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Steam spot treatments vs Whole room/structure bed bug heat treatments

by Tommy Underhill
August 17, 2018

My wife is one smart woman and I’m lucky to have her in my life. She has two master’s degrees and a successful psychology practice. Last night we had a friendly exploration of what I do all day... “What makes the GreenTech Heat process so much better than these other guys?”, and she pulled up a random bed bug treatment web page for some company in the midwest. Their standard bed bug treatment plan has quite the laundry-list of standard services they offer to exterminate bed bugs in what they describe as an Initial Intensive Treatment. “Why should I buy your equipment and still have to do it myself when I can just call them?” My comments are presented in bold italic. I have not edited their service list in any way.

  • Vacuum all signs of bed bugs from the infested area. This will remove live bed bugs, and their debris including cast skins, feces, and many eggs. Our vacuums have HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters that filter the exhaust air to an efficiency of more than 99% of particles. What about all the bed bugs that harbor deep inside furniture or places the vacuum cannot effectively reach? What is the treatment significance of a HEPA filter when ‘cast skins, feces, and many eggs’ are all large enough to be captured by a cheap shop vac? Beside introducing irrelevant information, all it takes is a couple of eggs that escape the vacuum to reinfest the premises... and what about any bed bugs or eggs that might be harboring outside of the identified infested area?
  • High Heat Steam treatment of the seams, creases, tufts, and folds of the mattress and box spring, headboard, footboard, bed rails and all furniture within close proximity to the bed. We use professional machines that produce a superheated “dry” steam. (This term means that it tends to output less moisture than cheaper units). These folks just don’t understand thermodynamics. It really doesn’t matter how hot their high heat dry steam gets, they cannot apply it long enough to penetrate the cracks and crevices in furniture where bed bugs harbor while their meals are away for the day. One very important point to consider... how does one define ‘within close proximity to the bed’? A nightstand next to the bed? Definitely. The dresser packed with clothes on the other side of the room? Hopefully. An upholstered couch in the front room or dining-room chair pads? I would absolutely include these places... We design, manufacture, and sell heat equipment to heat treat the entire residence because we routinely find bed bugs hiding throughout a residence.
  • Cryonite® Freeze treatment of the seams, creases, tufts, and folds of the mattress and box spring, headboard, footboard, bed rails and all furniture within close proximity to the bed. Cryonite Freeze is used on all Eco Treatments and as an add-on with our Standard Plan. These exterminators present this list as the contents of their Standard Plan, yet they’re already including additional services to make their process more attractive.
  • Encase mattress and box spring in cases that will both protect your valuable bedding and keep any newly hatched bed bugs locked inside where they will die. Box spring encasements are included with the treatment. Tom Costello, Technical Director at GreenTech Heat, presented a solid discourse on why mattress encasement does not work. The predominant discussion points presented here— that the encasement will protect your valuable bedding and bed bugs will die before they can eat you— are blatantly misleading. Not only can bed bugs can survive many months without a blood meal, but all it takes is a small opening for newly-hatched instars to migrate through to get to you. If any bed bugs survived their spot treatment anywhere in the room, they will make their way to you. Even with mattress encasement, your valuable bedding will get new fecal spots.
  • Apply dust application in cracks and crevices in the baseboards throughout your home. They admit bed bugs are found in more places than just beds!
  • Pull carpeting from tack strip in area behind bed and treat if any signs of bed bug activity is found there. We will treat this area with steam and dust as necessary. What about looking under the carpeting on the other side of the room or in the closet? Might bed bugs hide over there as well?
  • Remove outlet covers and wall switches around bed area and treat inside with dust. We actively teach this tactic, and combine it with whole-room and whole-house heat treatment to kill all the bed bugs and their eggs in a single treatment.
  • Treat headboard, footboard and bed rails, and all furniture within close proximity to the bed. They’ve already stated this a couple of times. Need I ask more on this point?
  • Install Bed Bug Traps/Monitors monitoring devices under bed legs. These devices act as early detection monitors but also prevent bed bugs from getting on the bed. Nice call... but bed bugs will also climb up bedding that drapes from the mattress to the floor as the bed occupants toss and turn in their sleep.
  • Perimeter treatment of all rooms in apartment or house. If bed bugs might be found throughout the home, why not actively treat the entire home?
  • Heat Chamber is offered as an add-on service. It is a compact portable heat chamber that will kill all bed bug stages from furniture or items that are difficult to treat. We’ve discussed how heat chambers are ineffective at treating bed bugs. Why not admit that bed bugs are expert at hiding, and kill them everywhere with a whole-room or whole-structure treatment? Looks like they want to get more money for something the GreenTech Heat process includes as standard in every treatment.
  • Follow-up treatment within 10-14 days after initial treatment. They get your money up front, and they’re already admitting they won’t eradicate the infestation and will miss eggs. Prepare to get bit again.
  • Follow-up treatment if needed two weeks after 2nd visit. What happens when you need a third visit because of the flaws in their treatment plan? They clearly do not understand bed bug physiology— or psychology!

