Bed bug heat treatments are very effective when done properly. From time to time, I speak with someone who is going to try to “turn up the heat” in his/her home to get rid of bed bugs. Most residential heating systems (If any at all) will not achieve the temperatures required to hit the letal bed bug kill temperature, particularly meet the kill temperature inside of sofas and mattresses, places where bed bugs commonly hide.
There is a science behind our protocols. We only used specially-designed equipment for our heat treatments to make sure that we are meeting the proper temperatures to kill bed bugs, holding the high temperatures for the correct amount of time and to ensure no damage to any items in the area. In order to do that, we use temperature probes that are strategically placed and those thermometers send temperature readings to our on-site computer set up to track the temperature throughout the bed bug heat treatment. (Learn More About Our Heat Treatment Process). We also always leave our heater outdoors for an extra measure of safety.
On Monday, November 9th, 2015, a woman in Detroit was responsible for a large fire when she doused herself and her apartment with large amounts of rubbing alcohol and then raised the temperature of her apartment in an effort to get rid of bed bugs.
Unfortunately, this is not the first story of someone trying to get rid of bed bugs using unsafe practices. There are other take-aways from this story, including limiting the use of rubbing alcohol as well as reaching out for professional help when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs.
When trying to get rid of bed bugs, it is easy to become desperate and try just about anything — turning up the heat, sprays and other treatments that lack scientific proof, spraying large amounts of alcohol, and it is worth a word of caution that it is possible to do more damage than good in these efforts. Before you try anything to get rid of bed bugs, it is good to get professional help.