no to pest signTraditional approaches to bed bug control that rely only on the use of pesticides are no longer effective. A better way to deal with a bed bug infestation is to use a broader, multi-faceted approach.

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a multi-faceted approach to dealing with pest issues of many kinds. IPM has commonly been used for agricultural pests in the past, but it is an effective method for dealing with other types of pests such as bed bugs.

Main components of an IPM program for bed bugs include accurate identification of the pest, a solid understanding of the biology and behavior of the bed bug, use of multiple control techniques (both pesticide and pesticide-free techniques), and periodic re-evaluation of the infested area to ensure that pest control is maintained.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recommends that individuals with any kind of pest problem hire a licensed pest control professional to evaluate what type of pest is present and to exterminate the pest safely and appropriately. The Missouri Department of Agriculture maintains an on-line list of Missouri licensed pesticide applicators.

  • If you do choose to use over-the-counter products, always read and follow the label instructions carefully.
  • There are many pesticide products that are available over-the-counter and labeled for bed bugs. Some products, like foggers or “bug bombs”, are not effective against bed bugs because they do not reach the insides of furniture and walls where bed bugs are likely to be hiding.

For more information about IPM, refer to the following resources: