Bed bugs are constantly searching for warm, cozy places to set up residence. The reason they love your mattress is that they can burrow down into the springs, foams and other interior layers of the mattress and essentially remain warm and hidden in their tiny cave where they begin to reproduce before heading out to conquer other areas of your home.
Despite their preference for warm areas, however, bed bugs (like all pests) simply cannot survive at high temperatures, especially at temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit that are sustained for over two hours. In the specific case of bed bugs, the target heat that will kill bugs is 113 degrees Fahrenheit that is sustained for a minimum of 90 minutes.
Unless you live in the desert of Arizona and turn off your air conditioning during the hot summer months, however, it can be hard to naturally achieve those temperatures. Fortunately, there are several different products on the market that can be used achieve those temperatures to get rid of bed bugs.
One of the main benefits of using bed bug heaters to kill bed bugs is that this method will kill off the pests in all different phases of their development, including during their egg and larval stages. Most chemical treatments are ineffective at killing bed bug eggs, meaning that you only get a temporary solution. Once the eggs hatch, however, you will once again have to deal with bedbugs keeping you up all night.
In extreme cases, when bed bugs have infested your entire home, you might have to resort to hiring a professional pest management service to heat up your home. These companies have super powerful heaters that are placed inside your home. Once your home is entirely sealed, including caulking windows, doorframes, and other areas with common air leakages, the heater is turned on.
Once the desired heat is achieved, the heat is left for 2–3 hours in order to kill off the bugs, larva, and eggs. Since bed bugs are extremely good travelers, they can quickly invade several different parts of your home. Couches, mattresses, clothes, curtains, and even your carpet can all serve as breeding grounds for bed bugs.
Once a home is entirely infested, it can be close to impossible to get rid of all of the bed bugs with more traditional treatments such as chemical sprays. Though you may be able to kill some of the bugs in a certain area of the house, the presence of bed bugs in other rooms means that they will eventually make their way back to the areas of your home that you had already treated.
For example, let us say that you completely treated your bedroom for bed bugs with heavy chemical sprays. If you have bed bugs in your couch, however, they will latch onto your clothing and once you head to bed, a few might find their way back into your sleeping quarters.
Furthermore, while a mattress protector or cover might keep bed bugs from getting into your mattress, the presence of bed bugs in other areas of your home means that they will most likely be able to survive on top of your mattress cover and still bother you during the night. Opting to treat your entire home with heat, then, is a sure way to get rid of every bed bug in your home.
However, this treatment is extremely expensive, and unless you have $50,000 to purchase a residential heating unit, you will most likely need to hire a professional service for total pest control. In addition, there are several precautions that must be taken when opting to heat your entire home, including removing certain flammable materials and electronic equipment that would most likely be damaged by the sustained high temperatures.
If your home has not been completely overrun by bed bugs, there are other ways to use heat to kill bed bugs on a smaller scale. A home dryer set to the “high” setting should be an easy way to kill bed bugs that are hiding in your clothes or sheets.
However, putting your new leather shoes through the dryer probably is not a good idea and there several other items that simply are not suited to be put in the dryer. Alternatively, finding the best bed bug heater is an innovative (and relatively inexpensive) DIY solution to killing off the bed bugs that might be hiding in your home.
Bed bug heaters come in a variety of different sizes, from small units that only hold 3–4 cubic feet of materials to massive heaters that are big enough for you to place your entire bed, box spring, and frame all at once. Furthermore, the best bed bug heaters also utilize different heating methods including conductive and convective heaters. The insulation materials and other materials used for the structure also differ substantially between different brands.