Identifying the Best Treatment for Bed Bugs
There are a variety of different methods of bed bug treatment and management, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Professional advice is the best way to ensure you get the most appropriate method for you.
Most often suggested as a DIY Bed Bug remedy, sprinkling diatomaceous earth on infested items and around cracks in bed frames can dehydrate the insects. However it takes several weeks for any effect to be seen, during which time the infestation can spread to other areas while the underlying infestation is still not resolved. As a standalone treatment, diatomaceous earth is not effective for the eradication of bed bugs.
Pesticides are the most commonly used method of eliminating bed bugs. Usually the cheaper option, chemical treatments aren’t always the most effective due to increasing resistance on the part of the bugs. DIY sprays are not strong enough for them to be effective, so professional-level treatments are a must.
Multiple treatments may be required for a complete eradication, which can increase the period of time a bed or room is unusable.
Heat Treatment - Steam
Steam treatments are the preferred method of JPS Environmental due to its safety, avoidance of chemicals that leave residue, and its effectiveness. A sustained period of high heat (65-75 degrees) is required to kill the bed bugs, but the room is usable once the treatment is completed, rather than being off-limits due to lingering pesticides.
Steam treatment is particularly effective for soft materials like mattresses, pillows, duvets, and blankets as it can penetrate the surfaces and has no risk of setting fire to anything. Some materials may not be suitable for steam treatment, however.
Heat Treatment - Dry
Heating a room using dry heat is another effective option that doesn’t leave a chemical residue. However the method involves significant power consumption, often requiring a generator to be brought on site to run the heaters. This can be disruptive due to the noise and the need for space for the generator.
Although 90 minutes of exposure is enough to kill the bed bugs, it can take up to 8 hours to increase the ambient heat of the room to a level high enough to destroy the bed bugs and their eggs in all nooks and crannies. Not all rooms are suitable for this type of heating, as some substances could melt under the prolonged treatment. The length of time and power consumption of these treatments also contributes to their higher cost.
Freezing treatments involve placing items in a freezer capable of maintaining a temperature below -16 degrees. This is possible for smaller items but rarely suitable for large items within the room, such as mattresses, bed frames, chairs, and carpets. Some bugs have a greater tolerance for low temperatures, and prolonged freezing is necessary - up to a couple of weeks potentially.