How to get rid of bed bugs, other bugs and their
eggs using heat

In this ever-increasing drive to use environmentally friendly methods it is important to highlight the ecological potential of bug extermination using heat.

At what temperature do bugs thrive – and die?

The optimal temperature for rapid development of insects ranges from 27-33°C, depending on the species. It is also known that the insects, in every stage of development, including eggs, die within minutes if a temperature in the environment of around 50-60°C is reached. Between 40-50°C total mortality occurs in one day as insects die from dehydration. It is therefore evident that if the room temperature is raised above 50°C, insects, larvae and eggs can be killed off entirely.

Heat speed is essential for effective bug killing

It is essential that this temperature is achieved in every nook and cranny and as fast as possible. Killing the bugs via heat requires heaters that distribute a large flow of hot air to carry out a total eradication (eggs, larvae and insects) within a few hours.

Download our eBook “Bug Pest Control Using Heat” for a 360°-degree view

on bug infestations and how environment- and health-friendly

heat treatments resolve them better than anything else.

Building constructions are made up of a number of materials that absorb heat differently. For instance, consider different types of flooring, windows, walls and installed systems. The thermal conductivity varies greatly, but the required temperature must be reached everywhere. Otherwise, the insects and bugs will simply leave their normal shelter and move to a location with temperatures more suitable for their survival.

Rapid heating works best within metal structures but is slower on tiled floors and on wooden materials. To reach temperatures around 50-55°C, the most favorable period is usually during the summer months where environments and structures are already hot. The heaters must be able to maintain the temperature above 50°C, without exceeding 70°C.

Prevent escape from the heat

During the treatment, either regular inspections using a ‘pointing’ thermometer or applying temperature sensing probes with remote control are required at critical points such as under mattresses or on the floor.

Mobile adult insects often try to escape to more favorable environments. To prevent this, it is advisable to seal all holes, cracks or gaps in the tiled floor or doors.

Did your bug killing procedure work?

Biotests can also be used to gauge the success of the operation. The biotests are small boxes containing insects, larvae and eggs that can be placed inside the room at different locations. Their death will prove treatment efficiency.

Bug infestation in the food industry

At present, both in Europe and in other parts of the world, exterminations are carried out with heating the entire building, particularly in mills and food factories. It is useful to verify the results by placing numerous biotests containing the species to be destroyed at different stages of development on site.

For this eradication technique, different machines are able to produce large quantities of hot air to obtain the required result in the shortest possible time. The same approach can be applied in smaller buildings using smaller machinery. Examples include hotel rooms, railway carriages, artisan bakeries, restaurant kitchens, ambulances and first aid premises.

The pros of bug pest control using heat treatments

Heat leaves no toxic residues behind.
No specific cleaning is needed after the heating process because no toxic residues remain in the air. Once the temperature in the treated area returns to normal, the only lasting change is dead bugs.

One single heat treatment is enough.
Done right, exterminating bed bugs using heat is done to 100% with just one treatment. Chemical bug disinfestation only works where it is applied and therefore usually requires two or more treatments. Heat spreads EVERYWHERE.

Heat kills bugs, larvae AND eggs.
Chemicals don’t kill eggs. Heat does. With heat, there is no risk of partial bug eradication.

Bug eradication with heat is fast.
With the right machinery, complete eradication of all bugs, larvae and eggs is achieved within hours.

Heat lets you use the premises immediately after treatment.
Remember, no cleaning is required afterwards (in contrast to chemicals).

Preparing for heat treatment is easy.
You don’t have to empty areas requiring treatment. Removing objects or food that does not tolerate 60°C is enough (for instance, chocolate or flowers)

Monitor success remotely.
Heat treatment can be monitored remotely (and on site) to ensure the right temperatures have been reached, thus killing all bugs, larvae and eggs.

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The cons of heat treatment of bug infestations include:

Heat treatment does not stop bugs from coming back.
There is always a risk that bugs return. Leaving residual chemicals can potentially be applied in order to create preventive barrier, but that also means leaving a potentially toxic substance where humans or pets will then be exposed to it. We advise against that. Instead, we recommend monitoring and traps as non-chemical preventive measures.

You’ll need to prepare your area for treatment:
During treatment, the treated area will still have to be vacated by people and pets. Even though preparations are simple, they do still take up some time and will be inconvenient while being carried out.

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