While treating your home for bed bugs, it is quite possible to cause damage to your properties, even more than the ones done by the bed bugs you are initially trying to exterminate. This is especially true when you treat your entire house using harsh but effective methods like; heat treatment.
Luckily, there are certain preventative measures a bed bug exterminator in Charlotte, North Carolina, takes to help prevent damages from heat treatment, which you can follow.
In this article, we will be highlighting some of these measures. But before then, let us talk about what bed bug heat treatment entails.
What Is Bed Bug Heat Treatment?
Bed bug heat treatment is a process that kills bed bugs and their eggs by heating them to temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it is the most effective method of killing bed bugs, it’s also the most dangerous. This is why it should not be done by a novice. Heat treatment should be handled by a qualified bed bug exterminator who has experience treating bed bugs with heat.
When Do I Need Heat Treatment?
Bed bugs are not only a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous to your health. Heat treatment should be used as soon as you notice signs of bed bugs. Once you find evidence that they have infested your home, then it’s best to call in a professional exterminator immediately. You don’t want to risk having them spread to other areas of your home by waiting too long before seeking help from pest control professionals.
How to Prepare for Bed Bug Heat Treatments
Preparing your home for bed bug heat treatment does not have to be tedious, especially if you’re using the service of an experienced bed bug exterminator. The following are some necessary things to do before the arrival of professionals.
- Don’t move anything. Removing anything before the treatment and bringing it back after the treatment may reintroduce pests to your residence.
- Ensure your home is clean and free of any combustible materials.
- Ensure to vacuum everywhere and dispose of the vacuum bags carefully.
- Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk or duct tape.
- Ensure your windows are closed, and your air conditioner is off. This will help prevent interference from any external factors that can affect the heat treatment process.
- Ensure kids and Pets are out of reach. Having them exposed to a high temperature for a long period can cause heat stroke, which can be life-threatening.
Once you have prepared your home for bed bug heat treatment, the next step is to take measures to protect it from heat damage.
Below are certain strategies employed by exterminators during heat treatment to help avoid damage to your home.
Acclimation is the process of adjusting to new conditions. It involves gradually warming up the room to be treated from below the freezing point. This will help your bed bug treatment to be effective and give heat-sensitive materials time to adjust to the temperature increase and humidity decrease that occur during the heat treatment.
Most experienced exterminators recommend raising the temperature by 10 degrees once 100 degrees F is reached. To do this, the thermostat on the heater is set to a temperature of 100F, then 110F, then 120F, etc.
Thermostatic controls are electronic devices that control temperature. They are used in bed bug heat treatment to ensure the temperature of the room is kept at the desired level.
Most exterminators try to keep the temperature at 120 degrees F. This is because most materials will hold up well at this temperature. However, anything higher could be risky.
Typically, the thermostat turns off the heating element when it reaches the pre-set temperature.
One of the fastest ways to get rid of bed bugs using heat is by using gas-fired systems. The systems can produce high heat capacity by a single unit. Hence the exterminator reaches the required temperature quickly. However, you must be careful not to cause damage through the source. Ensure you enclose the duct with a blanket both at the opening and end of the duct. You can also enclose it with Reflectix insulation.
It’s highly recommended that you have a professional heat treat your space if you think you have bed bugs. They know what they’re looking for, the best products to use, and are experts in the field. However, if you decide to do it yourself, ensure you follow the above strategies to avoid damages that could have been avoided.