By Michael Simpson | August 2009
For most of us the thought of pest control means chemicals and poisons all over our home. Bedbugs have a resistance to pesticides so being more environmentally aware means replacing chemicals with thermal remediation to eradicate bed bugs. “You heat up a room to 130 degrees, and for bugs and their eggs that temperature is lethal.”
This proven process is 100% environmentally responsible and eco-friendly so there’s no need to worry about nasty chemicals or foreign elements affecting people or the earth. The process takes one day – compared to upwards of a month for competitive solutions – and allows you to keep your existing space “as is” without throwing out bedding, clothing, linens and the like.
Elevating the temperature within buildings has been used to eradicate pests ranging from grain insects to termites. Structural and containerized heat treatments are also being used for bed bugs. Portable heaters and fans are used to gradually heat the air within rooms to about 125 to 130°F while monitoring with strategically placed sensors. While heat treatments hold promise, eliminating infestations by raising the temperature within a building may not be so easy. As observed with cockroaches, bed bugs may seek out cooler areas as the temperature within rooms builds. Whether some bugs will be able to survive by moving to cooler locations (including adjacent units) still needs further study.
There is considerable documentation citing the temperature and time correlations necessary to kill bedbugs and their eggs. Several sources (Usinger 1966, Gulmahamad 2002, Quarles 2007) report that adults and nymphs die within 15 minutes at temperatures greater than 113ºF and 60 minutes to kill eggs. Raising room temperatures above the thermal death point and maintaining that temperature for several hours should eliminate a bedbug infestation.