Does Bed Bug Heat Treatment Kill Bed Bugs And Is It Safe?

Bed bug heat treatment is a popular method offered by pest control professionals to kill bed bugs.

 Kill Bed Bugs | Thermal Heat

How Does Bed Bug Heat Treatment Work?

Bed bug heat treatment is administered in two ways.  One involves radiant heat and the other uses steam heat by pest control professionals.

Radiant Heat Method

The radiant heat method to kill bed bugs entails between 2 and 8 hours of intense heat at temperatures ranging from 113 degrees F. to 140 degrees F.  Radiant heat is a non-toxic method to kill bed bugs.

However, several disadvantages exist when using radiant heat. Firstly, it does not penetrate furniture or the entire area of treatment.  Therefore, live bed bugs may escape the radiant heat unaffected.  Care must be taken prior to radiant heat treatment to kill bed bugs, too.  For example, prior to starting, all electronics must be removed from the treatment area, as well as houseplants, food substances, artwork, and household pets.  People must also vacate the treatment area while the radiant heat is being administered.

Depending on your local code enforcement, you may need permission to begin radiant heat treatment from your local fire department.  The reason is due to the fire safety issues that come with radiant heat bed bug treatments.  In fact, there are many articles around the web regarding fires that are caused by radiant heat to kill bed bugs.  Buildings must disengage their sprinkler systems to avoid them from setting off during the radiant heat bed bug treatment, often leaving them unprotected during the 2 to 8 hours it takes to complete the treatment.

Steam Heat Method

Using extremely hot water, the steam spray will kill bed bugs on contact.  Like radiant heat, this is a very non-toxic method to kill bed bugs.  And like radiant heat, steam heat also has a few downsides.  Most notably, steam heat may create damage to personal items and furnishings in the treatment area of your home or building.  For example, steam heat can destroy electronics, computers, musical instruments, artwork, certain furnishings, and soft wood species.  It is a labor-intensive process.  Water damage may or may not follow a steam heat treatment to kill bed bugs, which causes further concerns.

Effectiveness of Bed Bug Heat Treatments

The answer is yes, heat treatment will kill bed bugs.  But whether these methods kill bed bugs entirely, or leave a few behind is one debate.  The long term effect of a thermal bed bug treatment is still under debate, too.  If you google “bed bug thermal treatment” you will find hundreds of complaints from homeowners and building owners abound.  Many of whom spent thousands of dollars to kill bed bugs and stated that the treatment worked temporarily at best.

The Cost to Kill Bed Bugs Using Bed Bug Heat Treatments

The cost to kill bed bugs using bed bug heat treatments vary depending on many factors, mainly the region and size of the home or building.  Generally speaking, thermal pest eradication for a family home will run you somewhere between $2000 and $4000.

The Risk of Bed Bug Heat Treatments

So, do the benefits outweigh the risks?  House fires may occur during a bed bug heat treatment.

And we definitely do not recommend a DIY heat treatment to kill bed bugs:

DIY Heat Treatment to Kill Bed Bugs

In our professional opinion heat treatment is a potentially dangerous method to kill bed bugs.  A fire can start and become life threatening withing minutes, and many house fires have resulted in DIY Bed Bug Heat Treatments.  Not only is it very difficult to increase the temperature in your home or building to what is needed to kill bed bugs, but the means of getting there can pose a great deal of risk to your home or building and those who occupy it.

Is There a Better Option Besides a Chemical Treatment?

Yes, there is! If you’re looking for a natural, chemical-free method that works on bed bugs, check out our Green Pest Solutions.

For other safe and less expensive alternatives to kill bed bugs, contact Titanium Laboratories today for a free bed bug consultation.

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Mary is passionate about Titanium Laboratories' brand and manages the company website, social media, blogs and graphic design. Outside of the office Mary enjoys home decorating, art, and her friends and family. You can find Mary on

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