5 Things You Need To Know About Bed Bug Control
Our Bed Bug Control info includes:
- How to make a safety zone
- Why silica gel is your friend
- Why over the counter materials fail
- How hot is hot enough
- Alternative bed bug treatments
- Bonus: Safeguard’s treatment strategy.
A How To Make A Safety Zone
If bed bugs can get to food (you), any control method, even professional ones are many, many times more likely to fail. Well fed bed bugs are very hard to kill. Most bed bugs will want to live within two feet of wherever you sleep, or sit for extended periods of time. Make a safety zone – especially for where you sleep:
You must have a bed frame that gets you up off the floor. The bed should have feet that fit into a bed bug interrupter / detector such as Climb-Ups or BlackOuts (alternatives for oversize bed frame legs are available). You shouldn’t store anything under your bed. The bed should not contact any furniture, stored items, or walls. Care should be exercised to make sure that sheets and bed coverings do not contact the floor or the wall. The only way anything should be able to get on that bed is if they are you, or possibly a pet.
Every box-spring should have a heavy duty, top of the line, bug encasement that locks any bed bugs in that might be there, and prevents them from nesting there in the future. See this page for more on safety zones.
Why Silica Gel is your friend
Bed bugs live a long time. They can outlive pesticides, they can be reintroduced, and they can exhibit resistance to pesticides. Amorphous silica gel lasts up to a year under baseboards, deep inside furniture, and in cracks and crevices, its’ so non-toxic it’s an ingredient in toothpaste, seasonings, and cake mixes, it’s non-repellent, and it kills bed bugs by absorbing their moisture.
Why over the counter materials fail
Bed bugs breed quickly, the ones that are resistant to whatever you apply quickly make more bed bugs that are even more resistant. The only way to break that cycle is to kill a bunch of them with heat or steam, use materials like silica gel – noted above – that they cannot develop resistance to, and spray every two weeks with a completely different kind of material.
The other reasons home treatments fail? Not enough prep, no safety zone, no box spring encasements.
How hot is hot enough
Whole home heat treatments fail. A lot – how come? Bed bugs can sense heat directionally and will move into areas that are cool enough for to survive in. Every home has heat sinks. If the home is heated gradually, there will be more and more of these areas.
You should use commercial driers to kill bed bugs, in clothing, pillows, bed coverings, stuffed animals, etc… The driers should be already hot before you toss stuff in. 130 degrees is about right. Alternatively, you can place all of those kinds of items in Zappbug heaters – devices made specifically to kill bed bugs.
Alternative bed bug treatments
Whole house heat treatments cost thousands and fail about 25% of the time. They are primarily used by most companies to crash heavy populations of bed bugs. Because of that super high failure rate, almost all companies which do heat treatments, also do spray treatments too, as insurance. Why pay the extra thousands, when the spray treatments can work by themselves?
Spot freeze treatments may be the worst answer out there. Bed Bugs are super resistant to cold. Unless you have access to a deep freeze big enough to hold everything you own, including your house for 4 to 6 weeks, run, don’t walk from this option.
Heavy steam applications are a great idea, a hot enough steam with enough steam pressure behind it can kill bed bugs. If you are looking at steamers – opt for the $700.00 models and skip the cheap ones that don’t work. We use steam as one important aspect of our overall treatment strategy.
A true whole home tent fumigation, where they put tarps over your home, works 100% of the time. Due to it’s expense however, most companies that do tent fumigations require you to have an ongoing spray service to achieve a warranty.