Bed bugs are incredibly annoying and difficult pests to control because of their size and the ability to hide in every tiny crack or crevice. To make things worse, bed bugs are highly resistant to the known insecticides used for their control. Because they are so difficult to find and the insecticides do not work as well as we would like, homeowners and pest management workers have been looking for new ways to kill these pesky bugs. In this blog post, we will answer some important questions: does heat kill bed bugs, what temperature kills bed bugs, and how hot it has to be.
Efficient Ways to Kill Bed Bugs
Getting rid of these insects is a long process, no way around that. But how long it takes to get rid of them completely depends upon which extermination method you choose, the severity of your infestation problem, and the thoroughness of the elimination process.
There are two common bed bug treatments, with insecticides and with heat. As far as insecticides go, they can either be chemical or non-chemical. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most-used chemicals for killing bed bugs, although some bed bugs have become resistant to them.
They kill bed bugs by disrupting their cells, while neonicotinoids, a manufactured version of nicotine, damage their nervous system. This type of insecticide works on bugs that have become resistant to other chemicals.
Desiccants destroy the bed bugs’ protective outer coating, without which they dry out and die. There are two types of desiccants: silica aerogel and diatomaceous earth. The advantage in using these chemicals is that bugs can’t become resistant to them, but they work very slowly, so much so that it can take several months to kill off all the bed bugs.
Foggers, also known as bug bombs, can easily kill bed bugs, but they can’t penetrate cracks and crevices where bedbugs often hide. Another problem is that these bombs can be highly toxic to humans if not used correctly.
The last insecticide option is plant-based. Products like Bed Bug Patrolare or EcoRaider are less toxic than chemical insecticides, and they work pretty well against bed bugs.
But before you reach for insecticide, you should know there is another way of getting rid of bed bugs, which is with heat. Bed bug heat treatment is ideal for those looking for a more eco-friendly solution that leaves no residue. The high heat kills off these insects in all of their life stages, from eggs and nymphs to adults. Also, it takes only one treatment that can be done in one afternoon, and usually without the need for follow-up visits from the pest management agencies.
Heat treatment is a highly effective way of getting rid of any insects, including bed bugs. Because of the high temperature that bugs are exposed to, it will be impossible to survive after such treatment. Naturally, bed bugs can move quickly and hide inside walls and pieces of furniture. But that can’t help them since the heat can get into all these places.
Additionally, heat treatment kills off even those bugs resistant to insecticides. In all honesty, there are no heat-resisting bugs because they all die from overheating. Nevertheless, bed bugs can sometimes escape the high heat! That is why it’s crucial to let professionals perform this treatment to ensure every bug has been killed once and for all.
How Heat Kills Bed Bugs
Heat treatment is the quickest way to kill these annoying pests. However, this is not a ‘crank up the heater and go out for lunch’ solution, but it can be easily done with one appointment from pest management. A licensed professional with specialized bed bug killing equipment will heat your home or office between 135°F and 145°F. Thermometers are then placed around the room and closely observed to ensure the air is heated enough to kill the pest but not hot enough to cause damage to the owner’s belongings.
The temperatures in cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach places are carefully monitored from multiple sensors placed throughout the house. The bed bugs will die the moment the temperature goes over 122°F. Once the lethal temperature is reached, the heat treatment is continued for an hour or more to kill all the remaining bed bugs and their eggs. This is a highly effective and fast bed bug treatment.
What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?
The length of time it takes to eliminate bed bugs and their eggs depend on the environment where these pests are found. It also depends on where the bed bugs are located. For instance, if the bed bugs are in plain sight, the extreme temperature will directly impact the bug, and it won’t take long before they are killed. But, bed bugs are more commonly located in hidden places, and that’s why pest control must ensure that all the bed bugs and bed bug eggs are exposed to thermal death points.
Adult bed bugs die off at 119°F, while their heat-resistant eggs require higher temperatures, up to 125°F. Some smaller objects around the house can be safely baked in the oven at these temperatures for three to five hours to get rid of these insects. Also, anything that you can wash and dry should be put to the highest possible temperature.
How Long Does it Take for Heat to Kill Bed Bugs?
To efficiently kill every last bed bug in your home, you need a professional exterminator and high-quality equipment. Once the exterminator has visually identified the bed bug infestation, he will unload and set up the equipment. He will then remove pets, plants, prescription drugs, candles, and chocolate from the treatment area. Afterward, he will place remote sensors around the treatment area to monitor the treatment process.
In addition to needing proper equipment that will bring the entire home up to 122°F all at once, the house needs to be heated slowly and with good circulation, reducing the number of cool spots for bed bugs to hide. The furniture and other objects must be tossed and turned during the heat treatment to address any remaining cold areas.
Typically, it takes between six and eight hours to kill bed bugs with heat and requires careful monitoring by professionals as well as careful preparation from the homeowner. If waiting weeks or months to get rid of bed bugs is not a viable option for you, then an efficient heat treatment that can get rid of bed bugs in one afternoon is.
Can You Do It Yourself?
If you have decided to do it yourself, you should know that although you can buy almost everything the professionals use, it will still take way longer to get rid of this problem. You can find some good videos on the internet which will show you how to inspect and treat, but it may take several months to fully eradicate bed bugs from your home. It would be best if you took the time to research various products to learn how to safely and properly use them. Regular and thorough inspections and quick re-treatments are necessary to eliminate bed bugs. Try not to miss a spot during the treatment because you might have to start the process over from the beginning. Although not fast or easy, a DIY approach to bed bug elimination is still possible.
Nevertheless, this is a very challenging process, especially in extreme infestations. Pest control professionals often have years of experience and a high level of training needed to adequately perform this process and how to avoid damage or harm to your health and the health of your loved ones. Also, during heat treatment, you need to move your furniture and other objects while exposed to high temperatures, which can have negative health effects if not done the right way and with care. That is why we always recommend that professionals perform heat treatment.
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult pests to get rid of. From your carpets and baseboards to your clothes and beds, they can nest almost anywhere in your home. And because of their size, they can hide in nooks and cracks as small as a stitch-hole in a mattress.
Successful treatment of bed bugs relies on early detection and proper equipment. Although there are plenty of insecticides on the market, nothing beats the heat treatment of bed bugs. This problem is forever gone in just a couple of hours, with minimal inconvenience to the homeowners.
This is an environmentally friendly and chemical-free solution with zero emissions in the treatment area. Our heat treatment can treat up to 30 floors high with minimal site preparations and 100% efficacy. If you think you have bed bugs in your home or office, don’t wait to contact us and get the service you urgently need!