Bed bugs aren’t just the stuff of nightmares when you check into a shady or cheap motel, or when you’re riding public transportation. They’re quite common in our homes, too. That’s why I think that it’s wise to have one of the best bed bug sprays on the market on hand at all times.
Even if your home is not infested, you should still be prepared. Bed bug bites are some of the most annoying, even though they’re not known to transmit infections and diseases.
8 Best Bed Bug Sprays – My Top Picks
Check out my list of top bed bug sprays to understand how easy it is to treat your home and protect it from these nasty pests.
- 8 Best Bed Bug Sprays – My Top Picks
- Why I Choose Sprays Over Anything Else
- Chemicals vs Natural Ingredients
- Types of Pesticides
- Where and How to Apply Bed Bug Sprays
Liquid sprays are generally among the best bed bug killer options on the market. They’re easy to apply, easy to store, and very easy to dose. The Harris Bed Bug Killer is one of the best bed bug sprays and one of my personal favorites in this niche.
This spray is formulated to kill adult bed bugs as well as their eggs. Therefore, it can take care of bed bugs at all growth cycles. But, that’s not always enough. Some bed bugs are very resistant and infestations can sometimes reoccur.
With the Harris Bed Bug Killer you can also control the bed bug population. The residual effect of the spray should last for around 16 weeks. That’s plenty, given that this formula comes in a gallon container. You might also appreciate the fact that it’s odorless and that it doesn’t stain mattresses, flooring, and carpeting.
And, although toxic, the Harris Bed Bug Killer doesn’t have too many harsh chemicals in it. This means that it also won’t cause any structural damage to your furniture. Lastly, the formula is effective against pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, which are becoming more and more common.
The MDXconcepts Bed Bug Killer features an organic formula. This may be a better choice for you if you’re allergic to some of the chemicals commonly used in bed bug sprays, or if you’re just not fond of using chemicals altogether.
This formula uses some proven natural ingredients that are efficient at disposing of bed bugs and eggs – vinegar, peppermint oil, and spearmint oil. The minty ingredients also help mask the scent of vinegar, at least partially. However, I recommend opening the windows for a few hours before going to bed after thoroughly spraying your bedding.
I like this formula not so much because it’s organic, but more so because it manages to kill bed bugs on contact. However, you shouldn’t expect much residual control with the Gypsum Bed Bug Spray. The formula is non-staining but it does have a lingering odor, so you might want to wash the spray off once the bed bugs are dead.
This means that you won’t benefit from long-term residual control. But, there are always other options for that and some of them might be pretty expensive. On a happier note, you won’t have to worry about your and your family’s safety or your pets’ health since these ingredients are only harmful to bed bugs and similar insects.
If you’re looking for a very fast bed bug killer, the Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer has one of the fastest-acting formulas around. What’s even more impressive is that it’s an all-natural formula that’s safe for humans or pets.
Besides not having to worry about fumes, you should also know that the formula doesn’t kill bedding, just the pests. However, it’s not exactly odorless, not completely anyway. But, it does kill bed bugs on contact and that’s what matters the most, right?
The sprayer has an adjustable nozzle which will allow you to adjust the dispersal pattern to your liking. For more severe infestations I recommend going with a tighter, narrower pattern so that you can apply the spray more efficiently. With that said, a little goes a long way, as this Eco Defense formula is capable of handling nymphs, eggs, and adult bed bugs.
This bed bug spray comes in an aerosol can. It doesn’t let you adjust the amount you spray, but it does have a wide dispersal pattern which will help you cover large surface areas fairly quickly. Because this is not an all-natural formula, you’ll also get some good residual effect from it.
The spray lasts up to two weeks when used on ceramic, wood, and carpeting. You should know that the formula is not oily, since this is a water-based product. It’s also non-staining.
As for the efficiency of the formula, let’s just say that it kills on contact. It will take a few minutes, occasionally up to a few hours, to take care of all adult bed bugs and eggs. I like that this spray works on quite a few species of bed bugs, including some of the more resistant ones.
Now, understand that this formula shouldn’t be applied all over the house. Keep your application limited to bedroom furniture, bedding, flooring, and carpets. Avoid using it in the kitchen to prevent it from coming in contact with food.
The Eradicator is such an intimidating name for a bed bug spray, but this spray is not as scary as it seems. It has an all-natural, organic formula that’s safe for everyone else but the annoying bed bugs. And, make no mistake, the Travel Safe Eradicator is very fast at killing off the bedroom pests.
This formula kills bed bugs on contact and is also very good at repelling some other pests too. It comes in a 3oz bottle sprayer and is designed, of course, for travel purposes. Since you can’t always count on the hotel or public transportation staff to have things covered, keeping the Eradicator close by is not a bad idea.
It won’t stain carpeting, wood, or bedding, so you won’t have to worry about paying for damages. It also doesn’t have a powerful odor that will make your sleeping conditions unbearable, which is always a plus if you need a quick solution.
Another reason why I like this product is because it comes in a two-pack. You can leave one at home and keep the other sprayer in your go bag, if you want to be always prepared for emergencies.
This bed bug killer comes in a large 24oz plastic spray bottle. The bottle has an adjustable nozzle and a non-slip grip that will help you treat all infested rooms in one go. The formula is water-based, doesn’t stain, and it can be applied to virtually any type of surface.
The Bed Bug Patrol formula also kills bed bugs on contact. This makes it efficient for minor, mid-sized, and severe infestations. Of course, I recommend it for those with serious infestations in multiple rooms. If you live in a small one-bedroom apartment, buying such a large spray bottle might be overkill.
