Here’s some skin-crawling trivia: there are an estimated 90 species of bed bugs out there. While only a very few of them bite humans, their bites can be severe enough to cause adverse reactions. What’s more, these human blood-feeding pests have spread in all 50 states!
What’s even worse is that bed bugs have become highly-resistant to typical insecticides. This means that chemicals alone can no longer eradicate these blood-sucking pests.
So then, is there anything else powerful enough to get rid of these insects invading your home? Yes, there’s still something that kills bed bugs, and not just the adults but also their eggs.
Ready to find out what kills bed bugs and their eggs? Then let’s dive right into it!
Heat Kills Bed Bugs
Scientific research has demonstrated countless times that heat is lethal to bed bugs. As for what temperature kills bed bugs, this depends on the phase of their life. In one study, bed bugs in all life stages died at a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this required a 24-hour sustained exposure.
In another study, adult bed bugs died after an hour of exposure to a temperature of 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Killing eggs, on the other hand, required at least one hour of exposure to 113 °F. Note that both studies, however, involved a rapid or even immediate temperature increase. They also occurred in a controlled laboratory setting.
It’s vital to know these because bed bugs may respond in a different manner if there’s a slower rate of heating. Their behavioral and physiological response may be to adapt to the heat. These changes, in turn, can make them more resistant to slowly-rising room temperatures.
Making Heat Treatment Against Bed Bugs Work
The previous mortality thresholds allowed bed bugs to respond in a way that they can avert death. As such, other scientists carried out experiments to account for temperature variables. In this study, for instance, they included factors common in home heat treatments. The researchers found that 110.3 degrees Fahrenheit can kill at least 50% of adult bed bugs. To achieve a 100% death rate, the temperature needed to be at least 119 °F.
Bed bug eggs are hardier, requiring exposure to at least 117.5 degrees Fahrenheit to induce death. This temperature, however, only leads to a 50% egg death rate. To achieve maximum results, the temperature needs to be no lower than 131 °F.
Exposure Times Are Crucial Too
In the same study, the researchers noted that lower temperatures required longer exposures. For instance, it took 58 minutes to kill 50% of adult bed bugs at 113 degrees Fahrenheit. An exposure time of 94.8 mins (about an hour and 35 minutes) killed 100% of adult bed bugs at the same temperature range.
Bed bug eggs, on the other hand, required two hours of exposure to 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit to induce a 100% death rate.
What All This Means to Building Owners
There’s no doubt that heat kills bed bugs, but to generate that much heat, you need a special kind of equipment. These are heaters that produce high levels of heat in a very short amount of time. The only thing that comes out of them is heat, as they don’t require any kind of chemicals to kill the bugs. The use of these machines requires specialized knowledge and training, though. Their improper use can lead to heat-related accidents and damage.
With that said, your best bet is to hire a licensed pest control company. Be sure that they provide heat treatment, though, as many exterminators don’t. For instance, in Emerald City, only a few provide heat treatment Seattle homeowners can rely on.
What’s important is to schedule your bed bug heat treatment as soon as possible. Although they don’t reproduce as quickly as other insects, they’re much harder to kill. Besides, you want them out of your house ASAP, as their bites can cause sleep issues and even skin infections.
What You Can Do Now
Bed bugs don’t limit their habitats to beds, as they can live in suitcases and vehicles. They hide in cabinets, furniture, carpets, cardboard boxes, and almost anywhere else. Also, they don’t just come out at night; if they’re hungry, they’ll feed during the day.
That’s why you’d want to keep them from invading your home in the first place. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
One of the best ways to prevent infestations (from almost any type of pest) is to get rid of clutter at home. These places provide bed bugs and many kinds of pests, like termites and fleas, a haven. Termites also feed on many of these materials, so that’s all the more reason throw them away.
Take the Vacuum Out
If you do suspect a pest infestation, vacuum your entire house. This can help get rid of larger clusters of bed bugs and fleas. It’s also useful in removing adult bugs, larvae, eggs, dead insects, and even feces.
Even if you don’t have an infestation yet, it’s best to run the vacuum regularly. In doing so, you can reduce these pests’ sources of nourishment.
Think Twice Before Buying Second Hand Goods
Bed bugs are amazing travelers, which is also one of the primary reasons for their comeback. They can bury themselves in the seams of suitcases, backpacks, and yes, used furniture. So, if you’re thinking of getting a second-hand sofa, you might want to reconsider.
Get These Creepy Crawlers Out of Your House Now
There you have it, your ultimate guide on heat treatment, and how it kills bed bugs. If you have a lot of these pests crawling around your home, it’s time to ring up your local exterminator. With quality heat treatment services, you can get rid not only of bed bugs, but also fleas and even roaches!
Are you looking for more ways to make your home safer, healthier, and pest-free? Be sure to check out Daily Dream Decor’s other insider tips and guides then!