4 Things Landlords Need To Know About Killing Bed Bugs With Heat

Posted on: 3 June 2015

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Bed bugs are a big problem in apartments, not just for tenants, but for the landlords who need to pay for pest control treatments. If only one of your tenants has reported seeing bed bugs in their apartment, you may be tempted to only treat their unit, but this is a mistake. If one of your tenants has bed bugs, others could too, and the whole building needs to be treated. Insecticides aren't the best way to deal with bed bugs, so your pest control company may use heat to treat your building. Here's what you need to know about this method. 

Why do you have to treat the whole building?

The individual units in an apartment building are connected to nearby units in many ways. They share vents, cables, pipes, and other connections, and bed bugs can use these tiny gaps to travel between units. If you only treat the unit that you know is infested, the bed bugs can easily flee to surrounding units, spreading the infestation throughout the building. If you treat the entire building, the bed bugs have nowhere to run, and the infestation will be stopped. 

Why aren't insecticides a good idea?

Spraying the entire building with insecticides isn't the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs, since bed bugs are resistant to some types of insecticides. This is because insecticides have been used extensively to treat bed bugs, and over the years, they've developed a genetic resistance to the chemicals. 

How long does it take to treat the building?

Adult bed bugs die within 20 minutes at temperatures above 46°C (114°F), while the eggs take about an hour to die. This doesn't mean that the treatment will only take an hour, though. Bed bugs and eggs like to hide in places like small cracks and crevices; it takes longer for the heat to reach into these areas. The building will be held at this high temperature for a few hours to give the heat a chance to penetrate every area of the building and kill every last bed bug. 

Will any bed bugs survive the treatment?

If the treatment is done properly, no bed bugs will survive. It's possible that your tenants will reintroduce the bugs to their units when they return after the treatment. To avoid this, make sure to tell them to treat their clothes in a hot dryer before coming back. 

Bed bugs are a hassle for landlords, but if you deal with them properly right from the start, the whole building will be free of bed bugs before you know it. If you suspect an infestation in your building, call a pest control company like All Seasons Pest Control and have them heat treat the entire building.