What Experience Has Taught Us
What are bed bugs?
The most common bed bug is Cimex lectularius. Bed bugs are mean. They’re bloodsuckers, tiny little vampires that wait until people are asleep to crawl out of hiding and bite anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity (they’re drawn to the carbon dioxide you exhale…although we don’t advise you to stop breathing).
Do bed bugs spread disease?
No, bed bugs aren’t considered to be disease carriers. That doesn’t mean that they’re harmless, though, as some people can be allergic to the anesthetic the bed bug injects you with while it feeds on your blood. This can lead to rashes and excessive itching.
How did they get in my home?
Bed bugs are opportunistic and will take any opportunity to move from place to place. The most common way they get into your home is on luggage or clothing after you’ve been in a hotel room that had bed bugs. Houseguests or second-hand furniture can also bring them into your home. Now you’re thinking twice about that couch you saw on craigslist, aren’t you?
Once you bring bed bugs home, they’re there to stay until you do something about it.
How Does Thermal Clean Heat & Treat Work?
By integrating our Thermal Remediation process with a light residual pesticide application, we are able to rid a space of bed bugs in a timely and responsible manner.
- Vacuuming: We begin by physically removing bed bugs from their known harborages.
- Electric heaters are placed within the space, introducing and recirculating heated air with a target temperature not to exceed 140° F based on the air intake.
- Temperatures are monitored using thermal imagery in real time from a remote location using wireless sensors to ensure lethal temperatures are reached without damaging the space and its contents.
- High-temperature fans move heated air throughout the space to reach insects in cracks and crevices and high infestation zones.
- Steam is pushed into cracks and crevices to kill the bugs and eggs, which are hidden deep within the furniture and walls.
- A light residual pesticide is applied to the perimeter of every room. This leaves a protective barrier to ensure against any stragglers surviving.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Treatment time is an important consideration for an effective heat treatment. Treatment time can be dictated by various factors, such as clutter, structure type, layout, the severity of infestation, and airflow management. Adult bed bugs are generally most susceptible to heat, with eggs being the most tolerant. Temperatures should be held long enough to ensure heat penetration in all probable places where the insects can take refuge.
The success of a heat treatment also depends on how effectively lethal temperatures have been reached in cracks and crevices, nooks and crannies, and inside clutter. This can be achieved through good airflow management which can be accomplished by relocating heaters, correct placement of fans and ductwork and arrangement of contents with space.
Is there anything special I need to do?
Space will be heated to temperatures approaching 140° F. It is important that anything that may be affected by the heat is removed from the space. The more clutter and personal belongings you are able to permanently remove, the quicker we will be able to eliminate the bed bugs and let you back in your home. As such, it is a great time to dispose of all those things you have been planning on permanently removing from your home.
Rest assured, we never ask our customers to do exhaustive hours of prep work and moving furniture. Simply, we ask them to remove items that can be damaged by the heat, remove trash, sweep and vacuum the floor and lastly, to put all your clothing into plastic bags, laundry baskets or have them on hangers.
What are the signs of having bed bugs?
If you wake up to bite marks that weren’t there when you went to bed, it’s time to inspect your sleeping area. Still, not everyone’s skin reacts to the bites, and they can take up to 14 days to appear. So it’s important to look for other signs.
The easiest way is to call us for a free inspection by our skilled professionals. Our inspectors are meticulous, treating the area like a crime scene, which in some ways it is: your home has been invaded, and we’re on the lookout for any sign that can help us catch the culprits. If you want to start looking before we get there, look for small black stains on sheets, mattresses, or bedsprings. This is the feces of bed bugs. It’s digested blood. This alone will probably be enough for you to make use of our free consultation.
Eggs are nearly impossible to see, but you might spy adults or nymphs. Adult bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped, and about ¼ inch long.
What should I remove before you start work?
- Pets and plants
- Plasma screen TVs
- Aerosol cans
- Fragile antique furniture or other items with glue points
- Artwork, including oil paintings, acrylics, loose photographs, etc.
- Candles and any other wax items
- Vinyl records
- Cigarette lighters, alcohol, cleaning products, and other flammable items
- Fire extinguishers
- Medicines & vitamins
- Musical instruments (leave the cases for treatment)
What’s with the recent bed bug resurgence? Is it real?
Unfortunately, yes. Hotels used to douse their rooms with pesticides. This was good for getting rid of any and every pest, but bad for the health of the hotel guests. As hotel pest management has become more targeted to other insects, bed bugs, perhaps the hardest to target, have come back with a vengeance. The increase in global travel has also reintroduced them to areas of the country where they were once eradicated.
Lack of public awareness has been one of the greatest culprits in their spread. Two generations never really had to worry about bed bugs, so the common steps of prevention and early detection were largely forgotten
Is it something to be embarrassed about?
Absolutely not! Bed bugs aren’t about the cleanliness of a dwelling…they can be found in the fanciest homes, hotels, and resorts in the world. Which may leave you wondering…