magnifying glass detecting bed bug in hotel room

The two most popular methods employed by pest management professionals to treat bedbugs are heat and chemicals. Used appropriately, both can be effective. But, an article on the Know Bed Bugs website explains why heat is the best solution for hotel operators trying to keep bed bugs at bay.

First, it's important to identify, for certain, that bed bugs are the problem. Believe it or not, most people struggle with identifying these pests. Here is a guide on what to look for.

Once bed bugs have been identified, eradication is essential. When fighting these bugs, remember that chemical treatments are poisonous and can find their way into the ground, air and water, posing a serious environmental and health threat. Hotel owners do not want their guests exposed to these poisons. Heat treatment, on the other hand is non-toxic.

Many chemical treatments also can take up to three applications to be effective. This would require hotels to keep rooms vacant until final treatments are complete. Plus, the chemicals might not work.

Recent research has shown that some bed bugs can survive more than 1,000 times the amount of pesticide considered lethal 10 years ago. However, they can't survive temperatures above 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and most heat treatments reach at least 130 degrees, according to the article.

Reports also indicate that chemical treatments may not reach every tiny bed bug hiding place, which is why so many applications are necessary. In fact, these pests have been known to migrate into small areas such as electrical sockets, baseboards and small holes in the walls, floor or ceiling, just to escape chemical treatments. They can remain in hiding, without a blood meal, for up to a year.

On the other hand, heat treatments will not only penetrate small spaces, they will attract bed bugs. Pests attracted to heat can actually emerge from their hiding places to seek it out, making them easier to kill.

Finally, furniture sometimes will have to be tossed after chemical treatments. Every item in a hotel room can effectively be treated with heat, removing the possibility of ruined items and costly replacements. Of course, any hotel mattresses (or anything else) stained with bed bug excrement should be replaced.

For additional tips on how to eradicate bed bugs, click here.
Click here for a list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities.