My heat treatment is done! It went great!(16 posts)
Well my heat treatment is done. The house is still standing. I survived too! Boy that heat takes your breath away when you first walk in when it's done. Metals are hot to touch too.
The only thing (so far) that has quit working is 1 light fixture. I had a blind droop in the bedroom, but no big deal. Some paint that had started to peel on the ceiling in the basement began to peel a lot more. Older caulking around the tub had to be patched because it cracked from the heat (again minor). Other than that I haven't noticed anything else, yet.
All electronics work so far (PCs/TVs/etc). MP3 players/DVDs/games/flash drives survived. Microwave survived. Vinyl wallpaper and contact paper survived. Photos survived. All furniture survived. Only one lotion bottle leaked (the other lotions still had their pumps locked down). Any creams in bottles or tubes were turned to liquid until they cooled down (so if you have something with special ingredients that might be degraded by boiling then you might want to remove it). There was one bottle of oil that I forgot to put the cap back on and it boiled out. My VHS tapes (old home videos) couldn't be heated so they are double bagged and stored in the garage for the next 18 months.
Let me say, if you have a lot of stuff stored, consider getting rid of some of it. Because the heat just won't be able to get into it very good. I threw out a lot of clothes and still my drawers were too full. If you have small rooms, by the time you pile all of your furniture and everything from the walls into the middle of the floor, there just isn't much room left for anything else. And then they still need to move in heaters and fans. I had too many clothes in the drawers so they had to dump every drawer out into the middle of the rooms also. The closets were almost empty by the time I got done pitching stuff but they still had to dump out stuff and empty the closets almost completely. They want those dressers and closets getting lots of heat since that's where they like to hide. So if you don't have big rooms to spread all this stuff out then you will have to get rid of some stuff.
After cleaning up I got a good look at an empty closet and dresser and did find a couple small signs of bed bugs. I didn't think they were in these areas yet, but I guess they were! Now I wait and we will see if this got rid of those darn nasty bugs!! I will keep you updated.
That's so interesting....I had no idea everything got that hot. I'm used to the heat from a Packtite but it doesn't get nearly that hot. Good luck.....I really hope they got all of them - it certainly sounds like it
Can you detail a few things for me?
1. What part of the country are you in?
2. how you found a company to do this
3. a general cost
4. what sort of prep you had to do?
From this post it seems you had to move everything away from walls, remove anything from drawers/boxes, etc. Did you have to remove things from cabinets? What about plants? I assume something like a fish aquarium would need to be removed? Thanks in advance, I'm still in the investigation stage to figure out if bedbugs are the problem, but I can't find a whole lot of information on heat treatments so far and first hand accounts are so valuable!
Hi othersomethings, If you are still in the 'looking/wondering' stage have you considered hiring a bed bug dog to come in and see if you really do have them or not?
I just googled heat treatment for bed bugs in my state. A couple of out of state companies listed that I was in their service area so I called one. When you start looking just be sure to check the state and areas that they service to see if you are included. It depends on the company you go with and the size of your house, it can run from $2,000 to $4,000. If this gets rid of these dang bugs then taking out a loan for 2,500 was well worth it.
They came at 8:00 am and got done around 4:00 pm. I don't have central air so the house was still super hot at 10:00 pm so we spent the night elsewhere to let everything cool down. I didn't want to start up any electronics either until they had time to cool down.
As long as your plants aren't especially heat sensitive they can stay. All pets must be out, including fish. The heat would boil them. The aquarium itself could probably stay, without the fish. If it's not a huge aquarium you could leave the fish in it and move it out to your garage if you have one. Anything like that you just ask them about.
There's very few things that cannot be left in the house. They want you to only take yourselves and pets out the door. Whatever we were unsure about we left by the door for them to check or decide. If you take anything out of the house and plan on bringing it back in then you risk bringing back in a bug or egg. I even left my purse and left our shoes in the house (we bought new shoes to wear for that day).
The basic preparing really isn't hard and doesn't take long (only a couple days). It was more difficult for me because I had A LOT of stuff. TONS of clothes and blankets. But I chose to part with most of it in order to un-clutter and give that hot air a chance to hit every single thing. (I also just didn't have enough room to empty out closets and drawers and put all that out in the middle of the room. It just made it easier on them to get around to do their job too.) Everyone advertises that you don't have to throw things out if you heat treat. And you don't have to. That's a personal choice. But in all honesty if you have way too much stuff that just leaves too many areas at risk for cool spots. I wanted these bugs gone and was willing to de-clutter every space to extremes in order to do it!! (I was also thinking ahead, now if these bugs come back they won't have ANY clutter to hide in either!)
