7 Examples of Residual Spray for Bed Bugs

Residual spray for bed bugs contains insecticides that continue to work even after the initial application has dried. These sprays not only kill bed bugs on contact but also provide long-lasting protection. 

They do this by killing any bugs that come in contact with the treated surfaces in the future.

This article will explore some famous examples of residual sprays for bed bugs and discuss their effectiveness in tackling bed bug infestations. This residual spray for bed bugs information will empower you to make informed pest decisions as you work towards reclaiming your bug-free home.

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Understanding Bed Bugs and Their Habits

Bed bugs are tiny (sometimes flat) oval-shaped parasitic insects that thrive on the blood of humans and all animals. They are reddish-brown and are usually around 5-7 mm long. (Learn more about the size of bed bugs.) You might not even notice them unless you see the traces they leave behind, such as feces, spots of blood, or skin shedding on your bedding or furniture.

These bugs are nocturnal, which means they are most active during the night when you’re asleep. They tend to hide out in cracks and crevices during the day, often in and around your bed and areas where you spend a lot of time.  

Bed bugs are also skilled hitchhikers. They can easily be transported from one place to another through luggage, clothing, or used furniture. They can survive for several months without feeding, allowing them to travel long distances before finding a new host. Learn more: how long can a bed bug live without food?

It is important to note that bed bug infestations are not a sign of poor hygiene. You can find these pests anywhere, regardless of cleanliness. However, maintaining a clean and clutter-free home may reduce their hiding spots.

Basics of Residual Sprays for Bed Bugs

Examples of Residual Spray for Bed Bugs

Benefits of Residual Sprays for Bed Bugs

Using residual sprays offers several benefits in your fight against bed bugs:

  • Long-lasting protection: These sprays leave a residue that continues to be effective for weeks or even months, providing ongoing protection against new bed bug infestations.

  • Ease of use: Residual sprays can be easily applied to various surfaces, making them a convenient option for treating infested areas.

Limitations of Residual Sprays for Bed Bugs

While residual sprays come with many advantages, there are a few limitations to be aware of:

  • Limited reach: They may not effectively penetrate all bed bug hiding spots, like deep within cracks or walls.

  • Safety concerns: Misusing residual sprays can pose health risks to you and your family. Following the instructions and precautions outlined on the product label is crucial. Or better yet, hire a bed bug expert to treat your areas.

7 Examples of Residual Spray for Bed Bugs


Aprehend is a residual bed bug spray that harnesses the power of fungal spores to eliminate bed bugs in your home. The spores infect the bed bugs’ outer shells, causing them to die within a few days. 

This unique approach provides long-lasting protection, as the spores can remain effective for up to three months. To use Aprehend, hire a professional to apply the spray to known bed bug hiding spots in your home.

Check out these case studies on using Aprehend to control bed bugs.

EcoRaider (EcoVenger) Bed Bug Killer

EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer is a natural and non-toxic residual spray. It utilizes plant-based ingredients like geraniol and cedar oil, killing bed bugs and their eggs. 

EcoVenger works by penetrating the insects’ exoskeleton and attacking neuron receptors. It also works by degrading the exoskeleton, leaving the insect more vulnerable. 

The residual bed bug spray is easy to use; just read the label and apply it to areas where you see bed bugs. Just know that sometimes, these over-the-counter bed bug sprays are not strong enough to kill all the bugs. They wind up repelling them into harder-to-reach areas.


Crossfire is a powerful residual bed bug spray that targets and kills all life stages of bed bugs, from eggs to adults. It combines multiple active ingredients, such as clothianidin, metofluthrin, and pyriproxyfen, to provide a comprehensive solution for bed bug infestations.  

When using Crossfire, it’s best to consult pest control professionals. Using this properly with the help of a licensed exterminator can have great results. The long-lasting residual effect ensures that bed bugs are eliminated and prevented from returning.

Bedlam Plus Bed Bug Insecticide Spray

Bedlam Plus is a fast-acting residual spray that kills bed bugs and sometimes their eggs on contact. It combines pyrethroids and neonicotinoids to provide some residual protection against bed bug infestations. 

Neonicotinoids work by disrupting the nervous system by binding to the acetylcholine receptors. Pyrethroids also disrupt the nervous system, but they do it by interfering with the sodium channels.

BASF Phantom Professional Insecticide

BASF Phantom Professional Insecticide is a residual spray that is highly effective against bed bugs. Its active ingredient, chlorfenapyr, disrupts the bed bugs’ metabolic processes, eventually causing them to die. Inhibiting energy production within cells is how it works to kill bugs. 

Phantom is a broad-spectrum insecticide with an odorless and non-staining formula. The non-staining odorless makes applying discreetly to your bed and other infested areas easy. 

Tandem Insecticide

Tandem contains two active ingredients, thiamethoxam, and lambda-cyhalothrin. Since it’s a broad-spectrum spray targeting over 90 pests, it is not only for bed bug control.

Additionally, it provides a combination of quick knockdown and long-lasting residual control for bed bugs. In 2013, it began to go into rotation for bed bug control. Check out this Pest Control Technology magazine article, its history, and use.

Temprid SC Insecticide

This broad-spectrum insecticide contains two active ingredients, imidacloprid and beta-cyfluthrin. The active ingredients utilize modes of action from two classes: neonicotinoids and pyrethroids.  

Temprid is also effective against various pests, including bed bugs. However, bed bugs are known to develop a resistance to these active ingredients.

Efficacy of Residual Sprays Against Bed Bugs

When dealing with bed bug infestations, you might consider residual sprays part of your treatment plan. These sprays can effectively control and prevent bed bug infestations when applied correctly. To help you make an informed decision, let’s discuss the efficacy of residual sprays against bed bugs.

