No one likes insects that bite, and bed bugs are some of the worst of the worst. There are many tried-and-true methods for avoiding mosquitoes, fire ants and the like, but bed bugs generally attack when you are at your most vulnerable: when you are asleep! If you are dealing with an infestation of creepy-crawlies like the dreaded bed bug, then trying a bed bug heat treatment can return your home to a bug-free sanctuary without risking the health of your family and loved ones.
The Bed Bug Blues
Bed bugs are public enemy number one these days. They leave itchy, irritated bites all over the body, but it’s really hard to get rid of them. There are a lot of problems with treating bed bugs. The first is that you may be unfamiliar with bed bugs as they are a pest that historically hasn’t been a huge problem like other pests.
One reason that it may seem like bed bugs have popped out of left field is that they have become resistant to a degree to some of the insecticides used to kill them. Bed bugs can also be hard to see or detect because they can hide very well in cracks and crevices and the interior portions of your mattresses. Bed bugs aren’t even restricted to beds anymore! In August, there were reports of bed bugs infesting the upholstered seats of a movie theater in California. Bed bugs like darkness, such as in movie theaters or your bedroom, and both places present problems, like bulky mattresses or theater seats, that can be hard to treat.
Furthermore, who wants to use dangerous insecticides on their bedding and mattresses? If the cure is dangerous to your family and your pets, then it’s not really a solution. One solution is a bed bug heat treatment.
The Benefits of Heat Treatment
Heat treatments are quickly becoming the treatment method of choice when it comes to bed bugs. There are multiple benefits to using heat to kill these biting creepy-crawlies, such as:
- A bed bug heat treatment is chemical free.
- You can treat items that are big and bulky, like mattresses.
- Whole rooms can be heat treated for bed bugs.
- Heat treatments are versatile and can be relatively inexpensive.
There are many options, such as hiring a bed bug heat treatment company or looking into DIY options.
Heat Treatment Options
There are many different options for bed bug heat treatments. A list of options from Virginia Tech’s Department of Entomology maintains that the heat treatments you choose will depend upon the severity of your particular infestation. You may choose more than one kind of heat treatment, and you may choose to combine a heat treatment with another bed bug treatment method.
Bed bug heat treatment methods include:
- Steam. Hand-held steam cleaners emit streams of steam that can be slowly applied to mattresses, upholstered items and so on.
- Dryers. Washable and dryable items like sheets, blankets and toys can be put in the dryer on HIGH for at least 30 minutes.
- Portable Heating Devices. These devices are basically heat chambers that house items during the heating process.
- Whole Room Heat Treatments. Using heaters, fans and the like, a room’s temperature is brought up to—and held for a few hours—at 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit or more to reach the bed bug’s ‘thermal death point’ of 113 degrees.
It is generally advised to have professionals complete most bed bug heat treatment options to ensure that the bugs are truly eradicated and your home or items aren’t damaged. That way, you can rest easy knowing the bed bugs are gone for good!
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