You’ve worked really hard to avoid a bed bug infestation in your home, but there they are: signs that the nefarious pest has invaded your living space. Of course, your first step will be to call your local pest expert, but it helps to know in advance what treatment options might be available to you.

Here are three of the most common and effective treatments for elimination of bed bugs:

1. Chemical Treatment: A residential chemical treatment includes an initial chemical application, with follow-up treatments at two and six weeks. This approach is an ongoing process that has an approximate effective rate of 80-85% following the initial three treatments. Ongoing monthly services are highly recommended when using a chemical approach. There is a good deal of preparation work that goes into readying one’s home for this service, and the success rate is directly affected by how efficiently your home is prepared.

2. BT-U Heat Treatment:  A heat service is the process of providing a controlled application of heated air into the home, not exceeding 135 degrees. Temperatures are monitored from a remote location using wireless sensors, confirming that heat is maintained at a lethal level. High-temperature fans move the heated air throughout the space, ensuring lethal levels reach cracks and crevices and high-infestation zones. Following the heat application, technicians also provide a chemical application, in order to leave a lasting residual in place. A good deal of preparation work is needed for this service, as well, and the quality of the prep also will affect the success of the service. This service includes a 30-day follow-up inspection and offers a 90-95% effective rate.

3. Fumigation Service: Vikane fumigant is the most effective eradication method we offer. It is a two-day process, and requires very little preparation from the client. The active ingredient in this fumigant is sulfuryl fluoride. This trusted and effective fumigant offers the highest kill rate, due to its ability to penetrate walls and furniture in a manner that other methods simply cannot offer. Extensive safety precautions and application regulations assure the client of a safe and successful treatment with no adverse health or structural complications. Due to its unique penetration abilities, Vikane fumigant offers a 99.9% effective rate. A 30-day follow-up inspection is provided.

If you suspect you have bed bugs in your home, the first step is to have one of our licensed and trained inspectors evaluate your situation. Every structure is unique and requires an assessment to determine which service technique is best suited for your home.

For example, a fumigation service is typically only viable for single family dwellings. Due to fumigation’s ability to infiltrate walls, the entire structure must be secured and treated. If a home has any structural issues, a heat service may not be a viable option – structural voids can create the inability to maintain lethal temperatures. This is where your licensed inspector will advise regarding the best approach.

real bed bug on wool knitwear, good details on enlarge view

Dealing with bed bugs is a two-fold approach. Effective service begins with our highly trained professional staff, but the client also needs to take a proactive approach in preventing reintroduction of bed bugs into the home. As human beings, we are creatures of habit who typically return to the same people, places, and things. Due to the elusive nature of bed bugs, determining precisely where, when, and how the pest initially was introduced into the home can be difficult.  The challenge is even greater because bed bugs have become increasingly common and can be picked up anywhere, from your favorite restaurant, grocery store, movie theatre, school, daycare, public transportation and so on. The list truly is never-ending.

Because early detection of bed bugs is very beneficial in avoiding a full-blown infestation, we recommend maintaining a monitor in your home. Volcano bed bug monitors are available for purchase at $12 + tax each and are effective for up to 90 days. They have a scent pad in them that mimics the human pheromone within us which the bugs are attracted to, and once a bed bug enters the monitor, it cannot get out.