Bedbugs are becoming a more common problem. If you’re reading this because you have, or think you have bedbugs, then you may feel embarrassed but you’re not alone.
The chemicals to kill bedbugs are harsh, produce toxic and irritant fumes and may need to be used more than once to get the job done properly. Bedbugs are also developing a resistance to many of the chemicals currently in use, which means they’re less effective.
Using heat to kill bedbugs is fast, economical, ecologically friendly and suitable for every home/building. That includes buildings where people with allergies and skin sensitivities live/work.
That’s what we’re going to look at in this article.
How are bedbugs killed by heat?
A company specialising in using heat to kill bedbugs will use heaters and fans to heat the infected area to 45C (120F) for 6-8 hours.
Bedbugs are attracted to heat – which is why they come out to feed on warm humans. The prolonged heat in the cleaning process lures the bedbugs from their hiding places (furniture joints, floor joints, folds in linens etc) and dries them out. This kills them quickly and effectively.
The great thing about using heat to kill bedbugs is that it is effective at all stages of their life cycle. They live for about 10 months and a single female will lay 300 eggs in her lifetime. You can see the bedbugs’ lifecycle in the picture below.
Picture from www.heatandgo.com.
What are the advantages of using heat to kill bedbugs? Aren’t chemicals better?
- Because of the increasing numbers of bedbugs (we live in warm homes which they love, and we travel more than we used to so they come home with us), chemicals are used more and more often. Bedbugs are clever little critters and are developing immunity to these chemicals, rendering them ineffective.
- Heat will always kill bedbugs because it dries them out.
- Using heat also means that you can return to the building/your home within 24 hours. Treatment with chemicals usually means residents have to stay away for longer.
- There is no residue of chemicals or nasty odour with heat treatments.
- Heat treatment is safe in homes/buildings where there are children or those sensitive to chemicals (people with asthma, eczema etc).
- There is no need to destroy bedding/furnishings with bedbug-killing treatments using heat.
- You don’t need to worry about the environmental impact of chemicals when heat is used.
- You won’t need repeated visits from pest controllers as one treatment is effective for one infestation.
What should you ask your heat specialist pest controller?
There are a lot of companies that use heat treatments for killing bedbugs. Here are 5 questions to ask before employing one of them:
- Which heat treatment do you use? Thermal Remediation is an example of one process: it’s used by Heat’n’Go and involves heating electric heaters to heat a room to 45-50C (120-135F), using fans to circulate the air so that it gets into all the places bedbugs hide, and monitoring the environment using sensors.
- Are you discrete? Many bedbug and pest control companies are sensitive to a customer’s embarrassment and will arrive in unmarked vans when they carry out the treatment.
- Do you give me a plan of action? In order for the treatment to be most effective, the householder or building manager needs to be involved with the preparation before treatment. A good bedbug control company will want to look at the layout of the infected area(s) and work with you to make a pre-treatment basic plan of action. This will involve removing people and pets, aerosols etc and advise you of when you can safely return.
- How do you monitor the levels of humidity and heat during the treatment? Wireless sensors are the best way to monitor the levels of humidity and temperature for the duration needed to kill all the bed bugs. They will also ensure that the heat is directed to all the areas that bedbugs are likely to hide.
- Will you tell me what I need to do when I return to the property? You should be advised accordingly and told how to avoid infestations in the future.
Will I need repeat treatments?
One heat treatment to kill bedbugs is effective. If you’re unlucky and find that more unwelcome bedbug guests have come home with you then you will need another treatment.
Bedbugs aren’t confined to the bedroom. They can be picked up:
- At the office
- On public transportation
- From furniture (new and second-hand)
- From clothing, draperies, other fabrics
- From the trucks used to transport goods
- From hotel rooms
- Even from friends’ homes if they’re unaware that they have a problem.
How do I find a specialist heat treatment company?
Do an internet search using the terms ‘heat treatment for bed bugs’ or similar.
To find out more about bedbugs and to identify whether you have them, see: http://sleepbetterlivebetter.net/sblb/all-about-bed-bugs