Bed bugs have become a significant problem in households around the world. Infestations can cause sleepless nights, anxiety, and frustration.
Homeowners often turn to drastic measures in their efforts to solve the issue, including the use of hot water. But does hot water kill bed bugs?
The answer is complicated, as it depends on several factors. Yes, hot water can be effective in killing bed bugs, but only when it reaches a certain temperature and is used correctly. No, because some of these bed bugs may die instantly, while others may be able to survive and come back stronger.
Hot water alone is not likely to get rid of a full-blown infestation. Bed bugs are extremely resilient creatures and can survive in temperatures up to 113°F for short periods. Even if the temperature reaches as high as 140°F, it may still take several minutes before the bed bugs succumb to death.
Reasons Why Relying on Hot Water May Not Be the Best Solution
There’s a common misconception that bed bugs are only found in beds – hence, the name. While this is partly true, bed bugs can also be found in carpets, bed frames, furniture, baseboards, etc. Therefore, using hot water alone may not be enough to get rid of a full-blown infestation.
Here are some reasons why hot water alone may not be the best solution:
Difficult to Control and Maintain the Temperature
If the water is not hot enough, the bed bugs will survive. It may be agonizing for them for a little while, but their chances of survival go higher if the water temperature drops.
Controlling and maintaining the required temperature of hot water for a long enough period is difficult.
Using hot water alone may take too much time, as it requires extensive cleaning of an entire area to ensure that all bed bugs and their eggs are killed. Some myths mention that pouring scorching water on the mattress is enough solution to the problem, but that’s not entirely true.
The issue with this is that you should be able to fully soak the affected area in hot water to ensure all bed bugs are killed. That can take a lot of time and effort, to say the least.
Additionally, as we’ve mentioned earlier, these bed bugs aren’t just hiding in your mattress. They can also be found in parts of your room, furniture, and baseboards. This means that the process would be even more time-consuming.
High Risk of Damaging Your Property
Using hot water on your bedding, furniture, and other items may cause them to shrink or be permanently damaged. Not to mention the risk of scalding yourself when you’re handling boiling water!
Can Leave Some Bed Bugs Behind
Hot water is not a foolproof solution to getting rid of bed bugs. Pouring over hot water in an area “may” kill some, but not all of them. You’ll find that some of these are hidden and tucked beneath crevices and cracks, which makes it difficult to reach them.
Washing the Beddings and Placing in the Dryer: Will It Help?
Yes, washing your bedding and placing it in a high-temperature dryer can definitely help. The hot air will kill the bed bugs on contact or cause them to flee. However, this won’t be enough to completely get rid of an infestation, as this will only get rid of the eggs and bed bugs in your laundry.
There are still more of those pests where they came from, and using this solution alone won’t be enough to keep them away. Completely eradicating bed bugs requires a multi-step approach.
It all begins with proper inspection, followed by cleaning and treating the affected areas with natural or chemical solutions. Heat treatments may be performed alongside these methods to ensure the problem is completely resolved.
It’s best to consult with a professional exterminator who can help you determine what kind of treatment works best for your particular situation.
Each treatment may vary depending on the area that needs to be treated and the severity of the infestation. Most of the time, people often call for professional help when there’s just too much to handle.
Waiting for this time to come not only wastes time but also puts your health at risk. Moreover, the longer you wait to attend to the problem, the harder it is for you to completely get rid of bed bugs.
There are isolated cases where hot water may be enough to kill bed bugs – but again, only for isolated cases. It might seem logical at one point, but if you come and think of it, there’s more to killing bed bugs than just splashing scalding hot water on your mattress. The hot water may kill those that directly come into contact with the water, but not all.
Again, using a multi-step approach with natural and chemical remedies, as well as heat treatments, is the surest way to completely eliminate bed bugs.
And if you’re unsure of what to do or how to go about it, don’t hesitate to call in professional help. Experienced exterminators can help you assess the situation and provide the most effective solution for your particular case.
A good exterminator is always worth the investment; it might seem like it now, but this will be the best way to save yourself from a lot of trouble in the future. Take precautionary steps now, and you won’t have to worry too much about bed bugs later!