The heat can become a pest’s deadliest enemy! It can also turn into its best friend. Thermoregulation is an important part of insect and arachnid biology. Bed bugs that you can also call Cimex lectularius can alter their behavior to acclimate to new environments. This means that drastic temperature changes can let them respond to maintain homeostasis within their internal body temperature.
One such way that bed bugs can do this is through torpor. It is a deep sleep state between life and death. There is a severe reduction of metabolic activity which can allow them to survive extremely cold temperatures without freezing entirely. However, can this same specific instance also mean tolerance for extreme heat?
The choice of what heating method
Know two heating methods to eliminate your bed bugs:
Compartmentalized heat chambers
The first compartment has a higher concentration of gas and can reach 113 degrees Fahrenheit, while the second can reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter end can kill all stages of bed bugs: eggs, nymphs, and adults. By using both methods together, there is more accuracy for the extermination of pests. Achieve maximum kill rates compared with only one method.
Does this still apply?
Hypothesize that bed bugs can survive by implementing torpor. But does this mean they can also withstand such high temperatures?
No studies exist on whether or not they can develop resistance to extreme heat as mosquitoes can. However, some can speculate that they can become heat tolerant when their populations are large enough. The more generations of bed bugs prove the stronger they can become via natural selection.
Whole-Home Heat Treatments
It can come from a single heat source that can kill bed bugs without chemicals. Install infrared heating panels in the ceiling of several rooms to let them warm up until 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Eliminate both nymphs and adults this way. It can produce dry heat that can also reduce allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from living in your home for a healthier environment.
Does this still apply?
The higher temperatures can weaken their exoskeletons mutating them into extinction. But anything over 70 degrees Celsius can start to destroy them dramatically. These drastic changes can interfere with vital body processes by disrupting their lipids or proteins. It can cause death upon the next generation’s eggs hatching.
As the heat can accumulate, it can get fatal after many hours. The heat can also cause hyperphagia. This can lead to increased population growth as they can eat more. More energy in their bodies exists for survival and heating purposes.
However, there is no scientific research that can prove this theory yet.
Heat does more than just kill bed bugs. It can also:
Influence the behavior of any insect pest and disrupt their molting process. This is by inducing stop and go signals. Reproduction turns faster but grows more slowly or not at all.
Damage exoskeletons of arthropods by interfering with cellular membranes. It can make them dehydrate and shrink instead of expanding or puffing.
Tolerance to Heat
Insects can withstand a vast temperature range. They can quickly adjust to any new changes on the fly. Bed bugs can become heat tolerant with high populations. As they can also mutate to newer generations, they can survive on a multitude of “hosts.” Their ability to adapt may make them more likely to survive extreme heat compared with other insects or arachnids.
Eradication can require multiple procedures and strategies. Use both chemical pesticides and heat together for maximum kill rates. This includes safety from re-infestation at a faster rate due to natural selection after every pest control cycle.
Prevention can still mean eliminating these pests through early detection and proper sanitation practices. Do this by:
Using IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices. Eco Earth Bed Bug Dogs can help implement such measures. It can also include sealing cracks and crevices to keep them from coming back. Also, use mattress and box spring encasements to minimize infestation possibilities in the future.
Sealing any cracks, crevices, and pinholes can prevent bed bugs from coming into your living space or home with a lack of funds for professional services.
How much does bed bug heat treatment cost?
The cost can vary depending on doing it yourself or hiring a professional bed bug exterminator in New Jersey, NYC, Connecticut, and Long Island. The size of your home can determine the rate. For example, the average cost for one room can reach $188 to $438 with an extra charge per space. You can also choose just one room to focus on. The cost can increase when you want to have an entire house heat treated completely.
Professional bed bug extermination can get rid of them at their source or where they are hiding. They can even get rid of their eggs that can lay dormant for months before hatching out in mass amounts. Treatment can cost up to $2,000 with multiple rounds. This depends on the severity and how much work it takes. Heat is a natural way to kill bed bugs without chemicals or pesticides sprayed all over your home.
It can take more than one night of exposure for this method to become effective. But it proves effective nonetheless when done correctly and systematically during an infestation.
How does heat treatment kill bed bugs?
Heat can kill bed bugs by going into their exoskeleton. It can alter the lipid and protein levels in a way that can cause cell membrane leakage. The same can happen with cellular organelles within the cells themselves. This can result in death after hours or potentially days later from other insect pests feeding on dead bed bugs.
Some studies show how it can affect enzymes, amino acids, nucleic acids, and steroid hormone receptors among many other things in insects. The same is also real for humans because you both evolved from common ancestors living millions of years ago. Adapt to have differences while retaining certain similarities that bind together as a species.
Heat can also affect the secondary metabolism of insects. This can result in their death by altering liver functions that can ultimately cause cell damage and dysfunction.
Will heat treatment for bed bugs damage my home?
Heat can damage certain items in your home. It can warp plastic, melt vinyl flooring, and also stiffen up some fabrics. Use caution when using this treatment to avoid causing more damages than dealing with an infestation already can cause.
Mattresses can withstand the heat required to kill bed bugs. Box springs are not as resistant because of their fabric construction. They can melt or contract at too high a temperature, which can cause warping on its side. Use caution with your furniture and other belongings in the space you plan to treat.
Heat can also damage wood floors depending on the heat and time requirements to kill bed bugs. Furniture can warp and other belongings can melt or contract to high temperatures, which can cause warping.
Can a hot box kill bed bugs?
Yes, it can work but can also further damage other belongings in your home.
One way to control a bed bug infestation is by using hot boxes. Its traps use sustained heat and run clothes, shoes, or other items. This is through their 30-minute cycle at a maximum setting to kill any remaining bugs on them. Likewise, heating is from the inside out.
This method will not work for controlling an entire population of these annoying pests though. It only treats single spots with active problems. You will need more than one trap when your home has been recently plagued. No matter how many times you wash your hands after knocking off those nasty little pests, some will always manage to escape.
You should always follow the instructions of any hot box or dryer use. It is important to pay attention to heat sources, ventilation, and which items can withstand elevated temperatures for an extended period. The idea is similar in taking care when applying pesticides around your home so as not to damage anything.
Will steam kill bed bugs?
Yes, but it can also damage some items around your home.
Steam can help kill bed bugs as well as their eggs and nymphs by going into their exoskeleton. Do not assume this can get rid of them all, though. You can also use steam to clean your mattress and box spring, which can help get rid of them afterward.
This can kill bed bugs by destroying their exoskeleton. But it can also cause mildew growth on mattresses when kept damp for too long after treatment.
Why Call a Professional Bed Bug Exterminator?
Heat can damage your furnishings and can cause them to warp or melt into unrecognizable shapes. Call a professional when there are items you cannot replace but need to save from complete ruin.
You can hire a pro for many reasons, such as handling large infestations, dealing with property preservation issues, and preventing future recurrence of bed bugs in your home.
A bed bug infestation exists that can potentially spread to other units in a multi-unit building. They can also inspect and monitor the situation before applying any final solution to help prevent or control any future outbreaks.
Combining heat treatments will not only kill the bed bugs in your home. But these can also kill eggs that hatch into new infestations without a proper check.