What You Need To Know About Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Clarissa GarciaBlog

Photo Credit: www.peststrategies.com

In 2019, four Michigan cities had been included in Orkin’s worst cities for Bed Bugs. Since then, the state has always been on the lookout for an effective way to get rid of bed bugs. While many citizens, businesses, or simply homeowners are content with the traditional way of eradicating these pests, some are still looking for more effective and natural treatment. And this is where bed bug heat treatment comes in!

 As of today’s modern technology, heat treatment is considered the most effective method against bed bugs. It is an instant solution and has, if not permanent, a long-lasting effect. Let us dissect the mechanics of this treatment, from how it works, how to optimize the treatment, why it’s the best solution, and why you need it.

Bed Bug Heat Treatment?

Bed bug heat treatment is a natural and eco-friendly way of eliminating, well, bed bugs. This certainly fits the need of homeowners with children or business owners to prevent chemical contamination of their goods.

This treatment can also eliminate bugs in all stages, from eggs to the adult stage.

To conduct a heat treatment, special equipment which will heat the target area is needed. The process will be done simultaneously in an infested area. The whole process might take up to 6 to 9 hours to make sure that heat reached the deepest point of each room.

Bed bugs naturally can not stand the heat that reached 122°F. Most providers exceed this limit up to 135°F or 145°F.

Once the treatment starts, the technician will begin monitoring the heat-raising with the help of wireless temperature sensors or the traditional thermostat. Most of the time, a building or room will only need one-time treatment, but it depends on the severity or number of rooms treated in some cases.

How is Bed Bug Heat Treatment Done?

how Bed Bug Heat Treatment is done

Photo Credit: entomology.ca.uky.edu

The pest control professional will run their specified electric air heaters into the target area. It will blow hot air into the area until it reaches the required temperature of 135°F to 145°F.

They are also supporting devices to sustain the high heat temperature within the area. The area must stay within the required temperature for 6 to 9 hours to kill off the bed bugs. Bed bugs could have developed a resistance to chemicals but not to heat. This treatment is also more efficient than chemicals as it treats the entire area, not just a specific portion of it.

Why Do Bed Bug Heat Treatment Better Than Chemicals?

Kill zone temperature of bed bugs during Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Photo Credit: www.bedbugstampabay.com/

Heat dries up the bodies of bed bugs they are practically scorched to a crisp. Even if they hide their deepest dwelling place, the heat radiates and will reach them soon enough. That is why sustaining the heat within the target area takes up hours to ensure the heat reaches all their nests and hiding places.

To sustain the heat, there are installed remote monitors or wireless sensors to make sure the heat is not decreasing. This also helps in controlling the heating machine. It will need to continuously release hot air as heat seeps into surfaces to kill off the hiding bugs.

For the longest time, people used chemical-based treatments to get rid of bed bugs and all other pests. It might still be effective for other types of pests, but it is a different story with bed bugs. Bed bugs, in their life cycle before adulthood, would change their skin five times. During their skin change, if exposed to chemical treatment, their new skin will develop cuticles that protect them from chemicals. However, the chemical will still affect them in some way but will not fully kill them.

Why is it More Effective Than Other Methods?

Among all the other methods, bed bug heat treatment is considered to be the most effective. Chemicals can not cover the entire area or up to the deepest part where bed bugs lurk. While K-9 units are highly trained and reached 95% accuracy, room for improvement is still a factor.  

It will only take a whole night for bed bugs to infest an entire house. Their reproduction will only take days, and within a week, a colony is built within your home. In this case, why would you choose the treatment you are not 100% sure about? Remember that heat treatment does not just kill the insect but also the eggs in their nests.

Chemical or the conventional way of eliminating bed bugs might take a couple of sessions. This is because, as mentioned above, the chemical won’t cover the entire place at once. Each session will concentrate on a specific area. Also, with chemicals, the area occupants are not allowed to go back right after the session. The area must be free of chemical residuals before the occupants can re-occupy their space. Chemicals used are toxic and harmful to humans as well. Homeowners will have to stay in a hotel for a couple of days before going back into their homes.  

With heat treatment, as long as the heat subsided, homeowners or business owners can get back right into the area. It is just as fast as that.

Why is Heat Treatment Expensive?

Bed bug heat treatment might be expensive due to its precision. You might find a cheaper method, but it would require a couple of treatment sessions. Heat treatment promises a one-time treatment to rid your place of bed bugs.

In addition, the energy demand is so high because you have to heat up floors, walls, and ceilings filled with masses that may total tonnes of materials with a high heat capacity, whereas beds and furniture may weigh less than 100Kg.

Plus, this method could not be done by just anyone. It requires a trained and competent technician to operate the equipment and conduct the whole process. As stated, precision, someone who is not well trained and knowledgeable might end up burning the entire place.

Disadvantages Of Heat Treatment

Even if it is the superior way of eradicating bed bugs today, you can not avoid it having some cons.

Space Matter
  • Pest control companies might give you an offer that will cover your entire home or building. However, I can’t say it’s the best practice for heat treatments. This treatment is most effective in apartments or condos, where the entire space could contain heat. If the whole building or home is required to be treated, it will be done room by room or with the help of industrial-grade fans.
Surface Differences
different surfaces for Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Photo credit: www.dezeen.com

  • It is easier to conduct heat treatments if the whole place is concrete. Well, that is not the case, of course, furniture and other hollow walls are made up of multiple types of materials. Hence the need for initial inspection before the treatment and monitoring during the process. This is to ensure the heat distribution for each surface is at the right temperature.


Bed bugs bounce back
  • The process could kill all the present bed bugs within the area. But it won’t stop bed bugs from going back into the area. The area could once again get infested if occupants are not careful.

Monitoring The Heat Treatment Process

To achieve the required temperature, make sure that the process of heat treatment is going well. The heat must be monitored and regulated according to the heat levels.

temperature sensors that could be used in Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Wireless Temperature Sensors

AKCP Wireless Temperature can be buried in the mattress to monitor internal temperatures. These sensors communicate and send data with AKCP Wireless Gateway. Technicians then will receive the data and see the status of the treatment area via a user’s interface, AKCPro Server.

Sensor Options
  • 4x AA Battery powered, with 10-year life*
  • 4x AA Batteries with ten years guaranteed battery life*
  • 5VDC or 12VDC powered
  • IP66-rated weatherproof enclosure
  • LED indicators for power, status, and RSSI
  • Optional DIN rail or pipe mounting accessories
  • Optional cable up to 15ft for sensor placement



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Clarissa GarciaWhat You Need To Know About Bed Bug Heat Treatment