Bed Bugs, Informational Guide to Bed Bugs, Purdue, Monitoring, Control, Treatment, IPM, Prevention, Biology, Health Issues

Control Strategies for Bed Bugs

Physical Removal

Bed bugs can be vacuumed from exposed hiding spots such as box spring edges, mattress creases, furniture seams and carpet edges, but their eggs are stuck tightly to surfaces and are usually hard to remove. Using a crevice tool, or vacuum wand, to scrape the surface can help dislodge some of the eggs.

A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuum, which removes >99% of all particles >0.3 micron diameter, will ensure that many allergens associated with bed bugs and their debris are also removed. Vacuuming, especially during inspections, will immediately remove a significant portion of the pest population and will usually kill some of the bugs. Bed bugs may also be removed from exposed resting sites by pressing down on them with the sticky side of a commercially available tape, hand-picking them, or brushing them into a container of rubbing alcohol or soapy water.


Bed bugs have weak, flexible, piercing-sucking mouthparts, and weak, simple feet (tarsi), and claws. They are incapable of chewing or clawing through even a very thin coating of sealant or an unbroken layer of paper or cloth. Sealing almost any material, to completely cover a harborage opening, can halt bed bug movement. Once sealed inside, living bugs are effectively removed from the pest population and will die in place. Sealing most of the hiding spots can also restrict the bugs’ movements, temporarily reducing the intensity of their feeding.

Mattress headboards and frames can be painted with several coats seal off these hiding spots. Any cracks or crevices on walls or along baseboards should be painted or caulked with an appropriate sealant. This can prevent bed bugs from getting inside wall voids, where they can migrate to other locations in the building. Storing clothes and other items in plastic bags or tightly sealed containers can greatly reduce potential hiding spots.

Commercially available plastic mattress covers, at least 0.08 mm thick, usually with a zippered edge, can completely enclose a mattress or box spring and prevent any bed bugs harboring in them from accessing hosts. Originally developed to reduce human exposure to allergens in mattresses infested with house dust mites, such covers both seal in and exclude bed bugs.

They may also be homemade using plastic sheeting that is sealed shut with durable, flexible tape (e.g., nylon fiber tape, duct tape) (Cooper and Harlan 2004). Plastic covers will not be work if they are ripped or torn, and must be completely sealed for maximum effectiveness.

More expensive options included fabric-based full mattress encasements. Good encasements consist of a tightly woven fabric that inhibits bed bug movement, and include a secured zipper system that prevents bed bugs from getting in or out. They are also more durable than plastic covers, and can be washed and reused.

Covers are best used after a mattress is treated for bed bugs. This will prevent outside populations from getting into the seams and folds, and will keep any newly hatched bed bugs on the mattress from getting out and feeding on occupants. Covers must be left on the mattress for a minimum of one year unless otherwise instructed by a pest control professional.

Physical Killing Techniques (heat, cold, steam)

Since the early 1900s, bed bugs have been controlled by heating infested rooms or whole buildings to temperatures of at least 45 °C; the thermal death point for these pests. For heat treatment to be effective, it is critical that high temperature and low relative humidity be attained for a minimum length of time. Heat treatment works best with a combination of temperatures in the 49-52 °C (120-125 °F) range at 20-30% relative humidity for 20-30 minutes.

Heat treatment has an immediate and substantial effect, but does not provide long lasting control. Bed bugs can re-occupy any treated site as soon as temperatures return to normal. While there have been reports of physical distortion of structures and interior contents, whole room and building heat treatments are generally considered safe, and provide the added bonus of eliminating other insects that might be on the premises. Always consult with a knowledgeable pest control professional trained to use heat treatments and discuss their method in detail before contracting their service. Companies should be willing to offer service references, an important source of information when making contracting decisions for bed bug control.

One area where professional expertise is not required is laundering infested linens or clothes. Occupants can wash these items in hot water with detergent, followed by heat drying for at least 20 minutes in a clothes dryer on high heat, will kill all stages of bed bugs. This is an effective method, but will not prevent reinfestation of these items. They must be stored in plastic bags or containers after laundering until the problem is under control.

Exposure to low temperatures can kill bed bugs if they are kept cold enough long enough. Bed bugs can tolerate 5 °F (-15°C) for short periods and, if acclimated, they can survive at or below 32 °F (0°C) continuously for several days. Cold treatments of rooms or buildings to control bed bugs have not been well studied, nor are they often employed. Freezing furniture or other items below 0 °F (-19°C) for at least four days should adequate provide control, although this option is not practical for most people.

A new commercial technology uses liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), stored at very cold temperatures, to deposit a super-cooled “snow” on materials that kills bed bugs and other pests by rapid freezing. This snow evaporates into a gas, and does not leave behind any residue. As with heat treatment, freezing does not offer long lasting control as the effects are immediate, so reinfestation may become an issue.

