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Reasons Why Bed Bug Heat Treatments Are a Better Solution Than Bed Bug Repellent

Residents of the Sunshine State are no strangers to bed bugs. These insects are not selective. So, don’t be surprised to suffer an infestation even if you have a clean home. Unfortunately, bed bug removal isn’t effortless, and many property owners struggle to find the best solution.

One debate relates to bed bug repellent versus heat treatment effectiveness. While the former has received positive reviews, it’s not effective when dealing with a full-scale bed bug infestation.

How a Bed Bug Repellent Works

The EPA website describes an insect repellent as “ any substance intended for mitigating, preventing, repelling and destroying pests.” Bed bug repellent, therefore, doesn’t kill these pests. Instead, it keeps them away.

Examples of Natural Bed Bug Repellents

Studies have found some essential oils to be effective in repelling bed bugs. These include:

  • Thymol. A study on the toxicity of essential plant oils found that thyme aromas would disrupt a bed bug’s nervous system.
  • Geraniol. Based on a 2014 study, geraniol had a similar effect on bedbugs to a traditional pesticide.
  • Citronella. A 2021 study on the “ behavioral responses of common bed bugs to essential oil constituents” found that citronella would, to some extent, deter bed bugs by reducing blood uptake.

Why Bed Bug Heat Treatment Is More Effective Than Bed Bug Repellent

First, it’s important to note that a repellent doesn’t always protect you from bed bug bites. For instance, in the 2021 study, which involved citronella oil, the researchers found that proximity to a heat source did not deter bed bugs from sucking blood. Instead, it only lowered their feeding rate.

Moreover, a separate study on ultrasonic device repellents found that ultrasonic repellers did not affect bed bugs’ communication, even though previous studies found that these products worked on bark beetles.

How Bed Bug Heat Treatment Works

Experts have found that bed bug heat treatment is a highly effective bed bug control method. This process involves raising the temperature of your home to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It requires special equipment, including thermometers, to ascertain that the temperature levels are sufficient to kill bed bugs. Therefore, only licensed pest control professionals can carry it out.

You will need to prepare your home before the heat treatment for bed bugs begins. Every family member, including pets, must be out of the house.

You will also need to declutter and safely dispose of items not in use. It would be best if you also took out heat-sensitive items, like plants. Fortunately, large items like your TV and computer can sustain the heat.

Benefits of Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Heat treatments are highly effective because they kill nymphs and adult bed bugs. What’s more, it targets bed bug-infested areas that aren’t easily visible—unlike a bed bug repellent, which doesn’t always deter these pests from invading your home and, more importantly, doesn’t get rid of bed bugs.

Let’s not forget the eco-friendly nature of bed bug heat treatments. Not all bed bug repellents use organic ingredients. As a consumer, you may not always know which products are safe, especially if you have kids or pets.

Also, failure to wash hands after use could lead to accidental consumption. While the toxicity of EPA-approved repellents is low, the effects of long-term use aren’t apparent.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Heat treatment is effective at eradicating bed bugs from your home. Even so, it’s better to stop them from getting inside altogether.

  • Always inspect hotels and Airbnbs before settling. Using a flashlight, check the mattress, bed frames, and paintings. Avoid placing items on the carpet. Instead, place them on a rack or inside the closet.
  • Always place clothes and other fabrics in the washing machine after purchase or when you’re on a trip.
  • Declutter your home and deep clean it regularly.
  • Seal cracks and crevices beneath windows, doors, and other entryways.

Tell-Tale Signs of an Infestation

Here are a few ways to check for bugs in your home.

  • Reddish-brown adult bed bugs
  • Translucent nymphs
  • Pearly white bed bug eggs
  • Mottled skin
  • Musty odor

Using repellents or other chemical treatments isn’t ideal for bed bug control. Chemical treatments can be toxic, and there have been skin irritation and even cancer reports.

Chemical treatments require several applications to kill bed bugs. In comparison, a single heat treatment session of about 8 hours targets all infested areas thoroughly.

Contact McDonald Pest Control for Bed Bug Heat Treatment Today

If you believe your home is infested with bed bugs, it’s wise to call for pest management immediately. At McDonald Pest Control, we perform a comprehensive treatment program that is safe and effective. Contact us today for more information on our bed bug eradication techniques and other pest control services. Book an inspection visit for your home today!