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Will Permethrin Kill Bed Bugs?

Have you ever woken up with itchy, red bites on your skin, only to discover that bed bugs have invaded your home? If so, you’re not alone. Bed bugs are a common problem that can be difficult to eradicate, but there is a solution: permethrin. 

This powerful insecticide has been used for decades to kill a wide range of pests, including bed bugs. But will permethrin really do the job of getting rid of these pesky insects? 

In this article, we’ll explore the effectiveness of permethrin as a bed bug killer and provide you with everything you need to know to get rid of these unwanted guests once and for all.

Pest insects are susceptible to the toxicity of permethrin spray, a naturally occurring substance in chrysanthemums.

By disrupting the nervous system of bed bugs, permethrin spray can immobilize and ultimately kill them.

Though effective, permethrin spray may not be able to reach bed bugs hiding inside furniture, as pesticides cannot penetrate it.

What Is Permethrin And How Does It Work?

Permethrin is a broad-spectrum insecticide that falls under the category of pesticides, making it a versatile solution for eliminating a wide range of bugs.

It is most commonly used in spray form and directly applied to the affected area, but it can also be purchased in the form of a cream to be applied to the skin as a preventive measure against bed bug bites.

As a member of the pyrethroid family, permethrin shares its toxic properties with other chemical compounds that are naturally produced by chrysanthemum flowers. The toxic effects of these compounds on insects are harnessed in products like permethrin.

One of the most frequently asked questions about bed bug control is whether permethrin is effective against them. The answer is yes – permethrin has proven to be highly effective in eradicating bed bugs.

When used in products such as Flex 10-10, permethrin provides users with broader coverage for bed bug control beyond just cracks and crevices, making it an even more effective solution.

What Is Flex 10-10?

Flex 10-10 is a highly effective product for bed bugs and general pest control, containing permethrin and PBO as its active ingredients.

To use Flex 10-10, the first step is to mix it with water in a pump sprayer. The amount of product needed should be determined based on the square footage of the room being treated, which can be calculated by multiplying the length and width of the area (length x width = square footage).

Under normal circumstances, a mixture of 3.2 fl. oz. of Flex 10-10 in a gallon of water is suitable for treating an area of 1,000 sq. ft. However, if the infestation is severe, a mixture of 6.4 fl. oz. per gallon may be required.

Begin by filling the sprayer halfway with the necessary amount of water, then adding the Flex 10-10 before filling the remainder of the sprayer with water. Shake the solution well to ensure that it is properly mixed before use.

Once the solution is prepared, apply it in a light spray to the mattress, with a focus on the tufts, edges, seams, and folds.

What Is Permethrin For Bed Bugs?

Permethrin is a synthetic pesticide that is classified as a ‘broad-spectrum’ insecticide, which makes it an effective solution for killing various types of insect parasites, including bed bugs. 

It works by coming into contact with the pests or through ingestion. Permethrin is utilized in a variety of settings due to its versatility. It is commonly used in:

  • Permethrin finds extensive use across different settings owing to its versatility. It is used in agriculture to safeguard crops and control pests that feed on livestock.
  • The textile industry also utilizes permethrin to eradicate pests that may damage fabrics.
  • Permethrin is also used in aviation to eliminate any pests that may have infiltrated the plane.
  • It can be used as a personal insecticide, and as an active ingredient in preventive flea collars for dogs. 
  • However, it is toxic to cats and hence not recommended for them.

Permethrin is a well-known bed bug killer and is primarily used in three different ways. The first method is through handheld pesticide sprays that are available for purchase online or from reputable retailers. While these sprays are highly effective, they do take some time to work.

The second approach involves using permethrin in pest controllers’ sprays, which can be even more effective as professionals have access to specialized tools that can spread the pesticide deep into hidden cracks and crevices. However, as with the handheld sprays, it may take some time for the treatment to work.

In addition to sprays, permethrin can also be applied as a cream or lotion. However, it’s important to note that permethrin cream is not typically prescribed for bed bugs, but rather for scabies.

