We found this recent article written by a NYC co-op board president in Habitat magazine really interesting.  He explained what happened when a neighbor in his New York City co-op decided to use a radiant heat treatment to solve bed bed bug problems.  To treat bed bugs with radiant heat, a pest control company needs to raise the temperature of an entire room to 140 degrees for 0-2 hours, 130 degrees for at 1-3 hours for a slower kill, or above a minimum 113 degrees for 2-7 hours.  The treatment seemed to have solved the issue in the individual unit, but the resident’s unilateral heat-pump “solution” spread the problem around to the rest of the building, including the author’s home. Click here for the full story.

One of the reasons Bell Environmental doesn’t use radiant heat as a treatment method is because bed bugs may flee the treatment area, undermining the whole bed bug treatment process.  You don’t really solve the problem, you just scatter it- and thus waste time and money of the property management company and cause problems for neighbors.

The National Pest Management Association also highlights bed bugs moving out of heated areas in whole room treatments in its descriptions of limitations of heat treatments in its Best Bed Bug Practices.

One of other issues that frustrated the article’s author and many other bed bug victims is the amount of preparations involved before he had a non-heat treatment.  We realize that the preparations that many pest control companies, including Bell Environmental, require may be a real effort, especially when victims are already dealing with the trauma of having their home invaded by bed bugs. Similar to a move, packing up boxes and bags and sorting through volumes of personal items and clothing can prove overwhelming.  Heat treatments typically have a higher tolerance for cluttered environments than traditional pesticide applications for bed bugs. However there are still preparations required for heat treatments:

  • Electronics may be affected by the high temperatures and thus can be damaged by heat, so these items may have to be removed.
  • Heat may also ruin artwork and fine objects. Plastic, wax (candles), make up, medicines and other products need to be removed.
  • Aerosol cans and other items may become dangerous and cannot withstand high temperatures, thus require removal.

If you’re a victim and you’re unable to  perform the preparations necessary for bed bug treatments, Bell Environmental can also provide these preparation services. We will perform the work to pack up personal items which can cause significant problems for bed bug victims.  Following these preparation services we can even perform transport, fumigate, and store personal items and furniture during the course of an InstantFreeze treatment of the unit.

For more details, please click here or contact us.