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More than bed bugs: Heat kills pathogens

by Tommy Underhill
February 26, 2020

News sources around the world have acutely focused on the spread of Covid-19— the coronavirus. Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former commissioner of the New York City Health Department, told CNN that the virus has created more questions than experts have answers. What the experts agree upon is that the virus will continue to spread.

GreenTech Heat Solutions does not have the solution to eradicate the virus worldwide. What we do have is a proven methodology that quickly and efficiently kills pathogens and other organisms: heat.

Heat will kill organisms floating in the air, residing deep in furniture, and sterilize surfaces in one concise treatment. No wiping down surfaces. No spraying chemicals or disinfectants.

And, heat will also kill bed bugs and all other insects and their eggs.

As we developed our technology and sought clinical proof of its efficacy, GreenTech Heat compiled a listing of studies from academic laboratory sources and trusted epidemiological institutions— including the World Health Organization and Health Canada— for many microbials including protoza, bacteria, fungi, and viri. Their findings prove that heat kills organism floating in the air, residing deep in furniture, and sterilize surfaces in one concise treatment. We have published the Compendium of Thermal Death Points in our Bed Bug Heat Treatment Field Guide since 2016.

A single treatment with temperatures only slightly higher and durations slightly longer than an aggressive bed bug treatment will eliminate organisms throughout the treatment area. The following table lists some of the laboratory findings. A complete listing can be found in Bed Bug Heat Treatment Field Guide.

Pathogen Thermal Death Point Duration Source
Coronavirus (not specifically SARS-CoV-2) 55°C/131°F 2 minutes Gerba, 1997; Laude, 1981
SARS-CoV-1 56°C/133°F not specified Henwood, 2020
SARS-CoV-1 56°C/133°F
90 minutes
60 minutes
30 minutes
Duan, et.al., 2003
SARS-CoV-1 56°C/133°F
25 minutes
1 minute
Leclercq, et.al., 2014
SARS-CoV-1 60°C/140°F 30 minutes Rabenau, et.al., 2005
Darnell & Taylor, 2006
Ebola 60°C/140°F 60 minutes Health Canada, 2007
Rotavirus 50°C/122°F 30 minutes Gerba, 1997; Estes, et.al. 1979
Staphylococcus aureus 63°C/145°F 20 minutes Dumalisile, et.al., 2005
Streptococci 60°C/140°F 30 minutes Hampil, 1932, Ayers & Johnson, 1918
Escherichia coli 63°C/145°F 25 minutes Dumalisile, et.al., 2005
Norwalk viruses >60°C/140°F >30 minutes TIP, 2000; Foster & Thompson, 1957
Most viruses 70°C/158°F 20-25 minutes Jones & Martin, 2003 Day & Shaw, 2000; Stern, 1974

Heat is a proven disinfectant. Medical professionals trust autoclaves and heat to sterilize surgical instruments. When conducting a microbial treatment with GreenTech Heat equipment, heat and hold the treatment zone between 60°C/140°F and 66°C/150°F and maintain temperatures until the hardest-to-heat locations maintains that temperature for 1 hour as indicated with a temperature probe.

Who can benefit from an antimicrobial heat treatment?

  • Retail establishments
  • Government facilities
  • Hospitals and emergency rooms
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Medical offices
  • Ambulances
  • Aircraft
  • Busses
  • Rental car fleets

GreenTech Heat technology allows you to self-treat with heat for insects and microbes on your schedule and as your needs demand. Our certified training lets you do it right and do it safely the first time. Regardless of whether you self-treat with heat, or contract a heat professional, heat safely kills all insect pests and microbes in a single one-day treatment. Call us at 888-699-3944 to get started with heat today.


The image at the top of this post is from the Public Health Image Library from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This illustration is based on electron microscopic (EM) imagery and provides a three-dimensional (3D), graphical representation of a number of norovirus virions, set against a black background. Illustrator: Alissa Eckert, MS

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