Monthly Archives: August 2011

Bed Bug Heat Treatment Has No Residual Kill

I heard this statement recently.  And as I am an ardent supporter of the whole room heat treatment for bed bugs, I feel 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.

The alternative 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 chemical 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.”

But this is what you have to consider:  No there is no chemical in your environment to kill them.

  1. Most people prefer living in a chemical free environment
  2. If the chemical repels them in a regular treatment, what makes you think that it wont repel them later on?  If they come in your home and sense the chemical, they will wait it out.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

May the heat be with you!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Beware of the Bed Bug Imposter

Recently I was called out to a home for a canine bed bug inspection.  The home owner was, in short, freaking out, and truly thought they had bed bugs.  Prior to my visit a national pest control provider had also inspected the home and CONFIRMED that the family did indeed have bed bugs in 2 of the 3 bed rooms.  But as our policy, I must inspect it myself and find evidence myself before I move forward with a heat treatment for a client. Here is the reason…

My inspection did not reveal ANY bed bugs.  The canine inspection did not reveal ANY bed bugs.  There was NO evidence of the little pests.  However, the home owner did have bugs in their bed, just not BED BUGS. The home owner had a healthy population of CARPET BEETLE lava in their beds and a cockroach nymph. (see photos)

Carpet beetle larva eat the natural fibers in our homes including woolens, pet hair, feathers, and other dead insects. They wiggle more than crawl. They do not hurt us, but will destroy wool clothing.   Remember cedar closets and moth balls?  But they are not Bed Bugs and are treated very differently.

My conclusions for the public:

  1. Just because there are bugs in a bed or near a bed does not make them BED BUGS.  The name is specific to a specific type of insect that is a nocturnal parasitic crawling insect that drinks our blood.  Not all bugs in the bed are Bed Bugs.
  2. The gross mis-identification of the pest by the other company was either negligence or a malicious intent to sell very expensive bed bug services to a panicked client.  Either way it is an embarrassment to the industry.  Home owners should get multiple proposals for any type of specialized insect/pest treatment.
  3. If you think you have bed bugs, capture them so the pest control professional can see what you are seeing.  The easiest way to do this is with clear tape or clear packing tape.  Just touch the sticky side to the pest and then fold over the other side.  It makes a nice little coffin for the bug and easy to handle without concern of escape or attack.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug ControlSpecialist

Carpet Beetle & Nymph

Brown Banded Cockroach Nymph

Bed Bug Nymph