The Connecticut Departments of Public Health (DPH), Energy and Environmental
Protection (DEEP), and The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) are warning the
public not to use outdoor pesticides to treat for bed bugs.
“Pesticides meant for outdoor use should never be used inside under any circumstance,” says DPH
Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen said in a press release issued by DPH Wednesday. “Even pesticides made for indoor use can make people sick if they are used improperly.”
Bed bugs are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. In the past decade, bed bugs have begun
making a comeback across the United States. With the growing concern about bed bugs, there have
been reports of people using strong outdoor pesticides in bedrooms, playrooms, and other areas
The National Pesticide Information Center has received numerous calls to their hotline where
residents, homeowners, or pesticide applicators sprayed pesticides indoors to treat bedbugs. These
cases involved pesticides that were misapplied, not intended for indoor use, or legally banned from
use. Many of the calls resulted in mild or serious health effects (including one death) for persons
living in affected residences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued an
official Health Advisory due to these repeated misapplications.
To avoid poisoning from pesticides, it is recommended that residents hire a pesticide management
professional licensed by the DEEP to treat for bed bugs. Most pesticides available to the public do
not work for bed bug infestations.
In Connecticut, pesticide use is regulated by DEEP. People who have concerns about possible
misuse of pesticides or questions about the proper use of pesticides should contact DEEP’s
Pesticide Management Program at (860) 424-3369.
For more information about precautions that should be taken when considering using pesticides to
treat for bed bugs, go to the DPH website at www.ct.gov/dph/bedbugs and click on “Bed Bugs: What to Consider When Treating for Bed Bugs with Pesticides.”
For more information contact:
Health concerns: Department of Public Health, (860) 509-7367
Pesticide use: Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, (860) 424-3369
Insect identification and treatment: The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station,
Pesticide poisoning: Connecticut Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222