Using Steam Heat to Kill Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs along with their eggs will die on contact when exposed to temperatures over 180 degrees. Bite Back’s high-quality commercial steamers reach over 330 degrees, ensuring maximum effectiveness. In all bedrooms we treat the mattress, box spring, frame, night stand, dresser, carpet, and baseboards. In living rooms we treat couches, love seats, armchairs, and any other necessary furniture to ensure your infestation is eliminated in one treatment. And because steam is a contact kill, there is no need to worry about bed bugs being driven into adjacent rooms or apartment units.
Environmental Impact of Using Steam
Bite Back was started as a way to curtail the unnecessary and often dangerous use of chemical pesticides to treat bed bug infestations. Steam is not only more effective than chemical treatments, but also great for the environment! Because our customers choose our steam heat extermination, instead of a chemical treatment, since 2011 we’ve kept over 130,000 oz of chemical aerosol, 430 pounds of chemical-laden powder, and 780 gallons of liquid chemical spray our of the air, water, and soil.
Small Business, big impact!
In order to ensure our treatment is as effective as possible, we integrate the use of food-grade diatomaceous earth and a portable heat box in our process.
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural mineral, consisting of silica dioxide, which to humans is a harmless powder, but to bed bugs acts as a dissecant, essentially cutting up bed bug exoskeletons, drying them out and killing them. We use this as a perimeter residual treatment to kill any stragglers or bugs coming from the walls.
Our Portable Heat box heats sensitive objects such as books, photos and papers, or any other item which needs treatment but can’t be steamed. Bed bugs will die after an hour of exposure to temperatures over 120ºF. Our heat box heats up to over 160ºF! We place objects in the heat box at the beginning of the treatment, leave it running for the duration of our visit, and by the time we are done, the bed bugs that could be hiding in those objects are done for!
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Disadvantages of Other Methods
Bite Back has been using our unique steam heat process effectively since 2011. We have successfully treated over 1,500 homes and counting!
Other Bed Bug Treatment Methods
Aside from steam heat, there are three other processes often used to kill bed bugs:
– pesticide application
-thermal heat remediation
All three can be effective, but they can also have their drawbacks.
Hiring A Pesticide Company
Bed Bugs are becoming increasingly more resistant to pesticides. Chemical Pesticides can kill bed bugs on contact, but will seldom kill bed bug eggs. This means that multiple treatments, often times three or four, are necessary to eradicate an infestation. Therefore, the process can take up to a month, and you will likely continue to be bitten during that time. Additionally, harmful chemicals are being sprayed directly where you sleep. Need proof? The Journal of Medical Entymology recently released a paper oulining the increased resistance of bed bugs to chemical treatments. Another study by the BBC finds the same results of bed bug’s resistance to chemicals.
Thermal Heat Remediation
There are companies that offer to heat your entire home to between 120º-160ºF to eradicate bedbug infestations. While this method can be effective, especially for heavy infestations, it is very costly, invasive, and often unnecessary. Because the temperature rises slowly, bed bugs have time to retreat into walls or other units in an apartment building where they can survive the treatment and return later.
Killing bed bugs yourself can be very appealing, especially since the cost is so much lower than hiring professionals. However, the chemicals that you can buy at home improvement stores or online are very weak and will act as more of a repellant than a killer. These sprays often kill no more than 10% of the bugs while causing the rest to run into other rooms or into the walls, thereby making proper treatment in the future much harder and potentially more expensive. Never use bed bug bombs. We have NEVER seen these work and it makes later treatment wildly difficult because the bugs will not die, but instead run away into other parts of the home.
If you do insist to try killing the bugs yourself you can use 90% or stronger rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will kill bedbugs and their eggs and it has a lower likelihood of driving them into surrounding areas.