Due to the hidden and resilient behaviors of bed bugs, elimination of them from homes can be challenging and not a good Do-It-Yourself project to get rid of all of the bed bugs.
Tips to minimize your infestation:
Selecting a Professional for Treatment of Bed Bugs
Choose a company that is known to apply Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tactics and guarantee that their treatment options are effective and environmentally friendly.
Choose a company that provides a quick response to your call, and solve your pest problems in a reasonable time, as well as perform follow up treatment evaluation services in a professional manner.
Choose a company the uses heat treatment when treating for bed bugs. Heat treatments work well with treating your home and all affected areas at the same time, eradicating them right away.
Choose a company that offers various chemical and non-chemical pest solutions and educates you on how to prevent pest infestations before they become a problem.
Choose a company that keeps its professionals updated on new techniques, regulations and requirements and committed to excellence and higher performance standards as a member in good standing of national pest management association (NPMA), QualityPro, Green Pro, and EPA Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP).
Don't expect your problem will be solved overnight. When your pest company treats with chemicals, it can take 20 days to 90 days to completely get rid of them. With heat treatments, there may be a few bugs left over that are going through heat stroke and will dye anywhere from 1 hour to 1 day after treatment. Sometimes when people use bed bug bombs, the bugs are pushed so far into the walls it makes the PMP's job very difficult. This may cause more treatments than normal.
Used to heat the room to a lethal temperature for Bed Bugs.
Useful for treating isolated objects, not wanting to bring bed bugs home.
Requires at least two visits.
Commercial Grade Steamer
Useful for treating one or two chairs.
Useful for small items, but be careful of causing damage.
Bed Bug Elimination Techniques
Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs
During a heat treatment process, temperatures are raised to a lethal level for the bed bugs (118°F) and then maintained at that level or higher for a period of time so that the heat can penetrate objects. This really is the best treatment for bed bugs, because the results are better, faster, with less preparation, and you can keep your furniture.
However, because heat treatments offer no residual effect to kill reintroduce bed bugs, pesticides may be used to supplement heat treatments.
Heat chambers are very useful for heat treating objects, such as furniture or beds to kill all life stages of bed bugs. It can be particularly useful for people moving from one place to another who know they had bed bugs and don't want to bring the bed bugs with them. For example, college students moving home can treat their furniture and luggage in the heat chamber before bringing it to their parents home. It is also useful if you are buying used furniture you suspect may be infested. Heat chambers treatments for bed bugs work well with treating mattresses, clothes, and couches since you can not spray the chemicals on them.
Remember, it does not address the structure itself, so moving heat treated furniture back into an infested apartment or space will likely result in it getting re-infested unless the bed bugs in that space are addressed as well.
Chemical Treatment for Bed Bugs
Pesticides specifically tested to kill bed bugs can be used. Often liquid treatments are used on surfaces and dusts are applied in void areas. Insecticide treatments in sleeping areas are a serious health risk so it is very important to use products safely. We recommend hiring an experienced pest control professional.
Bed bug resistance to pyrethroids has been documented in a recent study by researchers at the University of Kentucky (2007, 2010). Most insecticide products that can be used in the home belong to this class. Pest control professionals have more choices of insecticides, which may improve the effectiveness of control.
A recent study at Purdue University concluded that successful eradication of bed bugs using pesticides requires at least two visits, with considerable time needed to inspect and treat the area, but some infestations may require four or more applications.
Steam Treatment for Bed Bugs
Steam can be used to destroy bed bugs, although the pest management professional must be extremely thorough, and yet be careful not to damage things with the very high temperatures. While steam can penetrate cracks and crevices up to a few inches, it is inconsistent and simply cannot be used everywhere for fear of damaging various surfaces. Steam cannot be used to treat outlets and behind switch covers, which are common hiding grounds for bed bugs. The real problem with steam is quite the same as with pesticide treatments. It is hard sometimes to reach the tricky/tough places where bed bugs may be hiding, such as inside a speaker or book bindings. Steam is best used in limited situations, like to treat one or two chairs for bed bugs.
Heat Guns or Freezing Treatment for Bed Bugs
Heat guns and applications involving freezing temperatures (decompression of CO2) have concerns similar to those of steam applications mentioned above. Heat guns/CO2 are effective at killing the bed bugs that can be seen and those hiding in cracks and crevices up to a couple of inches deep. However, they may not be able to reach all of the bed bugs or eggs that cannot be easily reached. Please use with caution. CO2 is dangerous in enclosed areas. You need to keep the room well vented.