Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tools/ideas for fighting bed bugs

I heated my whole house to 130 degrees

(27 posts)
  1. death_to_all_bedbugs

    newbite
    Joined: Sep '10
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 16:39:44
    #



    Login to Send PM

    We had a small infestation but was getting worse, I was starting to get a lot of bites. First we thought fleas (even dematologist thought this) but then we found a BB. Then we started looking carefully w/ a flashlight along baseboards, inside nightstands, boxspring seam etc. and found more.

    People w/ apartments can't do this but I have a single family home and we heated the house up like a sauna as follows:

    1) Waited for a hot (95 degree) summer day
    2) Bypassed our thermostat and cranked the heat. We have a gas furnace. I opened the thermostat and I joined the red, white and green wires going into the thermostat. Red gives power to green (blower) and white (furnace). Do not try this without looking up your specific thermostat. The wires are different for many (very different if you have a heat pump). Also this probably voids your warranty on your HVAC equipment.
    3) Lit our gas fireplace and closed the flue. Our gas FP is ventless (i.e., 100% clean burning, no carbon monoxide).
    4) Put our electric clothes dryer on a 90-minute high-heat cycle, disconnected the exhaust hose, and turned around the dryer to blow into the room. We have upstairs laundry BTW.
    5) Cranked up the electric baseboard heaters in our 4-season sunroom.
    6) Moved the kitchen oven/range into the middle of the room and put it on the cleaning cycle.
    7) Put two thermostat-less electric radiators on either side of our bed near the nighstands and dressers. Put on high heat. Had to use a high-amp extension cord for #2 to run on a different circuit. Also put a space heater in our master bath on high.
    Turn on all lights in house. Every lightbulb adds a bit more heat. Also left a few fans running in various places for convection effect.
    9) We removed all computers, pictures, candles, aerosol cans, and meltable food (chocolate, etc.) from the house. Took a chance leaving up our 42" flat panel tv. It survived. We missed a few items that liquefied (solid deodorant, gummy vitamins, etc.)
    10) Separated all mattresses from box springs to get maxium heat exposure to both. Also tried to de-pile all clothes etc.
    10) Left oven thermometers on each level for temp verification.
    11) Let everything run all day. Came back once or twice to check on things, reset the oven cleaning cycle and dryer. Wow, everything was hot to the touch, doorknobs, cabinet knobs. etc.

    The house got up to 130 upstairs, 125 on ground level and 120 in the basement. Stayed out of the house.

    It took a LONG time for our house to cool down. We bought a lot of $12 fans from walmart/target and put one in each window. House was back down to 72 degrees sometime the next morning.

    Haven't seen a living bedbug since. Nevertheless, I have some food grade DE on order and will treat the house to prevent any survivors from breeding.

  2. spideyjg

    oldtimer
    Joined: Jul '08
    Posts: 3,236

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 16:53:54
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Fer crissakes nobody try this madness!

    Why the F are you people risking the destruction of your homes? If you burn it down trying DIY thermal I'm pretty sure your fire insurance doesn't cover that.

    Jim

  3. soscared

    senior member
    Joined: Sep '09
    Posts: 427

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 17:53:15
    #



    Login to Send PM

    When did you do this? How long without bugs or bites? It seems quite risky as you could drive the bugs into the wall cavities as they seek cooler temperature. Not to mention the fire/damage hazards.

  4. DeedleBeetle

    oldtimer
    Joined: May '10
    Posts: 1,227

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 18:00:04
    #



    Login to Send PM

    makes for an entertaining visual

  5. nancytd

    junior member
    Joined: Aug '10
    Posts: 113

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 18:04:14
    #



    Login to Send PM

    When they do it professionally (based upon the stories I've read) they make errors. It's all dependent upon the skill of the technician. From what I've read the technician ruining belongings or not killing all bugs through heat happens. I'm glad it worked out for you and you saved a lot of money. That was courageous too. I think I'd be too scared to try it.

  6. Jenn28

    senior member
    Joined: Mar '10
    Posts: 431

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 18:05:01
    #



    Login to Send PM

    LMAO!!! I'm sorry, but Jim's reaction is too funny!

