Bed Bug Control – Heat VS Chemicals
Bed bugs can be difficult to control, regardless of what treatment approach you use. Many different methods have been tried, but chemical and heat treatments have become the most popular. There are pros and cons to heat treatments and chemicals treatments.
Heat is certainly the best way to kill all life stages living in items such as clothing, bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, etc., which cannot be chemically treated. It is also effective for items which can be loaded into storage containers for heating. The challenge with heat treatment, however, is achieving 100% control inside a house, apartment, or hotel room. Given the right circumstances, it can work most of the time, but at what cost? Not only is heat treatment considerably more expensive than chemical treatment, it commonly damages household property. 130° F for 3 hours causes damage to window seals, refrigerator seals, and other soft vinyl components in anything. This damage may not be immediately evident. More importantly, it is hard to maintain lethal temperatures everywhere bed bugs could be hiding. Most companies offering heat treatment also apply pesticides as the house is being heated, as a combination treatment has proven much more effective than heat alone. The “heat treatment” therefore becomes little more than a sales gimmick. If a 100% kill is not achieved with a heat treatment, there is nothing to prevent the problem from rebounding quickly. The reinfestation is quickly blamed on the reintroduction of new bed bugs.
While reintroduction is a common problem, residual chemical treatment solves that problem. Chemical treatments do not always achieve 100% control either, but, chemical residues in treated areas continue working for months after the treatment, to control any surviving or reintroduced bed bugs. Experienced technicians are the key to great bed bug control, and our success at Buckeye Exterminating is exceptional. Over the past 5 years, we have averaged an 18% request for follow-up treatment. Most of these are for “peace of mind”, and many are scheduled, at the customer's request, at the time of the initial treatment. We actually find live bed bugs on about 5% of the follow-up treatments. These include heavily infested and seriously cluttered homes.
All things considered, we believe chemical treatment is a “no brainer”, but do request customers heat treat their own clothes and bedding in a dryer, as an important step to prepare for treatment. It is not likely you will eliminate any bed bug infestation without some chemical treatment, but proper preparation is key, and should be a bigger job than the treatment itself. Our experienced staff can help you through the treatment process to achieve a fast-effective result for a fraction of the cost charged by most pest control companies. Give us a call at 1-800-523-1521. We can help!!