Death from DIY bed bug treatment?

Bed bugs are not known to cause death, but can pesticide application?

By law, pesticide incident reports and environmental risks must be reported to the Canadian Health Department.

bed bugs home remedies, check for bed bugs, do bed bugs fly, bugs bed, bug bed, bed bugs look like, bed bug detection, bed bugs photo, itchy bed bugs, bed bug infestation, bed bug mattress, bed bug, bed bugs, bedbug, bedbugsIn one such report, it was speculated that an elderly woman died when applying pesticide to her home and mattress. In “Incident Report 2010-1615,” it states that a woman sprayed permethrin and S-methoprene between her mattresses and around her floor. Two nights after sleeping on her sprayed bed, the repost states that this woman was hospitalized for “vomiting, chemical taste in the mouth, pneumonia, paralysis, and scarring of the lung tissue,” and passed away 18 days later.

While this reaction is very uncommon to result from temporary exposure to permethrin and pyrethoids, and it is likely that other factors caused, or at least contributed to this womans’ death; it is important to be aware of the very real risk factors associated with these ingredients, as they are often used to kill bed bugs:

“Permethrin belongs to the class of insecticides known as pyrethroids. Symptoms of overexposure to pyrethroids in general may include vomiting and irritation of the respiratory tract. S-methoprene is an insect growth regulator that mimics a natural hormone of insects and prevents the maturation and reproduction of young insect pests. S-methoprene has relatively low toxicity and is not associated with adverse reactions in humans.”

A somewhat more common effect of such application is that of the elderly woman’s daughter, who suffered from medium to severe bronchitis following this pesticide application.

Lessons to Learn:

  • Bed bug elimination is not a do-it-yourself job.
  • If you are working with any insecticides at any time, please read the labels and use only as directed.
  • Do not apply permethrin or S-methoprene directly to your mattress. It is not worth the associated risks!

For more information about this incident, and other pesticide and pest management suggestions, please visit Canada’s Health website at:

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