A steam generator can deliver steam at a temperature of up to 60 degrees Celsius, which might kill bed bugs. For this reason, steam is an effective method for killing bed bugs in clothing and other infested items that you cannot treat with pesticides. Inspection after steam treatment helps identify any surviving bed bugs. This helps to decide whether any other treatments are necessary.
The steam process involves heating the room or fabric item to a specific temperature over some time. The steam penetrates deep inside cracks and crevices where it kills both live and hidden insects. It also provides a deep clean, kills dust mites and other allergens, and helps to remove unpleasant odors.
Does Steam in The Air Kill Bed Bugs?
Steam does not kill bed bugs in the air. Instead, it must come into contact with the bed bug to kill it. You can use steam around the house to help detect bed bug infestations. It will cause bed bugs to ‘wake up’ and start moving about. Seeing them after steam made them more active. This makes it easy for you to spot whether there are any infestations present in your home or other areas such as your car or office which may harbor bed bugs.
Bed bugs are tough and resilient pests. They can survive below-zero temperatures for up to three days and thrive in heat that does not go much higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, the steam is not hot enough (it only lasts about 90 minutes).
What Exactly Is a Steam Cleaner?
Steam cleaners use steam to disinfect and remove dirt and grime from a variety of surfaces. Make steam by heating water with a reservoir tank. Once you create steam, it flows out through the steam cleaner head or nozzle attachment. Some steam cleaners have multiple attachments for various areas such as upholstery, floors, bathrooms, and kitchens.
When using a steam cleaner, it is important to practice caution and protect yourself. The high temperatures can cause burning or scalding when you are not wearing proper clothing while working with one. Make sure to cover everything up. As excess clouds in this device stop operating until they evaporate off completely, they impair your vision.
What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?
Steam does not affect bed bugs at temperatures up to 60 degrees Celsius. To effectively kill them, the steam should reach hotness at 88 degrees Celsius. That is hot enough to kill an adult bed bug in less than 10 seconds.
A steam cleaner would need to work for at least 10 minutes. But should steam continuously for a whole hour or more. That is when you are treating an infested area or are disinfecting items such as furniture and mattresses which may hold pockets of bed bugs, eggs, and larvae.
You can leave your steam cleaner running while you prepare other things like letting the laundry dry out of steam cleaning it. Remember: steaming will not rid your home of bed bugs on its own and is most effective when used with other pest control methods.
How to Kill Bed Bugs Using Steam
Steam can kill bed bugs by high heat. It also penetrates inside the hidden cracks and crevices where they lay their eggs, making steam an effective method for controlling these small pests. To steam effectively, use a steam cleaner with an output of at least 30 psi and for at least 10 minutes continuously.
Target areas that bed bugs infest such as mattresses, furniture upholstery, and other places in your house which tend to harbor these insects or their eggs. You may also use steam for killing bed bugs outdoors. Find them on patio chairs and other places outdoors with exposure to the elements.
The main challenge when using steam for this purpose is keeping it hot enough (above 125 degrees Fahrenheit) over time without letting moisture build up on surfaces. For steam to turn effective, it needs dryness. You must steam in the open air where nothing is obstructing it from dissipating. It has water in its reservoir tank.
What Steam Cleaner is Best for Bed Bugs?
Steam cleaners are available in mops and hand-held steamers. Steam mops use pads to produce it whereas the other types require you to add water directly into their reservoir tanks. The steam cleaner type you choose will depend on your preference. But remember that steam mops do not clean well on carpets because they lack attachments for brushes or scrubbing bristles.
These cleaners do not kill bed bugs on their own unless used with other methods such as steaming mattresses while encased in protective covers which lock steam inside during treatment – have someone stand guard to turn it off when needed. Also, invest in a good pair of goggles and face mask since steam emits very hot vapors while it is in operation.
The Advantages of Removing Bed Bugs With Steam
Steam is very convenient. It works in areas steam cleaners are available, such as bathrooms and kitchens. You can use steam for cleaning here or carpets to eliminate:
- dust mites
- bed bugs
- pet odors
in one fell swoop. It also gets rid of mold effectively without the use of harmful chemicals in your home.
For steam to kill bed bugs, you need a lot of power! Steamers use electric power or have manually-pressurized tanks that contain water vapor. Release it at high temperatures onto surfaces where you apply them. The steam is hot enough to kill these insects, but it can evaporate when the room is too humid. Otherwise, steam only makes the bed bug problem worse by trapping moisture in their environment and making it conducive for them to thrive.
The Disadvantages of Removing Bed Bugs With Steam
You require steam cleaners with high-pressure power for steam to work. It can take considerable time to steam clean your home when you are treating it for bed bugs. Areas with lots of cracks, crevices, and fabric will need continuous steam cleaning to become free from bed bugs or their eggs. Otherwise, the steam may not reach the innermost parts well.
Steam has heat but it is not hot enough to kill bed bugs on its own. It does not emit heat at high temperatures continuously over a long period. That is without letting moisture build up inside enclosed spaces where bed bugs hide. You also have to steam for hours continuously – which also requires holding your bladder.
Tips for Killing Bed Bugs with Steam
Steam is steam, right? Yes, it is steam, but the heat content varies. Before you steam your house for bed bugs, try out steam cleaners first on fabrics that cannot withstand high temperatures. This way, you can know which temperature will do okay or when other factors make the fabric burn.
Always use furniture attachments when steam cleaning furniture upholstery. These areas often harbor bed bugs and their eggs in their cracks and crevices. Steam only reaches the surface of this type of material. Using attachments helps direct steam penetration deep inside chairs, couches, and so on where bed bugs reside during their development stages.
Place steam cleaners close to bed bugs directly. Use manual controls because steamers have automatic shut-off mechanisms. These kick in when the machine runs out of water or comes into contact with an obstruction. You can take off steamers’ plastic containers. But do not let them run dry since it will damage their heating element.
When steaming for bed bugs, apply steam continuously on areas where these insects are so they cannot escape over time. Cover their hiding places with thick layers of steam using a handheld steamer. Attach furniture attachments before steam cleaning wooden chairs, sofas, and tables to ensure steam penetrates well inside their surfaces to find these pests’ nesting locations.
How Does Heat Treatment Differ From Steam?
Heat comes from steam as steam rises and mixes with the surrounding air. But steam does not have the same amount of heat every time you use it – which makes it a poor choice for killing bed bugs. It is like steam versus dry heat – not the same thing.
Heat treatment for bed bugs comes from high-temperature steamers that get rid of these insects on their own. It kills all stages of these pests, including eggs and fabrics where you steam over them continuously to treat an infestation at its roots.
You can steam away bed bugs without letting moisture build up in your home or steam down areas consistently with heat treatments. The latter requires special equipment, but it has more advantages than steam cleaners alone can offer to kill bed bugs fast!
Do You Need Bed Bug Removal Services?
Even when steam can kill a few of these pests, it is useless by itself against a sea of other insects imposing a threat to your health. Since steam cleaners do not emit heat at high temperatures continuously over a long period, you have to steam for hours continuously.
Steam does not reach the innermost parts well. It has heat but is not as hot as high-temperature heat emits. Thus, it takes considerable time and effort to steam clean your entire home when you are treating it for bed bugs.
The best way to get rid of these annoying bed bugs is by hiring an experienced professional like Thermal BedBug Heat in New York. They know what chemicals will work for your home and they can apply them safely. That is together with steam treatment.