How Long Does it Take for Heat Treatment to Kill Bed Bugs?

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How Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs Works

Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects found in most places. They’re resilient since they tend to resist some types of chemical treatment. Plus, they like hiding in dark areas such as cracks and crevices. Moreover, these pests can go for up to 400 days without food given the right temperature and humidity.

To put it simply, unless you take action to get rid of bed bugs, they can’t disappear by themselves. The treatment process can involve insecticides or heat.

So, how does heat treatment work, and how long does it take?

How Does Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs Work?

Bed bugs thrive in temperatures of 21 to 32 degrees Celsius. That’s why they do well in warm weather and favor beds. However, bed bugs can’t endure higher temperatures for long. If temperatures increase to 40o Celsius, they die within 24 hours.

Therefore, heat treatment works by raising the temperature in your home to the point where bed bugs can’t survive. Typically, room temperature can range between 57.2 and 62.7o Celsius. It only takes 90 minutes to kill bed bugs at a temperature of 50o Celsius. The higher the temperature, the shorter the time it takes to exterminate bed bugs.

Professional exterminators use industrial heaters to raise the temperature. Then powerful fans help to distribute heat to all places in the room. The hot air current can get in most areas, including inside the electronics. But it’s best to leave drawers and closets open to facilitate hot air movement.

Bed bug control professionals use thermometers to measure temperature in various room sections. Once they achieve the ideal room heat, they allow the treatment process to continue for a few hours. This process can take 3 to 4 hours or even more time, depending on heat levels. In addition to killing bed bugs, the heat will also kill bacteria, allergens, viruses, and harmful pores.

Does Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs Put My House At Risk?

Increasing the room temperature to 50o Celsius is dangerous to the bed bugs but not to most items in the house. However, it’s best to remove heat-sensitive items from the room until treatment is complete. These items include:

  • Pressurized cylinders like fire extinguishers, spray cans, and oxygen bottles
  • Flammable chemicals
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Living plants
  • Pets and aquariums

Bed bugs can hide in electronics and clothes. So, you don’t have to remove those infested items from the house. Pest control professionals can use alternative approaches to treat heat-sensitive items that may be carrying bed bugs.

Heat Treatment Versus Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatments take around 30 minutes to 2 hours to treat a single room. But most of the chemicals are toxic. That means you need to leave your house for a while to avoid contamination with the chemicals.

Plus, some bed bugs may hide or flee from the chemical, only to return later. Therefore, chemical treatment may require two or three repetitions.

On the other hand, bed bugs like heat. So, during heat treatment, they’re drawn to it and trapped to death. For this reason, it only takes a single treatment to destroy the entire lifecycle, including bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adults. This method is also non-toxic.

That means you can continue living in your house once treatment is complete.

How To Prepare For Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs

Preparing your house for bed bug heat treatment is essential and takes a few hours. The pest control professionals give you instructions on what to do before the treatment.

You need to remove heat-sensitive items from the room. Most electronics can withstand high temperatures unless otherwise stated. So, leave the appliances in the room, but be sure to unplug the power supply.

Bed bugs are good at hiding, so try to expose them by decluttering the room. Avoid putting your clothes in a pile as heat may not reach the inner parts. Remove trash from the room, but be careful not to spread bed bugs from infested areas to treated areas.

Taking Preventive Measures

Once your home becomes bed bug free, you need to take preventive action to minimize the risk of a future infestation.

Here are some measures you can take to protect your home from bed bugs.

  • Use a protective cover for your mattress to block bed bug hiding places
  • Check second-hand furniture for signs of infestation before taking it home
  • Avoid cluttering items in your house that may provide hiding places for bed bugs
  • Use residue insecticide to protect a room or the house from re-infestation after treatment

How McDonald Pest Control Can Help You with Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Bed bug infestations are challenging to treat. It’s best to call professionals to provide the appropriate treatment for bed bugs. McDonald Pest Control can help get rid of bed bugs with heat. If you can’t sleep soundly at night due to bed bug bites, don’t hesitate to call our pest control services for immediate action.

Call for a free consultation today!