Pest Control Blog

Are all bed bug heat treatments created equal?

November 29th, 2017 by Mike MacDonald in Bed Bugs, Pest Control Services

With bed bugs becoming more and more resistant to pesticides many are turning to a heat treatment method, but are all heat treatments created equal?

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Most people want bed bugs removed fast

Getting bed bugs is becoming more and more common. A significant factor in their spread is linked to bed bugs becoming increasingly more resistant to many of the traditional pesticide treatments. In addition to that, these traditional methods use harmful chemicals that could be dangerous to you, your family, and even your pets.

These methods can also leave rooms unsafe to inhabit for days or even weeks and can damage clothes, bedding, furniture and more. As if bed bugs weren’t bad enough already, right?!

Why heat treatments work to kill bed bugs

With these new super bed bugs becoming more resistant to chemical pest control treatments, new methods are coming out that have been shown to be more effective and safer for your family. One such treatment is a heat treatment to kill off any bed bugs in your home.

This is specifically effective because there isn’t really any type of resistance these bed bugs can develop for this kind of pest control treatment. When temperatures rise to a high enough level the bed bugs will die off.

In addition to being highly effective as a treatment for bed bugs, a heat treatment is far safer for your family and home as well. The main precautions you will want to make is removing pets from areas being treated as well as things that potentially could melt at higher temperatures. Electronics can be left through the heat treatment as long as they are unplugged.

Beyond that, there isn’t much worry for any sort of side effects of using a heat treatment in your home. The treated rooms will be safe to enter after a handful of hours rather than days or potentially weeks in some cases with chemical treatments.

Unfortunately, not all heat treatments are created equal

Heat treatments can be very effective and safe, but only if they are performed in a specific way. Doing a heat treatment wrong could potentially leave several bedbugs unharmed and could lead to another outbreak down the road. During an audit, a less experienced pest control operator was ready to call a heat treatment complete, but inspection from a well-trained professional exposed a shoe box housing a cold spot that gave harborage to hundreds of bed bugs.

This is why you should never try and rig up your own heat treatment you do yourself or hire an untrained pest control service to attempt this sort of treatment. Some heat treatments can actually cause bed bugs to run away and hide and survive the treatment while other forms of it will work.

There are a few different kinds of strategies that haven’t been as effective that some pest control companies will implement. One such strategy is mini tenting a specific piece of furniture or area with bed bugs and applying the heat treatment only on specific parts of a room.

This will certainly be effective in the parts being treated, but it can end up missing a lot of hiding bed bugs. Bed bugs can survive in areas like under floorboards, on furniture besides beds, clothing, and more, so by limiting the scope of the heat treatment a pest control service might miss key hiding points around your home. In addition, most tenting setups do not provide room for the pest operator to enter and move things around. Even a small pile of clothes can resist heat transfer enough to allow bed bug survival.

Another form of heat treatment that can prove to be ineffective is a direct heat treatment. This means directly blowing heat at areas and then moving them around the room to target different spots. This strategy can end up causing the bed bugs to run away from the heat allowing them to escape to cold spots as areas are being treated. Bed bugs react adversely to conductive heat and escape, but remain centralized in convective heat to their demise.

The best kind of heat treatment focuses on convection heat and circulating the heat throughout the room and gradually increasing the heat everywhere until it reaches a temperature to kill off the bed bugs. This has a couple of key reasons why it works best.

One reason is that the heat builds up without the bedbugs realizing it so they don’t try and hide in hard to reach areas that could protect them. It also doesn’t leave cold spots as heaters are being shifted as the temperature rises and circulates throughout the room. This can also hit hidden areas like floor boards or other potential hiding spots to fully eliminate bed bug infestations.

If you do happen to have a bed bug issue, we highly recommend reaching out to a trained pest control service like us at Rove Pest Control to get set up with the ideal method and proper use of heat treatments to remove bed bugs from your home. Don’t leave your bed bug treatments up to chance. Hire a team that knows what they are doing to get results and keep your family safe!

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