NC)—It's no secret that bed bug infestations are on the rise. What may come as a surprise to many Canadians is that high temperature steam can kill bed bugs at all stages of growth. There are many treatment options available, however many are complex, sometimes expensive and often use harsh chemicals. Using a steam cleaner to do the job is something that etymologists specializing in bed bugs recognize. Pest Management professionals may also use steam as part of their repertoire particularly those that prefer to use a more health friendly approach. Today's stainless steel steam cleaners offer a solution for bed bugs as well as a myriad of everyday household cleaning tasks.
It's easy to invest in a good quality steam cleaner that produces steam at a minimum of 49 C (120°F). There are varying opinions about what the temperature of the steam should be for maximum effectiveness with 49 C being the most commonly recommended minimum.
There are many types of steam cleaners on the market. Look for a stainless steel canister-type model like those from Reliable Corporation (www.reliablecorporation.com). This company produces several models to choose from. All reach more than the minimum temperature for bed bug removal.
Once you have your steam cleaner these are the basics of removal:
1. Remove clutter from the house giving bed bugs fewer places to hide.
2. Wash and dry clothing and all bedding at the highest temperature and store in plastic bags.
3. Use the attachment for your steam cleaner that has a clip to attach a cloth pad or cover (a good machine will come with such attachments and a few cloths/pads)
4. Begin to steam clean all the surfaces of the room from top to bottom (include curtains, chairs, and finish with the bed and the floor.
5. The bed is critical in the process. Be sure to slowly go over every square inch. From the bottom of the posts/frame, to the underside of the box spring. Leave no surface of the bed untouched. The accessories that come with a good steam cleaner should include a high pressure nozzle. This will assist with getting into the crevices of the bed frame and binding as well as places like base boards. The steam cleaners from Reliable Corporation (www.reliablecorporation.com) come with numerous attachments suited for every conceivable task.
6. Let everything air dry thoroughly to avoid mould before putting bedding and clothing back in their appropriate places. Wrapping the box spring in heavy plastic sheeting and purchasing a bed bug specific mattress cover can be useful.
7. Continue to check regularly for signs of bed bugs.