Do Electronic Bed Bug Repelling Devices Really Work?

Bed Bug Repelling Result
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Nothing strikes fear in the hearts and itching of the skin more than just the thought that the hotel bed you are about to sleep in has been home to an untold number of travelers and—if recent news reports are correct—an increasing uptick in the number of cases of bed bug bites as well. Furthermore, returning home unscathed from a bed bug bite in a strange bed is no guarantee that you are not inadvertently carrying stowaway bed bugs to your home in your luggage.

According to experts, part of the problem with bed bugs is that they are an amazingly reproductive species that can reach a population size of over 5,000 pests in 6 months’ time if just 40 bed bugs are released into a bedroom.

The other part of the problem is that bed bugs are tiny (only 1/16 of an inch upon hatching) and are known to hide in the smallest of crevices until the smell of a blood meal—meaning you—has entered a room for a good night’s sleep.

How a person’s body reacts to a bed bug bite can vary, but typically manifests as a swollen and reddened area that may or may not be itchy and therefore may go by unnoticed. For others, however, a bed bug bite can cause intense itching and inflammation.

Currently, the best a traveler can do when spending the night in a strange bed is to first give the hotel room a good doing over visually by looking for signs of bed bugs such as the presence of fecal spotting consisting of digested blood, and skin castings shed by bed bud as they grow.

Alternative measures may include carrying bed bug specific sprays containing pyrethroids that act as a neurotoxicant on bed bugs and spray them along edges where the walls meet the floor and under or around the bed. However, this is an impractical and not very appealing measure for most who would have to decide which is worse—a bug bite or breathing in chemicals that may be toxic to humans as well.

As a result, non-chemical measures have been investigated. One example is the use of electronic devices that produces an ultrasonic frequency that reportedly by some manufacturers will drive bed bugs away from your sleeping area.

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The use of ultrasonic sounds to derive away insects is not a new one and has been used toward repelling some insect species such as mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants. However, the efficacy of such measures have mixed results and in at least one case shown that an ultrasonic signal actually caused mosquitoes to increase their biting rates rather than repel them away.

In a soon-to-be-published article in the Journal of Economic Entomology, researchers report their findings from testing the efficacy of 4 commercially available electronic pest control ultrasonic devices to see if they really worked as well as was advertised by their manufacturers.

The article titled "Efficacy of Commercially Available Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Devices to Affect Behavior of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)," describes how the devices were tested following the manufacturer’s instructions using both an ultrasound arena and non-ultrasound control arena containing bed bugs to see if there was any difference in how bed bugs responded (repelled or attracted) by the frequencies emitted by the devices.

What the researchers found was that there were no significant differences in the way the bed bugs behaved in both arenas. Their conclusion was that the ultrasonic bed bug devices did not work as advertised and therefore that buying such devices today are a waste of money for bed bug worried consumers.

However, the authors also concluded that the devices tested may not have worked because the combination of ultrasound frequencies used in the devices may not have been correct and that there is merit toward investigating the use of ultrasound to deter bed bugs. The authors note that frequencies associated with humans such as from breathing or snoring, and in their home appliances, have the potential to be attractants for bed bugs signaling that a nearby meal is present and that knowledge of such bug bioacoustics could be exploited in creating a true bed bug repelling electronic device.

For an informative article about effective measures you can take while traveling to prevent bringing bed bugs back home with you, follow this link to an article titled, “Monkeypox Scare is an Important Bed Bug Reminder for Travelers.

Image Source: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Reference: Free online copy of study—“ Efficacy of Commercially Available Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Devices to Affect Behavior of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)” J. Econ. Entomol. 105(6): 2107-2114 (2012); K. M. Yturralde AND R. W. Hofstetter.

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Comments

Greenbug for People kills and repels bed bugs using safe, natural ingredients. University tested, EPA exempt. So much marketing money is thrown into gimmicks when safe and effective solutions exist. Greenbug for People works!
Please provide the documentation on university-based reasearch/testing on this product. Interested in knowing more about your claims it works.
How does electronic bed bug killer work and what is the price?
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Ernie Bowen, I don't know if you are still having a bed bug problem but I am currently dealing with an infestation & I do have a few hints. 1st, make sure all baseboards in all rooms are calked, top & bottom. If you can't afford calking & have non carpeted areas, get 2" wide masking tape, wipe the floor, baseboards & wall just above them to remove dust, then smoothe the tape along top & bottom of the baseboards. Pipes in the bathrooms & kitchen should be calked also, as well as any area where the bugs may be entering or hiding, like around shelving in cabinets. It's a lot of work, but stopping more from entering is crucial. Next, go to the hardware store & by the pesticides, get a bag of diatomaceous earth. his is not harmful to humans or pets but is crushed shells that will cut the exoskeletons of bugs so they dry out & die. Sprinkle this along baseboards & "dust" your furniture with it too. Vacuum your furniture at least every 3 days, every crevice, & either tie the bag up in plastic & discard it or for bagless vacuums, carefully empty into a light colored plastic grocery bag so you can see the bugs you've captured. I don't tie the bag up until I've squished every bug in the bag, then tie it up & discard it. Peppermint Oil (in the vitamin aisle) repels bed bugs, & can be applied anywhere, like under your doors & around door & window casings, in seams of chairs, on seams of luggage, etc... The next step is to get boxes of plastic zipper bags, all sizes including jumbo & tote size. Begin carefully examiining everything you own, starting with the things most important to you (photos, documents, keepsakes, etc...) & immediately secure the uninfested ones in the bags. (Look up photos of the bedbugs in every stage to be sure you know what you are looking for.) It takes a lot of work but eventually you will have rescued your posession from having to discard them due to infestation. Wash all your clothing in hot water & dry on high heat & start keeping everything bagged up too. Make sure once you dress for work or errands you do not sit on any potentially infested furniture so you don't tote the bugs with you all day or infest other places. This will all take time but if you keep up a daily schedule of diligence, you will see an end to the infestation in a few weeks to a couple of months. Just make sure everyone in the house is on board so no one is re-contaminating an area you have cleared up.
Rentokil PSI36 insectorol, i used 5 cans £25 worth , throw away quilts and pillows , and use a hot steam iron on your matteress , or throw it out if you can afford to, sprey as per instructon, wash every soft furnishing on 60 degrees or higher Sprey wall to wall on carpets especially the edges Commercial spreying for a 2 bed place can be as little as £100
I disagree, I was overun by them at my sisters home and I downloaded one for my Android and finally it worked.
You downloaded what to get rid of bed bugs?
What actually gets rid of bed bugs? I can't do any physical labor so must be labor free solution such as a plug in that kills fleas and roaches and bed bugs.