Bed Bug FAQs

General

How do I know if I have bed bugs?
There are several things to look for to see if you may have a bed bug infestation: bites, blood smears, exoskeletons, fecal markings are a few signs to look for.  Please refer to our page on detecting bed bugs HERE.  Also, we highly recommend paying for a K9 inspection to determine the scope of the infestation. Click HERE for more information on a K9 inspection.
I have bites. Does that mean I have bed bugs?

Unfortunately, it is challenging to determine if a bite is from a bed bug or another insect.  Usually, you will see other signs of a bed bug infestation if you are getting bit.  Please refer to our page on detecting bed bugs HERE.

Does everyone react the same to bed bug bites?

Up to 30% of people do not react to bed bug bites.  And everyone’s body reacts a little differently.  It may look like a large welt to someone with skin sensitivity, while someone else may display small marks.

I have bites but my partner doesn’t. Does that mean my partner isn’t getting bit?

Up to 30% of people do not react to bed bug bites.  So just because they do not exhibit bite marks, this does not mean that they have not been the source of feeding for these pests.

How effective is a heat treatment? How does it compare to chemical treatments?

Heat treatments are extremely effective as they kill all stages of the bed bug life cycle.  Most chemicals do not kill bed bug eggs, so additional treatments are needed every 7-10 days until all eggs have hatched.

Is a heat treatment safe? Should I be worried about the equipment starting a fire?

Our heat treatments are very safe.  There is very little risk of a fire starting as long as you have removed combustible items prior to the treatment, which include, but are not limited to, lighters, firearms, ammunition, and aerosol cans.  Also, all paper items should be secured so they are not sucked into the heaters during the treatment.  In addition, our heaters have several fail-safe mechanisms to ensure proper operation throughout the treatment period.

How long does a heat treatment take?

We have two different types of heat treatments, depending on the square footage of the area being treated and available electricity.  If the treatment area is small enough and there is enough electric power available, we will use electric heaters to treat your home.  This process is slower, produces lower temperatures (125-135° F) and takes 24 hours. In most cases, we do not stay on site for an electric heat treatment.  If you have a larger area that needs to be treated or you have inadequate electrical power, we will use our propane heater which is typically done between 8 am and 5 pm.  This process is faster, produces higher temperatures, and requires us to stay on the premise for the entire treatment duration.

Will the heat treatment cause the bugs to spread?

No.  Bugs are drawn to heat, so they love it when they feel the warm air.  They may even start to come out of their hiding spots.  By the time they realize that it is TOO hot for their survival, it is too late. Bed bugs are quite sedentary and will not have time to scurry out of the room during a heat treatment.

My kids bounce between my house and my ex's house. Does that put us at a higher risk to get bed bugs?

You do not have a higher chance of getting bed bugs, but it may be more difficult to treat unless both homes have been inspected and treated.  Cross contamination is challenging to contain in these situations.

Can you tell how long I have had bed bugs?

It is near possible to know how long bed bugs have been present in your home.  But here is a small graph of the reproduction capabilities of bed bugs.

If I have bed bugs in my house, will the bugs be in my car?

It is possible for cross-contamination to occur between your residence and your vehicle.  We do not see this very often in the case of a minor infestation.  However, the more bed bugs that live in your house, the higher the likelihood that you many inadvertently transfer some to your car.

What is the best way to treat my car for bed bugs?

We recommend treating your vehicle with heat for about 8-12 hours.  We have a small heater and fan that is available to rent or you can hire us to treat it for you.

What is the best way to treat my car for bed bugs?

We recommend treating your vehicle with heat for about 8-12 hours.  We have a small heater and fan that is available to rent or you can hire us to treat it for you.

Preparing for a Heat Treatment

What do I need to do to prepare for a heat treatment?
There are a few things you need to do to get ready for a heat treatment.  Please refer to our pre-treatment instruction sheet HERE.
Will a heat treatment ruin anything in my house?
Heat treatments can damage anything alive in your home such as pets and plants.  Any fresh produce or bread items should be stored in the refrigerator during a heat treatment. Heat sensitive items such as candles, crayons, make-up and wooden instruments should be inspected and removed from the treatment area prior to treatment.  Corked beverages such as wine or champagne should be stored upright or removed from the treatment area. Any items hung on the wall with adhesive should be taken down as the adhesive may soften and loosen during the treatment.  Wall paper may become unglued from walls and linoleum floors may buckle during the treatment but usually will return to their original state once cooled. Also, wooden doors may warp during treatment, but usually will return to their original state once cooled. Please click HERE to see our pre-treatment instruction list for more details.
What should be removed from the treatment area?
There are several items that should be removed from the treatment area prior to a heat treatment.  Please refer to our pre-treatment instructions which can be found HERE.
Should I strip all the linens off of my bed before a heat treatment?

