Can you guess the enemy of heat treatments?  It is the loss of heat.  Not too shocking, right?  But it can make a big difference in a heat treatment to kill bed bugs.

How Does Heat Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are, unfortunately, very resilient creatures. They don’t die at naturally high or low temps.  To die at a cold temperature, they would need to be exposed to 0° Fahrenheit for at least four days!  So that is not a practical method of bed bug extermination.  Bed bugs will not die in normal high temperatures of 90° F.  But, they start to die from the heat of 113° F when exposed for 1-2 hours.  At 118-20°F, the bed bugs die in a matter of seconds.  And this high temperature also kills bed bug eggs. READ MORE

Where Does Heat Loss Occur?

As stated, high temperatures are very important for successful bed bug eradication. The enemy of heat treatments is heat loss. When we perform heat treatments to kill bed bugs, we attempt to seal off the treatment area.  We make sure all windows are closed tightly.  We cover vents and air returns, exhaust fans, and window AC units.  It may be necessary to turn off the air conditioning in a house with central air if the air vents are on the ceiling.  In a recent heat treatment that we performed, we used painter’s tape to seal the air vents.  However, when we returned the following day, the air pressure in that area had built up and had blown the tape right off the vent.  Fortunately, that cold air was not enough to sabotage our treatment.

We also treated a bedroom that had a fireplace.  So, that had to be covered with plastic to ensure heat did not escape up the chimney.  We also cover any other random holes in the wall, floor, or ceiling to prevent heat loss. Finally, Whenever we finish setting up a room, we roll up a towel and place it outside the door to deter additional heat loss.  Remember, this is the enemy of heat treatments.

the enemy of heat treatments is heat loss
Fireplaces need to be covered in order to prevent heat loss during a bed bug heat treatment.

If your home has the following it could be more difficult to treat with heat: single-pane windows, concrete or brick interior floors or walls, two exterior walls to a room, & drop ceilings.  Heat treatments to kill bed bugs in these areas may take a bit longer than usual but is not impossible. READ MORE

Where Can I Order a Heat Treatment to Kill Bed Bugs?

So while the enemy of heat treatments is heat loss, most of this can be avoided.  We will gladly talk to you about your circumstance and find the best treatment plan to help your home become free of bed bugs.  Give us a call. We are here to help!