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What is a Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs?

A heat treatment is one method pest control companies often employ to get rid of bed bugs. This treatment works by destroying the cells of the bed bugs, and causing them to stop functioning. This is due to the fact that once these cells reach a certain temperature, it breaks down the bug’s actual DNA. 

A bed bug’s cells begin to break down at about 113 degrees. This temperature is not necessarily high enough though, to kill the bed bugs altogether. For this reason, pest control services will typically use a heat treatment that reaches temperatures much higher than this and maintained for several hours. 

Pest control services will use portable industrial heaters to get a home or space to reach these temperatures. They will also seal off entrances and exits, so the heat cannot escape. After getting the home to the proper temperature, the heat is left on for four to six hours, then with the assistance of fans and technicians the heat will permeate into all the cracks and crevices of a home, even those that are often cooler than the rest of the home. Very high temperatures and constant air movement are needed to penetrate all of these areas to kill the hard to reach bugs. 

The only problem associated with heat treatment is that there are cold spots in every room of a home. These are often found in areas next to a wall cooled by outdoor air, areas close to ceilings, floors, and walls, that aren’t properly insulated, and gaps inside furniture, where bed bugs like to hide. Very high temperatures are needed to penetrate all of these areas to kill the hard to reach bugs.

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