Updated: September 30, 2021

While bed bug infestations can be a total nightmare to deal with…

Determining how to best treat the infestation can be even more daunting.  

This is because of the sheer number of treatment options. 

All of which vary in cost, effort required, and effectiveness.

Some examples of treatments are:

  • Professional insecticide treatments
  • Industrial heat treatments
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Mattress encasements
  • And many more!

Therefore, it’s difficult to determine which method (or combination of methods) is right for you.

Well today we’re going to discuss one of the most widely used methods to kill bed bugs.

That is the generic bed bug spray.

There are many brands to choose from, whether it be Ecologic, Ortho, Raid, etc..

So let’s dive into what bed bug spray is, its effectiveness, when you should use it, and the difference between brands.

What is Bed Bug Spray?

Bed bug spray is made up of insecticides, which are substances used to kill insects. Depending on the product, these chemicals can be toxic or non-toxic to humans.

Because bed bug insecticides are used indoors…

You should be careful with the product you use.

Ideally you should look for a spray with the following qualities:

  • A spray that does not have a strong odor
  • A nozzle that allows you to customize the spray intensity and create a low even mist.
  • Something that’s easy to handle so that you can get into cracks/crevices where bed bugs could be hiding.
  • A spray that’s deemed safe to use by the EPA.

You should know how to read and interpret pesticide labels so that you don’t accidentally put you and your family’s health at risk.

At the end of the day, the are no magic sprays that kill ALL bed bugs 100% effectively.

These insects are notoriously hard to kill.

In fact, a survey coming from the National Pest Management Association claims that exterminators reveal bed bugs as the absolute hardest pests to kill.

That is in comparison with pests like:

  • Fleas
  • Roaches
  • Mice
  • Ants
  • Flies etc.

This is why it typically takes a combination of treatments with multiple applications to fully eradicate an infestation.

The Best Bed Bug Sprays

Let’s go through some of most popular bed bug sprays and provide some detail on which ones you should buy.

Ortho Bed Bug Spray

Ortho has been one of the most reputable brands in pest control for years. Ortho is a part of Scotts Miracle Gro, which is an industry leading family of brands dedicated to helping homeowners protect themselves from unwanted pests.

This is why Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug Killer is a natural top choice. It comes in a 1.5-gallon jug, containing a quick acting solution to kill insects on contact.

The battery-operated wand provides a continuous spray along walls, baseboards, bed frames, and furniture. The formula is colorless and non-staining, so you can spray without worry.

On top of that, the solution is also odorless, which is a fantastic perk for application inside your home.

You can buy from any of these places:

Home Depot Price: $16.97

The Ortho Website Price: $16.49

Amazon Price: $14.49

Target Price: $14.49

Note: Prices marked as of Nov 2020 and are subject to change by the retailer

Raid Bed Bug Spray

Raid bed bug spray is a foam that’s aimed at killing bed bugs and their eggs before they hatch.

Some of the benefits of this spray include:

  1. The Raid foam expands into hard-to-reach places to kill bed bugs where they hide. What’s important here is the foam can linger, so Raid claims it can keep killing bed bugs for up to 4 weeks on hard to reach surfaces.
  2. This foam can be effective against bugs that have developed some resistance to bed bugs including Pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs.
  3. It can be used on mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpet, and other surfaces that’s won’t stain (specifically on water-safe fabrics).

This spray is simply a cannister, so it requires care when spraying.

(To ensure an even distribution across all areas).

Make sure to shake well before use and hold the container upright with the nozzle pointed away.

This spray can be toxic to humans and pets, so ensure you wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.

You can buy from any of these places:

Walmart Price: $8.98

Amazon Price: $8.98

Target (max version) Price: $11.49

Note: Prices marked as of Nov 2020 and are subject to change by the retailer

Bedlam Bed Bug Spray

Bedlam Plus is a water-based spray that’s ideal for treating your mattress. This is a very popular option because it’s safe for almost all surfaces, including your mattress, where you want to avoid very toxic pesticides.

Though it will kill bed bugs on contact (similar to the other sprays), Bedlam claims it has up to 2 weeks of residual killing power.

When it comes to spraying mattresses, people often ask…

Do I have to spray the entire mattress?

The answer is yes, you can blanket the mattress with Bedlam spray if you want the extra protection.

(Though you don’t necessarily need to).

Bed bugs choose not to hang out in the open, therefore it’s more important to spray areas where bed bugs hide.

The most effective areas you can spray Bedlam products are:

  • Around the edges/folds of the mattress.
  • Behind furniture.
  • Around the bed frame.
  • Along baseboards.
  • Other cracks/crevices or hard to reach places in the bedroom.

You can buy from any of these places:

Amazon Price: $24.00

Walmart Price: $29.95

Bed Bug Supply Price: $19.65

Note: Prices marked as of Nov 2020 and are subject to change by the retailer

Hot Shot Bed Bug Spray

The bed bug spray by Hot Shot is one of many bed bug related products this brand offers. They also specialize in dust, glue traps, aerosols, mattress treatment kits, and foggers.

In general, this is one of the most versatile products, as it can work on many insects that are similar to bed bugs.

