Can Fumigation Kill Bed Bugs?: The Necessity Of This Process

How long does it take for fumigation to kill bed bugs? In fact, can fumigation kill bed bugs? These are the questions that this enticing article is set to provide answers to.

Here we will be describing how fumigation works, how it kills the bed bugs (if it does kill them), and the gas responsible for killing the bed bugs.

Ever heard of the Vikane gas? Well, let’s now find out!


What is Fumigation?

One of the most common ways or methods used to get rid of bed bugs is termed ‘fumigation’, but what does this process really entail?

Fumigating the home against bed bugs is mostly common in the United States and involves a process that will make your house unsafe for living for about a week.

The infested house is sprayed or pumped with strong toxic gases after it must have been sealed with tarps so that the gas does not escape. The bed bugs are somewhat enclosed in the home.

The fumigation method was mostly used to control termites before it was approved as a means of getting rid of bed bugs as well. Termites can be quite destructive and will require this method for complete eradication and to ensure your properties are safe and secured.

Bed bugs, on the other hand, are not quite destructive but can be very disturbing to have around your home. You do not want to have insects sucking your blood every day and multiplying till it gets out of hand.

From my research, I have discovered that the fumigation process is quite different across countries. For instance, the way it is being done in the United States is quite different from how it is being done in the United Kingdom.

The infestation in the United Kingdom seems to be less severe than that in the United States; hence, it will require less of the whole fumigation process.


Read also: Can Peroxide Kill Bed Bugs?: Product Safety & Effectiveness


Can Fumigation Kill Bed Bugs?

Can fumigation kill bed bugs? Yes, fumigation can kill bed bugs. I have discovered from my research that this process works by getting rid of the oxygen present in the sealed space and replacing it with the toxic gas mentioned previously.

Fumigation is a good process as it tends to eliminate all the growth stages of the bed bugs, from the eggs to the adults. Without oxygen, these life forms cannot breathe and will end up suffocating on this toxic gas.

Ever heard of fluoride? well, fluoride in insects will alter the metabolism (the chemical reactions in the body’s cells that change food into energy) process in these bugs and end up killing them.

Now, fluoride does not just pop out of nowhere. Once the gas is inhaled by the bed bug, it is now broken down into sulfate and fluoride in the bodies of the bed bug. This fluoride intercepts the metabolism process and kills the bug.

Although there are other alternative methods to get rid of bed bugs, fumigation is one process that will help you eliminate these bugs quickly and on a large scale.


How To Carry Out Fumigation

Can Fumigation Kill Bed Bugs
Tenting Is the First Step in the Fumigation Process
  • As we mentioned earlier, the first step in the fumigation process is sealing the entire house in an enclosed tent. This is to ensure that the gas does not leak out and no bed bug gets out alive.
  • An expert goes in and pumps the entire house with the powerful, toxic gas.
  • It will be quite unsafe to pump this gas without a warning agent, as it is odorless and colourless. The warning agent is referred to as chloropicrin. This agent produces a strong odor that will alert anyone trying to enter to stay out.
  • After a given number of days (probably a week), your house is unsealed and allowed to aerate. Once this is done, you are now free to move into your bug-free structure.


Read also: Can New Furniture Have Bed Bugs?


What are the Advantages of Fumigation?

  • It is usually safe for your household items, including furniture, fabrics, electronics, etc.
  • It can get rid of a wide-range infestation at once.
  • Because it is gas, it can penetrate through small spaces that some other control methods cannot reach.
  • Fumigation, just like other methods of bed bug control, is easier and does not require as much preparation as the latter.


What is Vikane Gas Fumigation For Bed Bugs?

Can Fumigation Kill Bed Bugs
Picture of Vikane (Sulfuryl Fluoride)

Now what is the name of this odorless, colorless, powerful gas that is causing havoc in the bed bug community? It is none other than the Vikane gas.

Sulfuryl fluoride is what is referred to as the Vikane gas and can only be purchased by certified experts or applicators.

We mentioned earlier that this gas was to be primarily used against termite infestations, but not until the EPA approved its use (in lower proportions) against bed bugs as well.


What are the Types of Vikane Gas Fumigation For Bed Bugs?

  • Containerized Fumigation:

This type of fumigation involves moving infested household items from the infested area to an enclosed space (cargo, vehicle, etc.) and then fumigating them there.

This process will only take a few hours to be carried out, unlike the latter, and it is easier as well. It also requires a small space, unlike the latter.

  • Structural Fumigation:

This is the most popularly known method, and we even mentioned it previously above. This method involves sealing your entire building structure in a tent.

The tent is pumped with Vikane gas and allowed to spread to every corner, nook, and cranny of your structure.

This method will get rid of bed bugs on a large scale.


Read also: Can Bed Bugs Stay In Your Hair?: Bugs VS The Human Hair


How Long Can Fumigation Kill Bed Bugs?

How long can fumigation kill bed bugs? At its lowest, bed bug fumigation should take about a few hours but at its highest, it should take a week and nothing more than that.

There are two factors, though, that will determine how long fumigation will kill bed bugs:

  • The size of your structural property
  • The severity of the infestation (that is, how serious the infestation is)

This will all depend on what your pest control expert tells you.


Watch the Explanatory Video Below To Find Out More On How Fumigation Can Kill Bed Bugs



Fumigation against bed bugs is a very effective process but it should be noted that this process is not always necessary all the time and must be carried out by pest control experts.

There are other alternatives to getting rid of bed bugs without employing the fumigation process. But when it comes to guaranteed effectiveness, this is where fumigation comes in.

What do you think of fumigation for bed bugs? Do you think it is necessary? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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