  7. soscared

    senior member
    Joined: Sep '09
    Posts: 427

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 18:30:44
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Of course professionals make mistakes too, but when they do that, you can get them to come out again and you can complain. It's just risky even from a bed bug standpoint, bc you can drive bed bugs into wall voids, making it even harder to treat. Yes, pros can do that too, but it's up to you to find a pro who has expertise and experience, versus you, the consumer, who does not. But to each his own, he endangered his own house, not mine.

  8. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 16,397

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 20:42:07
    #



    Login to Send PM

    When did you do this, death_to_all_bbs?

    Note to others: heat is not a do-it-yourself treatment option. Please do not try this. It is a fire hazard, and may cause bed bugs to spread within the structure, which appears to be what happened to someone else who reported on their experience today.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. DougSummersMS

    oldtimer
    Joined: May '07
    Posts: 1,966

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 3:17:54
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Death to All Bed Bugs
    I'll give you some points for creativity... And I hope that your efforts were successful.

    I like your user name too.... Gives me a mental picture of a huge rally of people screaming... "DEATH TO ALL BED BUGS" and burning large paper bed bugs in effigy.

    On a serious note: The approach that you are advocating could easily create a fire in a residence.

    This is a true life safety issue... Not just your family and neighbors, but firefighters and other emergency workers are potentially at risk of serious harm.

    If a desperate person in a multi-unit structure tried it... multiple fatalities... or major water damage from a fire sprinkler system... are potential outcomes

    There are so many safety issues... I don't know where to start... The main issue is electrical overload leading to a fire... Happens every day...A major fire cause in buildings.... I suspect that you likely overloaded your main panel... If you total up the amperage used and compare it with the rated load capacity of the system and individual circuits.

    Send a copy of your comments to your insurance agent and I expect that Jim's hypothesis about your fire insurance coverage would be confirmed.

    Using a licensed and insured professional with commercial grade equipment would eliminate the potentially catastrophic outcome of burning down your house... or provide coverage for your loss if a fire occurred.

    The lack of real-time monitoring, maintaining a proper fire watch or using equipment to provide early detection of a fire... Is a huge problem

    How do you know if the temps in the box springs,in a couch or books reached the minimum temps?

    The placement of the fan units is critical for a safe and effective treatment.

    I am curious about the radiator heaters without thermostats that were utilized... Did you remove the thermostats yourself?

    Radiator heaters with faulty thermostats create a large number of fires and triggered a large product recall a few years back... These type of heaters should not be used in the manner that is described.

    I would urge people to leave the baking of an entire structure to professionals that are properly trained, equipped and insured to perform treatment.

    Even use of a clothes dryer for thermal treatment should be closely monitored... Heat may be green, but it isn't always benign.

  10. buggyinsocal

    oldtimer
    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 4:27:40
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Others have already hit most of the most important points, but as someone who had professional heat done on my apartment, I want to add this:

    After heat treatment, I wouldn't declare a space or an item free of damage until 6 to 9 months post treatment.

    I accidentally left three electronic items plugged in at the start of treatment: two TiVos and one microwave.

    Two items were dead upon my return. The other DVR worked for about six months before it died.

    Heat can have long term effects in terms of shortening the life span. I don't own a home. I'm not especially mechanically inclined.

    But I would be very worried about the effect over time of this treatment on other electronic items that appear to be working fine right now and/or on things like wiring in the home. The professionals have experience a working the art and science parts of using heat, and their companies have the bonds and insurance to back up any accidental damage.

    Even setting aside the obvious safety concerns, I won't trust any heat treatment as safe until a year or so past treatment. If all the electronics and wiring are still working well then, then the conclusion can be drawn that the treatment didn't damage those items. Until then, there's still the possibility of another shoe dropping.

    And, again, safety wise? This method is profoundly dangerous.

  11. death_to_all_bedbugs

    newbite
    Joined: Sep '10
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 15 2010 17:50:47
    #



    Login to Send PM

    2 weeks later still no bedbugs. The whole thing was a calculated risk but it seemed to pay off.

