As long as it is applied correctly, steam can be an effective means of killing bed bugs no matter what stage of development they are in. Using pesticides can be dangerous in your bedroom, and they do not kill all stages of bed bugs. In addition, because bed bugs hide during the day and only come out when they detect humans in the bed, they can resist the treatment. Using high heat through steamers is the most effective way to kill all of the bed bugs in your room.
Why Steamers Are Effective
Steamers are an excellent way to eliminate bed bugs without using chemicals. This treatment will kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. Bed bugs cannot survive in temperatures above 119 degrees Fahrenheit, and their eggs will not survive temperatures above 125 degrees. If you raise the temperature to this level for 20 minutes to three hours, all of the bed bugs will die.
When you use a steamer, you need the surface temperature to rise to between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of heat will kill the bed bugs and their eggs on contact, which eliminates the need for keeping the temperatures high for a longer period of time. It should kill any bed bugs that are hiding in crevices or under your bed, as well as those in the carpet and baseboards.
Killing Bed Bugs with a Steam Iron
Using a steam iron is a common do-it-yourself treatment for bed bugs. If you don’t have access to a steamer or can’t afford to have a pest control company perform a heat treatment, you can use your iron. You will need to work harder to kill all of them because the iron won’t penetrate as deeply into the cracks where bed bugs hide, and it can damage different materials when you touch them.
However, you will want to turn the iron on as high as it can go. Make sure that you are using the steam setting, and put water in the iron. Once it is hot, you can use it across your bed, and make sure that you go to all of the crevices where the bed bugs may be hiding. As you iron the mattress, make sure that you move the iron across in quick motions so that none of the bed bugs can escape. You can iron everything, including your pillows and blankets.
What to Look for in a Steamer
Steamers are not made specifically to kill bed bugs, but they are effective. If you have a small to medium sized infestation, you can use a carpet steamer. The most important quality to look for is the heat output. The steamer needs to be able to output heat of at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit to reach the surface temperature within the range of 160 to 180 degrees. It needs to be higher because some heat will be lost while you are steaming. For the best commercial steamer for Bed Bugs.
You also want to use a steamer with higher pressure. The pressure determines whether or not the steamer can effectively kill bed bugs that are hiding in crevices and other places because bed bugs only come out at night when you are sleeping. You want to use a machine with at least 40 PSI, and 60 PSI will be even more effective.
You want a steamer that has a high capacity because those that hold more water will last longer before you have to refill. In addition, you want to be able to adjust the steam pressure because you will need more pressure for cracks in the flooring or the baseboards, but less pressure for your mattress.
Does Steaming Permanently Eliminate Bed Bugs?
When you use steam to get rid of bed bugs, it will kill the bed bugs that are there, but it does not serve as a preventative treatment for future infestations. If you use a steamer and you miss any of the bed bugs, they can repopulate in your bedroom.
Adult female bed bugs lay one egg each day, and it takes about 10 days for the egg to hatch. Then, it takes five to six weeks for the bed bug to go through its five stages before becoming an adult. They reproduce more slowly than other insects, but they will still repopulate in your bedroom if any are remaining after the steam treatment.
How to Use Steamers to Kill Bed Bugs
When you use a steamer to kill bed bugs, you will need to make sure you get the heat high enough. This is a great guide on how to kill bed bugs with steam. You need to apply the steam on top of every surface in the room. In addition, you need to apply the steam in the cracks and between cushions. You need to get under the bed as well.
The easiest surfaces to steam are carpets, rugs, the top and sides of your mattress and box spring, furniture with upholstery, and your headboards and floorboards. It is harder to get the steam into cracks and crevices. Most importantly, your steamer needs to be powerful enough. The temperature of the steam needs to be high enough to kill the bed bugs and their eggs.
If the steamer is able to heat the surface up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it will kill any bed bugs and their eggs on contact.
Do I Need to Do More Than One Treatment?
You will normally need to repeat the steaming process two or three times. It is likely that there will be a few bed bugs still alive, and the only way to kill them is to try it again. Although the steam can reach just over two inches into crevices, there may be bed bugs hiding further in. You will need to wait for them to come out to kill them. The heat will draw them out, but if you miss any, you will have to run through the process again. Although it will take some time and effort, you can effectively kill bed bugs with a steamer.