Getting rid of bed bugs is a labor-intensive and frustrating endeavor. If your method is not enough to remove all of them, you would be wasting your time because those who survive to reproduce again, and quickly.
Heat is a good option for eradicating bed bugs. However, to do so, you need a sustained high temperature of approximately 120 °F, which cannot be attained by turning on the oven or opening your door. Neither can it be done with increasing the thermostat level.
Regular heaters can kill some bed bugs, but they might be insufficient to treat larger areas or entire homes. They might not eradicate all bed bugs, and those who survive will just reproduce again.
It is best to just hire a professional pest control company to ensure that it is properly done.
Killing bed bugs with heat that gets to all the interior parts of your home and every corner of your building are the way to go.
There are particular considerations, however, to make sure you are doing it right and eradicating them effectively and completely. Otherwise, your efforts may go to waste.
Some Effective Heaters Against Bed Bugs
This is a plug and play heater that can be conveniently used by homeowners. It can produce heat up to 120 °F that is capable of killing bed bugs as well as their eggs.
Some of its features include a timer for automatic shut off, to ensure the desired heat cycle duration; portable; and very user-friendly.
There are several heaters that fall under this category, including propane bed bug heaters, propane recirculating heaters, and diesel-fired bed bug heaters.
Many operators prefer these heaters because they are capable of servicing much larger areas without having to depend on generators.
They can also heat these areas very quickly while still being effective. More importantly, they are also safe to use.
They do not have exposed flames, and thus they can be controlled thermostatically, maintaining the proper heat level while preventing overheating.
Electric heaters are closed systems that are slower to build heat at the start.
However, at the later stages, they can heat much faster. These heaters also have finer controls for heating. They can also be monitored remotely.
The four main components in achieving quick and uniform heating in the later stage include warm starting temperature, airflow, tight envelope, and high quality and reliable heating controls and elements.
These characterize electric heaters.
Examples of electric heaters include duct heaters, crossflow blower heaters, and axial fan heaters.
Killing Bed Bugs With Heat
It is not possible for you to see all the bed bugs infesting your home, including all their eggs and all life stages.
Compared to other methods, only heat can completely penetrate all their hiding and nesting places and eradicate them.
In addition, with heat, you do not have to locate every single one of their nests.
You also need not check all cracks and crevices individually. It is simply impossible to get to all of them otherwise.
But what kind of heater should you use? Is a regular heater enough?
You will need a heater that is large enough. To acquire this, you need to get the services of a professional pest exterminator with this equipment.
Aside from knowing what to do so that the entire procedure is safe and fast, professionals are also very effective in their work.
The professional exterminator is also knowledgeable about monitoring the process and making sure that your home is heated enough for the required amount of time.
Without the proper temperature combined with the needed length of exposure time, the bed bugs might survive.
Important Considerations When Using Heat Against Bed Bugs
Even if the heat level is lethal to them, if the heating time is too short, some bed bugs will get away and live to pester you for another day.
Conversely, if there is sufficient time but the heat level is too low, they will also escape eradication.
In general, you need the heat to reach 140 °F continuously for a minimum of two hours. An alternate setting is a temperature level of 130 °F held for at least three hours.
These two treatment regimens will eliminate most of your bugs and eggs. If you can afford to not be in your home for a longer period, it is recommended to have this heat level for a longer period. This will further ensure that all bugs will be killed.
Of course, during the heating times, you need to be out of your house to avoid health problems.
Prior to applying the treatment, you have to ensure that all the heat will be contained in your home or building and escape it.
To do this, caulk all the wall’s cracks, especially those around doors and windows. You can also use foam. These methods are not expensive.
It would be counterproductive to spend so much money and time heating your structure only to realize that the heat is leaking and the proper temperature level is not being reached. Double check all doors and windows to ensure you have a tight and closed space.
How The Heat Eradicates Bed Bugs
The bed bugs cannot survive the temperature level setting of 130–140 °F. They can live, flourish, and reproduce at 70 °F, but at 140°F or near it, they are unable to live. And so they will need to flee, otherwise, they will be dead.
The additional benefit of heat is that it is all-pervasive. It can reach all parts of your home and building. Your rooms, sheets, beds, linens, and mattresses will all heat up. The bugs are going to die wherever they are.
With the all-encompassing heat, only two or three hours are needed. Additional time, however, is needed to set up the heating equipment as well as removing the setup.
Additional time is also required when waiting for the home, building, or room to attain the required killing temperature.
This is considered the pre-heating stage. It is only after the needed temperature for maintenance is achieved that the duration of two or three hours should be counted.
During the pre-heating stage, the owner need not leave the structure.
In the case of a professional exterminator conducting the procedure, they will inform you when it is time to leave, as the temperature rises to a level hazardous to your health. Your family and your pets must get out of the building or house.
When preparing for the heating process, you may already start taking away materials and appliances that may be explosive or flammable out of the area a few days before the eradication procedure is performed.
Hiring A Professional Exterminator
Sometimes, there is merit in hiring a professional exterminator.
Your cost for buying the heater, which can be expensive, may not be worth it if you will only use it once or a few times. It may not be a good investment if it will just gather dust in your garage after you have used it.
Meanwhile, professionals already have a unit, usually a better one. In addition, they have the expertise that will better ensure that the job is done. If you hire them, they can charge a flat or hourly rate.
Other Methods Of Eradicating Bed Bugs
Other options used in the fight against bad bugs include the use of vacuum, steam cleaners, insecticides, trapping, dyers, and freezing.
A vacuum that has a very strong capacity may remove bugs, but this rarely kills every bug, because you need to target all hiding places and nests.
It is essentially impossible to cover every inch of the house using this method, especially since you cannot see bed bugs with the naked eye, so that you cannot tell which areas have bugs or not.
A portable steam cleaner can be used on mattresses and furniture. This method will also not get every bug or egg.
Whatever bugs you fail to eliminate will just reproduce again so that their population will only rebound.
The poison may kill the bugs, but it will leave dangerous residue which may jeopardize your pets and children. In addition, those bugs, eggs, and nests that have not been exposed to the poison will recover.
Related Post: Best Insecticides For Fleas
Traps, like the other methods mentioned above, also do not eradicate the entire population of bed bugs, and you will be soon left with the same problem as before.
For this method to work, you need to maintain a temperature below 32 °F lasting several days.
This is effective in cold regions, where you only need to shut off the heat in your home, close the water for the pipes, open the windows, and allow the cold to freeze the bugs to death.
Dryers can eradicate bugs on clothes and blankets using heat. However, as with other methods, this does not eliminate the rest of the bugs in the home.
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