Is Heat Treatment An Effective Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

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When you suspect bed bug infestation in your home, the first thing on your mind is how to get rid of them quickly. Heat treatment is one of these methods. However, Is heat treatment an effective way to get rid of bed bugs? 

In this guide, we’ll go over all you need to know about heat treatment, a strategy for getting rid of bed bugs as soon and efficiently as possible.

Bed bug infestations

To place your treatment options in context, you should first learn about bed bug prevalence, life cycles, and why infestations are difficult to manage.

Fact 1: bed bugs are extremely common.

Bed bugs, insects of the genus Cimex, were nearly eradicated fifty years ago. However, there has been a considerable rebound since the 1980s.

Is heat treatment an effective way to get rid of bed bugs

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, this is due to bed bugs developing resistance to some pesticides and increasing transmission rates due to worldwide and domestic travel. 

Presently, bed bugs are widely regarded as the most serious infestation problem.

Fact 2: They’re sneaky, resilient, and persistent. 

Bed bugs are sneaky and resilient pests that can be difficult to identify and eradicate.

They’re small, making them hard to see, and they can easily hide in tiny crevices.

Bed bugs can survive for long periods without a blood meal. They also have a high resistance to most pesticides,

This means that they can be very persistent and difficult to eliminate; thereby, it is important to undertake obligatory precautions when trying to get rid of them.

Fact 3: It’s critical to take quick action and use quick-acting treatment

Adult female bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. As a result, a bed bug colony will quickly expand. Furthermore, it’s made worse by their movement patterns.

Before laying her eggs, a female bed bug is hard-wired to flee from other bed bugs. As a result, bed bugs have a penchant for moving from room to room swiftly.

A small colony in one bedroom can quickly grow into a full-fledged infestation across your home.

Therefore, it is essential to take quick action and use a quick-acting treatment.

When it comes to getting rid of these annoying little insects, Heat treatment is one of the most effective methods.

Let us learn more about this effective strategy in the next section.

What Are Bed Bug Heat Treatments?

Cimex Lecturalius

Bed bugs are a common problem, and when they are found in a home, the homeowner will want to eradicate them immediately. An effective approach to accomplish this is heat treatment.

Bed bug heat treatments are a professional pest management service that uses high temperatures to kill bed bugs.

The process begins by bringing special equipment into your home, which is then used to heat the temperature in infected rooms.

The temperature is elevated to about 120°F, which leads to the destruction of bed bugs and their eggs.

The heat must be maintained for at least 90 minutes during this procedure, while some heat treatments may continue longer depending on the size of the infestation.

Bed bug heat treatments are considered more effective than traditional methods like pesticides and chemicals, and it leaves no harmful residue behind.

The treatment can also be used to kill bacteria and infectious diseases such as the Coronavirus.

Is heat treatment an effective way to get rid of bed bugs?


Bed bugs Heat treatment is recognized as one of the most effective and successful approaches provided it is executed correctly.

Several lab experiments have shown that when insects are exposed to specific temperatures for an extended period, they perish.

Studies show that insects are largely formed of protein, and their DNA controls how they function.

The DNA of these organisms breaks down, and their cells stop working properly when their cells are heated to deadly temperatures.

However, they must be exposed to 122°F for at least 90 minutes to undertake the heating procedure successfully.

That is why Pest control technicians frequently elevate temperatures to ensure complete cleaning, maximizing the efficiency of the treatment.

This way, a single treatment can endure for a longer time.

Therefore, the direct answer to Is heat treatment an effective way to get rid of bed bugs? Is Yes!

How does bed bug heat treatment Work?

Specialized heating systems have been developed in recent years that are more than capable of superheating contaminated rooms and structures to destroy all bed bugs effectively.  

The system’s core principles employ electric or propane-based heat to warm the air within a space swiftly.

The temperature reached in most cases is between 120 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

The length of time it takes to heat the structure is determined by the severity of the infestation and the size of the area to be treated. 

It could take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to complete; this gives the heat enough time to seep into all hard-to-reach regions where chemical pesticides fail.

Sensors are typically positioned in difficult-to-reach regions.

The heating procedure is sustained for a predetermined period once the thermal death points have been successfully obtained — depending on the information provided by the sensors. 

This could take an hour or more in some circumstances. This extra period ensures that all bed bug eggs and live bugs are eradicated.  

In most cases, a single heat treatment for bedbugs is sufficient to eliminate the entire infestation.

While some structures may require extra treatment, this is quite uncommon.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Heat Treatments for Bed Bugs

A picture of bedbug


There are several benefits to using heat treatments for bed bugs.

Heat treatment eliminates the bed bugs and their eggs without the use of chemicals, making them a more environmentally-friendly option.

