Are you afraid of bugs?
If so, you’re not alone. Studies suggest that 25% of Americans fear insects. But even if you think bugs are cute, you probably don’t want to share an address with them.
Bed bugs love to move in unexpectedly. They make themselves comfortable in your home and in your bed. And they’re very good at evading efforts to remove them.
Heat treatments are the best way to make sure your home no longer houses these nasty little bugs. In this article, we’ll give you the full scoop on how to get rid of a bed bug infestation with heat treatments.
Bed Bug Infestation: How Can You Tell?
Bed bugs get their name because they love to hide inside your bed but they can be found anywhere in your home. They’re mainly active at night and they drink blood. So living inside your bed only makes sense.
You can find them hiding around the seams of your mattress and inside your box springs. They also like to inhabit cracks or holes in the wood of the bed frame. They can even spread to other areas of the room, hiding in other pieces of furniture and in baseboard moldings.
It’s difficult to tell a bed bug bite from other insect bites. They are commonly confused with mosquito bites or mild rashes, like a heat rash and some individuals have no reaction at all.
The bites don’t hurt or itch at first. But after a few hours, they develop into itchy, red bumps. And the bumps may occur anywhere on the body that’s exposed during sleep.
The best way to scout out a bed bug infestation is to look for the evidence in and around your bed. When the bugs get crushed, they leave a red stain on the surface. You’ll see these small red stains on sheets and blankets.
Also, their excrement leaves red marks, similar to how a black marker might bleed onto fabric. As juvenile bugs grow, they shed their skin. So you might find tiny, pale shell fragments.
Live, adult bed bugs look similar to an apple seed. But the baby’s can be much smaller, more like a flea.
Give Them the Heave-Ho with a Heat Treatment
Now that you know you’ve got a problem with bed bugs, it’s time to give them the heave-ho! Heat treatment is your best option.
Spraying for bugs is another option. But pesticides takes multiple rounds to get rid of all the bugs. Your removal expert may recommend a combination of heat and pesticides to completely remove them.
Bed bugs can’t live through extreme heat. To kill them, you must raise the temperature in the room to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. And keep it there for at least 90 minutes to ensure all bugs are dead.
Before your heat treatment, there are some things you need to do to ensure success. First, remove all bedding and clothing from the infested rooms. These items need to be washed and dried on high heat, which will kill the bugs on them.
Go throughout your home and vacuum everything. You’ll want to use your vacuum hose attachment to get the spaces between the floor and the wall.
Use the vacuum around all pieces of furniture in the infested room. That includes your bed frame, and mattress. The bugs like to hide in the furniture so it’s important to be thorough during this vacuuming process.
Everything in your home will be exposed to high temperatures. So it’s important to remove items that will be affected by the heat. These items include:
- House plants
- All pets, including reptiles, amphibians, etc.
- Anything made of wax, like candles or makeup products
- Guns and ammunition
- Fire extinguishers
- Anything that’s pressurized, like hairspray or soda cans
- Musical instruments, like pianos
- Sensitive electronics, like computers and tablets
As you remove items from your home, check them thoroughly to make sure there are no bugs leaving with them.
Perishable food needs to be placed inside the refrigerator. Also, move medications to the refrigerator to protect them during the treatment.
Take photos and wall hangings down and place those on the floor. Unplug the remaining electronics in the room, except for the appliances.
Make sure that your treatment professional is aware if you have a sprinkler system in place. You may need to deactivate that system during the treatment.
The treatment professionals use specialized heaters to raise the temperature in your house. These heaters cycle on and off to regulate the air temperature throughout the home. You can’t be present during the treatment process.
Before they start, they set up sensors throughout the home. This way they can monitor the temperature from the outside. And make sure that all areas of the home get hot enough to kill the bugs.
Once the entire home reaches the desired temperature, the treatment team will maintain that heat for several hours. The heaters are placed throughout the home to ensure that the heat penetrates through the walls and furniture.
An entire treatment usually takes between 6-8 hours. Then you can enter your home again.
But remember that items will still be very hot, even after the treatment is over. So take care when touching metal or plastic surfaces.
Follow a few tips to prevent bed bugs in the future. Hotel rooms are notoriously bed bug friendly. Always be diligent about searching for the evidence of bugs when you enter a hotel room.
After you return home from a trip, immediately wash your travel clothing and dry on high heat. This is just an extra precaution to ensure that you didn’t bring any bugs home with you.
Secondhand furniture is a big reason that many people get bed bug infestations. Avoid buying secondhand when you can. If you do, check them vigorously before you bring them home.
And it doesn’t always apply to fabric furniture. Bed bugs can hide inside of wood too. So check anything that you don’t buy new.
Cut down on clutter inside your home. This gives the little critters fewer places to hide. Vacuum regularly and keep surfaces clean to prevent them from getting a foothold inside your home.
Evict Bed Bugs for Good
If you do fall victim to a bed bug infestation, a heat treatment is your best option. It kills the bugs in one day and it’s the most thorough way to get them out of your home.
If you’ve got these uninvited guests living in your home, it’s time to evict them for good. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!