Fan heaters now a weapon in the war on bed bugs

Since their eradication at the start of the 1900s, bed bugs have started to become a problem in our homes again. The use of a cleaning company specialising in pests and vermin is recommended to eradicate them.

Alongside pesticides, high temperatures generated by fan heaters have become an efficient and humane method of eradicating the bugs. 

As we have travelled more, bed bugs have found their way back into our houses and apartments. From having been virtually extinct as a pest in Sweden, cases of decontamination have risen exponentially. In 2006 Anticimex reported 1084 cases and last year (2012) it had increased to 17,294 cases of bed bugs. Competitors indicate similar increases. 

Resistant to pesticides
The bed bug lives entirely on the blood of humans or animals and is approximately the size of a linseed. They usually rest in nooks and crannies during the day and come out at night to feed. Bed bugs can remain dormant and go without feeding for up to a year, which means that even buildings that are not used frequently can be infected with bed bugs.

Eradicating bed bugs can be problematic. Try to contact a decontamination company as quickly as possible, before the bed bugs have been able to establish themselves. Usually the pest is combated using pesticide. However, it seems that certain strains of bed bug are now resistant to several types of pesticide, which means that they require more frequent and more powerful treatments. In serious outbreaks textiles and furniture may need to be destroyed.

Die at high temperatures
Bed bugs live in a temperature range from 7°C up to 45°C, but if the temperature exceeds that they die. This means that heat has become an efficient and humane method of eradicating the pest. Both the bugs and their eggs are killed by the high temperature and the heat is also healthier in a domestic environment than a toxic pesticide.

Today there are companies that are using heat for decontamination as an alternative to pesticide in certain situations and in the USA there are even companies that have specialised in this method. The method is based on using special fan heaters, intended for high temperatures, to heat the whole room to over 50°C. The temperature of the walls and areas where the bugs like to nest are measured to ensure the effect. In the unlikely event that an area is missed, it is easy to repeat the treatment because the heat does not damage either furniture or electronic equipment.