Will Electronic Pest Control Devices Work for Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on human blood.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs often live in beds although they can also be found in other furniture and objects. Eliminating bed bugs from the home can be difficult, and you may have to combine different pest control methods in a strategy called integrated pest management. Electronic pest control devices will not completely remove bed bugs from your home.

Bed bugs have flat, reddish-brown bodies about the size of an apple seed. They often hide in mattresses, box springs, furniture, walls or debris during the day and then feed at night. Bed bugs can't fly, and they don't transmit disease. Bed bug bites look and feel similar to mosquito bites. You may also notice dark spots on your linens or bed if you have bed bugs.

Electronic Pest Control Devices

Electronic pest control devices claim to deter bugs, rodents and other pests by emitting high- or low-frequency sound waves, which theoretically cause pests to leave. However, these devices are not effective at removing pests. The sounds they emit don't go very far and are blocked by objects, such as furniture, according to the Washington State University Extension. Don't rely on electronic pest control devices to eliminate bed bugs entirely or any other product that claims to instantly eliminate pests.

Effective Bed Bug Control Strategies

You can control bed bugs by using a combination of strategies. First, remove any clutter in the home to reduce the bed bugs' hiding places. Place laundry and linens in dissolvable laundry bags, available online, and wash them in hot water before putting them in the dryer. Vacuum the room thoroughly and seal the vacuum bag before throwing it away. Hire a pest management professional to steam carpets, mattresses and other items to kill bed bugs. Finally, cover your mattress and box springs in cases designed to keep out bed bugs.

Ineffective Bed Bug Control Strategies

Electronic pest control devices will not eliminate bed bugs from your home. It's also not effective to freeze linens, clothing or other items in your freezer as most home units don't get cold enough to kill bed bugs. Throwing away your bed or linens also likely won't solve the problem since bed bugs may have infested other areas of your home. In addition, keeping your lights on at night won't deter the bugs. Finally, bed bugs are resistant to most insecticides so don't rely on "bug bomb" chemicals to kill bed bugs. Hire a licensed pest control company if you want to use pesticides.

About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.