Heat treatment for bed bugs is the most effective way to kill an infestation compared to traditional treatments such as spraying with insecticide however we are often asked if bed bugs can survive heat treatment.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are a common pest and can live undetected in your home. They are very hardy and can survive for long periods of time without food. They can be around 5mm long and are oval shaped.
Unfortunately, this ability to hide and not require frequent meals can mean that they are hard to locate and kill.
Bed bugs often hide in cracks within skirting boards or within your bed frame or bed slats. They can also live inside sofas, carpets, and other soft furnishings where they are inconspicuous and almost invisible to the naked eye.
What do Bed Bugs Feed on?
Bed bugs feed on blood from their host. This can be humans or even pets such as dogs, cats or even mice. They generally only feed at night when they feel it is safe to come out of their hiding place.
Although bed bugs can survive for long periods without feeding, the young or nymphs will require a blood meal to be able to develop onto the next stage of their development.
There are 7 stages to a bed bugs life cycle. They start as an egg then hatch into a nymph. Then they develop and grow through the next 4 stages (after each blood meal) before they finally become an adult.
How can you check for Bed Bugs?
You can check for bed bugs by doing a few simple things. Firstly, you may see small blood spots on your bedding, these can be caused by you squashing the bugs during the night.
Secondly, you may spot small brown spots on your bedding, this is bed bug faeces.
You can also use a torch to check your bed, bed frame and areas around your bed for signs of bed bugs such as movement of bed bugs or shed skins from the nymphs.
For more detailed information on checking for bed bugs, read our page here.
What are the treatment options for Bed Bugs?
The traditional treatment for bed bugs was to spray the infected area with insecticide. However, over time bed bugs have developed an immunity to the chemicals used during treatment making it much less effective.
It is also very hard to ensure the insecticide spray reaches all the areas required so it is unlikely to kill the bed bug eggs.
Over the last few years, heat treatment has become the more common way of treating an infestation due to its ability to reach all areas of the home.
How does heat treatment work?
Heat treatment works by effectively dehydrating the bed bugs and their eggs. The infected area is heated to a high temperature for a sustained period. During this time, the bed bugs will die from dehydration.
This is more effective than insecticide as the eggs and nymphs also dehydrate due to the heat treatment even if they are hidden from sight or in deep crevices within your bed frame or skirting boards.
For more detail on how bed bug heat treatment works, please read our blog here.
Can Bed Bugs Survive the Treatment?
It is possible for bed bugs to survive heat treatment. When the room is heated to the required temperature, bed bugs will seek solace in cold places. If these cold places are left un-treated, the bed bugs can survive.
A bed bug heat treatment specialist will use thermal technology to look for cold spots during treatment to avoid this. They will also move smaller items to avoid cold spots where the bed bugs can hide.
This will eliminate the possibility of any bed bugs surviving the heat treatment and therefore re-infesting.
Sometimes, your pest controller will also use an insecticide treatment afterwards to ensure any bed bugs which aren’t 100% killed are finished off.
What should you do if you think you have a bed bug problem?
Contact your local bed bug specialist immediately. Take some photos of the signs and arrange a bed bug heat treatment survey.
Do not try to treat the infestation yourself using shop bought insecticides as they are weak and usually make the problem worse.
For a free bed bug survey, please contact us.