Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bed Bugs Heat Treatment

My daughter recently rented a trundle bed from a well known furniture rental facility. It was a used trundle that not only was falling apart but in a short time they found that it was also infested with bed bugs. At first they thought they had fleas, but then they started to see the signs of bed bugs; eggs, molted skin and feces. What do bed bugs look like on a mattress? They are brown in color, oval, flat, wingless and when fully mature are about the size of an apple seed. Their eggs or larva are white and look like a grain of rice. As they develop the larva will change colors from white to a hint of brown or golden color. The larva will not respond to chemical treatment and stick firmly to whatever surface they are laid on. Nymphs and adult bed bugs move from place to place but eggs cannot, so it is best to kill them in their larva stage. Bed bugs heat treatment can kill bed bugs and their eggs without harming the environment and can be effective in a single treatment. You can sleep easy since it takes only one treatment, it can be more cost effective than repeated chemical alternatives. The cost for a heat treatment varies on the size of your house and the area in which you live.

[caption id="attachment_1402" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Bed Bugs Heat Treatment - Kills Bed Bug Eggs"][/caption]

Bed bugs will live close to their food source and hide in dark spaces like the seams of mattresses, baseboards, bed frames, behind picture frames, inside TVs and just about any crack or crevice in your home. Bed bug bites are not always noticed as some people are not affected while others may exhibit numerous sores, welts and an allergic reaction. Although no known cases of transmission of infectious disease has been reported, bed bugs do carry at least 28 different human pathogens. Some reports state that they can transmit Hepatitis B through their droppings. Bacterial infections may also occur if the bite creates an open sore. In children some have developed asthma.

If you think you have bed bugs (according to Skyline Pest Solutions) there is a fairly effective and inexpensive way to determine if there are bed bugs in your home. Here is how to search for bed bugs with your own homemade build a bed bug trap:  Also see: How to find bed bugs in your bed

[caption id="attachment_1407" align="alignright" width="227" caption="Bed Bugs Heat Treatment - gets rid of a bed bug problem in one treatment"][/caption]


1. Plastic dog dish with hollow underside
2. Masking tape
3. ½ gallon insulated drink cooler with drain spout
4. Unscented talcum powder
5. 2.5 pounds of dry ice (probably not around the house but easily obtained)


1. Cover the outside of the dog dish with masking tape so that the bed bugs can crawl up and in
2. Turn the dog dish upside-down and place it within 10 feet of the suspected bed bug hiding place
3. Place a small amount of talcum powder within the upward-facing underside of the dog dish so that the bed bugs cannot crawl out
4. Put the dry ice in the cooler, seal the lid, and slightly open the drain spout
5. Put the cooler on top of the inverted dog dish
6. Check your trap in 24 hours

The escaping carbon dioxide will attract any bed bugs present and your handy dandy trap will hold them there for your observation.

[caption id="attachment_1403" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Bed Bugs Heat Treatment - Kills Bed Bug Nymphs"][/caption]

Using heat instead of a toxic chemical can penetrate wall cavities, mattresses and other hard to reach areas. Heat can also kill all the growth stages include their hard to kill eggs. There have been many reports about the temperature and time correlations to kill bed bugs and their eggs. One report stated that in order to kill adults and nymphs the temperature has to be greater than 113┬║F for 15 minutes and 60 minutes to kill eggs. Raising thermal room temperature above this temperature and maintaining it for several hours should eliminate a bed bug infestation.

There are several methods used in thermal heating extermination practices. Some companies use high powered heating devices and fans to raise the temperature in an even manner throughout the infested area. An emphasis must be placed on heating the area quickly, as the bed bugs are known to flee from the high temperatures and return once the heat has returned to normal. Thus a thorough inspection and heating of the entire surrounding area is absolutely necessary to ensure success during the thermal heating process. Other risks associated with heat extermination include possible damage to walls and other heat-sensitive structures within the house. Professional heat extermination services usually conduct a thorough examination of all prospective households before beginning the extermination process.

[caption id="attachment_1405" align="alignright" width="263" caption="Bed Bugs Heat Treatment - Be sure to remove all signs of bed bugs"][/caption]

Killing bed bugs is only half the job. It is necessary to remove the dead carcasses, eggs, and fecal matter from your living space in order to entirely eliminate the potential for skin and respiratory irritation from these bed bug leftovers. Trying to pick it all up with a residential vacuum cleaner will often spread the matter around rather than it ending up in the sweeper bag. Some of it can also end up in the cleaner’s hose and fall back out onto the floor when you store your vacuum away. Certified exterminators are a better solution for this problem because they can use industrial strength vacuums to remove bed bug carcasses and other materials from your home.

Removal of dead bugs and remnants such as feces and eggs should be included in your extermination contract. Read the contract thoroughly before signing any agreement for services. Also ask the exterminators questions on anything your aren’t sure of so that you know what the service professional intends to do to find and fix your bed bug problem, and what rights you have if something goes wrong.

What is a bed bug treatment on the skin? By far, the most popular answer is with baking soda and water to make a paste that you then place on the bite and let dry. Here is exactly how to treat the bites...

1) Make sure to wash the bed bug bites with soap and water.
2) Make a thick sticky paste with the water and baking soda, not too runny and thick enough that it will stay.
3) Let the paste stand until completely dry and then wait an hour or so. Some let it stand for hours while others find that an hour or less is fine.
4) Gently wash the paste off and pat dry.

Other natural remedies for treating bed bug bites include:

Witch hazel, St. John’s Wort and Lemon juice - all work by removing the desire to itch (Astringents).

The gel from the Aloe plant is how many treat bed bug bites and contains anti-fungal and antibiotic properties that work great! Simply trim a tip and apply the exposed area to the bite.

[caption id="attachment_1404" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite"][/caption]

Handed down from generations is the bath with peppermint oil, fill the tub with bath water, then add a half cup of peppermint oil to relieve the itching. Other bath remedies include: Natural Colloidal Oatmeal solution which a long recognized ingredient that relieves itching (widely used for chicken pox) and a hot-hot Epsom Salt bath. There is even an Epsom salt Peppermint combination that reduces inflammation and takes the sting out of bug bites.

How to Treat Bedbug Bites using Over-the-Counter medication.

1. Cortisone cream to stop the itching
2. Calamine lotion
3. Just about any topical anesthetic containing pramoxine
4. Hydrocortisone cream
5. Naproxen or Ibuprofen or a anti-histamine like Benadryl to help reduce swelling
6. Light paste of aspirin and water like you would with baking soda and water

Oh, and please take my advise and never rent furniture, especially a bed, as this is what causes bed bugs to come into your home.

The content provided in Bed Bugs Heat Treatment is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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