Permethrin is a synthetic pesticide that was invented by scientists. It was first discovered in 1973 and has been used as an insecticide ever since, due to its effectiveness in killing bugs.

Permethrin belongs to a group of chemicals known as pyrethroids, which are synthetic compounds developed to mimic the toxic properties of pyrethrins. 

Pyrethrins are naturally occurring substances found in certain types of chrysanthemum flowers, and they are highly toxic to insects. 

The goal behind creating synthetic pyrethroids, like permethrin, was to produce these insecticides on an industrial scale. Permethrin has a chemical structure that closely resembles natural pyrethroids.

Is Permethrin Effective For Killing Bed Bugs?

Permethrin is a versatile solution for eliminating bed bugs, and its effectiveness depends on both the application method and the type of bed bug species you are dealing with. 

If you apply permethrin spray directly on bed bugs and manage to hit them, it can be a potent chemical that kills them within a few minutes. However, bed bugs are skilled at hiding, making it challenging to spray them directly, even for professional exterminators.

Permethrin residue has the potential to eliminate bed bugs even if you or your exterminator cannot directly spray the insects. 

Simply applying permethrin to the affected area can be effective over time. However, bed bugs are smart enough to avoid toxic substances, which means they may still be present in your furniture, despite the presence of permethrin residue.

So, does permethrin really work against bed bugs? While it may not be a flawless solution, permethrin can be incredibly effective if you are able to locate the bed bugs and spray them directly. 

Moreover, topical permethrin cream can be helpful in easing bed bug bites while you work on eradicating the infestation.

How Does Permethrin Kill Bed Bugs?

The way permethrin spray operates is more complex than just direct contact. Permethrin, along with other pyrethroids, are classified as ‘axonic excitotoxins.’ 

They travel through the bloodstream to reach the nerves, also known as axons, of the bug. Once there, they penetrate the membrane gate located at the end of each nerve, causing the gate to remain open. 

As a result, the bug’s nervous system becomes paralyzed and eventually dies. This process happens quickly, usually within minutes of contact.

It’s important to note that bed bugs don’t ingest anything except blood, so permethrin doesn’t affect them through ingestion. 

However, it can kill other bugs, such as cockroaches, this way. Permethrin is effective on bed bugs through both contact and absorption through their shell.

How Long Does Permethrin Take to Work?

The effectiveness of permethrin against bed bugs is notable, with the insecticide taking only a few minutes to work. 

Due to their small size, bed bugs are particularly susceptible to permethrin, as it doesn’t take long for the insecticide to reach their nervous system.

However, there is a significant limitation to using permethrin and other pesticides against bed bugs – they only work on direct contact. 

This is problematic because bed bugs are notorious for their ability to hide in difficult-to-reach places, making it challenging to apply the insecticide directly to them. 

As a result, bed bugs can evade the spray and continue to infest a space, rendering the treatment ineffective.

Although bed bugs may avoid anything they perceive to be toxic, permethrin residue can still effectively kill them for up to a month or two after it’s been sprayed. 

However, it’s important to note that bed bugs can still infest a space during this time, and there is no guarantee that all of them will be killed at the end of the period.

It’s worth mentioning that this issue isn’t specific to permethrin but is instead a challenge with pesticides in general. Bed bugs are adept at avoiding pesticides, which can make it difficult to control infestations effectively.

How Does Permethrin Affect a Bed Bug Infestation?

While permethrin is not known for killing bed bugs on contact, it can effectively kill their eggs. However, permethrin’s effectiveness does not last for an extended period and typically only remains active for a few days. 

This means that frequent reapplication may be necessary if you choose to use permethrin to treat bed bugs around your home.

Permethrin Vs. Prallethrin: What’s The Difference?

If you’ve been diligently researching the effectiveness of permethrin against bed bugs, you may have come across other insecticides such as prallethrin. 

While both substances can be effective in treating bed bug infestations, they can also be purchased in cream form and applied directly to the skin.

