Although bed bugs may seem to have been a pest of years gone past, they’re now making a comeback across the United States. Bed bugs now infest numerous public places, where they can crawl onto clothing and hitchhike to your home. Hotels top the list of bed bug hideouts, but they may also be found in theaters, airplanes, subways, trains, buses, prisons, and dormitories. Your best guard against bed bugs is information. Know what they look like, and take appropriate steps to keep them from crossing your threshold.
What is Aprehend?
The active ingredient in Aprehend is a natural fungal disease of insects called Beauveria bassiana, it is specific to insects and does not affect humans or animals. While the use of Beauveria to control bed bugs is a new application, Beauveria and other insect diseases have been used to control pest insects in horticulture and agriculture for many years.
How Does Aprehend Kill Bed Bugs?
Beauveria is a natural disease of insects, it infects an insect by direct contact, and does not need to be eaten to initiate an infection. Aprehend contains the conidia of Beauveria, these microscopic ‘seeds’ readily attach to insect cuticle (insect skin). Once attached, the conidia germinate and penetrate directly through the cuticle and gain access to the insect’s blood system. Once there the fungus grows inside the insect, using the blood as a food source. Very soon the insect becomes sick and dies from the fungal infection. In bed bugs this takes between 3 and 7 days.
How Long Will It Take For A Bed Bug Infestation To Be Eradicated?
As with all current bed bug control methods (except heat), it will take time before all the bed bugs in an infestation are killed. Aprehend starts working immediately after spraying, and remains effective for up to 3 months, providing the barrier has not been removed by cleaning. When a bed bug crosses the spray barrier, it picks up conidia, which will germinate within 24 hours. The fungus will then grow inside the body of the bed bug, and death will occur between 3 and 7 days later. Bed bugs that remain in their harborages can become infected if they contact a bed bug that has picked up conidia from the spray barrier, these bed bugs will also go on to die within a few days. It will take time before all bed bugs have been exposed to the fungal conidia, either by crossing the barrier themselves or coming into contact with others who have picked up conidia. However, since the spray barrier will remain effective for up to 3 months, all bed bugs will be eliminated. Depending on the level of infestation, and the activity of the bed bugs, it may take between 4-8 weeks to effect complete eradication.
Do You Have To Spray Directly on the Bed Bug?
No, bed bugs are extremely difficult to find and target directly, because they hide in tiny cracks and crevices (called harborages) in furniture and the structural elements of a building. It is impossible to locate and treat inside every harborage in a room. Aprehend is designed to be sprayed in 2” wide barriers around the bed and items of furniture where bed bugs are likely to walk when they emerge from to look for a blood meal. When bed bugs cross the barrier, the conidia readily attach to the cuticle of the bed bug, and will initiate the infection process.
Who Should Use Aprehend?
Aprehend may be useful for those who have a small number of bed bugs in their homes. If you have a full-scale infestation, unfortunately, Aprehend and other sprays may not work efficiently for you. Natural fungi like beauveria bassiana may be a better choice than chemical sprays, since the disease that it causes can spread more efficiently from insect to insect than chemicals can. Note that when using Aprehend, you should exercise caution as with any bug spray. Use gloves and a mask when applying it.
Where Should You Use Aprehend?
Unlike a lot of sprays, there aren’t any toxic chemicals in Aprehend. This is a major plus side, because chemicals in bug sprays can cause health or breathing issues in those with lung illnesses, young children, elderly folks, and more. What’s more, those toxic chemical smells can linger for a long time in your home, clinging to carpets and furniture. The lack of toxic chemicals in Aprehend means that you can use it in your home without worrying about causing breathing problems (however, you should always use personal protective equipment when you are using bug sprays).
Are The Bed Bugs Out of Your Control?
By the time you find bed bugs, it may already be too late for sprays to really be effective. That’s where whole-home heat treatments come in! If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat, contact ECO Bed Bug! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs which is safe, effective treatment. Contact us today for information and to schedule an inspection (202) 709-7490.