What is the active ingredient?
The active ingredient in Aprehend® is a natural fungal disease of insects called Beauveria bassiana, it is specific to insects and does not affect humans or animals. While the use of Beauveria to control bed bugs is a new application, Beauveria and other insect diseases have been used to control pest insects in horticulture and agriculture for many years.
What is different about Aprehend®?
The key difference between Aprehend® and other biopesticides developed for use in agriculture is the formulation. Aprehend® is a unique, ready-to-use formulation, which contains a special combination of oils, which enable the application of the Beauveria conidia (spores) to surfaces where they remain attached until encountered by a bed bug. This proprietary oil formulation ensures that Aprehend® is effective even at very low (<20 %) relative humidity. The conidia remain dormant on the sprayed surface, and will only germinate when they come into contact with a bed bug. This is how Aprehend® remains effective for up to 3 months after application. All agricultural formulations are designed to be diluted in water and sprayed at high volumes directly on insects that are feeding on plants. Once conidia have been in contact with water, they germinate quickly and if they are not in direct contact with an insect they will die.
Does the fungus affect humans or pets?
No, Beauveria is specific to insects and will not infect humans or pets. The formulation is designed to stick the conidia to the surface where they are applied, and will not remain airborne after the spray application. There are no chemical toxins in the Aprehend® formulation.
Has Aprehend® been tested on humans?
No, human testing is never conducted on pesticide products. There are a specific set of animal test protocols that are required by the EPA, and these were part of the regulatory dossier submitted for Aprehend®. Human testing is only conducted on drugs for treating human diseases, these are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Does Aprehend® have any odor?
No, Aprehend® is odorless and invisible on most surfaces.
Will Aprehend® stain furniture?
No, Aprehend® is invisible on most surfaces, and is applied to areas that are generally hidden, and not normally contacted by humans, such as the perimeter of the underside of a sofa, and the seating area under the cushions etc. Aprehend® should not be applied to leather surfaces or silk.
Is the spray visible on woodwork or drywall?
Generally, no, but depending on the paint surface (semi-gloss/gloss), it may be possible to see the spray line under certain lighting conditions. If this occurs, the spray can be easily removed, with a disinfectant wipe or kitchen spray and paper towel, but always leave the spray barrier in place until the bed bug infestation has been completely eradicated.
How does Beauveria kill bed bugs?
Beauveria is a natural disease of insects, it infects an insect by direct contact, and does not need to be eaten to initiate an infection. Aprehend® contains the conidia of Beauveria, these microscopic ‘seeds’ readily attach to insect cuticle (insect skin). Once attached, the conidia germinate and penetrate directly through the cuticle and gain access to the insect’s blood system. Once there the fungus grows inside the insect, using the blood as a food source. Very soon the insect becomes sick and dies from the fungal infection. In bed bugs this takes between 3 and 7 days
Does Aprehend® have to be sprayed directly on a bed bug to work?
No, bed bugs are extremely difficult to find and target directly, because they hide in tiny cracks and crevices (called harborages) in furniture and the structural elements of a building. It is impossible to locate and treat inside every harborage in a room. Aprehend® is designed to be sprayed in 2” wide barriers around the bed and items of furniture where bed bugs are likely to walk when they emerge from to look for a blood meal. When bed bugs cross the barrier, the conidia readily attach to the cuticle of the bed bug, and will initiate the infection process.
What about low humidity, does Aprehend® work at humidities less than 20% ERH?
Yes, our proprietary formulation was developed specifically to ensure efficacy at low relative humidities. This is one of the unique advantages of Aprehend®.
Does the disease spread in the bed bug population?
Yes, once a bed bug has come into contact with the conidia, it will carry the conidia on its body back to the harborage. When an exposed bed bug comes into contact with another bed bug, the conidia transfer from one to the other. Since bed bugs live packed tightly together in harborages, the fungal disease easily spreads in the population. This process is called auto-dissemination.
How long will Aprehend® be effective after application?
Aprehend® spray barriers remain active for up to 3 months. This means that any bed bug crossing the barrier, even 12 weeks after treatment can pick up the conidia and go on to die. However, it is important that the spray barriers are not disturbed. Spray barriers should be applied to areas that are not exposed to frequent contact by humans, or sunlight. Do not clean the areas that have been sprayed until you are sure that the bed bug infestation has been completely eradicated.
How long will it take for a bed bug infestation to be eradicated after using Aprehend®?
As with all current bed bug control methods (except heat), it will take time before all the bed bugs in an infestation are killed. Aprehend® starts working immediately after spraying, and remains effective for up to 3 months, providing the barrier has not been removed by cleaning. When a bed bug crosses the spray barrier, it picks up conidia, which will germinate within 24 hours. The fungus will then grow inside the body of the bed bug, and death will occur between 3 and 7 days later. Bed bugs that remain in their harborages can become infected if they contact a bed bug that has picked up conidia from the spray barrier, these bed bugs will also go on to die within a few days. It will take time before all bed bugs have been exposed to the fungal conidia, either by crossing the barrier themselves or coming into contact with others who have picked up conidia. However, since the spray barrier will remain effective for up to 3 months, all bed bugs will be eliminated. Depending on the level of infestation, and the activity of the bed bugs, it may take between 4-8 weeks to effect complete eradication.
Can I see the conidia from Aprehend® on sprayed surfaces or the body of a bed bug?
The conidia in the formulation are invisible to the human eye, being about 2 microns in diameter. The formulation looks milky, because it contains millions of tiny conidia floating in the suspension. After application to a surface, the conidia cannot be seen by the human eye. Similarly, when they are picked up by bed bugs, it is not possible to see the conidia on the surface of the bed bugs. Once the bed bug has become infected, the conidia grow inside the body of the bed bug, making it sluggish and inactive. Within 3-7 days, the bed bug will die. Bed bugs that have been killed by Aprehend® look the same as bed bugs killed by dusts or chemicals.
Can I buy Aprehend® for use in my home?
No, Aprehend® is only supplied to Licensed Pest Controllers. Application of Aprehend® requires specific spray equipment, it cannot be applied with standard ‘high volume’ sprayers. All pest controllers who purchase Aprehend® must take an online training course to ensure that they are familiar with the use of fungal biopesticides, and the application strategy required for successful bed bug control. The Aprehend® spray applicator must also be purchased along with the first bottles of product.
When will Aprehend® be available in my State?
Aprehend® is registered and shipping, to licensed Pest Control Operators only, in 49 states and Puerto Rico. Regulatory approval in California is expected by Fall of 2019. If you would like to be personally notified by email when registration is approved in your state, please contact us and we will add you to our database.
How do I find a Licensed Pest Controller who will treat my home with Aprehend®?
You can find Pest Controllers using Aprehend® in our map locator.
I have more questions, where can I find more answers?
If you cannot find the information you are looking for anywhere on this site, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to get back to you.