Bed Bug Heat Treatment Cost
From your mattress and box spring to your carpet and baseboards, bed bugs can nest almost anywhere in your bedroom. In fact, most bed bug infestations occur within a few feet of their human blood meal host, like your bed or other furniture. Not to mention, they can hide in crevices as small as nail indentations in your wall. As so, bed bugs can be hard to kill, no matter how prepared you think you might be. That’s why a bed bug heat treatment can be one of the most effective solutions. Costs will vary depending on the type of treatment used and the size of the infestation. Successfully getting rid of bed bugs relies on early detection, proper preparedness and correct treatment methods. That’s where heat treatment comes in. So what is bed bug heat treatment, and how does heat kill bed bugs? Let’s look at some of the common methods used by some pest management professionals.
Can a Hot Box Kill Bed Bugs?
By placing items such as shoes, dry cleaning, blankets, bags of clothing or even luggage into a hot box, sustained heat is used to kill bed bugs. Generally, a dryer is used for clothing and linens, and a heat chamber is used for the items that can’t be put into a dryer. In both instances, the heat penetrates small crevices that cannot be inspected. Lethal temperatures for bed bugs range from 117–122° degrees Fahrenheit. The walls of hot boxes reach a higher temperature than the suggested lethal range, though, to permeate the belongings placed within. This can help kill all bed bugs in all their life cycle stages.
How the box is heated is important. The wrong or misused heat source can cause fires, so caution must be used with this method. Also, some items may become damaged by the heat source if it's too close or too hot. Proper ventilation must be applied to some heat sources, such as gas or propane, for them to be safely used inside a building, and you should always check manufacturers’ laundering instructions of all applicable items before heating any item in a dryer or heat chamber.
Will Steam Kill Bed Bugs?
Will steam kill bed bugs? In short, yes — steam is another form of heat that can help kill bed bugs, larvae and eggs. Steam treatment is no more labor intensive than other methods. However, it's not meant to penetrate materials deep enough to kill hidden bed bugs. In fact, the University of Minnesota states that steaming can kill bed bugs in cracks and crevices no deeper than 2⅜ inches.
Steaming works best on items such as box springs, bed frames, blankets, sheets, curtains and pillows. It can even be used on several items without causing destruction. That said, steaming utilizes high heat (up to 230° Fahrenheit) and could damage certain items. Not to mention, it can pose dangers to children and adults when mishandled. As so, you should consult a pest management professional and the applicable manufacturers’ laundering instruction to determine whether steaming is the right solution for your home.
Can Dryers Help to Kill Bed Bugs?
As discussed above, regular residential clothes dryers can also destroy bed bugs. In fact, the washing machine and hot soapy water can help kill them. There are many items that cannot be washed, though. Instead, these items may be able to run through a dryer cycle without damage. This includes stuffed animals and "dry clean only" items. The heat of the clothes dryer alone can kill bed bugs. It's recommended that you dry items on high heat for at least 20 minutes. Be aware that some items cannot go in the washer or dryer. Always refer to the manufacturers’ laundering instructions. Additionally, it's important to keep freshly cleaned items away from the infestation. If not, they can easily become reinfested.
How Much Does Bed Bug Treatment Cost?
So how much does bed bug heat treatment cost? Prices can vary, depending on the pest management professional, the type of heat treatment used and the size of the infestation. Be sure to do your research when it comes to local pest control companies to ensure your bed bug treatment cost is worth every penny.
How to Prepare for Bed Bug Heat Treatments
If your home is about to undergo heat treatment for bed bugs, preparation is vital. While your pest management professional should provide any necessary instructions, North Carolina State University also recommends completing the following actions prior to treatment:
- Do not move items to another room in your home. This may cause the infestation to spread to other areas.
- Seal all items on the ground in plastic bags. If these items are infested, sealing them can trap bed bugs inside.
- Launder sheets according to the manufacturers’ instructions and store them in sealed plastic bags upon cleaning. Do not remove these items until your pest management professional has deemed them clean.
If you have bed bugs in your home, schedule an appointment with Terminix. Our trained technicians can help determine the best solution for your home, which may or may not include some type of heat treatment. They can even help walk you through the necessary steps for preparation so that you get the most out of your service.
Top 10 Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency