One of the most important tips for killing bedbugs is to use heat. A temperature of 113degF, or 45degC, will kill most adult bedbugs. However, some bedbugs can survive higher temperatures. A good heat treatment should last for four to five hours to kill bedbugs. This will allow the heat to permeate the entire structure, including crevices under the baseboards and air vents.
While bedbugs prefer warm temperatures, they are also vulnerable to cold temperatures. In order for bedbugs to die, they must be exposed to temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit for four days. In Ohio, winter temperatures can drop to sub-zero levels, but these temperatures fluctuate all day long. The bedbugs will then enter a hibernation state to conserve energy.
Heat treatment can also be done using a dryer. Hot water will kill bedbugs when placed in a hot dryer, while high heat will kill them when placed inside a heat chamber. Heat treatments are more effective than other methods of pest control, however they can be costly, since homeowners must buy or rent a heater, as well as hire a professional to run it. Even if you hire a professional, you can expect to spend at least $1000 to eradicate bedbugs with heat treatment.
The temperature thresholds that are effective for killing bed bugs have not been fully studied. Some scientists have shown that bed bugs are susceptible to temperature changes and may even resist the heat. For example, at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, most adults will die. However, when exposed to heat for more than one hour, mortality rates for adult bed bugs decreased to less than 50%.