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Steam treatments have been used effectively by pest control professionals to quickly eliminate live bugs and their eggs from the seams of mattresses and furniture. However, this technique requires practice and care. Most retail steam cleaners do not generate enough heat to be effective. Commercial steam cleaners must typically be used to generate the temperatures necessary to quickly kill bed bugs. These devices often operate at temperatures well in excess of 180 °F, and can pose a scalding hazard to the operator if used improperly. Manufacturer’s instructions must be followed concerning the steam generating devices’ operation, maintenance and safety precautions.

When selecting a device, look for a vapor or dry steam cleaner. These products produce steam with less moisture than conventional steam cleaners, which reduce the risk of water damage and mold growth. Most professionals use multiple-jet or wide steam heads to cover more surface area with each pass of the steam head, and will usually wrap the head in a small towel to intensify the heat. Triangular and rectangular heads are very common. Smaller steam heads and those equipped with brushes should generally be avoided as the steam pressure and bristles may inadvertently dislodge bed bugs from the surface material onto the floor. However, these may be appropriate when the area is too small for a larger head to adequately clean.

Steam treatment speed will vary; however, general recommendations are to pass the steam head across the surface at the rate of 1 foot (30 cm) every 10 to 15 seconds. It is also important to test the steam cleaner’s impact on small section of material to check for possible damage before steaming the entire surface.

Pesticide Applications

Currently, most non-chemical products and techniques do not quickly or efficiently eliminate established bed bug populations. In many cases, the judicious application of a pesticide by a certified pest control professional is necessary. However, bed bugs have developed an extraordinary resistance to most classes of pesticides. This means that a chemical only approach is insufficient. The best programs combine targeted pesticide applications with nonchemical treatment options.

Any pesticide used should be labeled specifically for bed bug control and, where necessary for use on belongings such as mattresses and furniture. Many over-the-counter aerosol products are not labeled for bed bug control, and should not be used only on belongings or surfaces as specifically stated on the pesticide label. It is in everyone’s best interest to apply pesticides according to the label. Misapplication is a violation of the law, and can lead to unnecessary exposure that can threaten the health and safety of occupants, or regulatory fines and lawsuits.

Residual applications (long lasting pesticides)

Precise placement of a suitably labeled, registered and formulated residual chemical insecticide is still a practical bed bug control. Effective insecticide treatments consist of applying interior sprays or dusts to surfaces that bed bugs contact, as well as and to cracks and crevices where they rest and hide. Before using any residual insecticides, care must be taken to select the least-toxic active ingredient and formulation.

Retreatment, when needed, should be carried out after the shortest interval permitted by the label until bed bugs are eliminated. The choice of chemical products and specific application techniques can depend on many factors, including the physical location, product label, the immediate environment, the presence of sensitive populations in the building (including children, elderly and health-compromised individuals) and local, state or national laws.

Crack-and-crevice applications

Because of their habit of hiding clustered together in cracks and narrow hiding spaces, precisely applied crack-and-crevice treatments are among the most effective control techniques against bed bugs.

Active ingredients change over time. There are several products, including those containing multiple ingredients labeled for use against bed bugs. Various formulations and devices are also available for applying insecticides to bed bug-infested areas. For example, dust formulations should be used in electrical outlet boxes and in other places where it is desirable to employ lowrisk (low volatility and toxicity), long-lasting insecticides.

Insect Growth Regulators

Insect growth regulators (IGRs) have virtually no effect on vertebrate metabolism because of their mode of action and low application rates, when applied properly, but they are very effective against bed bugs, impeding their development and fertility.

Space sprays (ULV, aerosols, and foggers)

Insecticides currently labeled for ULV, aerosols and foggers have little or no residual effects on bed bugs. Most will seldom penetrate into bed bug hiding spaces, and seldom effective at killing bed bugs, even with prolonged or repeated exposure to such products.


While fumigation of furniture, clothing, or other personal items can kill all bed bug stages present, it will not prevent reinfestation immediately after the fumigant dissipate, and is seldom necessary, practical or affordable.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs reach epidemic proportions. Dr. Michael Potter, University of Kentucky entomologist, was quoted recently as saying, “Bed bugs are just going ballistic everywhere. It is going to really rock this country.” Bed bugs are found today in hotels, apartments, dorm rooms, delivery vehicles, dry cleaners, jails, hospitals, churches, cruise ships, furniture rental stores and private homes. Rare for a time, bed bug bites are becoming all too common. Because pesticides are losing their effectiveness at treating bed bugs, the search is on for new ways to eliminate infestations. ThermaPureHeat® kills bed bugs without harming the environment; using heat to kill bed bugs and the eggs they leave behind. And, since ThermaPureHeat® can be effective in a single bed bug treatment, it can be more cost effective than chemical alternatives which can often require replacement of bedding and even mattresses.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs were widespread before World War II in homes, hotels, and boardinghouses, but were greatly reduced with the use of the pesticide DDT. Bed bugs have been making resurgence in recent years due to the banning of DDT, an increase in international travel, and a developing resistance to pesticides.


