As we are quickly becoming aware of the damage humans are doing to the planet, more and more people are trying to live as environmentally friendly of a lifestyle as possible. Exterminating bed bugs is one area that, for a long time, did not have many eco-friendly alternatives to the pesticide intensive treatments which nearly eradicated them from all of North America in the mid 1940’s.
Although most bed bug exterminators still use a combination of chemical treatments to exterminate bed bugs from homes and businesses, there is a growing number of socially responsible companies who are choosing to go the eco-friendly route. These companies only use chemical solutions when it is absolutely necessary to do so, in combination with their green alternatives.
In fact, modern day bed bugs have developed a resistance to a large number of pesticides that used to work in the past like DDT. As a result, in order for bed bug extermination to be effective, it either requires very strong chemicals solutions or evolved eco-friendly methods like the ones mentioned below.
Bed Bug Steam Treatment
A very popular environmentally friendly bed bug extermination procedure is to use steam at a very high temperature to kill bed bugs. To do this, a bed bug control professional will first examine your home to determine where the bed bugs are hiding and where they may have laid eggs. This will include areas like:
- in the seams of your mattress
- behind baseboards
- small cracks and crevices in your bedroom walls or bed frame
- any other small space where they can fit that is near your bed
Once they have an idea of where the bed bugs may be living, they will use a powerful steam generating machine to thoroughly spray steam at very high temperatures in all of these areas. The technician will have to move at a very slow rate while doing this, about 12 inches every 30 seconds, to make sure that bed bugs and their eggs are exposed to the steam for a long enough period that it will kill them.
In order to ensure all bed bugs and their eggs are killed using this method, the temperature of the steam must be well beyond a bed bugs thermal death point. Often times, the steam temperature can be as high as 85ºC.
Heat Treatment For Exterminating Bed Bugs
Another environmentally friendly bed bug treatment option, using the same concept as steam treatment, is heat treating a bed bug infested area. This method uses the same principles as steam treatment but requires much less precision and slightly more equipment and power.
With heat treatment, bed bug exterminators do not need to spray anything in the suspected areas that the bed bugs are living in. Instead, they use powerful heating equipment and fans to increase the overall heat in an infested room to about 50ºC for 60-120 minutes. Keeping the entire room exposed to this temperature for such a long ensures that any bed bug or bed bug egg in that area will surely die.
This is one of the most effective methods for exterminating bed bugs, however, it is also the most expensive due to how time consuming it is to set up and the high end equipment required to maintain such a high heat for an extended period of time.