Heat treatments can be dangerous, damage your possessions, and put you at risk for a fire even after treatment. In addition, these heat treatments often do not kill the bed bugs targeted. Bed bugs often flee to adjoining apartments and rooms and/or hide deep inside locations that may not be hot enough to eliminate them. This method has caused fires that have destroyed homes and apartment complexes.
These heat treatments are dangerous for another reason. In July 2017, a Texas couple returned to their apartment following a bed bug heat treatment and were killed by the lingering temperatures from the 139 degree Fahrenheit thermal heat treatment.
Bed bug heat treatments have been found to cause a long term health risk to victims. Bed bug feces contain a chemical called histamine that can trigger allergy symptoms like itchiness and asthma and are associated with rhinitis, bronchitis, and related respiratory syndromes. Scientists note that heat treatments don’t get rid of these histamines and that the high temperatures and air circulation during heat treatments could re-circulate histamine-containing dust particles and deposit them in new locations with higher chances to become contacted, inhaled, or consumed.
STEAM: Steam can kill bed bugs by exposing them to high temperatures, but its thoroughness is limited and it can damage to your home. The National Pest Management Association points out that high heat, water, and electronics don’t mix. You can’t steam a computer, TV or laptop which are all places bugs can hide. The NPMA’s best bed bug practices also state you should also “avoid steaming heat-sensitive items such as leather, acrylic, vinyl, linen, painted surfaces, finished wood, laminated wood, or simulated wood veneers, plastic, wallpaper and other glued surfaces.” Even your bed is at risk when you use steam. Why? Because when your mattress is not properly ventilated moisture can accumulate and your bed can get moldy.
CHEMICALS: Conventional pest control approaches that are reliant on chemicals simply don’t work on bed bugs. Bed bugs are immune if not highly resistant to many popular pesticides. Over-the-counter sprays, bug bombs, and fogging can’t get rid of bed bug problems. The chemicals may be harmful to people or may drive the bugs deeper into hiding only to return in greater force later. In addition, pesticides often don’t come into direct contact with the bed bugs they target. Why would you want to be exposed to any pesticides- especially when they don’t work?