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The Two Main Bed Bug Extermination Methods

Bed Bug ExterminationBedbugs are among the most common pests found in homes. The term is actually a collective name for several species of similar looking parasitic insects that feed on animal blood. The most commonly found bed bug goes by the scientific name Cimex lectularious and it is responsible for most bed bug infestation. Because they can hide even in the littlest of cracks and crevices, survive without eating for months and breed prolifically, bed bug extermination is extremely difficult once infestation occurs.

These pesky little creatures have a flattened, oval shaped body with a rust brown to deep red brown color. They can live up to 300 days and grow to 5 mm in length. They like to live in homes and prefer places like sofas, beds and furniture where they can easily access their prey (humans and their pets). Bed bug bites often result in skin rashes and allergies. It can also result in psychological problems in some people. However, they have not been proven to carry or transmit any diseases.

There are two methods for bed bug extermination: chemical and heat treatment.

Chemical Extermination Method:

The chemical method for exterminating bedbugs involves the use of pesticides such as bifenthrin, carbaryl and imidacloprid. This approach often requires 2 - 3 visits spanning over several days to get rid of the pests. If spraying is not done properly or if the right chemical is not used, then the effectiveness of this method may be compromised by the natural ability of the bedbugs to develop pesticide resistance and disperse after the first treatment. For example, resistance to pyrethroid insecticides has been found to be widespread.

Also, spraying pesticides on mattresses and in unventilated rooms may affect the health of residents and their pets if sufficient time is not given for the chemicals to disperse. Health problems can include allergic reactions in the short term to acute neurotoxicity and even cancer in the long term. To reduce the risk to health, humans and pets are removed from the affected areas during and for some time after the chemical treatment.

Heat Extermination Method:

Heat extermination method involves subjecting the infested articles and clothes to a temperature above 113o F (or 45o C) for at least an hour. There are four heat extermination methods that are widely used: steam, clothes dryer, hot boxes and raising the room temperature.

Steam treatment involves steaming the affected articles repeatedly and thoroughly up to a temperature of 150 - 170 o C. Clothes dryer method involves washing the affected clothes with detergent and placing the same in the dryer at high heat for at least 20 minutes. Hot box method involves placing the affected articles inside a heating device that provides temperatures high enough to kill the bedbugs. Although these three methods are effective in killing the bedbugs from the affected articles, they do not kill the ones hiding inside cracks and crevices. The last method involves raising the room temperature to 113o F (45o C), which is effective killing all bedbugs including those hiding inside cracks and crevices, but it can only be done by professionals.

There are two problems with the heat treatment method. First, it is labour intensive and requires a lot of time. Second, if the temperature is too high, it can damage clothes and furniture. Despite these, bed bug extermination with heat treatment is highly effective and has no adverse effect on the health of your family and pets.

If you are facing a bed bug issue in your home, contact affordable pest control today for more information, and a free, no obligation quote!

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