In recent years we’ve all become more aware what chemicals can do to our bodies and our environment. From the ingredients in the paint we use, to our face cream and fragrances and vehicle exhaust, there’s no denying that the world is a safer place than it was 100 years ago.
One area that took a little longer to improve is bed bug pest treatments. For decades we’ve been using chemicals to kill off bed bugs and other unwelcome pests, perhaps knowing but not understanding that they’re not as good for us and our homes and the environment as they could be. A recent survey by the EPA found that 75% of US homes have used a pesticide in their home within the past 12 months – a shocking statistic that puts a lot of people at risk.
Fortunately, bed bug heat treatments have come along to change that.
Why are bed bug chemical pest treatments bad?
Besides the fact that they have limited effectiveness, and bed bugs can build up a resistance, pesticides can pose the following risks:
- Skin irritation
- Eye irritation
- Throat irritation
- Nerve irritation
- Nausea or even vomiting in extreme cases
- Headaches and dizziness
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Kidney damage
- Muscular weakness
- Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)
- Birth defects (such as impaired brain development and behavioral disorders)
- Cancers (children that live in households where pesticides are used regularly are twice as likely to develop brain cancer than children who aren’t)
How are bed bug heat treatments better?
Bedbug Heat treatments don’t use any chemicals – they kill bed bugs by increasing the temperature to such a high degree that nothing can survive. This leaves most physical objects unharmed but all bed bugs, fleas, and other nasties dead and ready to be vacuumed away. As soon as the room has returned to a normal temperature, it can be used as normal.
Using heat to treat bed bugs means you don’t have any of the harmful effects on yourself, your family, or the environment – just environmentally-friendly bed bug removal.
What about everyday bed bug sprays?
The EPA include all pesticides in their health and environmental concerns – that means everything from the pesticide's farmers use to the ones you use in the backyard, to those you use in the house. If pesticides are your only option, it’s best to try to opt for non-repellents wherever possible, especially in any instances where a pesticide application could spread the bed bug to other areas or units such as adjacent apartment or hotel units.
Why are these chemicals legal if they’re so harmful?
The EPA has to assess the health risk of a product and be convinced that they are as unharmful as possible when pesticide residue remains on food or in the home. They work with the National Pesticide Information Center to do this. They consider how harmful they can be if they are used exactly as directed. The pesticides they allow to go to market are not "not harmful", they just pose a small enough risk when used properly.
For pests like bed bugs that can be treated with a heat treatment, it’s a no-brainer to opt for the type of treatment that poses NO chemical risks to your health or that of your family or pets, so that you can limit your pesticide exposure in high concentrations, such as that needed to eliminate most bed bug infestations.
How do I get my home heat treated for bed bugs?
If you want to go the DIY route, you’ll need to rent (or buy) a bed bug heat equipment package. We offer a wide range of bed bug heaters and packages for sale that suit both residential purposes and large commercial businesses. By purchasing a bed bug heat system, you can treat the home regularly to ensure there are never bedbugs living in your home – the heat will also kill just about anything else inhabiting the space, too! We also have a list of pest professionals that use our equipment and offer high quality heat treatments. You can find our provider list here.