Nuvan Safety in bedroom

Asked August 15, 2017, 1:22 AM EDT

I know that the packaging states it can be used in garages is as well as closets as long as they are not frequented by people/animals. But I definitely don't want to miss use a chemical such as DDVP. That being stated, is it safe to thoroughly seal one of the rooms in our home and use Nuvan Prostrips to treat items that cannot be laundered or steam cleaned for bedbugs?

Canyon County Idaho

3 Responses

No, it is not. That would be a direct violation of the label and Federal Law to use it in the manner you stated (i.e. "...thoroughly seal one of the rooms in our home...").

First and foremost, Nuvan Prostrips and Nuvan Prostrips+ are "Intended for sale to and use by pest management professionals only" as per the label. Although it appears these products are readily available from retail and online outlets, their use should be carefully considered beforehand and the label instructions followed explicitly.

Nuvan Prostrips utilize a "controlled release technology to slowly diffuse a deep penetrating vapor in enclosed spaces for up to 4 months. The clean, odorless vapor is evenly distributed throughout the enclosed treatment area, killing visible and hidden insects on contact and preventing new insect infestation (while you're away)." (Nuvan Prostrips label, accessed 8/15/17) The difference between Nuvan Prostrips and Nuvan Prostrips+ is primarily the volume of the treatment area; Prostrips will treat 100-200 cubic feet and Prostrips+ will treat 900-1200 cubic feet.

Both Nuvan Prostrip products may be used in "vacation homes, ranch houses, farm houses, cabins, mobile homes, and boats that are unoccupied for more than 4 months immediately following placement of the pest strip." (Nuvan Prostrips label, accessed 8/15/17) The situation you described is not included in this type of treatment.

Now for some good news.

Both Nuvan Prostrip products do have specific language and Supplemental Use Directions for control of bedbugs and bedbug eggs. The language in similar for both products so I have provided that language here:

"NUVAN PROSTRIP+ may be used to control crawling bedbug nymphs and adults exposed to product vapors for 48 hours. In difficult to treat areas, a minimum treatment time of 72 hours will provide better results. NUVAN PROSTRIP+ may be used to control bedbugs that are harboring in various items in an infested structure including, but not limited to: electronics, appliances, footwear, art work, collectibles, plush toys, clocks, radios, wall hangings, telephones, computers, printers, mattresses, box springs, books, lamps, furniture and other such items.

Place infested items in a container or room that is closed in a manner to contain the NUVAN PROSTRIP+ vapors during treatment. The sealed volume for treatment should not exceed the volume to be treated for the size of the NUVAN PROSTRIP+ used. Multiple strips can be used in a large space and should be distributed uniformly over the space being treated. Take care to avoid direct contact of the NUVAN PROSTRIP+ with the surface of items being treated. Seal items in the treatment for a minimum of 48 hours to kill bedbug nymphs and adults. To kill any bedbug eggs, seal items in the treatment space for seven days if bedbug eggs are suspected to be present. The presence of air space or volume within the sealed treatment space is desirable to enhance the exposure to the product vapors. Identify sealed treatment areas by label indicating a pesticide treatment is in process that should not be disturbed by unauthorized persons and the label should include the date, pest professional person or company responsible and contact telephone number. When treatment is completed, remove treated items from the treatment in a well ventilated area and air out for a period of not less than two hours." (Nuvan Prostrips+ label, accessed 8/15/17)

So while items may be sealed in a suitable plastic bag, poly sheeting, container, or room with Nuvan Prostrips for controlling bedbugs, that does not necessarily mean that room can be in your house. It would be much better and perhaps easier to seal up a shipping container or just wrap the infested items as described above for treatment. Once again, the supplemental use directions stipulates how sealed treatment areas need to be signed to prevent unauthorized entry and contact information for a pest professional or company included. This suggests these treatments are best left to professionals and not attempted by homeowners.

For more information, please see the AMVAC site for these products:

I hope this information is helpful to you and please feel free to contact your local County Extension Office if you need more assistance with reading and understanding pesticide labels.

I definitely want to make sure I have a full understanding of the resolution you have given me. So what I gathered from that is that I cannot do it in the house but if it was a sealed and labelled outdoor treatment it would be possible, just not advised because I am not a professional. So if I used my camper or trailer, would those be considered sealed? Or do I need to go and order a shipping container instead? Also, if I'm totally missing the point here please let me know. I am just doing all of this work alone and the items would have to be placed into well over 5050 gallon bags

Please understand, the label for either of these Nuvan Prostrip products clearly states, " intended for sale to and use by pest management professionals only. This product is NOT intended for sale to or use by homeowners."

This is a very confusing label statement because multiple resource recommendations for homeowners list the active ingredient, Dichlorvos or DDVP, as acceptable for bed bug control and available for purchase. For clarification on any restrictions in Idaho, I consulted the Idaho Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Registration people and, although the label presents a "grey area" as far as homeowner use, it is not a Restricted-Use Product and therefore may be used by the general public. All label directions must be followed.

I recommend against trying to conduct an insecticide treatment for bed bugs by yourself. Controlling bed bugs with insecticides is a challenging and time consuming process which requires expertise and, in many states, a license to apply the insecticides which kill bed bugs. However, given that this may be one of the only options available to you, I further recommend consulting either of the following guides to determine if there might be other options for the type and quantity of material you seem to have.

Idaho Dept of Health and Welfare:

Michigan Guide to Controlling Bed Bugs:

I recommend the Michigan Guide to Controlling Bed Bugs as it seems pretty comprehensive and may offer some alternatives to your situation.

Getting back to the question at hand, as per the label (which is what we have to go by), you could use that camper/trailer as a closed container, making sure all windows and vents were closed and that it is as airtight as possible, and allowing items placed inside to remain for either the 48 hours to kill bedbug nymphs and adults or seven days if bedbug eggs are suspected to be present. The materials and/or items will need to be arranged such that the dispersing DDVP vapors can permeate the items completely.

Be sure to wear the required protection listed under the PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS portion of the label (page 2 of the Nuvan Prostrips label). You will need chemical resistant gloves to handle the pest strips and you must avoid breathing the vapors. Please carefully review all safety precautions before you even purchase the product so that you understand the risks. The previous message contained links to the Nuvan Prostrips label that you can review.

Once the treatment time is complete, ventilate the camper/trailer very well before entering. Remove treated items from the treatment in a well ventilated area and air the items out for a period of not less than two hours. Any poly sheeting or plastic bags used for treatment must be discarded. Likewise, discard the used pest strip in trash and do not allow pets or children access to new or used insecticide strips.

Be sure to carefully read and follow the label instructions for controlling bedbugs if you decide to use this product. You can download the review the label before purchasing the pesticide and once you fully understand the precautions and proper use of the product, then you should decide whether or not to use it.

And again, don't hesitate to contact your local County Extension Office if you need further assistance with understanding the label directions or any other aspect of treating bedbugs.