Getting rid of bed bugs is a challenge. For one thing, they don't stay in your kitchen like roaches tend to do. Instead, they stay on or near your bed. That's enough to make you leery about using pesticides to battle them. Fortunately, bed bugs are vulnerable to temperature extremes. So if you're looking for a non-toxic way to kill off the bugs, then you should look into heating or freezing them. Here's how these methods work.
Freezing Bed Bugs
The best way to freeze bed bugs with with solid CO2, or dry ice. You can hire a pest control professional to bring the equipment to your home and spray the dry ice around your bedroom. The CO2 comes out as a dry snow that instantly freezes the bugs it contacts. The snow quickly evaporates, so there is no residue or dampness left behind. It is a completely safe treatment to use on your bed and around your pets.
While you could attempt to freeze the bugs yourself by placing your clothes in plastic bags and putting the bags in the freezer for several days, the DIY method isn't nearly as effective. You can't put your mattress in the freezer; plus, there may be bugs hiding behind the baseboards and under wallpaper that you would miss. Placing your belongings outdoors during the cold days of winter isn't a good idea either since the temperature fluctuates so much due to the sun's movement. In order to kill off bed bugs, the temperature has to be at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit for four days. The lower the temperature, the quicker the bugs die. Dry ice has a temperature of -109.3 degrees, and that's why it can kill bed bugs instantly.
Killing Bed Bugs With Heat
While freezing the bugs is an effective way to kill them, the only drawback is that the bugs have to come in contact with the snow. A more effective means of eradicating the bugs, especially if you have a heavy infestation, is to use heat. Bed bugs die instantly at a temperature of 122 degrees. There are some DIY methods you could use if you only have a few bugs. Cleaning your bed and carpet with a steam cleaner will kill the bugs as long as the steam reaches them. You could also put your clothes in a hot dryer, or even put them in a black plastic trash bag and keep the bag in the sun for several days.
However, if you have a heavy infestation, you won't want to mess around with DIY methods that are hit and miss. You won't be able to get all the bugs, and you probably won't be able to kill off the eggs. Instead, you can hire a pest control company to bring in huge commercial heaters to actually increase the temperature in your home or just your bedroom. These bring the temperature above the killing point for bed bugs and hold it long enough to ensure all the bugs are dead. Heating an entire room is the only way to be sure you'll get all the bugs hiding in tiny cracks and folds of clothing.
Once the bed bugs are gone, you'll want to watch for signs of future infestations, so you can take action before the bugs multiply. It is a lot easier and less expensive to get rid of the bugs when there are only a few of them. Once their numbers grow, you can have a real problem in your house since the bugs bite you at night and leave itchy welts. Fortunately, a professional can help keep bed bugs out of your home and do it in a way that is not toxic to the people or pets living inside. Contact a company like Arab Termite and Pest Control for more info.