Whether it’s at home, in a college dorm in a nursing home or on public transportation, bed bugs seem to be popping up everywhere. According to the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) 2018 survey, 97 percent of pest professionals treated for bed bugs in the past year.
The top three places pest professionals report finding bed bugs in the highest numbers are apartments (95 percent), single-family homes (93 percent) and hotels and motels (75 percent). Bed bugs are small, dark colored and only seven millimeters in length, so finding them isn’t always easy.
The influx in bed bugs makes things more difficult for pest control services. In 2015, 68 percent of U.S. pest control workers stated that bed bugs were the most difficult pest to control, according to a survey from the NPMA and the University of Kentucky.
One way to rid a place of bed bugs is through bed bug heat treatment. Bed bugs are parasitic and depend on the blood of a host i.e. humans for survival. Most bed bug infestations happen a short distance from where bed bugs have attacked their host such as a bed or closet. Knowing where the bed bugs are will help you to determine the best spots for bed bug heat treatment.
If you’ve got a bed bug problem, you’re probably wondering, does bed bug heat treatment work? The short answer is yes, but there isn’t one common cure-all to fix the problem. However, there are several methods of bed bug heat treatment that have proven effective if used correctly.
- Hot Box: Much like a hot box in cooking is used to keep food warm, a hot box works by placing clothing and other items into a hot box, which is then cranked up beyond a lethal heat range to permeate all the items inside the box to kill whatever bed bugs are there. When using a hot box, it’s important to use proper ventilation, keep the items inside away from the walls and to use a proper heating source to avoid causing fires.
- Steam: This form of bed bug heat treatment is meant to kill bed bugs in all stages, but it doesn’t penetrate as deep as a hot box does. That being said, it is effective in killing bed bugs in places like bed frames, blankets, pillows or box springs.
- Dryer: Dealing with a bed bug problem can be as easy as throwing infected items in your clothes dryer at home. Running the dryer on high heat is usually enough to kill bed bugs. Keep in mind though that some items can be run through a dryer, but not washed such as stuffed animals.
- Home Heat Treatment: This method sees a professional bed bug exterminator or pest control services go into a home or apartment building and raise room temperatures to lethal levels, much like the way the hot box works. Keep in mind that this can be a costly form of treatment and it is usually combined with pesticide application to fully rid a place of bed bugs.
According to the NPMA’s 2018 survey, more than 50 percent of pest control professionals say summer is the busiest time of year for bed bugs. If you’re in need of bed bug removal and are thinking about bed bug heat treatment, check Angie’s List for reputable exterminators and pest control services.
Keep in mind that you can also rent a bed bug heater for home use.
If you’re looking for alternative methods to get rid of bed bugs, there are many DIY options.