Cryonite is a machine that utilizes CO₂ (carbon dioxide) in liquid form to freeze Bedbugs with direct application. The CO₂ comes in a cylinder and a special wand (the important component) on the machine converts the liquid CO₂ into snow, frozen at a temperature of approximately -100°F. When this snow touches Bedbugs, it transfers (removes) all of the heat from the insects causing them to freeze at the molecular level. The product is environmentally friendly as the only byproduct is CO₂ gas. This treatment method is quickly becoming a mainstay in the pest management professional’s arsenal of weapons to combat Bedbug infestations.
This treatment method has its pros and cons and I will list each one as I see them.
- Environmentally friendly as the only byproduct is CO₂ gas
- Allows for a pesticide free/pesticide reduced option
- No residual left on items
- Can be used on electrical equipment
- Can be used on clothing and other sensitive items
- Not much pre-treatment preparation required
- Treatment sites can be immediately re-entered after treatment is rendered
- Expensive for the consumer (the machine costs the professional several thousand dollars at least)
- As per directions for use of the product, if Bedbugs are not directly contacted, the Bedbugs may become flushed from their hiding spots thus requiring 2-3 back to back treatments 20 min apart
- The manufacturer recommends a supplemental treatment of pesticides* for long-lasting results
- The manufacturer recommends the use of a vacuum (HEPA filtration) to remove live insects that may become flushed (not a bad thing but an extra step often overlooked)
- Treatment requires “a special touch” by the operator as too little or too much will not kill Bedbugs. This “special touch” comes with experience of use with the machine
Cryonite is certainly a great tool but not one that should be used as a stand-alone treatment in my opinion. I have personally applied it directly to Bedbugs, only to see them recover after several minutes and walk away. It has its place in the market because it is “chemical free” however supplemental pesticide treatments are recommended by the manufacturer. If Cryonite is to be a consideration, multiple treatments are needed (20 min apart) and a vacuum should be used to quickly remove any Bedbugs that may be searching for new hiding spots. In all honesty, professionals would not be good business people if they did not have this treatment method available as it is often requested by hospitals, retail establishments and people with sensitivity to chemicals. It is up to the professional to honestly outline the pros and cons of this treatment method.
*In the directions of use, the manufacturer recommends the use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) which is considered a pesticide free product. DE does have it benefits but if inhaled, it can be dangerous to the soft tissue of the mouth, nose and lungs. In other publications I have also seen the manufacturer recommend the use of contact pesticides to kill flushed insects.