Dayton, Ohio Bed Bug Heat Treatment
Bed bugs are causing a lot of people in Dayton and Ohio's Miami Valley to lose sleep at night -- literally. Over the past decade, they have become one of the most common pests faced by exterminators in Ohio and throughout the United States.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are also notoriously difficult to treat using conventional, pesticide-based methods. Because of their small size and secretive habits, they tend to hide in places that are not easily treated such as wall and ceiling voids, mattresses, and structural cracks and crevices; and because they don't actually handle their food -- human blood -- they don't take up residual insecticides very well. Even properly-executed conventional bed bug treatments have high failure rates, with many jobs requiring repeat treatments.
Preparation for conventional, chemical-based bed bug extermination also requires a huge effort by homeowners and tenants. Properly preparing for an old-school bed bug treatment can easily take several weeks, with no guarantee that it won't have to be done all over again if the first treatment fails. It's also not an option for people with insecticide allergies or in sensitive locations such as schools or child-care settings.
Fortunately, there's a non-toxic, non-chemical approach to bed bug control that's tough on the bugs, but easy on people. That method is called bed bug heat treatment, or thermal remediation. Simply stated, we use very precise, purpose-built heaters and fans to elevate the temperature inside the house to a level sufficient to kill the bed bugs without damaging most household items. No chemicals are used (or needed), and the occupants can return to the home after treatment as soon as it's comfortably cool.
Another advantage to heat treatment for bed bugs is that preparation is much simpler. Instead of taking days or weeks, preparation for bed bug heat treatment usually takes only a few hours. Pets and plants will need to be removed from the home, of course, along with items like candles, crayons, and some artwork that is especially sensitive to heat. Foods like chocolate and cooking oils, as well as most medications, should be removed from the home or placed in the refrigerator. We also may ask that tightly-stored items be removed from closets and dressers and spaced out, and that furniture be moved a few inches away from the wall, so the heat can penetrate these items more quickly.
In most cases, that's all the homeowner or tenant has to do. We'll do the rest.
How Heat Kills Bed Bugs
Lots of people assume that heat treatment "cooks" the bed bugs. That's not exactly true. We don't use temperatures high enough to cook anything. That would be much too dangerous and would damage the items in the home.
What we do is raise the temperature inside the house high enough that it affects the bed bugs' ability to regulate their metabolic processes. Like all insects, bed bugs are ectothermic, or "cold-blooded" animals. They lack any internal means to regulate their body temperatures, so if the ambient temperatures are too high for their metabolism to function, and is kept there for a long enough time, the bed bugs will die. The higher the temperature, the more quickly it will kill the bed bugs.
The problem is that temperatures high enough to kill bed bugs immediately would also be high enough to damage items inside homes and other buildings, so we have to strike a balance between temperature and time. We make these decisions based on each job. For example, an empty home can be treated at a higher temperature than an occupied one, so we can make quick work of the job. But for most occupied homes, we've found that maintaining temperatures in the 135° F to 145° F (52° C to 63° C) range for several hours will reliably eliminate bed bug problems without damaging the home's content.
Maintaining that narrow temperature range requires specialized, purpose-built equipment that can precisely monitor and regulate the temperatures in all areas of your the home or building. This equipment literally has no other purpose. It's designed and built to kill bed bugs, and nothing else. Do not attempt to kill bed bugs using consumer or industrial space heaters. You're more likely to burn down your home than to solve your bed bug problem.
Why We Kill Bed Bugs Using Heat
Our family has been serving Dayton and the Miami Valley with pest control services for almost 40 years, and we were way ahead of the curve in terms of trying to minimize pesticide use by using non-chemical pest-management methods whenever possible. When bed bugs once again became a problem after several generations of being relatively unheard of in America, we started looking for a better, safer way to kill them than the old-fashioned "surround-and-drown" method using insecticide sprays.
After much experimentation, it became clear that using heat was the safest, most effective, and most environmentally-responsible method of treating bed bug problems; so we invested in the best state-of-the-art equipment available to do it. It's really that simple: We use heat because it's the safest and best method to kill bed bugs.
Why not use cold?
Sometimes people ask us why we don't use cold rather than heat. The reason is that to kill bed bugs using cold, we'd have to cool the entire house to a temperature at or below 0° F (-19° C) for four days. That's just not practical when treating an entire house or other building. It's a fine way to kill bed bugs in clothing, plush toys, or other items that can withstand those temperatures, but it's not feasible for buildings.
If you have a bed bug problem in your home or building, Dayton Bed Bug Heat Treatment can help. Please contact us for a no-obligation inspection and estimate. We look forward to seeing you.