Desperate to rid your home of bed bugs? You’re not alone. These bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of, and they can cause a lot of anxiety, not to mention bites! The key is understanding how to kill them effectively – and temperature is a big part of that.
Despite their resiliency, bed bugs won’t survive in extremely high temperatures. A bed bug’s survival rate mainly depends on two factors: the temperature and the length of exposure.
Bed bugs will die when exposed to a temperature of at least 113°F for a consistent period of 90 minutes. If these bugs and their eggs are exposed at a higher temperature of 118°F for only 20 minutes, the mortality rate increases to 100%.
While insecticides and other pesticides can be effective in killing bed bugs, they don’t always penetrate deep enough into furnishings to get rid of all the eggs. No matter how much adult bugs these chemicals kill, if the eggs remain, they’ll just hatch and start the cycle all over again.
This is one of the primary reasons why most pest control companies prefer using heat over any other method. Heat penetrates much deeper into surfaces and can even reach into the tiniest cracks and crevices where bed bugs like to hide.
How to Make Sure You Never See Another Bed Bug Again
That feeling of desperation when you realize your home is infested with bed bugs is one you never want to experience again.
Waking up in the middle of the night with itchy, red bites is just as bad. But once you know how to kill bed bugs using extreme heat, you can rest assured that they’re gone for good.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using heat to kill bed bugs:
Make Sure the Temperature Stays Consistently High
Temperature fluctuations are the enemy when trying to kill bed bugs. If the temperature drops even a few degrees, it could mean the difference between life and death for these pests.
As mentioned earlier, bed bugs will die when exposed to a temperature of 113°F for about an hour and a half. Considering how difficult it is to maintain such a high temperature for that long, it’s no wonder most people prefer to call in professionals.
The Higher the Temperature, the Better
The higher the temperature, the shorter the amount of time needed to kill bed bugs. This also means that the mortality rate significantly increases.
Choose Your Equipment Carefully
Deciding to do this on your own? Make sure you have the right equipment. A regular household blow dryer isn’t going to cut it – you’ll need something much more powerful.
Heat steamers, for example, are a popular choice because they can reach extremely high temperatures and penetrate deep into surfaces.
Ideally, you’d want something that allows you to set the temperature and timer, so you can be sure the bed bugs are being exposed to lethal temperatures for the right amount of time.
Consider Hiring a Heat Treatment Professional
While it is possible to kill bed bugs using heat on your own, getting the professionals to do this on your behalf makes a lot more sense. They have the right equipment, they know how to use it properly, and they understand the importance of consistent temperatures.
Aside from this, high temperatures can cause significant damage to your property. When exposed to extreme heat, certain materials can warp, melt, or catch fire. If you’re not careful, you could end up doing more harm than good.
A professional heat treatment company will take all the necessary precautions to prevent any damage to your home while ensuring that every last bed bug is killed.
When choosing a company, ensure that they are experienced and reputable and that they guarantee their work. You may also want to make sure that they have insurance, just in case anything does go wrong.
Don’t Wait Until You Have an Infestation to Take Action
The best way to deal with bed bugs is to prevent them from ever entering your home in the first place. But if you do find yourself with an infestation, don’t wait to take action. The sooner you get rid of them, the better.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when dealing with bed bugs is waiting for them to multiply. These pests reproduce quickly, and an infestation can quickly spiral out of control if left untreated.
How to Treat Bedbug Infested Items with Heat
Bed bugs love the mattress, but they don’t discriminate when it comes to infesting other items in your home. Clothes, curtains, carpets, and even stuffed animals can all become homes for bedbugs if they’re not treated properly.
The good news is that you can use the same heat treatment methods to get rid of bed bugs in these items as you would use for your mattress. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
Clothing and Linens
Any clothes or linens that have been infested with bedbugs should be washed in hot water. The hot water should be at least 113°F.
Once the wash cycle is done, make sure that you choose the hottest setting when drying the items. This will help to kill any remaining bedbugs or eggs.
If you’re washing a large load of items, you may need to do it in multiple batches to ensure that all the items are exposed to lethal temperatures for the right amount of time.
Curtains and Upholstered Furniture
Curtains can be treated in the same way as clothing and linen. If they’re made of a delicate material, you may need to have them dry cleaned instead.
Upholstered furniture can be more difficult to treat because of the deep crevices that bedbugs love to hide in. A handheld steamer can be a great way to reach these hidden pests. Be sure to go over the entire piece of furniture, paying special attention to any tufts, seams, or creases.
Once you’re done steaming, vacuum the furniture thoroughly. This will help to remove any bedbugs that have been killed by the heat treatment and those alive but hiding.
Carpets and Rags
Since you can’t toss carpets or rags in the washing machine, you’ll need to take a different approach to treating them. The best way to do this is to use a carpet cleaning machine that has a heating element. This will help to raise the temperature of the water inside the machine and kill any bedbugs hiding on the carpet.
If you’re not confident doing this yourself, you can always hire a professional carpet cleaning company. Since there are some carpets that are more delicate and require special care, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.
While bedbugs can be a nightmare to deal with, exposing infested areas and items to 118°F for twenty minutes will kill them. This temperature will also kill their eggs, so you can be sure that they’re gone for good.
If you’re dealing with a bedbug infestation, don’t wait to take action. The sooner you treat the problem, the easier it will be to get rid of them. And remember, prevention is always the best solution. Take steps to keep these pests out of your home in the first place.