  12. toledo

    member
    Joined: Sep '10
    Posts: 299

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 15 2010 18:14:34
    #



    Login to Send PM

    What an incredible story! I don't know whether I should congratulate you or suggest that you seek professional help, and I don't mean PCO help. I guess it's over and your house survived, so CONGRATULATIONS! I feel that many of us, myself included, are teetering on the edge of insanity due to this issue.

  13. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 16,397

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 15 2010 22:01:23
    #



    Login to Send PM

    death_to_all_bedbugs - 4 hours ago  » 
    2 weeks later still no bedbugs. The whole thing was a calculated risk but it seemed to pay off.

    I'm really glad you do not have signs of bed bugs right now, but it's too soon to say none survived. Please get back to us in another 6 weeks or so if you react to bites. Longer if you don't.

    I hope you'll report then that you still have no bed bugs, but I still think others should not follow your lead.

  14. MccD

    newbite
    Joined: Apr '12
    Posts: 1

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Apr 7 2012 8:23:49
    #



    Login to Send PM

    4/7/2012. I can visualize many problems using self-heat, and I may very well not try it for that reason. However, I will point this out: I spent many years as a marine engineer in very hot ships' engine rooms. and 120 to 130 degrees is not extraordinary, nor does it necessarily cause electronics or other equipment to fail. Those temperatures are also fairly standard air temperatures in the day-time in the Middle East and other world locations. In fact, professional heat treatment for bedbugs does get the temperature up to 120-130 degrees F for about 6 hours, so in any case, do-it-yourself OR professional, one still has to go through the house beforehand to figure out what needs to be removed from the house so as not to melt or fail. The biggest problem, as other REPLIES have pointed out, is finding SAFE heat sources that will bring the affected rooms, if not the whole house, up to the necessary temperatures.

  15. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 16,397

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Apr 7 2012 19:28:58
    #



    Login to Send PM

    MccD,

    When it comes to heat treatment, safety is just the beginning. Getting your home to 120-130 for 6 hours as you suggest won't necessarily work.

    Do some reading on this-- convection and conduction heat have been found to be far from equal when it comes to treating for bed bugs.

  16. mike1972

    newbite
    Joined: May '12
    Posts: 1

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat May 5 2012 22:52:25
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I registered on this site just to comment about all the none common sense idiots here telling this guy what to do with his own house.140f is not going to start a fire.I applaud the mans ingenuity while the masses(sheep) raised in the US dumbed education system sit back and criticize a free thinker that solved a problem.It simply discussed me when people who couldn't feed themselves or survive without the system keeping food in the stores electricity at the pole,sit back and spout off none sense on a computer that wouldn't even exist without the ingenuity of people like the author of this post.Anyone with a LITTLE bit of common sense could easily build a space heater with a digital heat controller and heat there house or one room at a time for a fraction of the cost of an exterminator,but instead they chose to criticize someone because they possess the ability to solve a problem without help.to all you nay sayer idiots who criticize

  17. zelchbug

    newbite
    Joined: May '12
    Posts: 29

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat May 5 2012 23:53:22
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I believe I read this story, or one exactly like this, on a website a couple days ago when I probably visited hundreds of different sites, attempting to ascertain the best way to get rid of these bastards without draining my bank account. I must admit, the idea is tempting but red flags came up and I immediately dismissed it for the aforementioned reasons. If I do have an infestation, I believe it do be (hopefully) confined to a small area, my room. I thought about getting a few space heaters but again, too much risk. Heating up your entire whole well tempting, could cause a disaster far worse than having bed bugs. As someone else mentioned, I wouldn't expect any insurance company to be helping you if your house burned to the ground. That being said, I'm glad it worked and your house is still standing!!

  18. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 16,397

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 6 2012 3:55:08
    #



    Login to Send PM

    mike1972,

    It's not just about safety.

    As noted above, others have made their bed bug problems worse via DIY heat treatment. Here's an update from one of them.

    Also, if you keep referring to most people here as idiots,
    you will be banned. Please be civil.

