Coles Bed Bug Spray – Does It Work?
Coles is one of Australia’s largest supermarkets, accounting for 39% of the market share of the country. We’ve all popped down to our local Coles at one point or another to get some groceries, clothes, or even home appliances. But is it a reputable dealer of bed bug spray?
Knowing how to get rid of bed bugs isn’t easy, and there’s some debate in the industry about the best methods for dealing with an infestation. Pest control businesses will generally advocate for full-scale professional bed bug treatment, while other companies claim that their bed bug killer spray is all that you’d need.
Coles sells just one spray for bed bugs: its own brand of Coles Crawling Insect Killer. This spray is allegedly suitable for killing “crawling insects for up to 6 months” including “Spiders, Clothes Moths, Silverfish, Ants, Cockroaches, Carpet Beetles, Fleas, [and] Bedbugs”.
This blog takes a closer look at this bed bug spray to determine whether it really works, whether it’s safe, and what it’s made of. Or has Coles simply shoehorned in the concept of bed bug treatment as a move to shift more units?
Bed Bug Spray Brands at Coles
Unlike competitors Woolworths, Coles only sells one brand of bug-killing spray that actually makes any direct reference to bed bugs themselves. Its does, however, stock a number of brands and products focused on other aspects of pest control, with a major focus on cockroach bait traps and killers.
Some other pest control brands at Coles include:
- Raid Max
However, none of these stocked brands makes claims to be selling an effective bed bug spray. Generally, the other pest control brands at Coles are focused on cockroach bait traps, flea treatments for dogs and insect killers for personal gardens.
Does This Bed Bug Spray Work?
How do we know if this bed bug spray from Coles really works when trying to get rid of bed bugs? In reality, your definition of the product working will likely depend on what you’re trying to actually achieve with the spray.
The product positions itself as a ‘Crawling Insect Killer’, including bed bugs last on its list of impacted insects. This indicates Coles might have included the creepy critters in the copy as an afterthought.
The directions for almost all of the bugs listed on the can are basically the same, with the general usage instructions stating: “Shake can well before using. Keep can as upright as possible and hold about 15-20cm from the surface…For direct kill spray in the direction of the crawling insect.”
The only differentiation for treating bed bugs is the direction that you use the spray, with the copy instructing: “Bedbugs: Lightly spray around bed, bed frame and….” before petering off. One can only assume you only get the full directions after purchasing the spray.
These instructions are deeply flawed; not only are they incomplete – they also fail to get into the weeds of where bed bugs can hide. Bed bugs are often located within the bed frame, around the walls, in various pieces of furniture, and throughout mattresses. The spray is designed to kill bugs on direct contact, but you’re unlikely to actually kill any using this method.
If you find a nest of the crawlers and spray them directly, this spray may well effectively kill those you make contact with. But it doesn’t take many to keep a hive alive. If you kill any fewer than all of the bed bugs and all of their eggs, then it’s certainly not an effective bed bug spray for mattress infestations.
With no mention of other areas of the bedroom, such as under the carpet or other common hiding spots such as power points or inside ensemble bases these instructions are simply incomplete.
Why This Bed Bug Spray Doesn’t Work
Coles bed bug spray suffers from the same issues that almost all bed bug sprays do: killing bed bugs with direct contact doesn’t comprehensively deal with an infestation. It assumes it’s easy to find all of the bed bugs and kill them with a single spray, with a claim for efficacy for up to six months.
Locating all of the bed bugs in a room is no easy feat, so while the spray might contain the necessary toxins to kill them, it can’t actually get to the root of the problem effectively. Using only direct contact allows the bugs a lot of wiggle room.
Six months of efficacy does make sense in theory, since it means you could create various inhabitable environments for bugs around the room. However, bed bugs are craftier than the spray implies. Treated areas aren’t attractive to bed bugs, so their presence will have the effect of repelling the critters towards other areas, spreading the population around the room.
The ineffectiveness of almost all bed bug sprays, combined with the incomplete instructions – which provide no real advice about how to actually find the bed bugs in your space – means that Coles Crawling Insect Killer cannot be considered an effective treatment.
How Long This Bed Bug Spray Lasts
As aforementioned, the spray claims to kill bugs for up to six months – but it doesn’t specify how. Whether the spray lasts in the air or on surfaces for six months isn’t made clear, which makes it safe to assume that the six-month claim is somewhat inflated.
Also, it’s been established that the spray isn’t an immediate solution for an infestation, meaning if the six-month timeframe is true it could be even more problematic. As the spray is more likely to spread the population around the room, six months of efficacy is more likely to extend the length of your infestation than anything else.
When getting rid of bed bugs and keeping them at bay permanently, you’ll have more success using a steamer, powder, physical barrier, and mattress encasement. These methods may seem to lack a certain “killer instinct”, but in actuality, they’re much more effective and final.
Is This Bed Bug Spray Safe?
Perhaps most concerning is that Coles Crawling Insect Killer is simply unsafe for use around humans, especially in the spaces where they sleep. The active ingredients include Imiprothrin, which has low toxicity to humans but acts as a paralyzing agent to insects, and Cypermethrin, which can have some seriously dangerous impacts on bed bugs and people alike.
According to the National Library of Medicine, its toxicity in humans “occurs due to accidental or intentional exposure through inhalation, skin contact or via ingestion. Acute oral intoxication of cypermethrin commonly manifests with neurotoxic and gastrointestinal effects in humans.”
This means even coming into contact with this spray could cause you to fall ill, with mental or internal issues. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal irritation, and the compound has even been used as a means to commit suicide by some.
If we’re meant to believe that the Coles bed bug spray is effective for up to six months, it’s definitely not the kind of thing that you should be spraying around the area where you sleep. Because it can be absorbed by the skin and through inhalation, covering a mattress and bedroom with it is clearly unsafe.
It’s also worth noting that the spray features no precautionary instructions, such as wearing some sort of mask or face cover. This is especially relevant if you live in a smaller space, as trying to fumigate a bedroom with the spray with the doors and windows shut will essentially turn the space into the home of a toxic cloud.
There’s no need to put yourself in close contact with dangerous compounds like this.
Spraying for bed bugs with toxic chemicals simply isn’t the right way to go about dealing with an infestation – especially if you’re planning to use the bed bug spray Coles is peddling.
What Coles has done is fill a spray can with an effective poison and squeezed the words “bed bugs” onto the can as a means of increasing the target market. Sure, the spray might kill a few bed bugs if you’re lucky enough to catch them in the act, but it does nothing to get to the core of the problem. There’s a lot more to do if you really want to eliminate the problem.
We recommend a combination of natural bed bug treatments and physical barriers to handle an infestation – free from dangerous compounds or chemicals. We stock a wide variety of options for dealing with bed bugs, from our steamer and natural toxic-free bed bug-killing powder, all the way to our namesake bed bug barriers.
For bed bug treatment that’s safe and effective, check out our website today.
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