Why Heat Kills Bed Bugs

If you have not explored our website and learned about our services, you might wonder why we are called Arizona Heat Pest Services.  That is because we use heat to kill bed bugs.  Heat is one of the safest, most effective ways to remove bed bugs from a space.  This brief article below from Bed Bug Central explains why heat works so well in this process.  Check it out:

Using Heat to Kill Bed Bugs

Jeff White's picture

Submitted by Jeff White on Mon, 08/24/2015 – 20:47

The Achilles heel of bed bugs is heat.  Once you expose bed bugs to 120oF or hotter both the bugs and eggs die very rapidly (less than a minute). This is why the best way to treat clothes that may be infested with bed bugs is to place them in a dryer on high for a full cycle (even a low cycle is usually enough with most dryers).  There have been many companies that have taken this concept and created heating equipment that can generate enough heat to bring entire houses up to 120 degree or hotter.  This is an excellent method to treat for bed bugs as it is one of the few treatments that can eliminate manageable infestations in one treatment and also reduces the amount of pesticides introduced to a home.  The issue is that many homeowners that are looking for ways to treat their bed bug infestation read about heat and think they can open their windows on a hot day and treat their home for bed bugs.  It unfortunately is never that easy.

There is actually a lot of protocol and technique to heat treating a house.  In addition to needing equipment that will bring the entire house up to 120 degrees all at once, you want to heat the house up slowly and circulate the heat in a very methodical fashion.  Bringing the temperature up slowly and proper circulation reduces the amount of cool spots for the bugs to hide in.  In addition to this, furniture and clutter needs to be moved, turned and tossed during treatment to further address any cold spots that may exist.  That is why a dryer is ideal for heat treating clothes because it is constantly tossing the clothes around which assures equal distribution of the heat.  Obviously there isn’t a “tumble cycle” for your home and the only way to properly distribute the heat is to turn items by hand.  The issue is that you should be turning those items during heat treatment which exposes the technician to high temperatures which can have adverse health effects if not done properly and carefully.  This is why we recommend that heat treatment be performed by trained professionals.

I also receive questions from the occasional homeowner about renting heaters and heat treating their houses themselves.  Not only is this a risk from a heat exposure perspective, many heaters need trained professionals to use them properly and reduce exposure to any exhaust that the heaters may create.  Many rental heaters use propane as a fuel source which can also pose potential health risks.  More reasons why heat treatment should be left to professionals.

When it comes to professionals performing heat treatments, just like any other service in any other service industry, there are good companies and not so good companies.  One question you can ask a service provider you are evaluating to treat your home is what is the critical temperature for bed bugs, how do you evaluate when a room is at that temperature and how long do you hold it for?   As mentioned before something around 120 degrees is the temperature you want to them to answer with.  In addition they should be using temperature monitors during a job and recording temperatures at different location throughout the job.  They should be holding critical temperature during a bed bug treatment for a minimum of two hours and ideally for 3-4 hours.  You can ask the service provider you choose for heating records at the conclusion of the job.  This way you can see if they held the right temperature for the right time in different spots in the home.

Take Homes:

  1. Heat is a great way to treat for bed bugs but there is a lot of protocol and technique to doing it right
  2. There are several different aspect to heat treatment that can pose significant health risks if not done properly – this makes heat treatment NOT a suitable DIY method
  3. Always ask a service provider treating your home how they are going to do it and for temperature records upon completion of the service – you want to see them hold 120 degrees or hotter for 2-4 hours

Find this article here: http://www.bedbugcentral.com/blog/using-heat-kill-bed-bugs

AZ Heat Pest
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Preventing Bed Bugs in Hotels

Hotels have to be near the top of list of places people do not want to see bed bugs.  For those who work at hotels this article will be helpful with advice of how to prevent the insects before one is even seen.  For those who do not work at a hotel, the information in this piece can be applied to almost any business.

Don’t React to Bed Bugs, Prevent Them With These Steps

Wednesday August 31st, 2016 – 8:44AM

When it comes to bed bugs, a preventive approach, including implementing steps to avert guests from discovering bed bugs in their room, is likely the best way to manage bed bug issues. A strategic preventive approach should include: a staff trained to detect bed bugs; the use of preventive pest management tools to reduce the chances of a bed bug infestation; and, a complaint action plan to mitigate the negative results of a guest detecting bed bugs in their room.

Put a Preventive Plan In Place

A preventive approach to bed bug management is a great way to prevent the cost of bed bug management from reaching six figures annually, and also damaging hotel brand reputation. This approach applies to both large and small hotels alike; bed bugs do not discriminate when challenging a hotel.   A preventive plan based on non-infested rooms or in rooms cleared of bed bugs should include:

• Cover each and every mattress and/or box spring with an active mattress liner.

• Install passive bed bug monitors in at least high-risk rooms (those with previous incidents in the last year).

• Do periodic visual and/or canine inspections of all hotel rooms. Early detection is key!  In addition to hotel rooms other areas that should be inspected include: housekeeping (also vacuums and service carts), staff lockers, and luggage storage areas.

• Educate the staff on how to identify signs of bed bugs. Incentivize the staff to look for bed bugs with a reward ($5, for example) when they detect bed bugs before a guest does.

• Consider design modifications to your hotel rooms to make them more bed bug resistant.

• Ensure you have a standard operating procedure in place that will act as a guide for employees should a guest complain about bed bugs. If you don’t currently have one or are in need of guidance, download ‘The Ultimate Hotelier’s Guide to Bed Bugs.’

• Work closely with your pest management professional proactively to prevent bed bugs, not just react to infestations.

Hoteliers cannot stop bed bugs from being introduced into a hotel room. All it takes is an infected guest’s luggage to come into the room and a few bed bugs to drop off (an incident). However, a full-blown bed bug infestation can easily be established in a hotel room when fecal spots, multiple life stages including eggs, and cast skins go undetected because neither hotel staff nor guests noticed them at the outset of a bed bug introduction. Simply stated, an incident is not preventable but an infestation is! Regardless whether it is an incident or infestation, how a hotel handles a bed bug complaint is critical to the management of the problem, and the ensuing financial and reputational impact to hotel and brand. Learn more atwww.hotelbedbugprevention.com.

About Allergy Technologies

ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs. Easily installed on mattresses or box springs, these liners offer two-year continual prevention and control against any adult bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. ActiveGuard has no cautionary signal words or use restrictions on its label. Only four sizes—single/twin, double/full, queen and king—fit almost every available mattress or box spring, and accommodate up to extra-large in length and 17-in. in depth. Underlying is ActiveGuard’s formulation; a unique and proprietary delivery system that offers sustained bioavailability of permethrin for two years. Newest research supports that after a short exposure to ActiveGuard of only 10 minutes, bed bugs regardless of their level of resistance, begin to show significant reductions in feeding (biting) and a dramatic inability to lay eggs. This results in discontinuation of population growth thereby halting progression of an incident to an infestation. If you are seeking a pro-active preventative approach, ActiveGuard should be considered as the centerpiece of your long-term solution to keep bedding from being infested. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are covered under U.S. Patents 5,916,580, 6,214,365, 6,440,438 and pending patents.

Find this article here: http://m.hotelbusiness.com/Hospitality/Dont-React-to-Bed-Bugs-Prevent-Them-With-These-Steps/54954

Thrift Shoppers Beware

Thrift shopping has become more popular in the past few years.  You can find some amazing items for a fraction of the price they were originally given.  However, there is always caution to be had when buying secondhand items because you do not necessarily know where they were or who owned them before.  With that said, there are items that bed bugs can easily hide in.  Read this short article about four particular secondhand items that bed bugs love.

Four Secondhand Items That Could Harbor Bed Bugs

If these items came from a bed bug-infested home, you could get more than you bargained for.

09/15/2016 12:15 pm ET | Updated 3 days ago

By: Jennifer Mitchell

table lamp on bedroom

Shopping for secondhand items helps you furnish your home inexpensively, but if these items came from a bed bug-infested home, you could get more than you bargained for. While you probably already know that a secondhand mattress could be infested with bed bugs, you may not know that many other items can also be a hiding place for bed bugs. Here are four secondhand items that you didn’t know could harbor bed bugs.


Paintings, framed photographs and other pieces of artwork can contain bed bugs, so be sure to inspect them carefully before you buy them. This may seem unbelievable, but since bed bugs can fit into a gap as small as the thickness of a credit card, it’s easy for them to get underneath backing paper or inside a frame

Before you buy any artwork, take it out of the frame to make sure that no bed bugs are lurking inside. Pay extra attention to cracks and seams in the frame since bed bugs could hide in these areas. Check the backs of paintings to make sure that the backing paper isn’t torn or loose, and if it is, peek underneath and look for bed bugs.


Secondhand lamps can also introduce bed bugs to your home. When someone has a bed bug infestation, the bugs don’t just remain in their bed; they also infest nearby items in the room before spreading to the rest of the house. You have no way of knowing if the lamp came from a bed bug infested bedroom, so you need to inspect it closely.

Lampshades provide a great place for bed bugs to hide, especially if they’re made of fabric. Fabric lampshades have seams that bed bugs can crawl inside, and any pleats or wrinkles in the fabric also provide a hiding place. Bed bugs can also hide around the cord of the lamp or inside screwholes on the base of the lamp, so be sure to inspect these areas closely.


High-end curtains can cost as much as $1,500 per panel when you buy them new, so buying your curtains from a secondhand store is a frugal choice. However, curtains are yet another place where bed bugs could be hiding. When a home is heavily infested with bed bugs, there isn’t enough room around the bed for all of the bugs, and they need to move to nearby areas like the curtains.

