Steam can effectively kill bed bugs because they are really bad at tolerating heat. The quality of the bed bug steamer you use is extremely important. It’s best to use a commercial steamer with a capacity of at least one gallon (3.78 L) and steam volume control. Don’t use the steamer that you’d use to steam your clothes and don’t use a carpet cleaner. These simply won’t reach high enough temperatures to kill bed bugs. The surface temperature where you apply the steam treatment should be at least 160–180°F (71–82°C).
How to Kill Bed Bugs Using Steam?
The method requires some time and dedication. You cannot expect the steam cleaner to kill the insects as soon as you turn the thing on. The truth is that you will actually need to come in contact with the bed bugs or eggs, in order to get rid of them. That’s why you should take your time to ‘explore’ every single crack and crevice.
Quick and basic steam cleaning of your mattress or couch won’t really make a difference. So, make sure to slowly apply the steam on top of every surface, under the surfaces and in the cracks and between the cushions. For example, steam is effective up to ¾’’ into fabric surfaces. When it comes to various cracks and crevices, the steam will be able to kill the insects up to 2-3/8’’ into a gap.
The Advantages of Removing Bed Bugs With Steam
There are several advantages to using steam to kill bed bugs. For one thing, steam is a very sustainable way to remove bed bugs since water is a renewable resource. Also, like heat treatment, steam does not leave any chemical smells or residue in your home! Steam cleaning to remove bed bugs is something that you can easily do by yourself. Perhaps the biggest advantage of steam cleaning to get rid of bed bugs is that the steam reaches such a high temperature that the bed bugs die nearly instantly.
The Disadvantages of Removing Bed Bugs With Steam
Of course, there are some disadvantages to using a steam cleaner to kill bed bugs. One disadvantage, steaming can work well only on certain surfaces. Bear in mind that steam can damage some surfaces and appliances. Secondly, steam must come directly in contact with the bed bugs and their eggs in order to kill it. So if you miss a spot and a few bugs escape, you could end up with an infestation again. The other main disadvantage of using steam is that steam cleaners can be expensive running you a few hundred dollars.
How Does Thermal Remediation Treatment Differ From Steam?
Heat treatment may take a bit longer than steam cleaning to kill bed bugs, but it tends to be more thorough. Bed bugs will die at temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature your home is typically heated to during a bed bug heat treatment. However, since heat permeates every part of your home, including small cracks and crevices, there’s a very low chance of missing any bugs and having to start the process again.
Precautions When Using A Steamer on Your Own
While steam is effective, it can be dangerous. Always read and understand the manual that came with the steamer. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions. The steam is under pressure, so be careful when refilling the machine and using the steam wand. The steam will be hot, as high as 212-230°F. This can cause burns, so never let children use the steamer and always direct the steam away from yourself.
Do You Need Bed Bug Removal Services?
If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a thermal heat remediation treatment, contact ECO Bed Bug! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 8 hours depending on infestation level. Contact us today for an inspection at (202) 709-7490 or through our website.