Does Heating or Freezing Kill Bed Bugs?
Can Heat or Cold Kill Bed Bugs?
While bed bugs are sensitive to changes in temperature, there are plenty of myths about what temperature kills bed bugs.
The pests cannot be eliminated simply by turning off heaters in winter or sitting infested items outdoors on a sunny summer day. In fact, only extreme temperatures beyond what can be achieved naturally will get rid of them.
Temperature-Related Bed Bug Control
Using freezing cold temperatures to kill bed bugs is one option. Put an infested object, such as bedding or pillows, in a sealed plastic bag, then put it in a freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit for about four days.
Temperature That Kills Bed Bugs
A similar process can be used with heat. Adult bed bugs die at 119 degrees Fahrenheit, and their heat-resistant eggs require temperatures upwards of 125 degrees. Some infested objects can be safely baked in the oven at these temperatures for three to five hours to get rid of the pests.
Safety should always be considered in deciding whether to treat in this manner.
Frozen carbon dioxide sprays and heat distribution systems exist but require special equipment and expert monitoring.
The Whole-Home Bed Bug Solution
Homeowners can use extreme temperature to kill bed bugs in a limited sense, but DIY heat or cold treatments aren't a practical solution for house-wide infestations. In addition to letting bed bugs in floorboard cracks and walls escape, this control method won't work for infested items that aren't safe in extreme conditions or too big to fit in the freezer or oven.
The pest specialists at Orkin have a wide variety of tools and knowledge at their disposal and are able to assess the situation to find the best bed bug solution for your home.