Use Pesticides for Bed Bugs Properly
CDC Health Advisory: Health Concerns about Misuse of Pesticides for Bed Bug Control
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are alerting the public to an emerging national concern regarding misuse of pesticides to treat infestations of bed bugs and other insects indoors. Some pesticides are being applied indoors even though they are approved only for outdoor use. Even pesticides that are approved for indoor use can cause harm if over-applied or not used as instructed on the product label.
ATSDR warns that outdoor pesticides should not be used indoors under any circumstances. You should always carefully read the product label to make sure that:
- it has an EPA registration number;
- it is intended for indoor use;
- it is effective against bed bugs (the label should say it is meant to be used to treat your home for bed bugs); and
- you know how to properly mix the product (if a concentrate) and where and how to apply it safely within the home.
To report a possible pesticide misuse in Virginia, contact a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pesticide Investigator.
Learn How to Properly Use Pesticides
Bed bugs live indoors but there are relatively few pesticides that are labeled for indoor use. There are even fewer pesticides that are labeled for bed bug control. It is important to use pesticides appropriately and to follow the label instructions, especially when using approved pesticides indoors because people (particularly children) and pets have a greater risk of exposure.
- Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Bed Bug Treatment Using Insecticides (PDF)
- Environmental Protection Agency: Treating Bed Bug Infestations
- View a list of EPA-approved pesticides