I don't know what other companies would have you do. The one I chose had us pull all furniture away from the walls. I don't think that was so much for the heat treatment as it was for them to be able to go around the edges of the room and pull up carpet to treat under the carpet edges with spray or powder. And to be able to get to all of the outlets to put powder in them too. I don't know if all companies do this. I think they also put a few heat sensors under the carpet to monitor it while they heated the place up.
They gave us the option to cover the TV and monitor screens with light weight towels and blankets to help protect the screens from scratches that might occur. Once the house reaches the temperature that they want then they hold that temperature for about 4 hours. During that 4 hours they come in repeatedly and resituate everything (clothes, flip couches, etc), move it around, jumble it up, to make sure everything in the house gets heated evenly. So if you have breakables that normally sit out you will want to gather them up and notify them about it. We didn't have to unplug anything but we did anyway just to be safe. Only the refrigerator was left plugged in.
You don't have to take everything out of the dressers, but they cannot be packed. They dumped my dressers out but I think that was because they were still at least half full because I didn't have enough hampers to put them in. (They'd rather you put clothes in open hampers, no plastic or boxes, because they get more air that way.) The bugs like dressers and do get into your clothes so they want those empty enough to get the air in there really good. And they want those clothes getting good and hot. Same with closets, good bug hiding places. They don't have to be empty but it sure does a better job if they are not packed with stuff. So if the closet is too stuffed they will have to yank a bunch out. Clothes can be hanging in the closets as long as they are not packed together tight.
I did need to empty out some drawers and stuff in the TV room because I had lots of books in them. Books can make nice places for bugs to hide so the books need to be out in the open to get air. They didn't worry about cupboards and drawers in the kitchen since the bugs usually don't live in that area (unless you are over run with them). So they didn't empty them, just opened them up. They brought in several clothes hampers that they put our clothes into that they dumped out of the drawers. Then when they were done they dump them on the floor, which is fine. Yeah it's a mess when you get home and it'll take longer to pick up than it did to prepare, but if it gets the bugs out I don't care.
You have to have all aerosols out and anything else that might cause a problem with heat. Like cigarette lighters, etc. I left some paintings by the door to not be heated also. We put all that stuff in a box by the door and they took those outside and looked them over for bugs and eggs. (VHS tapes couldn't be heated either). Medication, chap stick, lip stick, candle wax not in jars, anything else heat sensitive went into the fridge. I also put my sugar in the fridge since I wasn't sure how that would hold up being heated for 4 hrs. And all CDs, DVDs, photos, went into the bathtub because that room got heated last.
Everything had to be taken off the walls. All loose papers had to be secured in a box. Once they get the heaters all heated up they start the really big fans. Those fans will blow things all over if they aren't secured down and off the walls. You don't want your things flying around being broken and they don't want things blowing into the heaters and starting a fire.
In all it was quite an experience. I wasn't sure what could and couldn't be heated or what the heck was going to happen. I was half expecting my old house to fall in from the heat and everything in it to evaporate. But now that I know what to expect and how this all works, I worried for nothing. This company did a good job and didn't overheat my house to the point of damaging things. As long as this gets rid of the bugs I wouldn't have done it any other way. This is the only way to kill them in everything you own all at once. My only worry is that my house is very old, has lots of cracks and places to hide deep into the house. I just hope the heat was able to get deep enough in to kill off every last egg. But only time will tell.
Hi future bbmom!
I am curious. I have file cabinets with documents and bills etc in them. Lots of books etc. What did they mean by loose papers secured? Surely you didnt have to spread out your personal papers everywhere so someone could go through them? i also have my churches financial docs and computer in my home office. I know i would have to empty my closets out but the paper thing threw me
LOL no you don't have to spread your papers out. They mean like mail you opened and just threw down, or your grocery list sitting on the counter, papers that will blow when they turn on the fans.
I had a file cabinet and 2 safe deposit boxes. They just opened up the drawers in the file cabinets so air could get in. You of course would want to make sure papers in there wouldn't take off flying if they open it. But if you need the file cabinets locked or whatever you could do that. I wanted every inch heated, even my files, so those babies were more than welcome to come open.
I left the keys in the safe deposit boxes so they could open them if they needed to. But when we came back they were still sitting the way I left them so I guess they didn't need to.
Some things they won't touch. Those safe deposit boxes were probably one of them. The other is your underware, bras, that kind of personal stuff.
Whew ok! the possible prep for any treatment thermal or otherwise scares me more than the bugs!
Just wondering if you are still bug free. Also, do you live in a condo or single family home. We just got the heat treatment done, tonight is our first night here.
jellyjay - 7 hours ago »
Just wondering if you are still bug free. Also, do you live in a condo or single family home. We just got the heat treatment done, tonight is our first night here.
Regrettably, futureBBmom had to start a later thread...
...reporting that the heat treatment didn't work. Suggestion would be that if you're interested in her case, post over there on that thread rather than on this now-superseded thread.
Hi Jay, No I wasn't bug free, my heat treatment failed. I live in a single family home. A little over a week after wards the bites started again and I caught a couple of live nymphs in my climbups. So eggs were missed somewhere, we suspect one of the ceilings that had a dome built into it may have been the cause. We had to have a second treatment. The results of that are yet to be seen. A friend of mine also just had a failed heat treatment. They failed to tape up 8 large windows in a small sun room and also for some dumb reason decided to heat that room last. She saw a live adult wedged in the bottom lip of one of those drafty windows only a few hours after treatment. So she suspects that caused hers to fail. Newly hatched nymphs showed up in the couch 2 weeks later.
Just because ours failed doesn't mean yours did. As long as they didn't miss something you will be fine. But I do suggest you watch carefully and put climbups under the bed and couch ASAP. You want to catch a live bug to prove it if it did fail. Otherwise that's a lot of money down the drain! It's not that easy to catch them alive if there's only a few newly hatched ones. So just be very observant for the next couple of weeks.
I am crossing my fingers the second one is the charm!
thanks futureBBmom, i found your new post too.
We had our heat treatment done August 10th, they were here from 9am to 8pm, we got home around 10pm, house was still 95 degrees. Undressed in garage, showered, changed into clothes, which were dryed and sealed, and to bed. Next morning we heated both cars to 130 degrees for 2 hours each. Today is August 17th, i have a total of 10 or so new bites. My husband is itchy, he never shows bumps, just gets itchy and 2 daughters, one with ezcema so it's hard to see bites and other seems ok. Are the bites from before the treatment, or did i get them after, i do not know. We have only been to the beach, no one's house, no movies, or visitors here, no mall, no clothes shopping, only groceries.
We called the company they will come and put chemicals in the bedrooms and monitors. We have not found any live bugs since the treatment. We live in a single family home, basement is unfinished, they heated only first and second levels. We only use the basement to grab something from freezer, don't spend much time there. They chemically treated the basement and garage. We previously had a different company come out and just do the chemical treatment, first night back we got bit and 2 weeks after, then we decided to do the heat.
Ever since the chemical treatment we've had encasements on all mattresses and frames, no head boards or foot boards, and trays under the bed legs. All furniture is pulled away from the walls and we are living out of XXL ziploc bags, washing and drying everything on hot. We only took things out of the ziplocs for the heat treatment and what was out has stayed out.
Friday they will spray the bedrooms and we'll see. I need just one good nights sleep, just one. The kids are so bored, no toys and so much TV, i hate it, its been hot or rainy out too, occassional nice day, i live in NJ.
I hope things are going good for you??
jellyjay - any update on how it's going? I'm on the fence about doing a heat treatment, but I want to make sure it will work. Any advice?
Goingcrazywithbb, wouldn't it be nice if the folks out there who are experiencing this problem and trying various treatments, were to come back if they succeed at something and share their success stories? I guess we have to assume that because they haven't come back, they have managed somehow to get rid of the problem.
I promise that once I get rid of this problem totally I will come back and tell everyone about it!
I agree with you that success stories give you hope. I would love to post my success story but my paranoia is preventing me from feeling 100% sure. We had a heat treatment done in April followed by two chemical treatments in our bedroom because I was experiencing bites and we had several blood smears on our pillows and sheet. Since then we have had three K9 clears and our BB Passive is clear. We have not seen any bugs, casings, or fecal matter (although I've use the Bed Bug Blue kit on several suspicious spots and had the experts on this site identify a bug which was a cockroach nymph). We ran the BB Beacon this past week, while out of town, and came home to an empty well.
Are we bb free? Was our treatment successful? Probably, but I want to wait a little longer to make that statement. Of course school starts in a week and a half so I'll constanly be on edge.
I would recommend a heat treatment in a heartbeat if you're on the fence.
I don't think I'll ever stop visiting this website because it is my therapy and everyone on here has been so helpful. Hope this helps.
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