Steam treatment is a recommended method for eliminating Bed Bugs. In fact steam kills all stages of bed bugs without the use of chemicals. Sleeping on a surface that has been soaked in chemicals is not only unpleasant smelling but poses additional potential health hazards. Successful treatment depends on an Integrated Pest Management approach to bed bug control. This involves, steaming and vacuuming, laundering belongings, plus sealing areas and gaps where bed bugs can hide.
“…Steam kills all stages of bed bugs.”
CITY OF TORONTO ONTARIO, PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Myths & Facts About Bed Bugs
MYTH Bed bugs are too small to see.
FACT Although they may be difficult to find because they hide well, bed bugs are big enough to be seen with the naked eye. Bed bugs look similar to an apple seed in size and appearance.
MYTH Bed bugs are only found in shelters; only poor people or dirty people get them.
FACT Bed bugs can be found in hotels, motels, dormitories, apartments, condos, private homes, and even in some public places, such as businesses and offices. Anyone can get bed bugs.
MYTH Walking into a room that has bed bugs means you will get bed bugs.
FACT Bed bugs do not jump. They spend 90% of their time hiding and are usually active at night.
MYTH Bed bugs cause disease.
FACT Bed bugs are not considered a health hazard and do not transmit disease. Bed bug bites, however, can cause allergic reaction in some people similar to a mosquito bite. There are many resources available to provide advice about eliminating bed bugs. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA-USA) and the Canadian Pest Management Association (CPMA-Canada) both have websites that share helpful in-depth information about bed bugs.
How to Kill Bed Bugs With Steam
It's no secret that bed bug infestations are on the rise. What may come as a surprise is that high temperature steam will kill bed bugs at all stages of growth. There are numerous treatment options available, however many are complex, sometimes expensive and often use harsh chemicals. Using a steam cleaner to do the job is something that Entomologists specializing in bed bugs recognize as part of an effective treatment plan. Pest Management professionals may also use steam as part of their repertoire, particu- larly those that prefer to use a more health friendly approach. There are many types of steam cleaners on the market. Look for those with a stainless steel tank in a canister-type model like those from Reliable Corporation.
Today's steam cleaners offer a chemical- free solution for bed bugs and a myriad of everyday household cleaning tasks. It is essential that the machine produces a dry 'vapor' steam at a minimum tempera- ture of 120°F or 36°C to be effective in killing bed bugs and properly sanitizing all home surfaces.
Once You Have Your Steam Cleaner These Are the Basics of Removal:
- Remove clutter from the house giving bed bugs fewer places to hide.
- Wash and dry clothing and all bedding at the highest temperature and store in plastic bags.
- Use the attachment for your steam cleaner that has a clip to attach a cloth pad or cover (a good machine will come with such attachments and a few cloths/pads).
- Begin to steam clean all the surfaces of the room from top to bottom (include curtains, chairs, and finishing with the bed, floor and baseboards.
- The bed is critical in the process. Be sure to slowly go over every square inch. From the bottom of the posts/frame, to the underside of the box spring. Leave no surface of the bed untouched. The accessories that come with a good steam cleaner should include a high-pressure nozzle. This will assist with getting into the crevices of the bed frame and binding as well as places like base boards.
- Let everything air dry thoroughly to avoid mold before putting bedding and clothing back in their appropriate places. Wrapping the box spring in heavy plastic sheeting and purchasing a bed bug specific mattress cover can be useful.
- Continue to check regularly for signs of bed bugs.