Bed bugs are notoriously persistent and hard to eliminate, but luckily there is more than one solution to deal with the infestation. One of the best and most efficient ways to get rid of bed bugs is by using heat and specialized heaters that you can use in your home.
But, are the bed bug heaters really that efficient and what is the best way to use them?
In this article, we’ll discover how to use bed bug heat sensitivity against them and with clever placement and temperature-controlled heaters eliminate all the pests at once. So, if you are tired of waking up with itchy bites every morning, keep on reading, and let’s jump right in.
What Is a Bed Bug Heater?
The bed bug heater is a high-quality heating device that you can use to reach the bed bug-killing temperature in infested areas. Even though bed bugs are very resilient they are quite sensitive to high temperatures so anything above 130°F will kill the adult bed bugs and the eggs.
Keep in mind that high-temperature exposure needs to be for at least several hours long, even though most of the bed bugs will be eliminated in a couple of minutes. Bed bug eggs are a bit more resilient and need more exposure time to be killed. Also, the heat needs to be evenly distributed in the room, and all the potential bed bug hiding places need to be affected.
If you use bed bug interceptors to eliminate the pests, this will be a perfect opportunity to use them as an assessment tool, and ensure the heat treatment eliminates all bugs.
How to Use Bed Bug Heaters?
Using bed bug heaters properly will determine the chances of success and complete elimination of all bed bugs. Here are the steps you need to follow to ensure the best results:
1. Choose the right bed bug heater
Depending on the size of the room and space you are treating as well as the severity of the infestation you need to choose the appropriate bed bug heater. Some heaters are big enough to treat an entire room while others are compact enough so you can treat individual objects.
2. Protect the sprinklers system
If you decide to treat the entire room and kill all the bed bugs at once you can use the bigger and more efficient systems. But, keep in mind that you need to prepare the space and especially cover the heat-sensitive sprinklers with specialized Styrofoam caps.
If you are not sure about the right preparation or application of heat to treat bed bugs it’s always a good idea to call professional pest control.
3. Remove all the sheets and covers
Most of the bed bugs will hide in your bed to stay close to their food source aka you. This means you need to ensure all the parts of the bed are heated and to ensure that you need to remove all the pillowcases, sheets, covers, and other items that might be on the bed.
It’s the perfect time to wash everything at high temperatures and use the bed bug-killing detergent to eliminate all the bed bugs that might be hiding in the laundry.
Also, keep the mattress raised or at an angle so the heat can penetrate all the hiding places bed bug use.
4. Unplug all electronics and lights
While it’s safe to leave everything in the room, it’s advised to unplug all the devices and light fixtures you might have in your room. The heat is not risky if controlled, but it’s always better to prepare the location.
5. Place the heater and fans
For bed bugs to be completely eliminated you need to heat the air to at least 130°F for a few hours, but also colder spots in your room to at least 120°F. Use a laser thermometer to control the temperature and special fans to distribute the heat to every corner of the room.
The recommended time for heat treatment varies, but most experts suggest that 4 hours is the minimum when it comes to bed bugs.
What temperature is needed to kill bed bugs?
Adult bed bugs will die after being exposed to temperatures above 113°F for at least 20 minutes, while bed bug eggs die at 120°F but after several hours. This is one of the reasons why you need to ensure the heat treatments last for at least 4-7 hours and get rid of all the bed bugs in the room.
Are bed bug heaters efficient?
Yes, bed bug heaters are one of the most efficient tools you can use to eliminate pests. Just keep in mind that the room needs to be properly prepared and you need to take all the steps mentioned before.
Heat will most definitely kill all the bed bugs, just remember that the exposure needs to happen over several hours and the heat needs to be equally distributed.
Are bed bug heaters safe?
As long as the process is monitored and the temperature is controlled the bed bug heaters are considered safe. If, however, you don’t feel comfortable with the process you can always rely on pest management control and exterminators that will handle the situation for you.
Professionals will assess the severity of the infestation and choose the best tools and methods accordingly. This may include bed bug heaters but also different sprays and solutions to eliminate the pests.
After the Bed Bug Heat Treatment
Once you are done with the bed bug heater and the desired temperature was reached in all the parts of the room, you can move on to the next steps. Bring back all the items that were washed and set up a few glue traps or interceptor traps to confirm there are no bed bugs left and that the heat treatment was successful.