In general, permethrin is the better choice for larger infestations because it can be applied to furniture items, in addition to the skin, to eliminate bed bugs. 

This makes it a more versatile option for treating an infestation throughout an entire home. 

Is Permethrin a Carcinogen?

When applied topically, permethrin is not easily absorbed by the body, which helps to reduce the potential for adverse health effects. 

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified permethrin as a probable carcinogen if ingested. 

This conclusion was reached based on studies involving mice, which showed an increased incidence of liver and lung tumors after they ingested permethrin. 

The exact amount of permethrin that would need to be ingested to cause cancer in humans is not known, so it is best to avoid ingestion of permethrin entirely.

It is uncertain whether permethrin is carcinogenic when sprayed. There have been no long-term studies linking normal permethrin use to cancer. 

However, since ingestion of permethrin is known to be carcinogenic, there is a possibility that spraying it could also have carcinogenic effects.

Is Permethrin Dangerous to Children and Animals?

When purchasing a can of permethrin from a store, it will include instructions for use. By following these directions, you can safely use the product without any danger. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Firstly, it may be hazardous to use permethrin around children, especially if they can access the can unsupervised and play with it. Therefore, it’s important to store the product in a safe and secure location where children cannot reach it.

Secondly, permethrin is highly toxic to cats, and even if you don’t directly spray them, it can be fatal to them if they come into contact with the product. If you have cats in your home, it’s important to avoid using permethrin or to take measures to ensure they cannot come into contact with it.

To prevent any potential health issues, it’s important to follow the directions for using permethrin at all times. Make sure to carefully read and understand the instructions provided with the can before using the product.

Studies conducted on animals have investigated the long-term effects of permethrin exposure. Ingestion of permethrin at oral doses of 250 mg/kg during pregnancy has been shown to impact the fertility of rats. 

This finding suggests that pregnant individuals may be more vulnerable to the effects of permethrin.

However, other studies have not found any adverse effects of permethrin exposure. It does not appear to cause mutations in embryos or interfere with their development.

Are Bed Bugs Fully Resistant to Permethrin?

While it is true that some pests, including bed bugs, have developed resistance to permethrin, this does not necessarily mean that permethrin is no longer effective. 

In fact, it is still widely used in households and by pest controllers around the world, which would not be the case if it were not effective at all.

Currently, permethrin remains capable of killing most infestations and can significantly reduce the number of bed bugs, even if some of them are resistant to it. 

However, the issue is that bed bugs are becoming increasingly immune to permethrin, which has prompted scientists to search for new pesticides as soon as possible.

Are Bed Bugs Resistant to Pesticide?

Another way in which resistance to pesticides can develop is through physical or biological means. In this case, the pest’s body adapts to prevent the toxic substance from harming them. This is currently happening with bed bugs.

According to a study published in the journal PLoS One, bed bugs are developing thicker shells as a response to pesticide exposure. 

This thickening of the shell is a well-recognized phenomenon in insects that are treated with pesticides, and it can make it harder for the pesticides to penetrate the pest’s body and have the desired effect.

The study further explains that the overexpression of cuticle depositing proteins has been observed in bed bugs that have developed resistance to pyrethroids. 

These proteins are responsible for producing the cuticle, which forms the bug’s shell. An increase in these proteins results in a thicker and harder shell, which can provide the insect with increased protection against pesticides.

The researchers conducted an experiment to investigate the relationship between shell thickness and pesticide resistance. 

They found a positive correlation between the thickness of the bed bugs’ shells and the amount of time it took for them to be paralyzed by the pesticide. 

This suggests that the thicker shells are indeed contributing to the bed bugs’ resistance to pesticides.

Final Words

Despite bed bugs developing resistance to permethrin, it is still considered effective in controlling infestations. In fact, it is a common ingredient in many bed bug sprays and other pest control products. 

While the effectiveness may be reduced in some cases, permethrin can still provide some level of control over bed bug populations. It is important to follow the instructions on the product label and take any necessary safety precautions when using permethrin or any other pesticide.

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