They are also considered non-toxic to humans and their pets, making them a safer choice.

Heat treatments effectively kill bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle, including eggs.

The time it takes to eliminate bed bugs through heat treatments may be lowered if the temperature increases.

The necessary temperatures to kill bed bugs range from 118 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and the higher the temperature, the quicker the extermination process will be.


Heat treatment will not prevent bed bugs from reappearing: Heat has no lasting consequences.

The bugs may return in the absence of residual chemicals, not providing a preventative barrier.

You’ll need to make the following preparations in your home: Your home, including your pets, will have to be vacated during treatment.

You’ll also want to remove any heat-sensitive goods from the house, such as wax and crayons.

The pest control professionals will advise you on what should be kept and eliminated from your house.

What is the expense of bed bug heat treatment?

The expense of bed bug heat treatment is determined by the amount of time it takes to treat the colony (treatments might take hours), as well as the number of locations in the home that need to be treated; lesser infestations will normally only require treatment of a couple of rooms.

The size of the bed bug colony is also a significant determinant.

The cost will be slightly more than a regular quote if the bugs have invaded many things in the home and have spread to every room.

Pests are removed from hiding places using hot air, while pests inside things and loose materials such as clothing are removed using a hot box method.

The typical cost of up to three-room treatments is around £350.

How long does it take to eradicate bed bugs through heat treatment?

searching for bed bug

The procedure usually lasts one day, although it may extend depending on the colony’s size.  

Additionally, if the colony is too huge or the dwelling has several affected areas throughout, additional treatments may be required.

A professional should be able to tell you how long the complete process will take and what to expect throughout the session after an initial inspection.

Also, the preparation work required prior to the first session might be time-consuming, but following the directions on what needs to be done is critical to attaining complete eradication.

The impact of bed bug heat treatment on your home

Although whole-room heat treatments can take many hours, the temperature isn’t intense enough to permanently harm your home’s structure.

Heat treatment can be quite effective when performed by a professional under the right conditions; however, it’s vital to keep people, dogs, plants, and other heat-sensitive objects out of the treated area for several hours.

Your bed bug specialist will let you know when it’s safe to return to your house and how to properly replace any items taken before the heat treatment.

The majority of objects in your home are likely to withstand the heat of a bed bug heat treatment. Some items, however, must be eliminated, including:

  • Houseplants and pets
  • Oxygen and Breathing Devices
  • Alcohol, food that can melt (e.g., chocolate), and Fresh Food Products.
  • All medications
  • Products Composed of Wax or plastics that might melt
  • Flammable items and firearm ammunition
  • Wooden musical instruments
  • Fine Arts and Collectibles
  • Phones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices

Before undertaking the heat treatment, consult your bed bug specialist about what items can stay put during the process. Vulnerable goods should be stored in storage bins and left outside for the duration of the treatment.  

Let your bed bug specialist know about these objects since they may need to check and treat them separately to prevent bed bugs from returning to your home.

Preparation On The Day Of Treatment

heat treatment equipment

The provider that performs bed bug heat treatment will schedule a service day and time for the treatment to begin. You will require to undertake some additional preparation to ensure that your home is ready for the treatment:

  • Begin by clearing out all of the clutter in your home. Before service, empty trash cans and clean up communal spaces.  
  • Remove the linen off the bed and wash and dry it on the highest heat setting available.
  • Consider removing things from the vicinity of walls.  
  • Before treatment, turn off all air conditioning and fans.  
  • Use clean blankets to cover computer and television displays.  
  • Unplug All electronics.
  • Make a rational decision about where you will stay during your treatment. Unless you are confident there are no bed bugs in a certain place, such as a neighbor’s or relative’s home, avoid going there. The same can be said for apartment complex common areas.
  • Select one set of clothing for each member of your family to wear on the day of treatment. Dry clothing on high heat for 30 minutes before storing it outside the structure in a zippered Ziploc bag.
  • If you must bring additional items with you on the day of the treatment (which is not encouraged), make sure it is placed in the dryer as soon as you get home.
  • If any family member or pet in the house has a health problem, such as asthma, allergies, or even pregnancy, make sure the professionals who arrive to complete the service are aware of it.  

By following these instructions, you can ensure that the heat treatment is 100% effective in killing the bed bugs and their eggs in your house without causing any damage to you and your belongings. 


Early diagnosis, adequate preparation, and the right treatment techniques are essential for successfully eliminating bed bug infestations. Heat treatment is one such technique, which is appropriate in extensively infested homes, apartments, or hotel rooms.

In fact, Heat therapy is one of the most effective and safest bed bug control treatments known.

Employing efficient professionals, taking particular precautions, establishing clear communication, and setting reasonable expectations are all critical to a treatment’s overall effectiveness.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.