We often receive calls regarding bed bug heat treatment options. Our company does not use heat treatments for bed bug infestations. There are many companies that do offer heat treatment services and there are some reasons for and against them. In this article we will look at the pros and cons for using heat to treat for bed bugs.
Using Heat to Kill and Treat Bed Bugs
Heat is a common method for treating bed bugs and their eggs. The general idea is that if you can heat the area up to approximately 120 degrees (F), it will kill any and all bed bugs and their eggs. The use of special fans and heaters are often the equipment of choice to heat up the area.
Heat Treatment Pros
There are definitely benefits for using a heat treatment method to treat for bed bugs. Below are some common reasons that a client may request a heat treatment.
Chemical-Free Bed Bug Treatments
Since the heat is actually killing the bed bugs and their eggs, there is no need for chemicals during the treatment process. For the customer that wants a completely chemical-free bed bug treatment, heat is a great choice.
Heat Treatments are Quick
Bed Bug heat treatments work very quickly to kill the bed bugs and their eggs. Once the area is heated to approximately 120 degrees (F), the bed bugs are dead almost instantly. The quick work of the heat makes for no stragglers later on. As long as the high temperature contacts the insect, they are killed. Physically heating up the area can take a very long time, but once it has reached the high temperature, the treatment starts to work immediately.
Heat works where chemicals can’t
There are certain items that cannot have chemicals sprayed onto them to treat for bed bugs. Clothing and bedding are good examples of this. Using a heat chamber or even the dryer can treat these articles with heat.
Cons of Heat Treatments
With good, comes the bad. We do not offer heat treatments as part of our bed bug treatment process. Below are some of the reasons why we don’t use heat to treat.
Bed Bug Heat Treatments are EXPENSIVE
The use of specialty heating equipment along with the time to actually heat the area means that bed bug heat treatments are often more expensive than a chemical treatment. Costs vary between jobs and locations but you can expect a bed bug heat treatment to cost considerably more than a chemical treatment.
No Residual Protection
Bed Bug Heat Treatments leave no residual protection behind. If ALL of the bed bugs and eggs haven’t been killed, then there is nothing stopping them from continuing on. Once the heat is gone, there is NO protection remaining.
Chemical treatments have a residual that will last approximately 2-4 weeks. This means that a bed bug not initially killed, will contact that chemical at some point and be killed.
Very Difficult to Heat to Temperature
Heating a space up to 120 degrees (F) is very, very difficult to do. Even if the room space is heated to temperature, what about inside of the walls? What about behind the wood trim and baseboards? Bed Bugs love to hide and deposit their eggs in cracks and crevices. Will the treatment be able to actually heat up inside of the walls, behind the baseboards, and in all of the nooks and cranny’s? Probably not, leaving those unaffected bugs to continue to survive and thrive.
Heat Treatment Damage to your Stuff
Let’s assume that the heaters actually heated up your belongings to 120 degrees (F) or hotter. Yes, the bugs and eggs are dead, but what about your stuff? Can your TV, Computer, Xbox, or other electronic device operate perfectly fine after being in an oven for hours on end? Probably not, as most electronics are very sensitive to heat.
What about your walls, wall paper, pictures, and other items in your home? Can they or should they be subjected to a long period of intense heat? Damage claims issued to pest control companies that use heat treatments are on the rise due to these factors and more.
How Should you Treat for Bed Bugs?
We utilize a combination approach to bed bug treatments and control. Using a chemical treatment and vacuuming by us combined with the client drying their clothes and bedding on HIGH Heat works really well for us.
If you want to learn more about our bed bug treatment process, click here.
Heat Treatments for Bed Bugs
Even though we do not use bed bug heat treatments, there are many companies that do. I do believe that there are situations where a heat treatment may be the best course of action. This article was intended to show some of the pros and cons of using heat to treat for bed bugs.
Chester County Bed Bug Treatments
We provide bed bug inspections and treatments to Downingtown, West Chester, and all of Chester County. If you would like a free consultation, you can call or send us a message.
Additional Bed Bug Information
- Bed Bug Treatment Chester County
- Where are the bed bugs?
- How to prevent bed bugs
- Pest Control Vacuum
- Hotel Pest Control