Bed bugs commonly reside in the seams of mattresses, in the edges of carpeting, in the bed frame behind baseboards, in window and door casings, picture frames, loosened wallpaper, and other cracks and crevices.

Bed bugs can enter a structure by attaching themselves or their eggs to clothing and bedding and by hiding in luggage. They have often been brought into homes in used furniture and mattresses. In certain cases the pests may be brought in by birds or even bats.

Bed bug bites are not always noticed by their victims. This is often the problem with knowing whether an infestation still exists or if it has been successfully treated. Some people are greatly affected by bed bug bites and may exhibit numerous sores, welts and allergic reactions to the bed bug bite. Others may not exhibit symptoms at all. Although no known cases of the transmission of infectious disease have been reported, bed bugs are known to carry at least 28 different human pathogens. It appears the bed bug may be able to transmit Hepatitis B, as the virus has been found in bed bug droppings. Bacterial infections may also occur if the bite creates an open sore.

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite
Kill Bed Bugs with Heat™

There is considerable documentation citing the temperature and time correlations necessary to kill bedbugs and their eggs. Several sources (Usinger 1966, Gulmahamad 2002, Quarles 2007) report that adults and nymphs die within 15 minutes at temperatures greater than 113ºF and 60 minutes to kill eggs. Raising room temperatures above the thermal death point and maintaining that temperature for several hours normally eliminates a bed bug infestation.

The following is for educational purposes only and every situation may add to or reduce specific application. All information contained herein should be applied and/or performed by ThermaPure licensed, trained, and certified providers.

The temperature required to kill bedbugs and their eggs fall well within the temperature ranges achieved by ThermaPureHeat®. The low thermal death point of bedbugs allows ThermaPureHeat® technicians to better adapt the process to the building and its contents while still achieving efficacy. Unlike many pesticides, ThermaPureHeat® will penetrate into all of the cracks and crevices and kill bed bugs where they reside. Our process will force heat into beds, bedding, mattresses, furniture, electronics, wall cavities, etc. leaving no place for bed bugs to hide. This is important because adult bed bugs have been shown to live up to a year on a single blood meal, and may simply go to a small, dark space away from mattresses to live and reproduce.

Why is ThermaPureHeat® Better than Using Chemicals?

Historically, bed bug treatments have relied on the use of chemicals to reduce and control the pest. Recently, pesticides have shown to be ineffective in managing infestations with single bed bug treatment. An informal survey of pest control operators conducted by an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts found that 68% of all bedbug infestations require three or more treatments, 26% require two treatments, and just 6% require one treatment.

Another concern with pesticide use is the growing evidence that bed bugs are developing resistance to current pesticides used in the treatments. This follows the same trend found many years ago when DDT was the accepted treatment. The Integrated Pest Management Association found that by 1956, DDT resistance was so widespread that the control method had to be changed to Malathion.

Results from current research conducted by the University of Kentucky show that bed bug resistance to insecticidal products that have pyrethroids as an active ingredient has become significant. The excessive use of pesticide solutions may result in the bed bug developing greater resistance to current methodologies. Oftentimes this leads to overcompensating by increasing amounts of chemicals. This can be a dangerous practice. ThermaPureHeat® is a simpler control methodology which alters a bed bug’s natural environment, making it lethal to the bed bug.

Pesticides can also pose a threat to the environment. DDT was an effective chemical in significantly treating bed bug occurrences in the United States before it was banned in 1972 because of the reproductive effects to birds from chronic exposure to DDT. Bird exposure to this insecticide mainly occurs through the consumption of aquatic and/or terrestrial species that have been exposed to DDT (WHO 1989). Like other chemicals, DDT was able to work its way through the ecosystem and cause adverse health and reproductive effects to many animals in the food chain.

Finally, some people may be sensitive to chemicals as a result of neurological or other medical disorders. These people may not have the option to use safely chemical solutions as part of their control method. ThermaPureHeat® is a non-chemical process and therefore is the practical solution for people with chemical sensitivities. It is ideal for treating health care facilities, hospitals, and schools where chemicals are not an option.

What Temperatures Kill Bed Bugs?

Can Bed Bugs Survive the Cold?

The Bed Bug Inspectors is the best pest control company in New York. We are specialists in the control of bed bugs. We have removed bedbugs from many New York homes for many numbers of years. During our work, we have accrued massive experience in bed bug NYC control.

This makes us the first choice bed bug exterminator NYC. We also apply eco-friendly control measures, unlike other pest control companies who use harmful chemical pesticides. We care much about the well-being of our clients. For this reason, we avoid the use of chemical pesticides as much as possible.

