American Pest answers some frequently asked questions relating to pests and treatments.

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Thermal Remediation (Heat Treatments) FAQs

1 - How do Heat Treatments work?

The process begins with the American Pest Heat Treatment Team placing specialized mobile heating units in the unit along with high power fans, all of which connect to a portable generator that will remain outside of the unit. As the mobile heating units raise the temperature of the room to the Kill Zone, (120-135 degrees Fahrenheit) the service professionals will begin rotating items (clothes, couch cushions, etc.) throughout the unit to ensure the heat is able to spread evenly. Meanwhile, bed bugs become visibly active as they detect the increase in the unit’s temperature. But alas, the temperatures rise above what all stages of bed bugs (eggs, larvae and adults) are able to withstand, thus bringing another successful Thermal Remediation treatment to close.

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2 - What are the differences between a heat treatment and a conventional liquid treatment for bed bugs?

Conventional liquid treatments for bed bugs have not been found to eliminate bed bugs at all stages of life in a single treatment, especially eggs. To ensure complete elimination, multiple treatments may have to be scheduled over several weeks to target the individual insects that hatch from their eggs after the initial treatment. These treatments would also require the property owner to prepare for each treatment, which could involve frequent laundering of clothing and bedding items and moving furniture. Heat treatments only require one treatment because the heat is able to permeate through the treatment area to kill all stages of bed bug life, including eggs. There may be some preparations the property owner may need to make before a Heat Treatment, which your Customer Service Representative will discuss with you, but the Heat Treatment Team will make most of the preparations. The owner should only have to put items in the property unit in their respective places, as the technicians may have to move items around during the heating process to allow the heat to distribute evenly.

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3 - Why do you recommend Thermal Remediation?

Three words, “One and done.” Simply enough, only one heat treatment is required to eradicate a bed bug infestation. Other treatment options require multiple visits for several weeks or months from your technician and may require added efforts from the property owner to move furniture and other items for each treatment and keeping clothing tightly packed in sealed trash bags after frequent laundering. “One and done” sounds pretty good after hearing that, doesn’t it?

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4 - Does Thermal Remediation require a lot of preparation?

It actually doesn’t. While a conventional pesticide treatment will require the property owner to move furniture away from the walls and pack clothing into sealed garbage bags, our Heat Treatment technicians can actually do most of the preparation work for the treatment. The only preparation asked of the customer is to collect household items that would be a hazard during a heat treatment (spray deodorants, candles, etc.) Your customer service representative will explain this process to you in full detail.

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5 - What should I expect after a Thermal Remediation Treatment?

We apologize in advance but-your home is going to fairly disorganized after a Heat Treatment. Throughout the heating process, our technicians need to move certain items and pieces of furniture (Rotating sofa cushions, clothing, etc.) throughout the unit to ensure heat spreads evenly throughout the unit.

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6 - If the bed bugs are killed within minutes with Thermal Remediation, why do the treatments take several hours?

There are two keys to a successful Heat Treatment. The bed bugs need to be exposed to the “Kill Zone” temperatures and their exposure needs to be sustained over several minutes to ensure complete elimination. Holding the heat treatment at your property over several hours allows the technicians to ensure that the heat is distributed to every nook and cranny in the treatment area, to target all of the possible hiding areas for bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults throughout the treatment area.

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7 - Why does Thermal Remediation cost more than other bed bug treatment options?

Heat Treatments are a fairly new strategy for eradicating bed bugs, but it has been found to be the most effective at eliminating bed bug populations in a single treatment. In addition, Thermal Remediation is a team effort, as several technicians are required to move and operate the heaters, prepare the unit for treatment, and rotating clothing and furniture throughout the treatment.

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8 - Can I have a Thermal Remediation treatment for pests besides bed bugs?

We do not offer Thermal Remediation as a treatment option for pests besides bed bugs. While it can be said that most pests exposed to the “Kill Zone” (120-135 degrees Fahrenheit) would probably be eliminated, Thermal Remediation is considered a treatment option uniquely effective for bed bugs because it uses their attraction to heat against them. 

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9 - How hot does it get during a Heat Treatment?

It can get pretty toasty! To ensure the complete elimination of bed bugs in one treatment, our American Pest Thermal Remediation team will use our portable heaters to raise the temperature of your home or property to 120-135 degrees Fahrenheit, which will ensure the elimination of bed bugs in minutes.

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10 - What is Thermal Remediation?

Thermal Remediation is the newest innovation in the war against bed bugs. Also known as “Heat Treatments,” Thermal Remediation superheats the air in your home or business unit between 120 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. This range of temperatures has been deemed the “Kill Zone” for bed bugs by industry professionals because sustained exposure will kill them within minutes.

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11 - Why is Thermal Remediation the control method of choice for eliminating bed bugs?

Thermal Remediation has been found to be the most effective bed bug treatment available because it uses their biology and behavior against them. When bed bugs are looking for a blood meal, they search for a human host by detecting body heat and carbon dioxide emitted from breath. During a heat treatment, the bed bugs sense the rising temperatures and actually leave their hiding places to move towards the source of the heat (portable heaters). As the temperatures rise into the “Kill Zone,” (120-135 degrees Fahrenheit) the bed bugs are left susceptible to the rising heat as it is distributed evenly throughout the treatment area with high-powered fans.

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