Everything You Need to Know about a Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Everything You Need to Know about a Bed Bug Heat Treatment


Bed bugs bite. They typically emerge at night to feed on the human host. It’s undeniable that bed bugs need exterminating once confirmed.

While safe for one’s health, heat treatments are the most effective way to kill bed bugs If done correctly.

This article explores everything you need to know about a bed bug heat treatment, including its science, types, costs, preparation, safety measures, and potential risks. We’ll help you choose the right heat treatment provider and discuss alternative methods.

Short Summary

  • A heat treatment is the most effective way to eradicate bed bugs, utilizing temperatures ranging from 50-65°C.
  • Professional home preparation by removing heat-sensitive items and protecting vulnerable items is necessary for a successful heat treatment process.
  • Engaging a professional bed bug control provider with expertise, qualifications, and insurance coverage will help prevent potential structural damage during the process.

Understanding a Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Bed bugs have a notorious reputation for being difficult to eliminate. However, bed bug heat treatment has emerged as a reliable and effective pest control method that utilizes high temperatures to eradicate these resilient insects. The process involves raising the temperature of a room or entire house to a minimum of 50 degrees Celsius.

A heat treatment is particularly suitable for heavily infested homes, apartments, or hotel rooms where other methods may be less effective. This treatment is also for people who want to eliminate their bed bugs without relying on chemical sprays that may not work.

A heat treatment is preferred as it eliminates bed bugs at all life stages, including eggs, which can be challenging to kill with other methods. Heaters, fans, and temperature monitors ensure the even distribution of heat throughout the treated area.

If done correctly, maintaining lethal temperatures for several hours will kill bed bugs. The exterminator needs to move furniture and personal belongings around in the heat. Moving items in the heat prevents cold spots where the bed bugs could survive.

The Science Behind Heat Treatment

Bed bugs are unable to survive at temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. When exposed to prolonged high temperatures, these pests perish. This makes a heat treatment a secure and efficient approach to eradicating bed bugs without chemicals. It is also rapid and completed in a single day with the right equipment.

Despite the heat penetrating deeply into the structure, bed bugs get active when the heat rises and comes out of their hiding spots. We typically see this around 40 degrees Celsius.

In addition to targeted heat, other methods such as vacuuming, steaming, and chemical treatments can be utilized to eradicate bed bugs. However, a heat treatment remains the most effective option, as it completely eliminates bed bugs at all life stages.

What is classified as a Heat Treatment?

Various bed bug “heat treatments” are available to cater to different needs and situations. These include hot box treatments, No-Prep treatments, and whole-home treatments. Hot boxes are devices used to eradicate bed bugs from items such as shoes, clothing, linen, and luggage by heating objects to a lethal temperature.

Hot Box Treatment

The no-Prep treatment combines chemical and non-chemical measures to eradicate bed bugs. Typically they will heat the infected bedroom and spray the rest. It’s essential to choose the right type of heat treatment based on the intensity of the infestation and the specific requirements of your living space.

At Heat Relief, we heat the entire space to lethal temperatures while moving everything around to eliminate all potential cold spots. Bed bugs can be anywhere in a household, so we always need to heat the entire space to offer a guarantee.

Bed Bug Heat Relief's Heat System

The Cost of a Bed Bug Heat Treatment

The cost of a bed bug heat treatment can vary depending on several factors, including the type of treatment employed, the size of the residence, and the intensity of the bed bug infestation. Generally, the cost for a homeowner is estimated to be between $1500 and $4000.

However, it’s important to note that the estimated cost of bed bug heat treatment can range from $350 to $6000, depending on the size of the infested area, location, and exterminator.

While it may seem expensive, investing in an effective bed bug elimination method like a heat treatment can save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Multiple failed chemical sprays can be more expensive than a single heat treatment.

Preparing Your Home for a Heat Treatment


washing machine, laundry, tumble drier

Adequate preparation is key for a successful Heat Treatment. Before the process begins, removing all heat-sensitive items from your home, including candles, plants, and medications, is crucial. Doing this ensures that your belongings will not damage during the treatment and that the high temperatures can effectively reach all areas where bed bugs may be hiding.

Clothes folded up in drawers and dressers must be prepared by going through the dryer, then bagged up and tied tight. We send our preparation checklist before our scheduled heat treatment.

Safety and Potential Risks of Bed Bug Heat Treatment

While a bed bug heat treatment is generally safe and effective, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and take necessary safety measures.

If not executed correctly, a Heat Treatment can cause structural damage to your home. Adequate equipment utilization is required to reduce the risk of property damage or fire.

Heat-Sensitive Items

Candles need to be removed before the heat treatment.

Before a bed bug heat treatment, removing certain heat-sensitive items from your home is extremely important, as the high temperatures can damage these. Some examples of heat-sensitive things include candles, aerosol cans, plants, and medications. Store these items in sealed bags or bins, and we will keep them out of the heat during the bed bug treatment.

