to sell just the magic November 2006 issue, please get in touch (nobugsonme at yahoo dot com)– I know lots of people who’d be interested in taking you up on that.

Perhaps some of the other PCOs reading this could comment on the combination mentioned above.

1 deb December 16, 2006 at 9:32 pm

I purchased several cans of Tri Die and the nozzle clogged on all of them…..that aside I would like to believe Mr. Fagerlund..but I am very skeptical of his motives…$45.oo for a newsletter…We pay nothing on this Blog and get great advice !!! deb

2 Lori September 8, 2007 at 12:17 am

He does describe in detail his method for getting rid of bedbugs in a later article in SF Gate.

I have no idea if this method works, and it seems to only attack the bed, and surrounding area. Which from everything I’ve read, is not enough.

3 nobugsonme September 8, 2007 at 12:28 am

Thanks Lori!

In the link you mention, Fagerlund says this:

“Of course, in any bedbug infestation there may be extenuating circumstances that will require attention. This could include lots of boxes in the room, wooden floors with slats where bedbugs can hide, etc.”

It is interesting that he says this. I do think such “extenuating circumstances” are much more frequent than he implies. For example, many, many people have bed bugs in their sofas.

Many people also seem to have them in their baseboards and other areas of the room. We know many PCOs use chemicals to flush them out of such places.

4 hopelessnomo September 8, 2007 at 12:57 am

The wit and wisdom of Richard Fagerlund:

Bed bugs don’t carry diseases. I get a very small mark when they bite me.

I slept in a hotel recently that had bedbugs. I knew they were there and didn’t pay any attention to them. The next morning I had a few little marks that were of no consequence and I left behind a few fat and happy bedbugs in the room.

Oh, the “spray with soap and water,” yes, I saw that. 🙂 But it’s way too easy and I’ll leave the bugman alone.

5 nobugsonme September 8, 2007 at 1:04 am

He also does not believe they came back (again from Lori’s link). Well, neither do some more sensible entomologists–they seem to have been in the US all along, but in very small numbers and in rare occurrence.

6 hopelessnomo September 8, 2007 at 2:12 am

His columns can be entertaining. He will help someone with a beetle problem in his stash without batting an eye.

But on the subject of bedbugs, there’s much I find annoying. I once read his advice to someone who asked how to move with bedbugs and he basically said take whatever you want. He is convinced that more than one treatment for bedbugs is unnecessary. (Yeah, putting pest control expert in scare quotes is probably not making him any PCO friends. But, he’s so against pesticides, it doesn’t matter.)

A PCO wrote to him about this one treatment stuff. The PCO has his own issues in framing failure as the tenants’ failure, but Fagerlund’s reply is sad.

But the winner is the above quote about the hotel stay. No doubt someone might find it amusing, but it better not be anyone here. ;(

7 hopelessnomo September 8, 2007 at 3:02 am

Also, the comeback is pure stagecraft:

Fagerlund insists the national reports are exaggerated. “Bedbugs have been with us ever since we left the Garden of Eden, or the cave, whichever you believe,” he said. “It’s just a myth propagated by the pesticide industry that bedbugs are coming back.”

One thing to believe bedbugs never left, which I believe myself, and another to say ridiculous things just for kicks.

Well, at least he helped the people in the shelter!

(I can’t find the moving with bedbugs column but I remember it distinctly.)

8 nobugsonme September 8, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Yeah, that’s kind of a revisionist thing to say. Or at least ignorant. We can ask an ento like Lou Sorkin, who is not a PCO trying to sell treatment, whether he sees more bed bugs. And we can ask people who have run shelters for the last 20 years if there’s a change.

DDT coming back is probably not an option for so many reasons, but ask any really elderly people you know about bed bugs, or read some early 20th C literature, and bed bugs come up. They didn’t from the late 40s to the 90s.

I’d love to know if they came back at that shelter. I know many people toss out their beds and get some treatment and are “much better” for a while. Initial treatments can make enough difference that you think the problem is solved. For a long time.

Often they come back, though this may be because a neighbor took the bed.
I hope the shelter destroyed those bunk beds.

Fagerlund appears to be anti-pesticide, but he uses a spray with pyrethrins (PT-565), which IS a pesticide. Tossing out 30 bunkbeds whenever you get bed bugs isn’t very green, so it must be for health reasons that he objects to other types of pesticides, right?

On the other hand, fresh water food grade DE is a super good idea for shelters, which are being re-exposed to bed bugs constantly. Shelters should implement DE after whatever other treatment they get, in my opinion, as should anyone who feels their exposure may be ongoing (for example, if you suspect you got bed bugs from work, regular travel, or a relative).

9 hopelessnomo September 8, 2007 at 8:53 pm

All suggestions of conspiracy are tiresome. The NPMA spent a lot of effort publicizing the bedbug problem (which in my opinion they should have spent doing something else), but not even they can make this stuff up, just ask any one of us.

Perhaps his method works, no? It’s essentially cleaning the bugs and eggs away. If you persist with such a plan, you can probably win, provided there is early detection and the infestation is localized. In other cases, if only it were that easy! Imagine, Nobugs, we could pack up and go back to what we were doing before bedbugs. You could leave the blog for the historians. 😉

Seriously, I do think that people who live in apartments have a larger responsibility to notify their landlords and neighbors and shouldn’t “wait and see” while they try different things themselves, but that’s just me.

10 nobugsonme September 8, 2007 at 9:06 pm

I have no doubt it can work, since the cleaning away, and pyrethrins will kill a certain amount, and the DE can handle the stragglers and babies. I don’t think this approach is too far off what some local NYC PCOs who get a lot of press do.

HOWEVER, it’s not just you, Nomo. I also agree in apartments, it’s another ballgame. If you are not the only infested unit (and multi-building dwelling Reader, you are probably not), then this approach–used in just your unit– is not so good. The building’s problems will continue to grow, and that’s not in your best interest.

11 Busy June 18, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I’m reading here that repeat visits are common. I just got my first visit, and was feeling good that things might be resolved. If they come back do I need to wash all the laundry in the whole house again? We have six kids, I really don’t know how I’ll handle it. Please give me some ideas.

12 Cody June 18, 2008 at 9:54 pm


When you washed everything the first time you’re meant to store it all straight from the dryer into ziploc bags, and basically keep them there for 55 days until you can confirm the bed bugs are all gone and there is no chance of reinfestation.

13 homeliss October 6, 2008 at 1:33 pm

all this talk of de.
has anyone tried FENDONA?
it uses alphacypermethrin, something that is mentioned as effective against bedbugs on
it says the active ingrediant kills on contact. i am curious if this includes them walking over it as it says it can be effective for up to 9 months.
unfortunately i introduced bedbugs to my friends in china after a visit to hongkong, and now we are trying to get rid of them. One of the local store people recognised the bedbug we caught and told them this FENDONA does the trick and is much cheaper than professionals (although im still trying to get them to use pros). he also says it is relatively harmless and safe for pets (is this true). we have 1 small container already but havnt started using it yet.

hope you have some info

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: