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Bed Bug Control

The following information contains important details that you should know about these common and damaging household pests. Magical Pest Control has provided you with answers to the most asked question pertaining to bed bugs – learn more about what they do, and how we can help you be rid of them!

Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)
Bed bugs are once again reaching epidemic proportions. Dr. Michael Potter, University of Kentucky entomologist, was quoted recently, “Bedbugs are just going ballistic everywhere. It is going to really rock this country.” Bed bugs are found today in hotels, apartments, dorm rooms, delivery vehicles, dry cleaners, jails, hospitals, churches, cruise ships, furniture rental stores and private homes. Rare for a time, bedbug bites are becoming all too common. Because pesticides are losing their effectiveness at treating bed bugs, the search is on for new ways to eliminate infestations. Our heat treatments kill bed bugs without harming the environment; using heat to kill bed bugs and the eggs they leave behind. And since bed bug heat treatments can be effective in a single application, it can be more cost effective than chemical alternatives.

To find out how Magical’s heat treatment can help you get rid of bed bugs, click here to get an estimate.

What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval insects that live in dark spaces close to their food source to feed at night. They range in size from 1/4″ to 3/8″ long and are mahogany or red-brown in color. They live close to their food sources and feed at night.

Bed bugs were widespread before World War II in homes, hotels, and boardinghouses, but were greatly reduced with the widespread use of the pesticide DDT. Bed bugs have been making resurgence in recent years due to the banning of DDT, an increase in international travel, immigration from the developing world and a developing resistance to pesticides.

Bed bugs commonly reside in the seams of mattresses, in the edges of carpeting, in the bed frame behind baseboards, window and door casings, picture frames, loosened wallpaper, and cracks and crevices. They can enter a structure by attaching to clothing and bedding and by hiding in luggage. In certain cases they may be brought in by birds or bats.

Bed bug bites are not always noticed by their victims. This is often the problem with knowing whether an infestation still exists or if it has been successfully treated. Others are greatly affected and may exhibit numerous sores, welts and allergic reactions to the bed bug bite. Although no known cases of the transmission of infectious disease have been reported, bed bugs are known to carry at least 28 different human pathogens. It appears the bed bug may be able to transmit Hepatitis B as the virus has been found in bed bug droppings. Bacterial infections may also occur if the bite creates an open sore. 

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite; kill bed bugs for good with a heat treatment
Magical’s bed bug heat treatment is the superior solution to get rid of bed bug infestations. This non-chemical, non-toxic approach penetrates wall cavities, mattresses and other hard to reach locations to kill bed bugs. By applying heat evenly throughout a structure we are able to kill bed bugs wherever they are hiding. Bed bug heat treatments kill all of the growth stages of the bed bug including the eggs. This is an important fact given that not all current pesticide control methodologies kill bed bug eggs. This means that oftentimes a heat treatment can eradicate the entire bedbug population in a single application.

There is considerable documentation citing the temperature and length of time necessary to kill bedbugs and their eggs. Several sources (Usinger 1966, Gulmahamad 2002, Quarles 2007) report that adults and nymphs die within 15 minutes at temperatures greater than 113ºF and bed beg eggs within 60 minutes at similar temperatures. Raising room temperatures above the thermal death point and maintaining that temperature for several hours should eliminate a bedbug infestation.

Thermal Death – Bed Bugs
Pest Temperature Duration Reference
Bed Bug Adults & Nymphs 45ºC (113ºF) 15 Minutes Mallis, 2004
Bed Bug Eggs 45ºC (113ºF) 60 Minutes Gulmahamad, 2002
Bed Bug All Stages 46ºC (114.8ºF) 7 Minutes Quarles, 2007

The temperature required to kill bedbugs and their eggs falls well within the temperature ranges achieved by a bed bug heat treatment. The low thermal death point of bedbugs allows Magical technicians to adapt the process to the building and its contents while still achieving efficacy. Unlike many pesticides, a heat treatment penetrates into any crevices and kills bed bugs where they reside. Our process forces heat into beds, bedding, mattresses, furniture, electronics, wall cavities, etc. leaving no place for bed bugs to hide. 

Why is Heat Better than Using Chemicals?
Historically, bed bug treatments have primarily used chemicals to reduce and control the pest. Recently, pesticides have shown to be ineffective in managing infestations with single bed bug treatments. An informal survey of pest control operators conducted by an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts found that 68% of all bedbug infestations require three or more treatments, 26% require two treatments, and 6% require just one.

Another concern with pesticide use is the development of resistance to the pesticides used in the treatment of bed bugs. The Integrated Pest Management Association found that by 1956, DDT resistance was so widespread that the control method had to be changed to Malathion. Results from current research conducted by the University of Kentucky show that bed bug resistance to insecticidal products that have pyrethroids as an active ingredient has become significant. The excessive use of pesticide solutions may result in the bed bug developing greater resistance to current methodologies. Oftentimes this leads to overcompensating by increasing amounts of chemicals. This can be a dangerous practice. Using a heat treatment is simpler and just as effective, if not more so.

Pesticides can also pose a threat to the environment. DDT was an effective chemical in significantly treating bed bug occurrences in the United States before it was banned in 1972 because of the reproductive effects to birds from chronic exposure to DDT. Bird exposure to this insecticide mainly occurs through the consumption of aquatic and/or terrestrial species that have been exposed to DDT (WHO 1989). Like other chemicals, DDT was able to work its way through the ecosystem and cause adverse health and reproductive effects to many animals in the food chain.

Finally, some people may be sensitive to chemicals as a result of neurological or other medical disorders. These people may not have the option to use chemical solutions as part of their control method. Heat treatments use a non-chemical process and therefore are a practical solution for people with chemical sensitivities and is ideal for treating health care facilities, hospitals, and schools where chemicals are not an option.

To find out how a bed bug heat treatment from Magical can help you get rid of bed bugs, click here to get an estimate.

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