Their page on common bed bug treatment methods clearly states “Some belongings may need to be discarded” as a con for each of their service offerings. The GreenTech Heat process is 100% effective against all life stages of bed bug, and typically requires no belongings to be discarded.

Let’s compare costs

I’m going to consider the most restrictive scenario we face: the single family residence homeowner. Each of these points I present definitely apply to apartment owners, professional property managers, hotels, senior living facilities, university dorms, and summer camps, and virtually every other industry we’ve ever spoken with. Owners of single family residences may not see how owning an ePro electric heat treatment system can be economical— and quite possibly the least expensive treatment option out there.

  • Our lowest-cost electric bed bug heater package is the ePro 400 Special Package. It includes an ePro 400 electric heater, an AM4000 fan, six lighted-end power cords, a hand-held laser temp sensor, and our flash video training. All electric bed bug heater packages include shipping to the Contiguous USA in the package price. This package will successfully kill every bed bug and egg in up to 400 square feet in a single, 8-hour treatment. All our heaters and fans come with an industry-leading 2-year repair or replace warranty.
  • Place your order, and while waiting for the equipment to arrive, prepare for the treatment.
  • Our Flash training will get you up and heating, killing your bed bugs the same day your new equipment arrives.
  • Compare the costs of having your home professionally treated against the cost of owning a GreenTech Heat system: a 2,000 square foot house can cost 75¢ a square foot for several months of chemical treatments. The on-going treatment comes to about $1500.
  • You don’t need to babysit a bed bug heat treatment with an ePro heater. Set up the room and start it heating, then go about your business for the day. Our ePro electric heaters have an integrated thermostat which automatically prevents the temperatures from reaching dangerous levels. The homeowner’s preparation and setup time requirements are not much different when comparing a professional treatment and a do-it-yourself treatment.
  • Now, add in the cost of any belongings that need to be discarded because of difficulty in treating the infestation. Replacing a couch can cost $400 or more. A cheap dresser is easily $200. A low-price laptop or desktop computer can cost $300-$500, and many people own machines costing up to thousands of dollars. Carpeting can cost $2.00 or more per square foot.
  • If you need a repeat treatment, you are at the schedule of a busy professional and may be waiting days or a week for them to get back out to you.
  • An electric ePro heater and fan can be stored in a space not much larger than a filing cabinet.

Assuming you only need to replace one couch and a dresser, a homeowner is facing a costs approaching $2,100. Keep in mind a chemical treatment will not kill all the bed bugs on the first exterminator visit and they will continue to bite and pester for several months to come.

Heat is different. Bed bug heat treatment technology is the only methodology that can effectively kill 100% of hatched insects and 100% of eggs, 100% of the time, every time. In just one treatment. As you consider your options, be open to the idea of doing the treatment yourself with your own equipment. You may actually end up saving time and money. Call us at 855-484-2847 to get started today.

We do not provide heat treatment services.

GreenTech Heat designs, manufactures, and sells portable electric and propane heaters, fans, and treatment accessories specifically designed for the efficient killing of all insect pests, especially bed bugs and their eggs. In some cases, owning our equipment has a lower total cost and greater timeliness than utilizing an outside service.
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