These include fleas, brown dog ticks, and others.

This type of bed bug killer will hurt bed bugs on contact and can persist with bed bugs at any stage of their life cycle. The product should be used on seams, edges, and tufts only when being applied to the mattress.

Overall these products have mixed reviews.

Below is an example of a review from BobK on Home Depot’s website.

“Sprayed this directly on about 15 live bedbugs on a flipped over mattress. 3 of the bugs walked right through a puddle of this ineffective liquid. I had to kill them with alcohol & vinegar, After approximately 7 more minutes, another 3 started walking out of their puddles. Again, I had to kill them with alcohol & vinegar solution.”

For some people this spray is very effective, just be wary when purchasing Hot Shot spray over other reputable brands.

You can buy from any of these places:

Home Depot Price $11.97

Lowes Price $11.98

Note: Prices marked as of Nov 2020 and are subject to change by the retailer

Homemade DIY Bed Bug Spray

If you’re looking for a homemade, budget-friendly solution to bed bugs, the easiest most effective method is through a vinegar-based solution.

There are ways to kill bed bugs without breaking the bank, and rather than risking your safety by using flammable solutions such as rubbing alcohol, distilled white vinegar should do the trick.

Follow the directions below to create your vinegar-based natural bed bug spray:

Step 1: Purchase White Vinegar.

Go to your local grocery store and buy distilled white vinegar. This can be brands like Heinz Distilled, Walmart, or Kroger.

Step 2: Fill a Spray Bottle.

Procure a spray bottle from either ULINE, UPC, or something from your local Dollar General and fill it with the vinegar. Be sure to tighten the lid securely.

Step 3: Soak the perimeter.

Spray around the infested locations with vinegar. Make sure the vinegar persists through cracks and hard to reach places. You can also spray vinegar directly and kill bed bugs on contact.

Step 4: Continue with Application.

To prevent further infestation or mitigate spread, you should soak all infested surfaces with your vinegar solution.

Note: This will require multiple, consistent treatments in order to see a reduction in bed bugs. Remember, even one bed bug left alive can cause a new infestation.

Natural Bed Bug Spray

Conventional methods of bed bug removal include toxic chemicals that (if used incorrectly) can be harmful to your health and to the environment.

There are many bed bug solutions that will get the job done, but if you’re looking for a totally natural solution…

There are a few different products you can try.

There is a lesser-known product from greenearthageandturf.com from their brand Avenger Organics that can kill bed bugs.

It’s called Avenger Organics Natural Bed Bug Killer, which claims to be an all-natural, non-pesticide solution that kills bed bugs through the slow breakdown of their exoskeletons.

This is one of the cheaper products out there that claims to be all natural. You can purchase Avenger Natural Bed Bug Killer here.

Other all-natural solutions include:

For more information on the bed bug DIY Do’s and Don’ts check out our complete DIY guide.  

Does Bed Bug Spray Work?

The answer is yes, bed bug sprays are effective at killing bed bugs if applied correctly. The key to effective bed bug control is careful application and persistence. There is no magic spray that will eradicate an infestation after one application, but sprays will work overtime if applied carefully, and directly to bed bugs on contact.

(or in their hiding places).

This is true about the sprays mentioned above or any product that’s directly mentioned in this article.

So what bed bug products don’t work?

Typically, things like “bed bug bombs” or foggers don’t work well and are mostly ineffective when controlling bed bugs.

Because bed bugs can be evasive and good at hiding…

An aerosol will not penetrate the areas needed to properly contact bed bugs.

Therefore, we do not recommend bed bug bombs and foggers as a method for removing an active bed bug infestation.

How Long Does It Take for Sprays to Kill Bed Bugs?

This is a tough question to answer directly, and it depends on what product is being used. A contact spray will kill bed bugs within seconds, as long as the spray is applied directly. A residual spray is meant to kill bed bugs over time in a given area (usually within 2 to 4 weeks).

All of this is assuming that the bed bug isn’t from a breed that is resistant to the active ingredient in your spray. As the bed bug epidemic continues to get worse, these creatures are becoming more resistant to common pesticides.

Where Can I Buy Bed Bug Spray?

You can buy bed bug sprays online or from any reputable retailer. Here are some of the most common retailers where you can by bed bug spray online.

Connect With a Lawyer

If you or a loved one experienced bed bugs in a hotel room, apartment, or another location, you may be able to hold the property owner or management company liable.

Whether It be your landlord, or hotel management, they could be responsible for the damages you endured as a result of a bed bug infestation.

Get connected with a lawyer by calling us at (855) 733-9217 for your free consultation. You can also submit your case here online. Our consultations are quick, easy, and absolutely free so get in touch today!

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Date Published: 2020-10-26

Written By Robert Brown

I'm a seasoned pest control veteran. I focus my time on writing educational content about the industry and helping people learn about indoor insects. When I'm not thinking about bed bugs I am spending time with my daughters or walking the dog.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Pierre Thompson

    What kind of spray would you suggest if I only have 1 bug or 2? I don’t really want to spend money on a whole thing of spray, but i’m not sure about the diy methods…. Any youtube videos you could recommend?

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