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Seeking input for a "Contact Killer" FAQ

(2 posts)
  1. cilecto

    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085


    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Aug 3 2011 23:00:39

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    Hi, everyone.

    We get a lot of questions that concern "contact killers". I believe that we can use a FAQ on these products. If you have some knowledge or experience concerning contact killers, please suggest what we ought to include in the FAQ.

    Some topics I'd like to suggest:

    - What a contact killer does/does not do
    - How/when to use
    - Which products are/are not effective killers (Murphy's (spray or liquid)? Alcohol (91% or 70%?)? Lysol (which kind, if any), Dettol, any common household cleaners? What concentration? Richard Fagerlund's Alcohol/Dishwash Mix, Any others that you know or believe do/do not work?)
    - Common contact killers vs. "designer" products.
    - Contact killers claiming short residuals (e.g., Steri Fab)
    - Contact killers claiming long residuals (e.g., Cedarcide)
    - Concerns about repellency

    A "start" for the response (based on ones I've given to questions on the forum:

    A "contact killer" will kill any bugs that you hit directly with the spray. It will have no (residual) effect on treated surfaces once dry (so bugs in hiding get off free) and no likely effect on eggs.

    Contact killers can be used as part of a bed bug control program, but may not be a complete solution. You can use a contact killer when you've ripped open your box spring and have found dozens or hundreds of bugs that you need to knock down without leaving a bloody mess. They can also be used to "flush" bugs out of suspected hiding places when inspecting (but it's not predictable which direction they'll go). But if you have an established infestation, with bugs hiding and eggs being laid, they are unlikely to eradicate bed bugs from your environment.

    There are many contact killers available at multiple price points, from 91% alcohol and many household soaps, cleaners and disinfectants to "green" designer products. Many "green-essential-oil" sprays which claim to kill bed bugs on contact (a good hint that the product is a contact killer) appear to be detergents with scents added. The give-away is when an active ingredient is sodium lauryl sulfate (detergent), acetic acid (vinegar) and/or sodium chloride (salt). If you're using a contact killer, choose the one that's most agreeable to the surface you're working on (Alcohol can ruin finishes, for example), your nose, your pocketbook, your feelings about the seller, as well as simply what you have on hand.

    I would appreciate your ideas/input.
    Thank you.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  2. buggyinsocal

    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431


    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 1:16:19

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    I still owe the forum at least a draft of an FAQ on fecal spots. And the summer is drawing to a close. and I have fall prep stuff to write, so I'm probably too overextended to draft much new without very specific direction like "Hey, buggy, write up a paragraph or two on 91% isopropyl alcohol, will you?"

    And even that I'd probably miss the deadline on.

    But, I'm giving people blanket permission to cannibalize any parts of posts I've made that you think would work as part of the FAQ on contact killers that someone else is putting together.

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