Bed Bug Heat Treatment Extermination
Bed bugs are an incredibly difficult pest to control because they are so good at hiding in tiny cracks and crevices. Modern bed bug populations are highly resistant to the insecticides used by chemical exterminators.
Heat is known to be the most effective bed bug killer and it can be used in many different ways to treat infestations.
Heat treatment offers certain advantages when it comes to bed bug management. Heat is non-toxic, and can kill all bed bug life stages including bed bug eggs. Heat treatment is one of the more effective tools that we have in the fight against bed bugs.
Recent research has determined the thermal death points (the temperature at which a bed bug dies) for bed bugs and their eggs. The thermal death point is determined by two things; temperature, and exposure time. Bed bugs exposed to 113°F will die if they receive constant exposure to that temperature for 90 minutes or more. However, they will die within 20 minutes if exposed to 118°F. Interestingly, bed bug eggs must be exposed to 118°F for 90 minutes to reach 100% mortality.
Note that whole room heat treatments (see below) are based on a thermal death point of 113°F, yet these treatments have been very successful. This is due to the use of powerful fans to create convection currents within the heated room. These currents heat the bed bugs very rapidly, thus increasing their mortality.
One of the most effective new technologies for bed bug control has been the development of heating systems capable of super-heating infested rooms to kill all bed bugs. Propane-generated heat is used to heat the air inside the room to a temperature of ~135°F. This temperature will not typically damage electronic equipment.
Bed Bug Heat Eradication Chart
|Type of Bed Bug||Lethal Temperature||Time|
|Adults and Nymphs||113° F / 45° C||90 Minutes|
|Eggs||118° F / 45° C||90 Minutes|
|All stages||118° F / 46° C||90 Minutes|
The heat is blown into the room for several hours. The temperatures in cracks, crevices, and hard-to-reach places are monitored remotely from numerous sensors placed throughout the room.
Once lethal temperatures are reached, the powerful fans are started and are placed in strategic positions around the treatment area. This will create convection and the time clock starts on the eradication of the infestation in the heated areas, which is typically about four hours. This amount of time is needed to make sure that all wall voids and cold sinks reach lethal temperatures.