If you wake up itchy every morning, but professional pest control looks a little too expensive, you’ve got just one question on your mind. Is there any reliable, possible way of killing bed bugs with heat yourself?
As a matter of fact, there is. That’s probably not what you expected to hear from a professional bed bug exterminating service. But it’s true.
If you do it right (according to the following steps), you can rid your home of a bed bug infestation yourself without professional help. Of course, if you don’t do it right—well, you can always give us a call later.
Furthermore, you’ll need the use of a steam cleaner plus a significant investment of time and effort. So, you may find it more worthwhile to just call us first.
In any case, we’re here to help you either way. If you want to give heat treatment bed bug extermination the old college try, follow these steps to the letter.
Does Heat Treatment Really Work and How?
First of all, yes, heat kills bed bugs. In fact, this fortunate glitch of biology may be the only reason we can get rid of bed bugs at all.
They are experts at surviving in all other ways. Their only weakness is any amount of heat above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this heat, any hatched bed bugs will quickly drop dead. And the eggs won’t survive either.
Will The Bed Bugs Come Back?
That said, that doesn’t mean that DIY heat treatment is “guaranteed” to eliminate your bed bug infestation beyond any chance of revival. As noted above, bed bugs are very good survivors.
If you miss only one or two bed bugs/eggs in your efforts, a new colony will probably start. And it won’t take long for this resurgence to grow to the same size as the original colony.
It is, for this reason, why we strongly suggest you let professionals handle it from the start. It would be a shame to go through all this trouble just to have to do it all over again.
How Can You Tell That You Have Bed Bugs?
One sign of a bed bug infestation is that you display the symptoms of bed bug bites. These are red, itchy bumps, normally located on the arms, hands, neck, and face.
However, bed bugs aren’t the only cause of such symptoms. So this is hardly a confirmation of infestation.
A more accurate indicator is the sight of bed bug droppings. If you see a lot of little black dots all over your sheets, it’s very likely you have bed bugs. These marks look like periods made with a ballpoint pen.
Killing Bed Bugs With Heat Yourself: How to Do It
Okay, we’ve said our piece. With that disclaimer out of the way, we’ll now equip you with the knowledge of how to deal with bed bugs yourself.
1. Get the Tools
In order to destroy the bed bug colony with heat, you’ll need a high-heat clothes dryer and access to a steam cleaner. If you can’t get a hold of these, you won’t be able to wipe them out.
2. Clean Sheets and Bedding With High Heat
The first step is easy. Wash your bedding, pajamas, pillowcases, and any other machine-washable cloth in the vicinity of the infestation. Wash these in hot water, if possible.
But, most importantly, put them in your dryer on high heat. The heat from your dryer should kill any bugs and eggs in your bedding.
However, be careful to watch out for any “cool down” cycle your dryer uses. Some dryers cool down toward the end of the drying cycle. You want to make sure the bedding is exposed to the dryer’s heat for at least half an hour after it’s already dry.
3. Heat or Throw Out Any Items Under the Bed
Next, clean out the area underneath your bed. Leave no items—nowhere under the bed for bed bugs to hide except for the carpet. (We’ll deal with the carpet next.)
If possible, throw this forgotten junk out. Otherwise, heat-treat it.
For washables, machine-wash them and dry them on high heat, as above. For anything else, place them in a black, plastic garbage bag and close it up. Put the bag out in the sun for several hours on a hot day.
Obviously, this excludes heat-reactive items like candles. Those you should probably throw away.
4. Steam Clean the Mattress and Carpets
To kill all bed bugs in the mattress and carpet, go over them thoroughly with a steam cleaner. Don’t work too quickly at this, especially with the mattress. You want to make sure you spend enough time for the heat to go deeply into the material to reach any bugs hiding there.
4. Be Careful Not to Burn the House Down
Do not attempt to use other heating devices, like hairdryers and portable heaters, on your bed. This could literally set your bed on fire.
Besides the fact that steam heat penetrates deeply, it also involves moisture. This prevents bedding and carpets from igniting from the heat.
Remember This Guide on Killing Bed Bugs With Heat Yourself
If you’re set on killing bed bugs with heat yourself, then remember this guide. And please, follow these instructions carefully.
However, for safety as well as effectiveness, it’s still best to let a professional take care of it. At least let us give you a quote. Call us at 208-957-5511 or contact us here today.