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At the National Pest Management Association-sponsored Bed Bug Summit in Denver, Colorado 5 years ago, it was clear that the most sponsored portion of the event was companies advertising different forms of heat solutions to combat bed bug infestations.
Our opinion of heat has long been that there are times where heat is without question the best solution method available – provided the company doing it is experienced, and provided they’ll guarantee their work (not just the outcome of the work, but also, the protection of your property & belongings). Heat guarantees a result, in that a rise to a specific temperature is something a bed bug will not be able to withstand. Heat can kill the most amount of bed bugs with the least amount of preparation needed to be provided by the customer, which is a major plus for many people choosing heat. Heat is also pesticide-free, which is certainly safer, especially for children. And, a heat company can usually guarantee a successful result in one service treatment, which is probably the primary reason customers opt for heat.
The downside to a highly-qualified heat treatment has been its cost – it’s without question the most expensive bed bug solution available. These prices have gone down slightly over the past couple of years, but the best heat treatment companies have maintained a high price point because they’ve been achieving results.
There are other, less expensive methods of combating bed bug infestations, being employed by excellent pest control companies, which achieve the same results as heat, at a much more reasonable cost. These companies may utilize pesticide treatments, ECO-friendly (non-pesticide) treatments, freezing technology, streaming technology, or combinations of these treatments, and be very successful. A high quality pest control company will have experienced technicians who are remediating bed bugs regularly, which is to your benefit.
When we’re asked by a customer what bed bug treatment is best, I’d say that a fair answer is to start with the level of your infestation. When bed bugs are present, but very hard to find, it usually means that the infestation is not very heavy, and a traditional means of remediation can be successful (ie. pesticides, combined with proper preparation). The heavier the infestation, then a combination of measures will likely be needed to remediate, and a qualified pest control company can certainly be successful without using heat. At this point, the consideration of heat is certainly an option. If you discover a massive amount of bed bugs present, then considering a heat treatment becomes very reasonable.