Residual sprays typically contain active ingredients that provide a long-lasting effect that kills bed bugs on contact or when they come into contact with treated surfaces. Active ingredients include pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, and insect growth regulators (IGRs).

The key to the effectiveness of residual sprays is in their proper application. It is helpful to thoroughly clean and prep your living spaces before applying the spray. Vacuuming, laundering, and decluttering are necessary to ensure better coverage. 

To increase their efficacy, these sprays should be applied by a licensed pest professional. They will use them along baseboards, cracks, crevices, and around the edges of beds and furniture.

It is crucial to remember that bed bugs can develop resistance to certain chemicals, reducing the effectiveness of these sprays. 

Furthermore, using products with different active ingredients is best. Plus, combining your treatment strategy with other non-chemical methods, such as heat treatments and mattress encasements, will help with total eradication.

While residual sprays can be an essential component of an overall bed bug management strategy, it is important to note that no single method guarantees complete control. Regular monitoring, timely reapplications, and a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach can ensure better success in controlling and preventing bed bug infestations.

Please carefully read and follow label instructions to ensure residual sprays are safe and effective against bed bugs.

Safety Measures While Using Residual Sprays

When using residual sprays for bed bugs, it’s essential to prioritize your safety. It is always best to hire or consult with a licensed pest control operator beforehand.

Here are a few precautions and tips to ensure a safe experience:

First, always read and follow the insecticide instructions on the product label. Labels will provide important information about how to use the spray, any specific safety measures, and proper disposal methods.

Anyone spraying must wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves, a face mask, pants, and gloves. Protection will minimize skin contact and inhalation of chemicals. 

It is also a good idea to keep children and pets away from the treated area until the spray has dried and the room you ventilate the room.

Ventilation is crucial to reduce the risk of inhaling fumes. Open windows and use fans when spraying indoors. Remove any nearby items, such as clothing, bedding, and toys, that may absorb the spray and potentially cause harm to you, your furry friends, or your loved ones later.

Avoid spraying electrical outlets or devices, as the chemicals could cause damage or create a fire hazard. It’s also important not to saturate surfaces, as this can create a slippery surface, increase the risk of chemical exposure, and may not be more effective in eliminating bed bugs.

Remember to dispose of empty containers properly, as indicated on the product label. Proper disposal can help prevent environmental contamination and reduce the risk of chemicals accidentally harming curious children or pets.

By following these bed bug spray safety measures, you can effectively and safely use residual sprays to combat bed bug infestations while minimizing potential health risks.

Alternatives to Residual Sprays for Bed Bug Control

Steaming: One alternative method to eradicate bed bugs is by using steam. Steaming can kill bed bugs at all life stages, and it’s an eco-friendly option. To effectively steam bed bug-infested areas, ensure the heat reaches at least 120°F (48°C) and maintain this temperature for a prolonged period.

Vacuuming: Another chemical-free option is vacuuming. While it may not provide quick elimination, vacuuming can help keep bed bug populations in check. 

Focus on infested areas like mattresses, box springs, and cracks in furniture. Just be sure to seal and dispose of the bug-infested vacuum bag immediately to prevent the reintroduction of the pests. Check out the best vacuums for bed bugs!

Diatomaceous Earth: You can use this natural powder as a proactive bed bug control method. It damages the bed bugs’ exoskeleton, leading to their dehydration and eventual death. 

You can puff diatomaceous earth in areas where it will NOT become airborne. Think: wall voids, outlets, and in crevices that you immediately seal up afterwards. Here’s how to use diatomaceous earth powder.

Heat Treatment: Bed bugs can’t take high temperatures. A professional heat treatment can raise the temperature of a room to around 120°F (48°C), killing the bugs and their eggs. This method is particularly effective for heavily infested areas and can show results within one session.

Mattress Encasements: Protect your mattress and box spring from bed bugs using mattress encasements. These tightly woven covers prevent the insects from hiding in your bed. They can also trap existing bed bugs inside, eventually causing them to die of starvation.

Remember, combining different methods can increase the chances of successfully getting rid of bed bugs. It’s essential to regularly monitor the situation and act quickly when signs of infestation appear. Consult a professional pest control expert if necessary.

Residual Spray for Bed Bugs: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I properly use a residual bed bug spray?

First, clean and declutter the infested area before you use a residual bed bug spray. Then, hire or consult with a licensed exterminator who can guide you on carefully following the instructions on the product label. Generally, you’ll need to apply the spray to cracks, crevices, and other hiding spots where bed bugs may be hiding. Allow the spray to dry completely, and keep people and pets away from treated areas until it’s safe to return.

Is there a preferred bed bug spray for pyrethroid-resistant bugs?

If you suspect the bed bugs in your home are resistant to pyrethroids, consider using a product like CrossFire. It combines multiple active ingredients that target different aspects of the bed bug’s biology and is specifically formulated to combat pyrethroid-resistant strains.

Do all residual sprays for bed bugs leave a residue?

Most residual sprays for bed bugs leave a residue, which helps maintain the product’s effectiveness for an extended period. Depending on the product, The residue can last several weeks or more. However, some eco-friendly sprays, like EcoRaider, may leave a lighter residue. Be sure to follow the product spray label instructions for optimal results.

How does a residual spray help in controlling bed bug infestations?

Residual sprays work by leaving a lasting residue that continues to kill bed bugs even after the initial application. This prolonged effectiveness helps to control bed bug populations over time, reducing their chances of returning or spreading. In addition, residual sprays can target newly hatched nymphs, further reducing the likelihood of reinfestation.

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