Possible Structural Damage

The most at-risk heat system is direct-fired propane heaters. The heater stays outside and blasts the heat in with long ducting. This system can damage the structure with too much heat from one spot.

At Heat Relief, we use indoor recirculating propane heaters. We have our heaters evenly displaced within the space and fans to circulate the heat. These heaters have temperature shut-offs, so the heat will never reach damaging levels. We’ve extensively researched bed bug heaters and found this to be the safest propane system with enough power to heat entire houses.

Bed Bug Heat Relief

Minimizing the risk of structural damage means hiring a professional bed bug control provider who can ensure the proper execution of the heat treatment and the safety of your home. We recommend a bed bug-specific company that can heat the entire space with equipment that is still safe.

Alternatives to a Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Diatomaceous Earth

While a Heat Treatment is a highly effective method for eliminating bed bugs, alternative options are available. These include chemical treatments, such as pyrethrins and pyrethroids, silicates, and pyrroles. Non-chemical treatments are common, such as decluttering, vacuuming, utilizing heat or cold, and natural remedies like diatomaceous earth, tea tree, and lavender.

Bed bugs are thin and can hide in cracks away from direct spray, which becomes problematic in treating bed bugs with chemicals. We see this first hand by 70% of clients coming to us after trying professional chemical solutions.

Steam is another alternative method for killing bed bugs. However, most steamers do not generate heat at a temperature sufficient to kill bed bugs effectively. While these alternatives may provide some relief, a heat treatment remains the most reliable and effective option for complete bed bug elimination.

Choosing the Right Bed Bug Control Provider

Selecting the right bed bug control provider is crucial for successful extermination. When evaluating potential providers, consider their expertise, qualifications, equipment, and insurance coverage. Find a technician who is bed bug specific.

When choosing a heat treatment, get quotes for the whole space. The treatment should come with a guarantee as well. Nothing would be worse than paying for a failed heat treatment without a warranty.

Multi-Unit Dwellings and Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Treating bed bugs in multi-unit dwellings like apartments or hotels can be particularly challenging. It’s vital to ensure that all units get treated thoroughly and simultaneously to avoid re-infestation. Furthermore, educating tenants on bed bug prevention and obtaining cooperation in the treatment process can be challenging.

Success Stories: Real-Life Examples of Bed Bug Heat Treatment

Real-life examples of successful bed bug heat treatments serve as a testament to the effectiveness of this method when done correctly. Hotels, for instance, have utilized bed bug heat treatments to effectively eliminate bed bugs while allowing guests to maintain all of their possessions during the process.

Heat treatments get used in residential homes, apartments, and other multi-unit dwellings with impressive results. These success stories demonstrate the power of bed bug heat treatment in providing a safe, effective, and chemical-free solution to bed bug infestations.


You can decide whether this method suits your situation by understanding the process, types, costs, and safety measures involved in heat treatment.

With proper preparation, professional execution, and awareness of potential risks, a bed bug heat treatment can help you reclaim your peaceful nights and end the itchy, irritating nightmare of bed bug infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can bed bugs survive a heat treatment?

Yes, bed bugs can survive a heat treatment if performed incorrectly. If the exterminator is not thorough with their bed bug treatment, there is a good chance they didn’t kill every single one.

While heat treatments kill all stages of a bed bug’s life, it is expensive and offers no long-lasting protection. At Heat Relief, we apply a non-toxic residual called Aprehend after all our heat treatments to prevent re-infestation.

How long after bed bug heat treatment can I return home?

If the exterminator does not cool the space down, the recommended wait time is 4-5 hours after a bed bug heat treatment before returning to your home. This time allows the heated environment to dissipate, making it livable again.

Here at Heat Relief, we cool down the space before applying Aprehend. If we do not perform this step, it will kill our bio-pesticide.

What precautions to take after a heat treatment for bed bugs?

It’s important to take some simple precautions after treatment. Thoroughly vacuum the dead bed bugs and avoid washing the floors if Aprehend was applied. Aprehend is helpful for an apartment where bed bugs can come from the hallway or other units.

By following these steps, you can help prevent further infestations.

Is high heat or spray better for bed bugs?

Heat is a more effective solution than sprays to kill bed bugs. Heat can penetrate various areas to eradicate an infestation, whereas sprays may not always be able to access where the bed bugs hide.

Therefore, heat is the recommended choice if you want to get rid of bed bugs efficiently.

What kind of heater do I need to kill bed bugs?

For effective bed bug eradication, you must hire pest control professionals with large heaters to treat the entire structure. Keep in mind not all heat systems and exterminators are equal. We hope the article answers all your questions regarding bed bug heat treatment.

Picture of bed bug heat relief

bed bug heat relief

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