Bed Bug on Carpet

What Temperatures Kill Bed Bugs: Bed Bugs Control

A bed bug is a pea-sized wingless insect that is commonly found in our homes. It is also called a bug. These insects reside in bed joints and mattresses lining. Bed bugs cause a lot of nuisance during the night. They feed entirely on human blood. Bed bugs are nocturnal insects.

Bed Bug Stains On A Couch

They remain inactive during the day and emerge during the night. This makes it difficult to control bugs. Bed bugs are easily spread due to high use of guest houses and public service vehicles. This also makes their control difficult. For the best results, anyone encountered with a bed bug control problem should contact The Bedbug Inspectors.

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What Temperatures Kill Bed Bugs: Heat vs Cold

One of the characteristics of bed bugs that enables their survival is their adaptability to adverse conditions. For example, a bed bug can stay for more than a month without feeding . There is, however, some controversy concerning the survival of bed bugs in adverse temperatures.

Hot temperatures are known to kill all pests. Bed bugs are not exceptional when it comes to survival under hot temperatures. They immediately die when there are extremely high temperatures. This is because heat dehydrates the insect to a large extent making it impossible for it to survive.

Bed Bug Infestation

For cold temperatures, there exists some controversy over its effect on bed bugs. Some people believe cold temperatures are as effective as hot temperatures in bed bug removal. However, the truth is these insects can adapt to lower temperatures but up to 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

Above this temperature, a bed bug has the ability to tune the freezing point of its body fluids. This is however possible for only a few days. What kills bed bugs are the extremely cold temperatures which can only be attained through the use of a freezer.

These temperatures should be kept low for an extended period. The most effective period is a timespan of at least 80 hours. Therefore for faster results, the temperatures should be lowered to least possible levels. The temperature should be maintained at this level for as long as possible.

Bed bugs and Temperature: Our Control Measures

Freezing bed bugs is an effective control measure. Use of conventional freezers may not be really useful. With freezers, it may not be possible to attain the extremely low temperatures required to kill bed bugs. Therefore, at The Bed Bug Inspectors, we use a more sophisticated freezing technique to control bedbugs.

“What kills bed bugs are the extremely cold temperatures which can only be attained through the use of a freezer.”

We first conduct a bed bug inspection exercise in the infested rooms. We then remove appliances such as electronics that can be destroyed by extremely low temperatures. Instead of using freezers to lower the temperature, we use equipment that forms snow from carbon dioxide gas.

We apply the snowballs on the infested areas. These tiny snow particles freeze bed bugs very quickly. We have implemented this bed bug removal technique for many years with great success.

Call The Bed Bug Inspectors Today!

We are committed to eliminating bed bugs from your NYC home at all times. These small insects are difficult to control using conventional pesticides. They develop a resistance to the pesticides with time.

These pesticides also pose a health hazard to the house occupants. We use the freezing method to control bedbugs. The snowballs that we use do not leave marks on clothes and beddings. Our technique is, therefore, a clean control method. Contact The Bed Bug Inspectors any time you have a bed bug infestation. The company will never let you down.

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We want you to be totally thrilled with our service… so absolutely delighted you will recommend us to your friends and neighbors if they ever get bed bugs . You are the judge, if our work is not excellent, we will re-do the treatment in question for FREE. If you are still not happy, you will not owe us one cent.

There’s more… if the bed bugs are not gone then we will pay another company of your choice to treat your home . Nothing is more important to us than your complete satisfaction of bed bug removal service .

Bed bugs are (bloodsucking) insects that feed on humans and other warm blooded mammals. The current wave of bed bug infestations across America has caused great concern in bed bug prevention, eradication, reported sightings, and overall education about this human pest. Let Bed Bug Detection Remediation Services of South Carolina get rid of these pests for you.

As more students will travel and study internationally the risk for bedbug infestations will also increase. Bed bugs have been found in hotels, motels, hospitals, movie theaters, long term care facilities, thrift stores, flea markets, schools (colleges and universities), and vacation homes.

In a recent study of early infestations, bed bugs were found to be on the actual bed and frames approximately 70% of the time while approximately 23% of bed bugs moved away from the bed into nearby dressers, side tables, curtains, that were still within 5 feet of the bed, and 7% of bed bugs moved beyond five feet of the bed into items such as entertainment centers and dressers. Since most bed bugs stay on or near your bed it is so IMPORTANT that you not start sleeping on your couch, recliner, or other room as the pest will just set up in these areas and make the tasks of removing them that much harder. (I know you will be tempted to get the heck out of that room and sleep somewhere else, if you are so freaked out that you must sleep somewhere else go sleep on your porch, balcony, a hammock, or a throw-away tent and don’t forget the mosquito spray.).

We service Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Hilton Head SC and neighboring cities.

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