  19. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,041

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 6 2012 11:52:39
    #



    Login to Send PM

    If the OP did not get the voids in his wall up to 130, then he didn't actually hear up his whole house. This left a lot of safe places for bugs to take refuge in…that is, if he had bed bugs in his house to begin with or if any element of the story is true. The original post, and the recent revival of the thread, smells like troll to me.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  20. Mehdy Salimi

    newbite
    Joined: Jun '12
    Posts: 1

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jun 19 2012 3:18:41
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Ask yourself guys, what do the professionals do? They heat up the place up to around 130, 140 F(60C) for a period of about 8 hours. The bugs can not live in that temp range so it kills them.
    I am not a professional exterminator and I don't need to be one to know that one should take care of the basic precautions to eliminate any source of fire and protect your valuables.....just some common sense stuff such as the following comes to my mind:
    - Remove any flammables such as gasoline, high content alcohol(like 100 proof rum, beer and wine is ok)
    - Propane tanks, spray cans
    -Anything that is under pressure and might explode(although it takes much higher temps than 130f to explode a can of febreez or raid)
    -Remove your possible sensitive electronics such as TV, computer, cell phones. They may be ok to stay but why take a chance knowing that probably most parts are made in you know where.
    -Wax based stuff such as candles
    -Art work so they don't curl up, discolor or do funny stuff

    That's all I can think what a so called professional applicator (probably with less than high school education) would do.

    Additional things you should do (but not limited to) if you want to proceed as DIY:
    -If you are using your hydro power to do this make sure and do the calculation that you can hook up all the heating devices such as dryers, baseboard heaters, fan heaters ovens etc without blowing your main fuse/breaker on the house. Pretty much all houses are deigned to handle normal hydro load. House wiring are not designed to handles electric heaters plugged into every jack in the house. You would just blow the main breaker/fuse or in rare occasions simply burn wires if system is faulty.
    -Make sure all source of "flame" fire is turned off. Apart from some volatile elements such as gasoline rubbing alcohol etc, generally speaking everyday material such as wood, paper fabric and alike need temperatures around 450f to start smoking(vaporizing). When material smoke or vaporize all they need is a spark to get them going in to full flame. Once in flame temp can rise much much higher than 450f.
    -So make sure the are no spark sources around although at 130f most general materials are still about 220 degree f cooler and away from being even being vaporized.
    -I would empty and turn off and empty your fridge and freezer so that your fridge is not fighting the extreme heat This has not much to do with safety, it just makes load lighter for your electrical panel and breaker
    -remember to turn your Central ac off(dah...)
    -If you have older gas furnace with no external air supply vent , make sure you have adequate air supply to the furnace so it burn with ample oxygen supply.

    I think I have pretty much covered basic general common sense rules for the most part.
    Remember that professional exterminators with their hefty bills were not imported from some other super intelligent godlike planets. All these pros were born on this planet and most of them probably have less education that you I do.

    cheers

  21. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 16,397

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jun 19 2012 9:43:53
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Mehdy Salimi - 6 hours ago  » 

    Remember that professional exterminators with their hefty bills were not imported from some other super intelligent godlike planets. All these pros were born on this planet and most of them probably have less education that you I do.
    cheers

    And yet, please reread what I wrote above:

    Nobugsonme - 1 month ago  » 
    mike1972,
    It's not just about safety.
    As noted above, others have made their bed bug problems worse via DIY heat treatment. Here's an update from one of them.

    Treating bed bugs with heat is an art and a science and experience and knowledge of how to do this both safety and effectively isn't just a matter of hitting a certain temperature without burning your house down or melting your stuff.

    You have to know how to do it without causing bed bugs to simply flee to new areas of the structure. You have to also know how to do it without providing cool spots for them to shelter in.

    If you're planning to try this -- AND I SERIOUSLY RECOMMEND YOU DON'T -- you also might want to read up on the varying effectiveness of conduction vs. convection heat. But please do not assume that effective bed bug heat treatment is an easy DIY project or that heating to a certain temp by any available means will be equally effective.

