Steam Heat vs Remediation Heat For Bed Bug Treatments

Steam Heat vs Remediation Heat For Bed Bug Treatments

There are basically two different types of treatments available in Oklahoma and the United States. Of course there are more than two ways to use heat to , but the two treatment types we are speaking about today are the most widely used methods for eliminating bed bug infestations in 2020. The two most used heat methods for killing bed bug activity are "steam heat treatments" and "remediation heat treatments" for , (when a whole home or area is heated to above 125 degrees Fahrenheit for a specific amount of time). We will go over each individual heat treatment type in this article then give their benefits and their downfalls.

Bed bug on top of baseboard.
Bed bug on top of baseboard.

Explaining Steam

Steam heat is when a technician, specialist or pest management professional uses a tool with a trigger and a flat platform about 2-3 inches wide by 2-3 inches long, to apply quick flowing steam to furniture and the structure of a home. The tool to apply the steam heat is attached to a large enclosed tank that holds the steam until it is dispersed out of the tank through a hose connected to the steam dispersement tool that the professional uses to kill the bed bugs and their eggs directly. Most steam heating tools will release steam that is around 300 degrees or more. If the professional, yourself or whoever is not paying enough attention to the details of the , the steam could possibly damage the item being treated for bed bugs. A steam heat treatment is a tedious process that requires hours upon hours of thorough inspection. It's literally inspecting every inch of a home. Then when bed bug activity is found the steam is applied for 30-60 seconds. After the steam has been applied for the correct amount of time it's time to move on to the next 2-3 inches. This process is repeated 1000's of times until no more live bed bugs are found. Those will all be done in just one treatment. Then normally 2-3 more treatments of doing the same process will be needed later. This gives a total of (2-4) bed bug treatments or (appointments) spread out by anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending upon the company being used. With a steam heat bed bug treatment a home owner is relying upon an individual person to find every single bed bug and bed bug egg in the home.

More Than One Treatment Needed

only needs one treatment or appointment. It will take 2-4 steam heat bed bug treatments to eliminate a bug bug infestation. If certain insecticides are used it may lessen the amount of treatments or appointments needed to completely destroy the bed bug activity. Be careful when using chemicals for bed bugs, they can not only be dangerous to you and your pets but it can cause your infestation to spread making it much harder to eliminate the bed bug infestation quickly. Bed bugs can live without even feeding for over 1 year. Females can continue to lay eggs throughout a duration of not feeding, as well. Each female will lay anywhere from 1-5 eggs a day at 68 degrees or 5-10 eggs a day at 86 degrees. Any hotter than 86 degrees makes them uncomfortable and they start to look for cooler spots to hide. Bed bugs die immediately when exposed to temps of over 122 degrees. This brings us to our 2nd most used heat bed bug treatment method, heat remediation for bed bugs.

Bed bug hiding next to its shed skin.
Bed bug hiding next to its shed skin.

Explaining Heat Remediation For Bed Bugs…

Heat remediation is when a structure and all it's contents, minus items that may be damaged or dangerous, are sealed off and heat is applied to the entire area for no less than 1-2 hours. This type of bed bug treatment requires large heaters to reach the required kill temperatures needed. The heaters will be electric, propane, diesel or kerosene. 120 volt electronic heaters by themselves are not recommended for use. Instead 120 volt electric heaters should only be an add on to propane, diesel or kerosene bed bug heaters being used. 240 volt or higher electric heaters are not subject to any bias as to weather they can be used individually without a larger heater in play. Infact many 240 volt or higher bed bug heaters work very well when combined with several fans to direct the heat to areas that bed bugs are hiding in. Fans have an incredibly important function in a treatment. If enough fans are not used or rotated to different areas the treatment will fail. It can literally be 150 degrees in the area being treated but without the heat being circulated even the high temperatures of 150 degrees is worthless. Many people including some professionals do not understand this concept of without the air circulating the heats temperatures will not be even throughout the area being heat treated. You will have higher temps close to the ceiling with lower temps near the floor. This is especially the case with backside corners inside closets and bathrooms. Bed bugs can tell where the hot and cool spots are so you can bet that they will survive if possible.

Problem With 120 Volt Electric Heaters…

The problem with 120 volt electric heaters is not that they do not reach the required temps to kill bed bugs. It's that they take such a long period to actually get even close to a kill temp. Since it takes so long to even reach a kill temp with these heaters the bed bugs will have a chance to escape to areas they may be able to survive in. An example would be making it to a door frame or window that has outside temps coming through cracks. In many cases that's all that is needed for a bed bug to survive a heat treatment.

No Problems Here…

As long as enough fans are used, no electric heaters that are 120 volts are used by themselves and the company applying the heat remediation is experienced, most heat remediation treatments for bed bugs will work. Our company, LLC, uses indirect fired diesel heaters that remain outside of a residence, then the heat is ducted inside through windows or doors that are sealed off completely. Then the heat is funneled through several fans inside the home directing 150 degree temperatures throughout the structure, furniture and items inside the home or business. Our diesel heaters reach a kill temp in just about 5 minutes on a regular basis. This is compared to electric heaters taking anywhere from 3-12 hours to even reach 122 degrees. Our diesel heaters reach 122 degrees in about 1-2 minutes. Our heaters getting to the kill temp so quickly allows us to have virtually no runners even attempt to move from the spot they were hiding at in the first place.

Only One Treatment Needed…

With a heat remediation bed bug treatment only one treatment or appointment is needed. Since with heat remediation every part of a structure and it's items are drenched in heat, it eliminates all the bed bugs and eggs in just one swoop. There's no relying upon a human to locate the bed bug activity like with a steam heat treatment. This makes the ability for a remediation treatment to be a one and done treatment a viable possibility. Adding a non repellent chemical bed bug spray to heat remediation makes for the ultimate bed bug treatment possible.

Bed bug heat remediation outside view.
Bed bug heat remediation outside view.

Adding Chemical Insecticides To Bed Bug Heat Treatments…

Heat bed bug treatment services should never be used alone. No matter what type of heat bed bug treatment you choose to try to get rid of your bed bug problem be sure to add a non repellent chemical insecticide residual to the process. By adding a chemical bed bug treatment to a heat treatment you are not only making your attempts at eliminating them more successful, but a chemical residual will protect your home from re-infestation again. Heat bed bug treatment services that do not contain a chemical residual often fail because of re-infestation from outside sources. After any bed bug treatment is when a home or business will be at its most vulnerable. So including a chemical insecticide that is a non repellent is extremely important for success when battling bed bugs.


Steam heat is applied by a small tool that can only cover 2-3 inches at a time with pressurized steam. Only being able to heat small patches at a time is a reality that most will not have the patience to deal with. Usually 2-4 treatments with heat are needed to completely stop the activity when using steam heat to kill bed bugs.

Heat remediation is applied with large heaters and heat resistant fans that raise temperatures in a structure to between 125-150 degrees. Heating an entire enclosed area enables every bed bug and their eggs to be killed in just one treatment or appointment.

Adding a non repellent chemical residual is essential to bed bug treatment success no matter what you type you choose. Not adding a chemical residual would be a waste of time and money by any individual attempting to eradicate bed bugs.

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Contact Info…

Call or Text Message us anytime: 918-710-7529.

Dead Bug Walkin LLC Bed Bug Heat Treatment Specialists Pest Control

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