Pesticides can be used to resolve problems with bed bugs in your home, but you may be reluctant to use them especially if there are children or pets living in your property. You can start dealing with bed bugs by vacuuming the area. However, this usually only helps to get rid of bugs you can actually see. You also run the risk of spreading the problem, unless you use a vacuum that is specifically for the purpose or thoroughly clean the vacuum cleaner that you use.
It’s often a good idea to speak to an exterminator service about problems with bed bugs. They will talk through your options with you. These options can include the use of heat treatment to get rid of the intruders.
How can heat kill bed bugs?
Just like humans, bed bugs have specific DNA. Heating cells in a bed bug to more than 45°C causes its DNA to start to break down. This means that its cells no longer work as they should. For the most effective results of heat treatment the bug needs to be targeted with a heat of 50°C for two hours or 52°C for one hour. There are different methods that can be used to apply this heat.
Using a hot box
Placing items such as clothing and bedding into a hot box can be an effective way to kill bed bugs in your home. The walls of the hot box are heated to a temperature that is in excess of the levels needed to kill the bugs. This method of applying heat treatment requires careful use as fires can be caused if the box is not heated in the correct manner. You also need to be careful of using hot boxes around items that can be damaged by the heat. If gas or propane is being used in the supply of heat, there needs to be a good level of ventilation in the area.
Treating entire rooms or buildings
It’s possible to apply heat treatments to entire rooms or buildings where bed bugs are present. Every gap and crevice where the bugs could be living needs to be treated. This is not a form of pest control that you can carry out yourself. All of the work needs to be done by a professional pest control service. They have the knowledge, expertise and machinery to complete the work in an efficient manner. There is a possibility that cold spots in the property could mean that some bed bugs remain after the treatment. This is why this type of heat treatment is often combined with the use of some pesticides.
Using heat treatment to get rid of bed bugs can be expensive, due to the high levels of expertise and specialist machinery required. However, using heat treatment can be a good way of reducing the amount of pesticides required to resolve a bed bug problem.