What to Look For in a Bed Bug Heat Treatment Company

Bed Bug Heat Treatment Company - Bed Bug Truck and Trailer

How to Choose a Bed Bug Heat Treatment Company – Bed Bug Truck and Trailer

Before you hire a bed bug heat treatment company you should know what to expect from the company and the process. I will tell you what a good process should look like by a company doing it the right way. And I will let you know what red flags you should look for to avoid a company that is only interested in making a quick dollar off of you in your time of need. This knowledge will help you make an informed decision. Knowledge is power.

Bed Bug Quote

Don’ trust any company that will give you a quote over the phone. A quote specialist needs to examine your home thoroughly in order to properly see the layout, any factors that may affect heating, and tell you exactly what preparation needs you must do. The industry standard is around $1 per square foot. They may tell you a rough estimate up front but giving a concrete quote over the phone is a big red flag.

Another related red flag is an absurdly low quote. Like everything, you get what you pay for. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. I once had an acquaintance that got a quote of $500 after I gave them a discounted quote of $1200. After they failed and that company disappeared off the face of the planet she called me and I took care of it.

Bed Bug Heat Treatment Equipment

The expectations are simple here. They should use a hydronic bed bug heating system. Electric systems just are not as effective and open-flame systems are downright dangerous. Hydronic systems use a diesel furnace in a trailer and pump hot fluid through a series of hoses into a series of radiator-like fan coils that dissipate heat into the air. If hydronic is better why doesn’t everyone use it? Simple. It is by far the most expensive equipment to buy.

Time

It is not a fast process. A small house (under 800 sqft) may be done in around 6 hours. I’ve spent as long as 18 hours treating a home, but a normal process is at least 8 hours. It takes 30-60 minutes just to set up. Another hour or 2 to get the temperature up to beginning kill temp. A good company will “cook” for 2 hours. In large house, the equipment will nee to be moved around and the process repeated. Finally cleanup will take another 30-60 minutes. Any time stated under 8 hours should be considered another red flag.

Temperature

I mentioned kill temp earlier. In open air, it is said bed bugs will die instantly at 122F. This is a good rule of thumb, though I’ve seen them crawling still at slightly higher temps. Normall, the “cook’ will start at 122F and will reach temperatures exceeding 150F. This is necessary to penetrate drywall and baseboards to eradicate any bed bugs that may be hiding there.

Preparation

Basic preparation involves running clothing through the dryer and bagging it all. Items that can melt and flammable items must be removed from the home as should money and jewelry. Electronics should NOTbe removed. Here is why. Leaving clothes in closets and drawers can be acceptable if not in excess. Clothing should never be taken from the home during treatment and returned after without going through a dryer. You should never be asked to dispose of your furniture. If they can’t treat your furniture, then what is the point of treatment at all?

Bed Bug Treatment Guarantee

Bed but heat treatment is expensive. You wouldn’t buy a product without a guarantee, and you should not buy a service without one. A typical guarantee is anywhere from 60 to 120 days. In reality, if you still have bed bugs following a treatment you will normally notice them within days. The length of the guarantee is not as important as just having one. If you don’t find bed bugs for two months after treatment and then finally do, you probably got re-infested. Most importantly, a guarantee is worthless if it is with a non-reputable company that will disappear leaving you holding the bag.

Red Flags When Choosing a Bed Bug Heat Treatment Company

Pay attention to all the warning signs:

  • Quote over the phone.
  • Quote absurdly low.
  • Cheap equipment. Ask what system they use.
  • Time to treat under 6 hours
  • Temperature under 130F
  • No preparation
  • Over preparation
  • No guarantee

Hopefully these tips will help you make a better, more informed decision when choosing a bed bug heat treatment company.

About Chad

Chad is the creator/owner of Big Bed Bug Blog. As the lead technician for Dead Hot Bugs in Columbus, Ohio he oversees every heat treatment. Trained by the equipment manufacturer, he has been with the company since day one. Prior to that, Chad was a technical writer and IT Business Analyst for a fortune 25 pharmaceutical distributor.

