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Do these four ways to kill bed bugs really work?

by Tommy Underhill
June 30, 2021

Been out surfing the web a bit today, I found a page on Apartment Ratings titled 4 Ways to Kill Bed Bugs. The four suggestions will probably not get rid of the infestation, and will only serve to increase your frustrations when you and your family continue to get bitten.

I don’t think there is any question for the need to do all that you can to kill bed bugs the minute you suspect them. A bed bug infestation is a health hazard which can affect your peace of mind when you try to sleep and make you uncomfortable in your own house or apartment.

The article suggests apartment residents to try these methods that have been “proven” to kill bed bugs. Spoiler alert: none of these methods will eliminate a bed bug infestation quickly, completely, or efficiently. Some of these won’t even kill bed bugs!

1 – Mattress Cover

Protect your body and kill bed bugs at the same time with a mattress cover. You’ll want one that encloses the entire mattress and you can zip shut. It won’t be a quick fix, but the bed bugs will die eventually. In the mean time, they won’t be able to bite you. A vinyl cover mattress costs less and requires less maintenance than a fabric one, and you can find them in online and brick and mortar stores that sell bed linens.

Shoving your mattress into a bag will do nothing to eliminate a bed bug infestation or kill a single bed bug. Any adult bed bugs you trap inside the mattress cover can survive for more than a year without feeding.

This “proven solution” makes an assumption that bed bugs only live in the bed and overlooks every other place these insects live. Once you stick a mattress in a cover, the bed bugs around your room or even throughout your home will make their way to your bed to find you.

GreenTech Heat has a better solution.

2 – Vacuum the Bedrooms

You won’t be able to kill many adult bed bugs by vacuuming, but at least you can get rid of the eggs. Use the hose attachment to thoroughly clean in between bedroom furniture, and the tiny spaces that are between your bed and the wall. Be sure to vacuum all areas underneath the bed as well. A carpet sweeper is not effective for this job. Borrow one from a friend if you need to.

As David Rios, Assistant Director of Technical Services, would say, “Where do I start on this one?”

Bed bugs make harborages in seams, between pieces of wood in furniture, behind pictures and headboards, even in power plug receptacles. Attempting to vacuum the eggs will be an exercise in futility. By this author’s own admission, you won’t kill many adults, and the adults are the insects who mate and lay the eggs. Why not treat the entire area for all life stages?

Here’s another problem with vacuuming... any eggs captured by the vacuum can hatch and may expand the area of the infestation— especially if you borrowed the vacuum from a friend!

GreenTech Heat has a better solution.

3 – Diatomaceous Earth

Don’t introduce toxic chemicals in the bedroom by using bug sprays that would cause more harm to your health than the bugs. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural pest control that is non-toxic. It’s a special powdered dirt that you distribute on the floor around the bed. When the bed bugs crawl on it, the texture of the dirt cuts their bodies. You don’t want to sleep on dirt, so you wouldn’t sprinkle it on top of the mattress, but definitely underneath the mattress and underneath your bed. Vacuum the powder up often, and add more Diatomaceous Earth until you get rid of the problem.

GreenTech’s Technical Director, Tom Costello, tells me diatomaceous earth has the most efficacy proven by laboratory studies. “Diatomaceous earth is a slow-acting desiccant that can eventually kill any bed bug that walks through it enough times.”

The key words here are “slow-acting” and “walks through”. Any bed bug that doesn’t come into contact with the diatomaceous earth powder has zero chance of being killed by the powder... especially if you follow the article’s advice and keep the diatomaceous earth away from the bed bugs living in your bed!

GreenTech Heat has a better solution.

4 – Steam Clean Your Carpets

Cleaning your carpets with a carpet shampooer is not the best way to kill bed bugs, because it doesn’t clean beneath the surface. Steam cleaning your carpets is effective for deep carpet cleaning, which is where the bugs like to stay in between traveling to and from your bed. It’s probably not a wise investment to buy a steam cleaner just to get rid of bugs. Consider renting one, or hire a professional to do your entire apartment. It’s good to steam clean your carpets once a year anyway, and a bug infestation may be the motivation you need to get it done.

Any suggestion that begins with “is not the best way to kill bed bugs” is probably not the best method to kill bed bugs.

GreenTech Heat has a better solution.

The GreenTech Heat Solution

The GreenTech Heat methodology and equipment has been proven through thirty years of university laboratory studies and millions of real-world bed bug heat treatments. When properly conducted, a heat treatment is 100% lethal to all stages of insect life, 100% of the time. Temperature measurements provides an empirical ensurance that every bed bug in the treatment area was exposed to the proper time at a lethal temperature. No other bed bug treatment methodology can provide this level of surety.

No games or gimmicks. No spray, hope, and pray you got all the bed bugs. GreenTech Heat has a better solution.

GreenTech Heat technology is 100% effective for bed bugs, cockroaches, and all other insects. Heat kills microbes, viruses, and bacteria that can cause allergies and odors. GreenTech Heat equipment allows you to self-treat with heat on your schedule and as your needs demand. Our certified training lets you do it right and do it safely the first time. Heat safely kills insects and microbes everywhere they may be found in a single one-day treatment. Call us at 888-699-3944. We have bed bug heaters for sale to get started with heat 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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