Top Bed Bug Products: Review

by Matt on October 19, 2010

Bed bugs continue to wreak havoc across the country with new cases continuing to rise each month.  The following article discusses the top bed bug products based on popularity and effectiveness for both prevention and treatment.

1.) Climbup Insect Interceptors

One of the best products we’ve found for preventing bed bug bites during treatment are Climbup Insect Interceptors.  Climbup Interceptors attach at the foot of each bed legs and create an outer ring barrier where bed bugs get stuck in.  Best of all they are completely non-chemical and use simple talc powder to coat the inner walls of the outer ring.  With interceptors, bed bugs cannot climb into or out of the bed without getting stuck helping to dramatically reduce exposure to bed bug bites.

They are a bit expensive at around $5 each, but a better nights sleep free from bed bug bites can more than justify the cost.  In order for the interceptors to work, a mattress and box spring encasement must first be applied and the bed frame should be treated to ensure no bed bugs remain.  Also, other than the interceptors, nothing should make contact with the floor, which means the bed skirt may need to be removed as well as be careful not to allow pillows or sheets to touch the floor.

We found the Climbup Interceptors on average for $21.25 for the 4 pack and $57.95 for the 12 pack.  Their website is http://www.insect-interceptor.com/

2.) SafeRest Mattress Encasements

SafeRest is a one of the best bed bug mattress encasement companies that we’ve reviewed offering covers for pillows, box springs and mattresses.  What we like about SafeRest is that their encasements were specifically designed to be used to prevent and treat bed bug infestations.  SafeRest encasements are waterproof, dust mite proof and can be easily applied with a zipper attached on 3 sides.  They also use a micro-zipper as well as a patent pending zipper feature that prevents accidental openings of the end zipper traveler.  Cotton terry back coated with a breathable membrane is used on top to keep the encasement silent and soft.  Their website is http://www.saferest.com

3.)  PackTite Portable Heat Treatment Device

Prior to the introduction of the PackTite bed bug heater, treating suitcases and personal belonging exposed to bed bugs was difficult.  We had an opportunity to review the PackTite first hand and wanted to share our thoughts.

Bed bugs are disgusting and can be brought home about a million different ways including a child returning home from a college dorm, a stay in a hotel, a cruise, family visiting for the holidays or even traveling on an airplane.  Before the invention of the PackTite, it was difficult to be certain bed bugs weren’t hitching a ride home as bed bugs are great at hiding and their eggs are almost impossible to see.  The best way to take precautions prior to the PackTite Bed Bug Heater was to spray the suitcase with a pesticide and to dry clothing in the dryer on high heat.  The problem with this method is it didn’t help if you had papers, shoes, magazines, books or other items that could not be placed in the dryer or sprayed with pesticides.

The answer to this problem was of course the Packtite Bed Bug Heater, which allows the user to place a travel size suitcase inside the unit after returning from a  trip to ensure anything that came home would be killed.  The Packtite heater is basically a large canvas box with an interior platform where items can be placed on top.  It works by heating the contents inside the PackTite above 117 degrees Fahrenheit  for 2-3 hours killing all stages of bed bugs.  Bed bugs are very susceptible to heat so prolonged periods above the 117 degree threshold will do the trick (some studies report 111 degrees Fahrenheit is the terminal temperature, but we like to be safe at 117).  To ensure the temperature inside the PackTite reaches the proper temperature, an included digital thermometer gauge is included.  The guage has a long wire with a sensor, which is placed inside the PackTite allowing you to read the inside temperature from outside the PackTiTe.

Upon arrival the Packtite was very easy to get ready taking about 5 minutes to setup.  An included timer lets you select how many hours you want it to run before it automatically shuts off.  We suggest experimenting with different objects to see how long the treatment should run.  For example if you place a small suitcase inside and it’s packed with towels it will take much longer to heat up the core temperature than if you put a few books inside.  Once you have the hang of it it’s very easy to use an can help treat your personal items with confidence.

PackTite Portable Bed Bug Heat Treatment Device

Another popular usage for the PackTite heater is during a bed bug infestation.  Rather than throwing away shoes, books, magazines, papers and countless other items, you can simply place them in the PackTite.  Dry clean only items can also be placed inside, which can save hundreds of dollars in dry cleaning bills.  After treating belongings inside the PackTite, we suggest placing them in sealed garbage bags or Hefty Big Bags to prevent them from being re-infested during overall treatment.

The PackTite Bed Bug Heater retails for $320 and the usable inside demensions are (18? L. x 30? W. x 15? H.).

The PackTite works as advertised and can be a great addition to your bed bug arsenal.  Their website is http://www.packtite.com

4.) JT Eaton Bed Bug Sprays and Powders

JT Eaton, which has been manufacturing pest control products since 1949, has developed a line of effective products specifically designed for bed bugs.  These products include a bed bug powder made from diatomaceous earth, an oil based pyrethrum contact spray and a water based residual spray with active ingredient deltamethrin.  These 3 bed bug products enable consumers to take the upper hand against without the need of a professional exterminator in most cases.

Products Include:

  • JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs- Contact Killer
  • JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs II- Residual for lasting control
  • JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Powder- Diatomaceous Earth

All 3 products have a purpose and can be used together as an effective bed bug treatment cocktail used in conjunction with steam, mattress encasements, Climbup Insect Intereceptors, PackTite Bed Bug Heater and Hefty Big Bags.  We suggest applying the sprays first and then the powder second once the sprays are dry (the powder must remain dry to be effective).

Use the JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs II (water based) on fabric items including the seams of the mattress, curtains, sofas, chairs, cracks and crevices, and along the baseboards as directed.

JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs is an oil based spray that includes natural pyrethrum and is great for the bottoms edge and inside furniture where bed bugs could be hiding.  Given it’s oil based, I wouldn’t suggest using it on fabric items as it takes a while to dry and there is a risk of staining.

JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Powder is a natural diatomaceous earth made from fossilized once celled organisms.  The powder should again be applied after the sprays are dry inside cracks and crevices.  JT Eaton also manfuacture a powder applicator making offering better control when applying the powder.  Powder should not be used liberally and is useful if lightly applied in areas that bed bugs would likely cross over (bed bugs will avoid large mounds of powder).  Cracks in baseboards, inside walls through access of electrical outlets (turn power off first and do not apply “inside” the actual outlet) are popular areas to apply JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Powder. Their website is http://www.jteaton.com

5.) NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor

We had a chance to setup a NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor made by BioSensory Inc. and wanted to share our thoughts on the product.  With a retail price of around $399 the Nightwatch Bed Bed Bug Monitor isn’t cheap, but it does offer some unique advantages in monitoring and treating bed bugs.

What Is A NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor:

To understand the NightWatch we must first understand what attracts bed bugs.  Bed bugs are drawn to their next blood meal by the carbon dioxide (CO2) we exhale along with the body heat we give off.  By using a heating element, CO2 and a kairomone lure attractant, the NightWatch has been proven to be 99.98% effective in detecting bed bugs over a 7 day period.  On each side of the NightWatch, there are carpet like ramps that allow the bed bugs to climb up on there way to the attractant kairomone lure, heat, and CO2.  Once the bed bug reaches the top of the ramp they fall into a white collection plate where they can then be visually detected.  The collection area on each side of the NightWatch is so close to the heating element that the heat dries out the bed bugs fairly quick causing the bed bugs to expire.

Why Use The NightWatch:

The NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor is useful in three unique ways:

1).  To Detect Bed Bugs- Before beginning treatment for bed bugs it important to know for sure that you have them.  Many people have bites and never see the actual bed bugs, which makes knowing for sure if you have them difficult.  Also, some people think they have bed bugs, but are actually being bitten by something else including fire ants, mosquitos, fleas or are suffering from an allergic reaction to something.  The NightWatch allows the user to check if they have bed bugs with considerable accuracy before beginning a treatment.  This can save time and money in unneeded bed bug treatments if the NightWatch fails to find anything.

2).  Treating Bed Bugs In Unoccupied Room- One of the biggest mistakes people make is changing rooms during a bed bug infestation.  If you were to be bitten by bed bugs and then move to an adjacent spare bedroom for refuge, there is a good chance that some of the bed bugs may follow you.  The problem arrises when you move back to your original bedroom leaving behind bed bugs that can remain inactive for many months waiting for someone to return and sleep in the room.  Even if you were to apply powders and spray in the spare room, there is nothing to re-activate the bed bugs so that they cross over the sprays and powders making treatments ineffective.  With the NightWatch, it’s like having someone sleeping in that room again creating a lure bed bugs can’t refuse.  This allows the chemicals and powders to do their job once the bed bugs become mobile again.  The NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor can be setup and re-used in any room of the house helping to increase your chances of success treating sleeping bed bugs.

3).  Knowing When The Bed Bugs Are Gone-  Another popular use for the NightWatch is for monitoring to know when the bed bugs are gone.  You can continually monitor your bedroom during treatment to see if the population of bed bugs is increasing, decreasing or are gone.  This offers peace of mind in knowing when you are bed bug free!

Their website is http://www.biosensory.com

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