Turning Up the Heat on Bedbugs: One-Time Treatment Proving Effective

by | Jan 3, 2011 | Rental Property Management Tips

There’s a new way to kill bedbugs that doesn’t require saturating the rental property with chemicals.

By turning up the heat – up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, pest control experts can eliminate both adult bedbugs and their eggs, often in just one treatment.

Advantages are significant, including paying for just one application, no chemical residue to make tenants sick, and not having to scout out all of the bugs’ hiding places.

This method also saves the tenant from having to toss out furniture, as well as the cost of moving furnishings out of the way.

But don’t try this method on your own.

As news of the success rates of thermal technology has reached consumers, heaters have become available over the Internet, from the professional level machine that costs about $8,000, to the $300 portable tote available for de-toxing luggage and small items around the house.

However, the use of these heaters is extremely dangerous for landlords and tenants to try on their own. While pest control companies can safely manage the propane variety, fuel-powered heaters can throw off enough carbon monoxide to kill, and are a danger not only to the occupants of the rental property, but all of the adjoining units as well.

Due to the extreme risk of fire, use of these heaters or other appliances may also violate local fire codes and place landlords at risk of property damage, as well as significant fines.

John Van Ginkel, President of Operations for Thermotech Environmental based in Edmonton, confirms that the thermal process is very effective for eliminating bedbugs — if applied by properly trained staff.  “We have approximately a 95% success rate and this is due to trained staff and proper equipment. This process is not something that can be done by an average homeowner due to not being able to get the proper equipment”, he explains.

The trouble is most heaters available for purchase or rental will only heat to 100 F., which is not enough to kill the pests. “Our treatment takes approximately 8 hours to complete as we heat the infected area to 140 degrees,” Van Ginkel explains. “This temperature is maintained for 4 hours to allow time for this heat to penetrate into all areas the pests hide. We use hot, dry air which will penetrate through all furniture, mattresses and couches. This method does not require you to throw out any of these items, which is a great savings for you.”

If landlords do find something to heat in the range of 140 degrees F.,  then they will more than likely create hot spots which could melt electronics or delaminate some of the furniture. Thermotech follows a professional prep sheet that ensures safe and effective treatment.  For example, the staff is trained to identify and remove heat-sensitive items before treatment.

To find out more about bedbug remediation, visit  http://www.tteheat.com/ then click on Pest Services, or check out their blog at bedbugsedmonton.com.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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