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by Alliance Environmental · December 14, 2014

Bed Bugs and the Heat Removal Process

The recent upsurge in bedbug problem in the United States is in danger of reaching epidemic proportions. From the average suburban home and thoroughly sanitized hospitals, to even the most elegant five-star hotels -- it seems people everywhere are reporting infestations of this ubiquitous, hard to kill and extremely noxious insect.

Eliminating the threat – and this is not just a case of inconvenience, but also one of public health – requires some serious attention. Not only must property owners kill the current crop of bed bugs that are inhabiting a space, but they also must battle their eggs and the future generations they portend.

What are Bed Bugs?

Typically small – bed bugs range in size from about 1/4” to 3/8” long – and mahogany or red-brown in color, bed bugs are insects that love to inhabit warm, dark spaces very close to their food source – that is, people – where they feed at night. In short, bed bugs thrive in close proximity to human beings.

Prior to World War II, they were quite common in homes, hotels and other places where people congregated and eventually slept. The use of the subsequently banned insecticide DDT saw a great reduction in their numbers all across the nation.

Still, they were never completely eradicated and the increase in international travel by the general public along with the insect's increasing resistance to other pesticides has made it a major source of concern in both developing and first-world countries.

Where Exactly Do Bed Bugs Live?

While bed bugs can take up residence pretty much anywhere, they prefer the seams of mattresses, the edges of carpeting, the cracks in baseboards, window and door casings, picture frames and even the space behind loosened wallpaper. In fact, they really aren't all that picky as to where they reside.

Bed bugs come into a residence by attaching themselves and their eggs to clothing, bedding, luggage and even small animal pests that infiltrate the structure. In fact, it is almost impossible to prevent them from entering a home which is why proactive measures must be taken to eliminate them afterward.

Elimination by Heat

Unfortunately, bed bugs and their bites are not always recognized as such by their victims. Unwittingly, the residents of a home infested by these “little critters” can go months or even years without identifying the problem. Sores and welts are common and the insects can carry a whole host of pathogenic organisms including Hepatitis B as well.

For these reasons, it is essential to not just treat any outbreak of sores, but also to eliminate the root of the problem. The most effective solution does not involve traditional chemicals. Instead, the infested structure should be subjected to a high degree of heat. This process is able to completely infiltrate every crack and crevice in a home – no matter how small – and completely eliminate the threat without the use of harsh chemicals.

Several well-documented studies show that with application temperatures of 113ºF, adult and nymph bed bugs will die within 15 minutes and eggs will be rendered dead in another 45 minutes. Thus, maintaining this temperature throughout a structure for just over one hour almost guarantees the complete eradication of bed bugs. Simply put, it is the most effective and cost-efficient way to approach the problem.

Better for You – Better for the Environment

The use of an invasive heat treatment is by far the best way to treat your home or office for bed bugs. Not only will the residents not be subjected to chemicals, the residual compounds will not contaminate the surrounding environment.

For more information on the bed bug heat removal process or to get a free estimate for work, please contact us directly at 877.858.6220.

You can also download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.

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