Before you buy secondhand curtains, take them out of the packaging and inspect every inch of the fabric. Check the seams of the curtains as well as the pleats of the fabric for the presence of bed bugs. Bed bug eggs are tiny (1 mm) and white, while adult bed bugs look similar to apple seeds.


Surprisingly, bed bugs can even hitchhike in electronics! Electronic items like computers and televisions need to be inspected before they’re purchased secondhand. While it may seem strange that bed bugs would want to live in a television, remember that they like to hide in out-of-place areas that are close to the sleeping people they want to feed on. The ports on the back of a television or computer are a cozy place for bed bugs to hide.

Before you buy any secondhand electronics, inspect all of the ports with a flashlight and a magnifying glass. Check underneath the keys of keyboards and inside the battery compartments of remote controls, as well.

Mattresses aren’t the only secondhand items that could be harboring bed bugs, so be sure to carefully inspect every used item you want to bring home.

This post previously appeared at Pests in the Home.

Find this article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/four-secondhand-items-that-could-harbor-bed-bugs_us_57dac7e3e4b053b1ccf294d3

Will We Be Saying Goodbye to Bed Bugs?

Research was released at the beginning of the year regarding the genomes of bed bugs around New York City, one of the most bed bug populated cities in the country.  Scientists and researchers found many useful pieces  of information including how bed bugs thrive, resist insecticides, and multiply.  All of these findings will hopefully be put to use in finding a way to prevent bed bugs from spreading further.  Read all about the research below:

Scientists may have found a way to destroy the bedbug



Scientists have for the first time sequenced the genome of New York City bed bugs, a project that could one day offer a way to contain one of the world’s most hated insects.

One group of researchers, in a Nature Communications study, found that genes in the bedbug, Cimex lectularius, are expressed the most after it feeds on blood for the first time. The group, led by the American Museum of Natural History’s Jeffrey Rosenfeld, also compared bed bug DNA from every New York subway station and found those from different parts of the city had different genetic makeups.

Another group of scientists, also writing in Nature Communications, found 187 potential genes that allow these parasites to repeatedly feed on their host without causing pain. They also identify genes associated with insecticide resistance, including proteins in the animals’ cuticle that prevent insecticide penetration and enzymes that can detoxify the chemicals.

“Bedbugs are one of New York City’s most iconic living fossils, along with cockroaches, meaning that their outward appearance has hardly changed throughout their long lineage,” said one of the paper’s corresponding authors George Amato, director of the Museum’s Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. “But despite their static look, we know that they continue to evolve, mostly in ways that make it harder for humans to dissociate with them. This work gives us the genetic basis to explore the bedbug’s basic biology and its adaptation to dense human environments.”

The bed bug is a parasite that feeds on exclusively on blood and has been associated with humans for thousands of years. Global infestations of bed bugs came about with the rise of heated homes and international travel, a problem that has only exacerbated by the evolution of insecticide resistance over the past 20 years.

The hope now is that the sequenced genome – featuring more than 38,000 genes – could lead to better insecticides for bed bugs and also help to better identify allergens associated with their infestation. For example, the researchers found that bedbugs are likely most vulnerable during the first nymph stage, potentially making it a good target for exterminators in the future.

Researchers also found that the bedbug microbiome contains more than 1,500 genes that map to more than 400 different species of bacteria, indicating that bed bugs harbor a rich suite of endosymbionts that are likely essential for their growth and reproduction. As a result, antibiotics that attack bacteria beneficial to bed bugs -but non-essential to humans – could be another weapon to control of the insects.

“Having this resources opens up a lot of potential new rounds of research in dealing with bed bugs,” said the University of Cincinnati’s Joshua Benoit, who was a co-author on the second paper and is part of the International Bed Bug Genome Project Collaboration, said in a statement. “In a year or two, we might actually develop better ways to control bed bugs.”

Researchers extracted DNA and RNA from preserved and living collections, including samples from a population that was first collected in 1973 and has been maintained by American Museum of Natural History. RNA was sampled from males and females representing each of the bug’s six life stages, before and after blood meals, in order to paint a full picture of the bedbug genome.

“It’s not enough to just sequence a genome, because by itself it does not tell the full story,” said Mark Siddall, one of the paper’s corresponding authors and a curator in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. “In addition to the DNA, you want to get the RNA, or the expressed genes, and you want that not just from a single bedbug, but from both males and females at each part of the life cycle. Then you can really start asking questions about how certain genes relate to blood-feeding, insecticide resistance, and other vital functions.”

Researchers not only found that the bedbugs are more closely related to their subway neighbors but also other insects – showing close relationships to the kissing bug (Rhodnius prolixus), one of several vectors for Chagas disease, and the body louse (Pediculus humanus), which both have tight associations with humans.

Find the full article here: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/02/03/scientists-may-have-found-way-to-destroy-bedbug.html