If we put initial investment costs aside, the formula is very impressive. What’s even better is that it also provides residual control for up to 90 days. This is not something you often see in all-natural insecticides. The spray does have a bit of a scent to it, not the most pleasant, but it does go away if you ventilate the room for a couple of hours after application.
Bayer Advanced is a known brand of insecticide and pesticides, as well as one of the most reputable. It should come as no surprise that the Bed Bug & Flea Killer provides swift eradication of bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs, as well as fleas.
It’s also effective against pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs which are on the rise. But, since this is not your generic bed bug spray, it will kill the pests and prevent the new ones from starting a new infestation.
The residual control lasts for about one month for bed bugs and up to 12 months for fleas. Talk about pest control. There’s also little odor to talk about, even though there are some chemicals that give out a distinguishable scent.
On the plus side, the formula doesn’t stain. It doesn’t matter if you spray it on luggage, furniture, mattresses, carpeting, box springs, or wherever else you need it. The Bayer Advanced Bed Bug & Flea Killer also offers good value since it comes in a 64oz plastic canister at a fraction of the cost of some premium alternatives. The bottle has its own spray nozzle and a long tube, too.
This ready-out-of-the-box bed bug spray comes courtesy of Hot Shot. I recommend this spray to people that are on a really tight budget. The formula may be cheap, but it does a great job at killing both adult bed bugs and eggs. The fact that it doesn’t need any mixing either is just another bonus.
A 32oz spray bottle should last you a long time if you have a mild infestation. But, you may need to reapply if you have a serious bed bug problem on your hands. That’s because the formula only remains active for about two weeks after application.
It’s also important that you don’t overdo it. The mist won’t dry easily, so it’s important not to dampen your mattress or carpeting. That’s if you want to avoid the somewhat unpleasant smell of the spray and if you want to prevent your pets from coming in contact with it.
This formula will also help against dust mites, but it doesn’t offer a long-term residual control against them.
Why I Choose Sprays Over Anything Else
You’ve surely heard the phrase “a good offense is the best defense.” It also goes for problems with bed bug infestations. And there’s nothing more aggressive than an insecticide, specially formulated to attack the nervous system of bed bugs.
Don’t get me wrong, powders work very well too. In fact, they’re often the preferred solution when dealing with fleas. But, for bed bugs, things are a bit different. You don’t want to powder and scrub your mattress. That’s because for one, you could stain it and two, you’ll eventually have to send it to the cleaners.
Light sprays are a lot more convenient. The fine mist evaporates quickly and it most often kills bed bugs on contact, meaning that you will be able to clean your mattress yourself after a day, if it’s necessary.
Chemicals vs Natural Ingredients
There’s some concern among the home and business owners regarding natural ingredients in bed bug sprays. You should know by now that the sprays often include various oil extracts. While some of those oils give out a pleasant scent, it’s not inconceivable that they could stain the treated surfaces.
Well, whether that happens or not, is up to the manufacturer and their ability to create a non-staining formula. All of the products on this list will be safe to use on a wide range of materials, but not all bed bug sprays out there will be equally good.
Finally, you should know that there can be a considerable difference in pricing among the formulas based on different ingredients. Natural and organic bed bug sprays can get quite expensive. That’s because it doesn’t take a lot of chemicals to kill some bed bugs. However, it takes a lot of extract to make a formula safe for humans, pets, and deadly for insects and their larvae.
Types of Pesticides
Bed bug pesticides can be classified into several categories: pyrethrins, desiccants, biochemicals, pyrroles, neonicotinoids, pyrethroids, and insect growth regulators. However, the last one is a compound that’s often included in other types of bed bug killers in order to provide a long-lasting control effect.
Pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs are becoming more numerous by the day. That’s why it’s important to look for strong bed bug sprays that are formulated specifically to deal with those strains that have become resistant.
There’s also no way to test or check to see if your bed bugs are resistant to pyrethroids or not. So, in an effort to save both time and money, get yourself a product with a higher success rate from the get-go.
Where and How to Apply Bed Bug Sprays
Sadly, not all bed bug sprays can be used everywhere. Some you’ll have to use sparingly and only on certain types of materials and surfaces. To make things easier for you even more, I’ve chosen only bed bug sprays that can be used on carpeting, mattresses, bedding, furniture, and all types of flooring.
When using a spray, it’s best to use it with a wider dispersal pattern setting. That’s because when you’re dealing with chemical sprays, it’s not a good idea to soak fabric in the formula. It’s also not a good idea to wet your furniture with bed bug spray.
Even though my top picks are water-based products which shouldn’t stain, using too much can still cause damage to wooden furniture.
As for the areas that may need treatment, start with your mattress and the flooring under your bed. Then proceed to spray your furniture, the baseboards (if your bed has any), inside cabinetry, around the bed, etc.
Avoid spraying the places where you eat and inside drawers, unless you have a full-blown infestation. You may also want to spray your bedding before throwing it in the washing machine.
You’ve noticed by now that I favor very specific types of bed bug sprays, despite the fact that there’s a multitude of options out there. Every bed bug spray on my list will be as efficient as the most high-end powders and all other multipurpose insecticides, if not even more.
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use, that doesn’t stain or stink up the place too bad, and that can help you get a good night’s sleep right after applying the treatment, there’s at least one product on this list that can cater to your needs. Finally, I don’t think I have to point out that regardless of your budget, there’s no reason to not be prepared for a bed bug infestation.