Friday, January 6, 2012

Q&A with Servall Pest Control!

Servall Pest Control bringing you an informative question and answer session from

I am concerned about how to effectively treat a couch for bed bugs. That piece of furniture is so massive and hard to get to. How to do it and what best to use? Also, any good, cheap heat treatments available to the little pest control firm?

It is amazing to many folks in the General Public that bed bugs are simply not confined to "beds", and their eyes pop open pretty wide when we tell them that bed bugs now are found routinely on airplanes, in schools, in theaters, buses, delivery trucks, and just about anyplace that humans go and spend time. The potential for bed bugs to be in clothing in the infested home and then transported to a clothing store changing room exists, and must be accepted. Within an infested home bed bugs are going to hide close to anyplace they can find that blood meal, and they are also not restricted to feeding only at night. There is evidence that daylight feeding also occurs routinely.

So, chairs, couches, recliners, etc. all are potentially infested and must be dealt with in some way. The couple of bed bug eggs that may be glued within the workings of that recliner represent a continuing infestation if they are not killed in some manner. Obviously, spraying every nook and cranny within a complicated recliner becomes a problem, as does opening up all those possible cavities within a large couch. Top this off with our current dilemma that insecticides are still not the ultimate answer to bed bug control, and you may hesitate to treat all the surfaces with a toxin anyhow. Heat, fortunately, is a very effective enemy of bed bugs, and a temperature of only 115 degrees, held for just 1 hour, should be lethal to all stages of the bugs. Get that temperature increasingly higher and the exposure time drops quickly. According to some previous studies a clothes dryer at 175 degrees takes just 5 minutes to kill bugs and eggs, and our experts now even tell us that running things through a hot wash first is not needed if the dryer can be used.

At the recent NPMA Conference there were no less than 25 vendors showing products or solutions for bed bugs, many of these offering heat treatments. More and more companies are setting up their bed bug management with localized or whole room/structure heating. The advantages are many, including eliminating the use of toxins and, if done properly, completing the eradication quickly. Some of the top companies still do use dusts and certain other insecticides along with the heat treatment to be doubly sure the work is done effectively, but heat is an excellent option.

You need two things - a sealed container that will hold the temperature at the effective level for the effective period of time, and a heat source. These are becoming more and more available. Some companies even use portable chambers that are modified (sealed) so that larger items like furniture can be placed in them, the doors closed and sealed, and the heat injected for the prescribed length of time. I hate to name brand names, but one image I have seen shows one of the "Pods" used for this.

One of the speakers at this recent NPMA Conference offered her results using a home-made "heat box", and the results were very positive. Essentially the box was made from plywood and uses a simple propane heater for the heat source. She suggested that you can Google "heat box Phil Koehler" to find the instructions online for building this device yourself, along with step by step instructions on using it. I just tried this and found an excellent PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Koehler (et. al.) from Univ. of Florida that would be extremely helpful to you in providing the options and instructions for this.

Visit to find out more or call us at 1.800.264.1433!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff, I hear bed bugs are really becoming a problem across the U.S.