These pesky little creatures have become increasingly resistant to chemical pesticides and as a result a lot of infestations require more than one chemical treatment to exterminate them. That is one of the many reasons why new organic methods of exterminating them have been developed. Another reason and probably the most important reason for the development of new alternative methods of bed bug treatment is the fact that a lot of people don’t want themselves and their family members to be exposed to pesticides and especially in their homes.
Heat is a safe and effective alternative to using chemicals to kill them and their eggs. They cannot tolerate temperatures above 112° F, they will die within a few minutes at a temperatue of 115° F. But it may take as long as an hour to kill their eggs. So heating the areas in your home where the pests are located to a temperature of 115° F and maintaining that temperature for several hours will kill them and their eggs that are hiding there. The reason that the temperature most be maintained for several hours is because it will usually take that long to heat their hiding places to a temperature that is sufficient to kill them.
Mattresses and box springs should be removed from beds and leaned up against the wall in a manner that allows air flow behind them. If they were left stacked together the area between them would never get hot enough to kill the pests that might be hiding there. Drawers in chests and dressers as well as any other drawers should be pulled open. Closet and cabinet doors should be open to allow the heat to enter those areas. Clothes or anything thing else that will act as insulation as well as places where they can hide in those drawers should be removed and placed where they will be heated through and through. The same goes for boxes or any other containers that might not get thoroughly heated. When using heat as a method of treatment just remember that stacks of clothes or other materials will act as an insulation and the inside and underside will not get hot enough to kill them so they must be spread out in order to reach the proper temperature.
After you have prepared the areas to be heated place a thermometer in each area and begin heating those areas. Before it becomes too uncomfortable to stay the the heated areas go outside or in another room. Check the heated areas periodically to make sure they are up to temperature (115° F) and are not too hot. It can be tricky to maintain the proper temperature unless you have a heat source with a thermostat on it. After an air temperature of 115° F is reached it should be held there for several hours, long enough for the temperture behind baseboards, wallpaper, inside of furniture and etc to reach 115° F. It may be necessary to turn things over or move them around from time to time so that they will become heated through and through. Be sure if you remove anything from the area that is to be treated prior to the heat treatment that you inspect it carefully for bed bugs and their eggs and use the appropriate measures to ensure that you do not bring any of the pests or their eggs back into the areas after they are treated.
I can’t stess strongly enough how important it is to use caution when using heat as a method of extermination. Be sure to not become overheated yourself! Never stay in the heated areas more than a few minutes at a time. It is usually a good idea to have someone else with you while you are heat treating your home. Be sure to know how to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion before hand. Or better yet hire a professional exterminator to do the bed bugs treatment of your home or apartment.