Heat: The Healthier Alternative to Bedbug Control

Bedbugs are typically associated with dirty environments.  Most people think of a run down motel or a filthy old mattress, but hospitals are victims of these pesky critters too.  The problem with bedbugs is they often don’t present themselves until it’s too late.  With the ability to produce 500 eggs in a one year span, it’s easy to see how outbreaks can happen fast.  Hospitals have been scrambling to find a suitable solution with minimal disruption to their patients.

Hospitals previously used chemicals for bedbug treatment, however recent reports show the buggers may be developing a tolerance to the chemicals, and heat-based treatments may be the way to go.  A September 23, 2011 article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicated the growing resistance to chemical solutions has increased the chemical output, which is hazardous to human health.  Furthermore, chemical treatments only kill adult bedbugs, not their eggs.  This leads to more chemical sprays, increasing the risk for human illness.

Heat treatment raises the temperature of a room from 100 degrees up to 170.  This ensures the heat penetrates every orifice of the area, including walls, floors, and ceiling.  The entire process takes four to eight hours.  Time is determined on the size of the area to be treated, how much furniture needs removal or protection, and how accessible the space is.  Heat based treatment is not only better for our health, it kills all stages of bedbug life, including eggs.

Hospitals require a swift, effective treatment of their facilities.  Repeat visits for hatchlings, or just plain resistance, is not a solution.

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