Controlling Bed Bugs with CimeXa
We’ve all heard the saying, “Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”, and in the not so distant past, bed bugs were just not something many people worried about. Insecticides such as DDT, carbamates and organophosphates kept them in check. However, with their unavailability due to regulatory restrictions, the change to synthetic pyrethoid insecticides for bed bug control led to bed bug resistance issues making the eradication of bed bugs a challenging endeavor. Couple that with the increase in international and domestic travel, bed bug control increasingly became out of control.
Quick Bed Bug Overview
These blood feeding external parasites are widespread in the United States and worldwide! Adults are typically reddish brown and are approximately 3/16th of an inch long and flattened. They can range in size from the likes of a pin head to an apple seed. But their appearance will change based on when they had their last blood meal. Once they have a blood meal their body plumps up until it has had time to digest the blood meal. Bed bugs molt in five stages called instars. They require a blood meal in between molts as well as the adult female requiring a blood meal before laying eggs.
Bed Bug Control Product Comparison
Bed bugs are very adaptable. They move much faster and travel greater distances than most people realize. Bed bugs are able to relocate from areas where pesticides have been applied in a short period of time. Research has shown that many commonly used products for bed bug control are very slow acting. They often include ineffective active ingredients or active ingredients to which bed bugs are resistant and/or have a strong repellent nature driving bed bugs away from treated areas. Research on field collected bed bugs has shown significant and increasing resistance to pyrethroids and neonicotinoids. Field testing has shown that diatomaceous earth is largely ineffective on bed bugs. Products containing diatomaceous earth, pyrethroids, and or pyrethrins, are repellent to bed bugs. Treatments with these products may not kill bed bugs and may cause them to relocate or disperse in response to the treatment.
Steps to Control Bed Bugs
Firstly, you must perform an inspection. Bed bugs are sneaky in nature and can and will hide anywhere and everywhere. They are also known to travel to adjacent areas, so again, look everywhere!
Secondly, most people do not want to have chemicals sprayed all over their house, furniture, beds etc. So, you need to take a look at Integrated Pest Management approaches. Start with a vacuum. Every bed bug and bed bug egg you suck up is one less you have to worry about. After vacuuming, apply CimeXa dust to the areas where you found aggregation points or nesting areas. Bed bugs will typically travel back to an aggregation point, so you want the CimeXa dust waiting there for them to come in contact with it.
Dust applications provide the fastest control results. A hand duster, low volume electric duster, or paint brush may be used. When applying a dust, a dust mask, gloves, and eye protection are recommended. CimeXa is virtually non-toxic, but due to the strong desiccant effect, it can be temporarily drying or irritating. Any liquid pesticides should be applied and allowed to dry prior to applying CimeXa. Do not use repellents where CimeXa is applied. Use handheld or low volume electric dusters for wall voids, plumbing chases, behind electrical outlets, behind carpet tack strips and cracks and crevices. Insert the tip of the duster into the opening, as far as practically possible, and test first to ensure a void is present to minimize floating dust particles on exposed surfaces. Clean any excessive dust residue off exposed surfaces with a damp cloth or paper towel.
CimeXa is an extremely light dust. To minimize airborne particles when applied out in the open, a paint brush is the best choice. Testing has shown that CimeXa can be effectively applied to many surfaces with a paint brush. Depending on the band width and amount of dust desired, a 1 ½ to 2 inch angled sash brush works well for applying CimeXa to mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture, drapes and most crevices and surfaces. Smaller detail brushes or artist brushes work well for fine detail work on bed frames and furniture.
Load the brush with the desired amount of CimeXa by lightly working the brush around in a small container of CimeXa. You may also apply a small layer of dust using the applicator bottle, handheld duster, or electric duster and working the dust into the desired locations with the brush. Keep in mind that because CimeXa is an extreme desiccant dust, you only need to apply a very light layer. A little bit goes a long way!
Thirdly, set up some monitors. The D-Sect IPM station from Rockwell Labs is a great tool to do this. Be sure to place monitors where bed bugs were found and also to the outlying and adjacent areas.
Finally, follow up with the client. Speak to them about the possibility of re-infestation and give them tips on how to prevent infestations from reoccurring. Bed bugs are very good at hitchhiking. They can be transported in suitcases, purses, backpacks, and even your shoes.
Bed Bugs and Chemical Resistance
According to scientists and studies conducted in 2010, 90% of bed bugs in the United States were proven resistant to insecticides like Pyrethroids. This means that sometimes alternative solutions are now required for bed bug control. CimeXa dust is non-repellent amorphous silica with a mechanical mode-of-action, which means no resistance issues.
Since CimeXa dust is completely amorphous silica with no crystalline content (amorphous means non-crystalline), it does not cut the exoskeleton of insects like DE, and unlike DE is non-repellent. Because of the mode of action, there is no chemical resistance to CimeXa. And since CimeXa does not have crystalline structure it does not cause silicosis. CimeXa is light, which allows it to adhere and accumulate on bed bug exoskeletons. Bed bugs are unaware that CimeXa is present and they continue to reside in their normal harborage areas, leading to more rapid and complete control, even of the heaviest infestations. CimeXa quickly kills bed bugs where they live without displacement and without disturbing their normal behavior. Another plus is that CimeXa dust can also be used in conjunction with heat treatments.
Using CimeXa with Heat Treatments
Unlike most pesticides that are adversely affected by heat, CimeXa is not affected at all by heat treatments. In fact, dry, hot conditions will enhance the killing ability of CimeXa. During heat treatments, bed bugs scatter in search of cracks, crevices, and other protected areas to avoid the high temperatures. They often make their way into wall voids, door frames, furniture and other areas that are difficult to heat and maintain temperatures high enough to kill bed bugs.
When CimeXa is applied to cracks, crevices, and voids, before heat treatment, bed bugs have no place to hide, reducing callbacks and re-treatments, and increasing profits. Alternatively, use CimeXa after heat treatments in harborage areas for long residual protection to prevent re-infestation, and to kill any bed bugs that may have escaped the heat. Keep in mind that full premise heat treatments are generally unnecessary when using CimeXa, and that heat provides no residual protection at all.
CimeXa for Other Pests
CimeXa is more than just a bed bug product. It is a versatile multi-use desiccant dust. It is extremely effective against fleas, ticks, lice, roaches, ants, silverfish, spiders, stored product/pantry beetles and moths, mites and drywood termites. It works the same way it works on bed bugs. When crawling pests come in contact with CimeXa, the product clings to their exoskeleton and absorbs the waxy coating, causing death from dehydration. CimeXa dust can be used in both interior and exterior areas where most traditional pesticides would not be a good fit for the situation or type of treatment required.
A Green Solution
CimeXa is also a great option for those clients who want a “green” product to be used in and around their home. CimeXa is a Green Zone™ Brand product, has low-toxicity and has a mineral-derived active ingredient that is suitable for green service programs.
With everything mentioned above, CimeXa should be a tool in your arsenal. Not only for bed bug control, but for general pest control as well. If you would like more information on CimeXa for bed bug control or control of any other insect, please feel free to contact me at !
Meet the Author:
David Newfang, ACE
Western Region Technical Representative, Rockwell Labs Ltd
David Newfang has over 13 years of field experience in the PMP industry, which includes experience as a pest control field rep for different California pest control companies, as well as a termite inspector, quality assurance specialist, and most recently, a branch manager for Dewey Pest Control in Pasadena, CA.