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Bed Bug FAQ

Can this system be used to treat other insects (fleas, roaches, etc)?

All insects have a thermal death point, but their behavior during the heat treatment process will vary. Bed bugs are the main focus of our EBB equipment.

Can’t I just turn up my thermostat and close all the windows to accomplish the same thing?

We highly discourage homeowners from trying to do this themselves. Research shows that temperatures of 122°F and higher need to be achieved for 100% mortality of the bed bug’s full life cycle. Home furnaces do not have the capability of safely reaching these temperatures. Proper air movement and temperature monitoring are also key to an effective heat treatment. Please consider the fire and safety risks when using any type of heating equipment beyond its intended purpose, and call a professionally trained service provider with the proper equipment.

Do bed bugs cause harm or spread pathogens (disease-causing germs)?

Bed bugs seek out people and animals, generally at night while these hosts are asleep, and painlessly sip a few drops of blood. While feeding, they inject a tiny amount of their saliva into the skin. Repeated exposures to bed bug bites during a period of several weeks or more cause some people to become sensitized to the saliva of these bugs; additional bites may then result in mild to intense allergic responses. The skin lesion produced by the bite of a bed bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas. The offending insect, therefore, can rarely be identified by the appearance of the bites. A physician should be consulted to rule out other causes for the lesions and to offer treatment, as needed. The affected person should resist the urge to scratch the bites, as this may intensify the irritation and itching, and may lead to secondary infection. Physicians often treat patients with antihistamines and corticosteroids to reduce allergic reactions and inflammation. Despite what you may have heard or read elsewhere, bed bugs are not known to transmit any infectious agents.

Does the furniture have to be thrown out?

Typically furniture and personal belongings do not need to be disposed of, except in some rare cases with extremely high levels of infestation.

How do bed bugs invade a home, office or other building?

Because bed bugs readily hide in small crevices, they and their eggs may accompany (as stowaways) luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, briefcases, purses, boxes, and other such objects when these are moved between homes, hotels, offices and yet other places. Used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses, pose the greatest risk of harboring bed bugs and their eggs. Thus, one should carefully scrutinize and consider the history of any used furniture, particularly those found on the sidewalk, but also those at yard sales and in used furniture stores. Even new furniture may become exposed and contaminated with bed bugs if transported in a vehicle that had, itself, become infested.

How hot will it get in the area being treated?

The Thermal Remediation kill zone is between 120-140ºF. Our electric bed bug heaters are digitally locked not to exceed 135°F air temperature in the area being treated. Exceeding those temperatures may result in damage to the structure and its contents.

How long does a typical treatment take?

Treatment times will vary depending on the size and construction of the structure, the level of infestation, the type of contents, etc. We have found the average time to treat a typical apartment to be 6-8 hours from set up to tear down.

What service providers should I avoid?

You should avoid service providers that are not members of provincial or state and national pest management associations. These include construction heat and rental companies trying to make a quick buck from bed bugs. They normally are not fully licensed pest control technicians. They may also use gas or oil fired heaters that may well do considerable damage to the contents of your home.

Where do bed bugs occur?

Bed bugs and their relatives occur nearly worldwide. Bed bugs became relatively scarce during thelatter part of the 20th century, but their populations have resurged in recent years, particularly throughout parts of North America, Europe, and Australia. They are most abundant in rooms where people sleep, and they generally hide nearest the bed or other furniture used for sleeping. Bed bugs are most active in the middle of the night, but when hungry, they will venture out during the day to seek a host. Their flattened bodies allow them to conceal themselves in cracks and crevices around the room and within furniture. Favored hiding sites include the bed frame, the seams around mattresses and undersides of box springs. Clutter around the room offers additional sites for these bugs to hide, and increases the difficulty in eliminating bed bugs once they have become established. Bed bugs also have been found in schools, health care facilities, trains and buses, offices and yet other kinds of structures.

Will the heat cause damage to my electronics?

Not when using a Thermal Remediation system. All electronics have a storage temperature and an operational temperature. Storage temperatures typically allow electronics to be subject to up to 149°F. The EBB heaters are digitally locked not to exceed temperatures of 135ºF. All electronic equipment within the space should be unplugged during a heat treatment.

Won’t the bed bugs just run from the heat and spread to other units?

Bed bugs are attracted to body heat. In a similar fashion, it is our experience that bed bugs emerge from hiding and are attracted to the heat from the heaters rather than seeking routes to escape.