There are a many things you can do to effectively get rid of bed bugs, but sometimes it can get confusing when trying to decide which option would be best for you and your home or business. In this article we will go over some basic information relating to the two most common methods used by pest management companies to eliminate bed bug infestations.
Whole Room Bed Bug Heat Treatments
Whole room heat treatments involve a Pest Management Professionals, (known as a PMP or technician) or actual Bed Bug Specialists like our company, bringing in specially designed equipment to raise the temperature in your home or business to kill the bed bugs.
Temperatures and Times
Bed bugs and their eggs die within 90 minutes at 118°F (48°C) or immediately at 122°F (50°C). During an effective heat treatment, the air temperature in the room is typically between 135°F and 150°F. The (PMP or Specialist) will place remote thermometers throughout the room, to make sure the right temperatures are reached and held for the appropriate time. The PMP or Specialist watches the thermometers closely to ensure that it gets hot enough to kill bed bugs.
High temp fans are the most important part of a heat treatment and they are moved around during the treatment for optimal heat distribution to all areas plus the furniture. A heat treatment typically takes between six and eight hours, depending on the condition of the area being treated and equipment being used. Electric heaters will take much longer than 6-8 hours, sometimes as much as 24 hours or more. 6-8 hours refers to gas, propane, diesel, kerosene or micro turbine heaters only. Diesel indirect fired heaters are our companies choice. We find electric heaters to be a drain on a clients power grid which puts a strain on their pocket book.
During the heat treatment pets and any heat sensitive items that may melt or be damaged at temperatures up to 150°F degrees should be removed from the area being treated. Make sure you discuss this with your PMP or Specialist as anything not treated with heat will need to be treated in another way. Any reputable pest control company will have a preperation list for their client to follow. If they do not have a prep list or they do not require prep work at all, they are not experienced with bed bug treatments and you will be wasting your time, money and sanity.
What About Protection Afterwards
Heat treatments do not offer any residual effects and your home could quickly become reinfested after a heat treatment if prevention steps are not taken.
Often, a residual insecticide will be applied to the room being treated for bed bugs as a prevention step. This is what we do. Our insecticides are strictly for prevention of introduction after the heat treatment has been performed.
Bed Bug Chemical Insecticide Treatments
Chemical Insecticide treatments that are performed thoroughly and correctly by a licensed PMP or Specialist can be a very effective way of controlling bed bugs. Again chemical insecticides can be very effective but only in the hands of an experienced individual. There are many different brands of chemical insecticides but each of the following categories can be used. They can also be used in conjunction with each other for optimal protection but combining these categories together without causing spreading takes experience.
Bed Bug Chemical Types
• A fast-acting, contact insecticide. Normally these are repellants or pyrithroids. Pyrithroids are a class of chemicals that bed bugs have gained resistance too, so in most cases this type of chemical is only added to a non repellants chemical to combat the resistance to the pyrithroid.
• A residual chemical insecticide that is not fast acting but has a transfer effect from bed bug to bed bug causing the chemical to be spread between the infestation. These are commonly known as non repellants. There are many different classes of non repellants and most bed bug stains have not formed any resistance to these classes of chemicals yet. This is what Dead Bug Walkin LLC uses because the bed bugs cannot tell that the chemical is actually even there in there hiding spot. This is important as to not cause bed bugs to spread throughout the home unnaturally.
• A dust insecticide for cracks, crevices and voids like electrical plugins, behind trim & baseboards, etc. These types of dust insecticides can last up to ten years when kept dry. Dusts must be used extremely sparingly. Literally applied as if a couple of weeks normal dust has settled on top of your DVD player. More than that amount will cause them to just avoid it.
Other Bed Bug Treatment Types
Companies may offer other services such as container heat treatments, steam applications, freezing infested items (we do not recommend cold or freezing treatments) or use pest strips in an air tight environment to kill any bed bugs or eggs on items removed during the bed bug treatment that cannot go thru a dryer on high heat for no less than 1 hour. Usually, items treated with these optional controls do not require an insecticide treatment and therefore fewer insecticides are needed.
An effective insecticide treatment program should involve 2-3 visits from the PMP or Specialist, as it is not likely all the bed bugs will be killed in the initial treatment, although the amount of bed bugs and eggs play a role in the number of actual times someone would need a chemical bed bug treatment. An insecticide treatment can take about 15 minutes to 2 hours per room depending on size and amount of furniture in a room. Once a chemical bed bug treatment is completed law requires that you wait until all the insecticides have dried before reentering your home, or until the PMP or Specialist says it is safe to re-enter.
With a chemical bed bug treatment or really any type of bed bug treatment the technician or Specialist should provide you with a preperations list of instructions for how to prepare your home for a bed bug chemical only treatment. It is very important to follow these directions closely as properly preparing the home is a very important step in any bed bug treatment process. Improper preparation is one of the main reasons that any type of treatment for bed bugs can fail as well as not following the prep list re-entry process for bringing items back into the home after the bed bug treatment has been performed.
Doing It Yourself Can Be A Mistake
Dead Bug Walkin LLC strongly advises against trying to perform a chemical bed bug treatment by yourself. Controlling bed bugs with chemical insecticides is challenging and a time consuming process which requires experience and in many states a license is required to apply the chemical insecticides which kill bed bugs. The insecticides that can be purchased in a hardware store, such as foggers, bombers and premixed cans or bottles are not effective in controlling bed bugs and we strongly recommend against their use. Even if they state they are specifically for bed bugs. They are repellant pyrithroids that bed bugs are already resistant to. Repellants also cause bed bugs to spread. We only use non repellants only for bed bugs. Any reputable company should know this basic information about the chemicals commonly used for bed bugs.
If you have questions or would like to speak with us feel free to call us at