No. We prefer that you leave the bed as you slept in it.  In preparing for a heat treatment, less is more.  We do not want the bugs disturbed any more than they have to be before the room gets to lethal temperatures of greater than 118⁰ F.

What do I do with all my stuff?

We recommend getting rid of any items that are not longer used or needed.  While more stuff will not lead to a bed bug infestation, it can lead to a more difficult treatment as the stuff provides more areas for the bugs to hide and avoid getting heated during the treatment.

How should I handle all my clothes?

  Any clothes that fit loosely in your closet or drawers can stay right where they are.  We will open closets and drawers prior to or during the heat treatment.  If your closet and drawers are packed so that air cannot get in between clothing items, we recommend thinning them out. Place about half of the clothes in tightly sealed plastic bags and remove from the treatment area.  Then carefully place clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes to kill any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride in these items

During The Heat Treatment

Do I have to leave during the treatment?

If we are treating your entire home, you will need to vacate the premises during a heat treatment.  If we are treating only a portion of the home, it may be possible for you to stay in the untreated area of your home during the heat treatment.

Can I go into the treatment area when it is heating?

Yes, you can briefly walk into the treatment area to check temperatures or to get an item that may be needed.  Please inspect any item before removing it from the treatment area. 

Will a heat treatment activate my heat sensors or sprinkler heads?

Heat sensors may go off at a temperature of about 135⁰ F or if the rate of rise of temperature is too fast.  Sprinklers can be activated around 150⁰ F.  When possible, heat sensors should be deactivated and sprinkler systems should be drained and sprinkler heads removed prior to a heat treatment. If neither of those are possible, we recommend covering heat sensors and sprinklers prior to a heat treatment (we would do this for you if you order a full service heat treatment).

After The Heat Treatment

How should I clean after a heat treatment?

We recommend that you vacuum your floor thoroughly as well as dust your furniture.  After being heated to the lethal temperature of 118⁰F, bed bugs become flat and light.  With all the air movement created by the fans, the dead bed bugs can end up in all corners of the treatment area.  We also recommend that you clean the fecal stains wherever possible. It may be beneficial to put a new encasement on your mattress or box spring.  This way you can tell if there is a new infestation at a later time.

Should I throw away my furniture or anything that has had bugs on them?

  It is not mandatory that you discard any item in your home as all bugs and eggs will die during the heat treatment.  We do recommend discarding items that are heavily soiled with fecal stains as it will be difficult to get this clean and may make a new infestation nearly impossible to detect. In addition, any furniture, mattresses, or box springs that have rips or holes should be discarded.

When is it safe to re-enter the treatment area after the heat treatment is over?

You can go back into the treatment area for brief amounts of time (5-10 minutes) immediately after the treatment ends but should wait for at least 2 hours before using the area for long periods of time.   If you need to get back into the treatment area soon after the treatment ends, we recommend opening windows and doors and turning on your AC (if applicable) in order to decrease the air temperature rapidly.  Please keep in mind that objects such as floors, walls, mattresses and furniture retain heat much longer than the air. 

Do you warranty your work?

Yes, most of our full-service heat treatments come with a full 30-day warranty (see terms here).  If we are not able to offer a full-service warranty, we offer a limited warranty that allows you to borrow our electric equipment to use for up to 30 days as available to spot treat areas in your home.

Is there any way to get a longer warranty?

Our full and limited warranty is for 30 days after the heat treatment.  If you pay for a K9 post-treatment inspection, we will extend your warranty for an additional 30 days (for a total of 60 days). Click HERE to learn more about a K9 Inspection.

Why isn’t the warranty longer?

Bed bugs can be picked up just about anywhere: hotels, cars, public transportation, friend’s or relative’s house, recently acquired furniture or clothes, etc. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that you will not pick up new bed bugs and create a new infestation. If you do not see a live bed bug for 30 days after our treatment, there is a very high chance that we successfully eliminated your bed bug problem.

What if I find a bug after the heat treatment?

If you find a bug after a heat treatment, please save the bug ALIVE in a Ziploc bag for observation.  If it dies within 30 days of the treatment, it was injured during the heat treatment.  If it is still alive after 30 days, it may be necessary for us to do a spot heat treatment in the room in which the bug was found (if found in a room that was previously treated with heat).

Who is responsible for anything damaged during the treatment?

While we do our best to check that items in the home will be free from damage, you, as the homeowner, are ultimately responsible for your own belongings.  If there is an item of high value, you may want to inspect it carefully and remove it from the treatment area prior to heating. Please carefully read our Terms and Conditions found HERE.