The presence of bed bugs can cause many problems.
These miniscule insects are masters of stealth. They depend on human blood to survive.
Bed don’t just pose a threat to your furniture and house.
But they can bring a lot of skin-related diseases with them. These can be simple rashes from bed bug bites to other insect related skin diseases.
To cope with this threat. Many homeowners are looking for bed bug solutions.
Heat treatment definitely stands out as a good option because of its efficiency and accuracy in killing bed bugs.
Every professional pest control service promotes this treatment method in conjunction with chemical treatments.
But what is the success rate for bed bug heat treatment?
Is it capable enough to defend your home against bed bugs?
Let’s find out.
What is Heat Treatment
Bed bug heat treatment is exactly what it sounds like. In this process, bed bugs are eradicated by raising temperatures they cannot bear.
This is done by using heavy duty heaters and fans which help blow the hot air to every corner of the structure.
When bed bugs are exposed to extreme temperatures starting from 118°F and above. They start dying. These temperatures are also lethal for other insects in your homelike termites and cockroaches.
So you can expect to kill many birds with 1 stone.
Heat treatment is a widely used extermination method. You can avail heat treatment services from any major pest control service.
Does Heat Treatment Kill Bed Bugs
Yes, heat treatment is an effective way of killing bed bugs.
Heat treatment is the only extermination method that kills all bed bugs in all stages of their life. Usually when chemical treatments are used. Their effect is very little on bed bug eggs.
Instead, you have to wait for the eggs to hatch. Which is why chemical treatments can require repeated applications.
Heat waves can penetrate through walls and all belongings. Making it easier to get in contact with bed bugs in their hidings.
Clinical studies show, bed bugs can grow resistant to chemical treatments. They grow an outer skin known as cuticle. This helps them survive the toxins from chemical treatments.
But heat treatment kills bed bugs within a matter of hours, depending on how severe the temperatures get. So bed bugs don’t get enough time to grow tolerant to these temperatures.
How Many Treatments Does it Take to kill Bed Bugs
When properly administered and carried out. Heat treatment can save you a lot of time and effort.
Most pest control companies claim one treatment to be sufficient for complete eradication. Along with free follow up services if infestation exists after treatments.
This research revealed how bed bugs were completely eradicated by heat treatment with 2 treatments.
Bed Bug Heat Treatment Success Rate
Bed Bug Heat treatment is the most lethal way of killing bed bugs in one treatment. According to this clinical study,the effects of heat treatment on bed bugs are studied.
Researchers were able to conclude a 100% success rate in killing bed bugs. When the temperatures were raised from 50 and 55 °C.
The mortality rate for bed bug eggs reached 100% 47.5 °C and 54.8 °C.
This concludes if proper methodology and precautions are followed. You can expect to eradicate bed bugs in only one go.
Can Heat Treatment Damage Your Home?
Heat treatment can safely eradicate bed bugs without damaging house appliances or furniture. It is however recommended to unplug all appliances before the treatment.
Bed bugs can create hideouts in furniture and appliances. Which is why removing them from your home is not recommended.
You are supposed to space out furniture and appliances 5-10 inches away from the walls. This makes sure that maximum heat energy is transferred within walls.
There are household items that can get damaged from heat. Depending on their sensitivity to heat. These include lipsticks, crayons, chocolates and medication.
How to Prepare for Bed Bug Heat Treatment
Before a professional exterminator can process heat treatment in your house. These are some of the preparations you have to make before handing over your house.
- Do not remove any mattresses/furniture from the infested area. Leave every furniture and appliance as is for treatment. Do not remove and re-introduce any untreated items in the house after treatment. This would only cause re-infestation of bed bugs.
- Do not try to use any DIY pesticides or over the counter pesticides prior to treatment.
- Do not put any clothes in trash bags. If any clothes were previously exposed to bed bugs. Leave them as is.
- Bed bugs can stick to your clothes and pass on to other places. Select a washed and dried out pair of clothes to wear on the day of treatment.
- It is advised to vacuum the house before handing it over for treatment. All vacuum bags should be discarded away from the house. And empty the vacuum canister into the trash.
- Get rid of the clutter in your house. Make sure you take away trash, left out food or any unsanitary items.
- Take away items that can be damaged with strong winds. These can include loose papers, antiques or lightweight items placed on shelves, nightstands or end tables.
- If you live in an apartment or multi-level housing. Do not visit other apartments as this can spread infestation to different places.
Post Heat Treatment Checklist:
Here is a simple to follow to do list you can use after the treatment
- If you find the temperatures elevated enough to be uncomfortable. Try opening windows and doors for ventilation and turn on fans.
- It is common to find dead bed bugs in your house after treatment. It is recommended to vacuum to get rid of dead bed bugs.
- The only items that can still have bed bugs on them are the ones you took away with you. These include your clothes, coats, suitcases and bags. Make sure before reintroducing them in your home you place them in the dryer for a good 20 minutes.
- Extra layer of protection is provided by box and spring encasements. These make sure any bed bugs left in the treatment die out of hunger inside the encasement.
- Bed bugs can travel to your cars, by clinging on to your clothes. Make sure to vacuum your vehicles to reduce the chance of reinfestation.
- Keep an eye on any bed bug activity. Try to look for bed bugs in previously infected areas. If you see any activity, document and report it to your exterminator. Some companies can even provide free follow-up services if bed bugs remain.
Bed Bug Heat Treatment Cost
The cost of bed bug heat treatment can vary depending on many factors. It is, however, the most expensive treatment method out there. The average cost of heat treatment in the US is $1 to $3 per square foot.
On average, a homeowner can pay from $2000 to $4000 in heat treatment costs for bed bugs.
The cost can differ depending on the following factors:
Extent of Infestation:
The severity of infestation plays an important role in how much you’ll be paying. The severe the infestation, the more labor and equipment will be required. An average room with moderate infestation can cost around $200 to $300 while a room with severe infestation may cost $300-$400 per room .
Impact of Location:
The cost of bed bug heat treatment also depends extensively depending on the city you are in. The cost of living in an area could inflate or deflate the price, Moreover, if you are living in a city that has a high demand for extermination services. You would still be paying more than a city that does not have high demand for extermination services.
Pros and Cons of Bed Bug Heat Treatment
As with every other treatment method. Heat treatment also comes with its own list of pros and cons you should consider.
- Not all extermination methods can eradicate bed bugs in every life cycle. `Many chemical treatments you will use would not work on bed bug eggs. Hence you would have to wait for them to hatch. However, heat treatment can kill bed bugs in all stages of their life.
- Heat treatment is equally effective for small, medium or even heavily infested areas.
- Heat treatment does not leave any residue behind. So there is no danger of getting exposed to chemicals.
- It can effectively eradicate 100% of all bed bug infestation in one treatment. So you don’t have to schedule a follow up appointment.
- It is more expensive than traditional chemical treatments.
- Requires professional supervision. Not recommended to be a DIY project.
- Does not provide future protection against bed bugs. Since no chemical residue is left after treatment.