Bed bug extermination methods - Safety

Kill my bed bugs safely please

Bed bug extermination methods - It's safe when done properly

Bed bug extermination can be done in a number of different ways. Traditional treatments consisting of steaming, vacuuming, dusting and chemical applications as well as heat treatments of an entire house are now available. Whichever type of bed bug removal option you choose, the importance of having it done safely is paramount.

Bed Bug Extermination Safety

Before a technician can apply pesticides to kill bed bugs (or anything else for that matter) he or she must pass some rigorous government examinations with a minimum score of 80%. After passing, the exterminator may apply to obtain the license required to apply pesticides in a home or business. But, this is simply the beginning. To safely apply pesticides, the technician must determine the best product for the job, correctly mix and prepare that product and apply it in such a way as to be effective while complying with all of the many government regulations pertaining to that application.

Safety Equipment

Proper safety equipment must be utilized as per the applicable regulations. The technician must wear an approved respirator mask and nitrile gloves etc. while working with the pesticide. In addition, only approved equipment such as sprayers and applicators may be used in the chemical application.

In addition to the safe application of the extermination products, the order in which those products are used becomes extremely important.


When exterminating bed bugs using traditional methods, a chemical perimeter should be applied to all baseboards in the room / home prior to commencing other activities whether they be dusting, steaming or vacuuming. The reason being simply that when those other activities take place any bed bugs that are disturbed will tend to 'scatter' into other areas, especially if there are many to deal with. Those that might 'get away' initially will tend to migrate to the closest cracks and crevices in the immediate area - usually the baseboards next to a bed, nightstand or couch. By applying pesticides to the baseboards first, one can usually mitigate the problem of any bed bugs that initially escape the immediate treatment area.

Killing Bed Bugs With Steam

Steaming - using a special bed bug steamer - is a very effective tool in the extermination arsenal. Used properly, steaming of effected areas will kill not only the bed bugs that have direct contact with the steam but also the bed bug eggs. The steamers that work best are those with variable pressure controls associated with them. From a safety perspective, the technician must watch out for two things while steaming; Care must be taken not to pass steam over or near electrical outlets and steam, being what it is - hot -  will burn a person severely if it is allowed to contact ones skin, even for a moment.


While dusting, the technician must be aware that over application of D.E. dust may pose the following problems - Over dusting may render the dust ineffective. If the dust contains an additive Pyrethroid, over dusting may result in over application of that product and therefor may be contrary to regulations and the technician should be aware of anyone in the home that suffers with Asthma as the dust may exacerbate asthmatic symptoms. A thorough pre-treatment briefing should take place prior to work commencement to determine if dusting may be a factor for a particular job. 

Bed bug heat treatment - Safety

Recently, a new type of bed bug extermination referred to as "Bed bug heat treatments" has shown great promise in the fight against bed bugs.

A bed bug heat treatment consists simply of using a method (further described below) to heat an entire area to past the thermal kill range of a bed bug and their eggs. This can be accomplished in a number of different ways but the end result is that the bed bugs are simply heated up to the point where they die.

There are a number of different types of bed bug heat treatment systems available to the pest control industry.

One type uses heat generated by propane burners located inside a truck that is parked outside of the home or apartment building. Powerful fans blow the hot air through wide flexible ducts that are long enough to be extended from the truck parked outside to the inside of the home where treatment is taking place.

Another type of system consists simply of industrial sized electric heaters that are brought into the residence, plugged in and allowed to heat up to a specified temperature.

And thirdly, a system that uses a thick, non-flammable liquid similar to glycol that is heated inside a diesel burner unit located inside a trailer that is parked out front of a home. Long hoses carry the hot liquid to units placed inside of the home where the heat transfer takes place.

With all three units, ancillary fan units are utilized to circulate the hot air inside of each room. This circulation is necessary to obtain uniform heating of every square inch of the dwelling.

Bed bug extermination using heat as the primary method of doing the job can be very effective if done correctly but extensive safety measures must be complied with to get the job done safely. If considering hiring a company to kill bed bugs using heat as the primary method, as questions about how they will do the job safely.

Bed bug extermination methods differ depending on a number of things. The severity of the infestation, the location and physical environment of the treatment location. Traditional pesticide treatment, heat treatment or both and the Provincial and local regulations. All of these methods can be used to eradicate bed bugs safely and successfully when done by a professional. 

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