Comments

What to Look For in a Bed Bug Heat Treatment Company — 11 Comments

    • It’s not bad for one room if heat. For chemicals it’s on the high side. I really think you need more than 1 room though if you’re being bitten in your bed and couch.

      • Prices vary by region. A good rule of thumb is $1 per square foot. In your case, that would be around $840. Some companies have a minimum of $1000. I personally would run a fogger under the skirting while heating.

  1. Hello. I had a heat treatment, spray, and the powder they place in the walls on Monday(two days ago). Immediately after they left, I seen and killed at least bedbugs. Is that normal or what? I vacuumed and came back about minutes later, and there were more as if they were coming up from the carpet. So I vacuumed again. I seen more. I vacuumed again and I haven’t seen anymore since. Do I need to have them to come back. I have a day guarantee. The bedbugs were only in one room. They were hiding in the chair in there after they could no longer feed on my so-called friend I let sleep in that room and that same so-called friend is the one that brought them here from the apartment they lived in. I’m glad I caught them early but after the treatment they came out of that chair and most were dead but many were still alive. I took the chair to the dumpster. Please advise as to any advise you can provide. Thanks

      • Ok thank you so much. One more question. I know you may not know exactly what type of spray they use(neither do I) but maybe just generally asking, is the spray suppose to kill living bedbugs and their eggs? I’m kind of wondering what is the spray part for and what’s the effect of it. Do you by chance know? My apartments only use Rose Pest Control out of Lansing, Michigan if that helps ya to answer the question. They did the heat treatment, spray, and powder in the sockets. I haven’t seen another bedbug but since some were living immediately after the treatment, could they have laid eggs and the spray that they sprayed won’t kill them? I’m sorry to be a pest but you know exactly what you’re talking about so I’m comfortable with asking you. They told me I may see a few after treatment but I saw more than a few. I had to vacuum 4 times in that room. Now 24 hours later, I haven’t seen a bedbug at all. So should I still have them back out? I will if you still agree that I should. Gosh I wish you were here in Michigan. Thank you for helping us all. That’s very sweet of you. I’ll post your business on my Facebook page. That’s the least I can do.

        • I didn’t realize my numbers weren’t typing in my original comment. I meant to say I have a 90 day guarantee. I don’t know if that covers only a spray or another heat treatment. I’ll find out as I’m reaching out to my office because the location said they only communicate with the leasing office which I find odd.

        • Not a problem. There are many number of sprays they could be using. I would only be guessing. In my business, I found that heat treatment alone was sufficient, occasionally using the powder (diatomaceous earth) in basements or difficult to heat areas. I’ve had 2 customers see a single – just 1 -bug following treatment that didn’t require another treatment. Where there’s one, there are typically more. I would at least make them aware right now that you’ve seen them just to cover yourself. In my opinion the issue isn’t resolved and you should have them back out.

  2. Perfect. I am sending my leasing office a message right now. There was a chair I had in the room where my friend was sleeping. There were a ton of bedbugs hiding in that chair so during the treatment I guess there were coming out of the chair to find somewhere to go. They were all in a huddle on the floor under the chair but not all were dead. Ughhhhh so nasty. There were more in the carpet in that room and they just coming up from the carpet. Haven’t seen any last nigh and today but I bet they are hiding in the carpet somewhere.

    Can you tell me what’s the purpose of whatever spray a company use? Last question I promise – I have a yorkie. Can I use the siatomaceous earth powder with having her in the apartment? I won’t let her enter that room so I’m wondering if it’s safe in that instance?

    Again, THANK YOU HUGELY for answering my questions. I’m so sorry to be a pest but I have never had roaches and these things are gross. I will not let my friend re-enter my home ever. He had every sign to know something was wrong just by looking at his pillow cases that had splotches all over them. They were brand new when I gave him the cases. That’s completely disrespectful of others dwelling places when one pay no attention to their surroundings. Sorry I just needed to vent. I’m so hurt and so upset. I ordered some bed risers and I’ll put some vaseline or oil or something at the base of them to help keep any from getting on my bed. I have the headboard and rails that I never put up and they were in the room where my friend was sleeping. I’m now to scared to use the headboard and rails because they are wood and I don’t know how to tell if bedbugs are in them. Should I throw them away too?

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