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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Extreme Heat kills Bed Bugs

Some homeowners are turning to extreme measures to kill off their bed bug problem. One solution (and often an expensive one) is to kill the bed bugs using heat, by essentially turning your home into a large convection oven.

There's two ways to do this:

#1. Hire a professional like 'ThermaPureHeat' or 'Magical Pest Control' to kill your bed bugs by pumping hot air into your home, at a cost of roughly $1 per square foot this is an expensive method. They pump hot air into your home for several hour, raising the temperature inside to 50 degrees C.

At 43 degrees C the bed bugs start coming out of the woodwork looking for a place that is cooler. Within 20 minutes of living in 46 degree C temperatures all the adults are dead, due to the heat and water loss. It takes another 30 minutes before the eggs are dead too. At 50 degrees for several hours all the bed bugs and their eggs are dead and to guarantee none managed to hide in a crack in the wall the company has fans to blow hot air into every nook and cranny. The extra time spent is to make sure every section of the home is permeated with the heat so that nothing survives. (Its recommended you remove anything that is vulnerable to the heat, like CDs, DVDs, etc.) All organisms have a thermal death point and for bed bugs its approx. 46 degrees C (115 Fahrenheit).

#2. Do It Yourself. You will need an industrial heater, fans and you will want to raise the temperature to 60 degrees C to be extra certain they're all dead. You will also want a thermometer gun and a fire extinguisher to make certain all the places in the home are heated to at least 46 C. The fire extinguisher is in case you have anything combustible that you forgot about.

However this technique of heating your home doesn't work that well on condos or apartments. The bed bugs tend to get into the neighbouring apartments and they're much harder to get rid of.

REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE FIRE ALARMS! The last thing you need is a false alarm visit from the fire dept. from the heat setting off the fire alarm.

According to ThermaPureHeat they've only had 1 fire in almost 100,000 jobs and that was because of a lit cigarette near the propane, and nothing to do with the hot air being pumped into the building.

I know a third solution. You invite Stephen Harper over and he kills all your bed bugs with a load of hot air.

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