Bed Bug Elimination Techniques
Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs
During a heat treatment process, temperatures are raised to a lethal level for the bed bugs (118°F) and then maintained at that level or higher for a period of time so that the heat can penetrate objects. This really is the best treatment for bed bugs, because the results are better, faster, with less preparation, and you can keep your furniture.
However, because heat treatments offer no residual effect to kill reintroduce bed bugs, pesticides may be used to supplement heat treatments.
Chemical Treatment for Bed Bugs
Pesticides specifically tested to kill bed bugs can be used. Often liquid treatments are used on surfaces and dusts are applied in void areas. Insecticide treatments in sleeping areas are a serious health risk so it is very important to use products safely. We recommend hiring an experienced pest control professional.
Bed bug resistance to pyrethroids has been documented in a recent study by researchers at the University of Kentucky (2007, 2010). Most insecticide products that can be used in the home belong to this class. Pest control professionals have more choices of insecticides, which may improve the effectiveness of control.
A recent study at Purdue University concluded that successful eradication of bed bugs using pesticides requires at least two visits, with considerable time needed to inspect and treat the area, but some infestations may require four or more applications.
Steam Treatment for Bed Bugs
Steam can be used to destroy bed bugs, although the pest management professional must be extremely thorough, and yet be careful not to damage things with the very high temperatures. While steam can penetrate cracks and crevices up to a few inches, it is inconsistent and simply cannot be used everywhere for fear of damaging various surfaces. Steam cannot be used to treat outlets and behind switch covers, which are common hiding grounds for bed bugs. The real problem with steam is quite the same as with pesticide treatments. It is hard sometimes to reach the tricky/tough places where bed bugs may be hiding, such as inside a speaker or book bindings. Steam is best used in limited situations, like to treat one or two chairs for bed bugs.
Heat Guns or Freezing Treatment for Bed Bugs
Heat guns and applications involving freezing temperatures (decompression of CO2) have concerns similar to those of steam applications mentioned above. Heat guns/CO2 are effective at killing the bed bugs that can be seen and those hiding in cracks and crevices up to a couple of inches deep. However, they may not be able to reach all of the bed bugs or eggs that cannot be easily reached. Please use with caution. CO2 is dangerous in enclosed areas. You need to keep the room well vented.