  22. Winston O. Buggy

    oldtimer
    Joined: May '07
    Posts: 1,021

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jun 19 2012 10:40:58
    #



    Login to Send PM

    KIDS DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
    Not to mention possible insurance consequences, but when professional professionals perform heat treatments they have experience, heat sensors, thermal cameras and guns to be sure of distribution as well as fans to create convection heat. They also rotate and position items based on their experience. Heat can be used by homeowners with dryers, irons, blow dryers and packtites for specific items. And while someone may get lucky, luck is luck and not expertize.

  23. Fireman1937

    newbite
    Joined: May '12
    Posts: 8

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jun 19 2012 11:15:06
    #



    Login to Send PM

    It's people like this that keep me employed!

    I'm very suspicious along with being absolutely stunned that someone would do this!

    1. Kitchen stoves are fairly insulated to keep kids from getting burned, even during the clean cycle. Not to mention most have a safety switch to make sure the door is closed and locked before it will begin.

    2. I don't think they make "thermostatless" electric radiators anymore. Unless they were really old or liquid fueled I'm calling bull.

    3. Only a ten degree difference between the upstairs temp and the basement temp? I'm pretty sure that I learned in first grade science that hot air rises. How did the basement get to only 120 degrees, yet the stove on clean and dryer are upstairs? Only a very powerful fan, and probably more than one would be needed to move that much hot air. Ceiling fans won't do the trick.

    An example from experience: During a training fire we are able to get a room up to 1000 degrees F, AT THE CEILING LEVEL! Thanks to thermal layering, the three feet or so that we are in will only reach around 250 degrees F if that. Most of the time we have to interupt that layer by spraying water into it so the heat will bank down.

    Mainly I want to say, DO NOT TRY THIS! Not only will your insurance not cover your house burning down, but it's considered Arson which is a felony! If a firefighter gets injured or dies as a result of this they will tack on additional charges including attempted murder and manslaughter! Yes whole house heating is expensive, but it is much better then destroying not only your life, and possibly the lives of anyone that has to go into the burning mess you create!

  24. jacobus67gt

    newbite
    Joined: Jul '12
    Posts: 1

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 18:35:10
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Since Im seeing alot of copy and pasting, Ill do the same.

    Man you guys are a bunch of drama queens... I've been on Hundreds of job sites where there was a propane heater in every room, job trailer, whatever and there where no fires, and no one died from carbon monoxide. Ive even used propane heaters to heat the house when the ice damages the power lines. Lets hear from only people with actual experience please.

  25. bed-bugscouk

    oldtimer
    Joined: Apr '07
    Posts: 10,881

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 18:43:10
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Maybe someone should cut and paste the links to the TV and newspaper articles on home / building fires caused by home thermal attempts.

    David

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.
  26. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,041

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 22:53:57
    #



    Login to Send PM

    When working with heat, you have (at least) two considerations; safety and efficacy.

    Using properly constructed heaters in accordance with manufacturer instructions and building/occupational safety codes should adequately address the safety issue.

    Efficacy is trickier. You need to thoroughly heat the structure to the point where all bed bugs and eggs die, no stragglers, no burrowing into the structure or deeper into furnishings or stuff. No exceptions. You also need to calibrate the temperature to minimize damage to structure and furnishings.

    The OP claimed to use makeshift equipment, not in conformance with their intended use. As others have noted, it's likely that the story he related was false, designed to elicit attention and response.

    Incidentally, the experienced participants on this forum invest hours of their time crafting individual responses based on the situation. They do not "cut and paste".

  27. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 16,397

    offline

    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 23:49:48
    #



    Login to Send PM

    jacobus67gt - 5 hours ago  » 
    Since Im seeing alot of copy and pasting, Ill do the same.

    Posting the same message or more-or-less the same message repeatedly on different threads, as you did, is a form of spam. It's not permitted here and if you think you see someone else getting away with it, please click the "report this post" link next to the post in question.

    Your duplicate messages have been deleted.

    Other than that, I would agree with Cilecto's assessment above.


RSS feed for this topic


Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.

191,297 posts in 29,427 topics over 90 months by 12,696 of 19,958 members. Latest: huntelaar1999, gonzoateafly, Steve Tidebeck