I heard this statement recently, and as an ardent supporter of the whole room heat treatment for bed bugs, I felt the need to respond.
Whole room heat treatments are without argument the MOST effective bed bug extermination tool available. We maintain an over 96% success rate on the first treatment. Our clients love us because we get the job done the first time. But you don’t have to take my word for it; the PhD’s who study bed bugs say the same thing. Just think of heat as the kryptonite of the bed bug. In addition, we offer a 3 month guarantee on full treatments. If for ANY reason the bugs come back in that time period, we will come out a do it again for free. And since there is no chemical on the ground to send them into hiding, if they come back, you will know it immediately. Normally within 30 days.
The alternative to bed bug heat treatment is a chemical treatment. This process covers the room or home in chemicals. Most bed bug treatments require 3 applications of chemical to fully break the life cycle of the bed bug and a huge investment of time and effort by the homeowner. But if you miss one egg, the process starts all over again. For most pest control companies, their first time success rate with chemical treatments is at best 60%. With chemicals in your environment, the bugs tend to hide in unusual places. They will wait it out (sometimes up to a year) till the products dissipate and the room is no longer toxic for them.
The argument I typically hear is “what happens if one hitch-hikes on my clothes and I re-introduce them myself? There is nothing here to stop them.” Unfortunately, unless you plan on living in a bubble, there is always that chance. But consider the following:
- Most people prefer living in a chemical free environment
- If the chemical repels them in a regular treatment, what makes you think that it won’t repel them later on? If they come in your home and sense the chemical, they will wait it out.
- Every client I work with thinks the bed bug infestation experience is a NIGHTMARE. Every person is changed by the experience and their perspective on how they travel and what they bring into their home is very different. In short, they learned some hard lessons. I am very confident they will do everything possible to prevent future re-infestations.
- If you are dead set on having a residual kill product in your home, then we can apply it after a heat treatment. We are licensed pest control and can do it for you. However, my field experience and success rate show it is not necessary. I just don’t think it adds anything but cost and the potential to make those with weak immune systems sick.
May the heat be with you!
Ashley Marratt, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist