Remediation is a word often used in repairing damage to a home or apartment. Water remediation is cleaning up and repairing after a flood.
Heat remediation is a new technique in the battle against the scourge known as bedbugs.
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite,” is an old childhood saying. I didn’t find out until I became an adult they were real. Like mosquitoes, they feed off blood. Worse yet, they live in your bed with you.
These disgusting bugs have become a health problem in all 50 states. In luggage or clothing, they travel everywhere, and once established in the corner seams of your mattress, carpets and pillows you are on the menu.
Look at the corner seams of your mattress. If it looks like an accumulation of black dirt, you have bedbugs. That’s bedbug waste- your digested blood.
Chemical treatments, performed by exterminators, are not only costly, but also toxic. Worse yet, more than one treatment is often required.
A new treatment so far, seems to guarantee success. Heat remediation, or the process of super-heating the entire inside of the home, is seeing success across the nation.
All plants, pets and people are removed from the home, as well as anything that will melt or become damaged by the high heat.
Special heaters and fans are brought into the home and the entire house is heated to 134 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for eight full hours. Adult bugs, larvae and their eggs are killed by dehydration. The house and everything in it is allowed to cool naturally.
This process isn’t cheap. Costs range from $2,000 to $6,000 for a single treatment. However, a single treatment is all that is needed for bed bugs.
Chemical treatments cost between $1,000 and $5,000, but it can take several days to kill the adults, during which time eggs are being laid. New eggs hatch in 21 days, meaning another treatment is needed. The price tag may seem a better idea up front, but in the end, far more expensive. Clothing, upholstery and bedding may need special cleaning for safe use after chemical exposure. That adds to the cost.
If no infestation currently exists, prevention is the key. When traveling, purchase a mattress cover that encases the entire mattress and zips closed. Obtain the same for pillows, and leave them behind. The bedbugs cannot get to you through the cover. Search online for mattress encasements at reasonable prices. Considering the cost of bed bug treatment, I don’t think leaving behind mattress and pillow encasement set is losing money.
Take machine washable clothing and machine washable purses and hats. When you arrive at home, don’t just dump everything into the laundry- instead, leave everything outside for a minute.
Place everything washable into plastic bags and head straight for the dryer. Pop the items (without the plastic bag, of course) in and run the dryer at the hottest temperature the fabrics can stand for an hour.
Inspect the luggage and vacuum to remove any possible bugs. I have an affinity for washable soft luggage, so into the dryer it goes, too. Make sure the clothes you wore home are changed and placed into dryer as well. I change in the bathtub so if any critter falls off, down the drain it goes.
After the dryer treatment, wash everything as usual.
Although I have never brought home one of these nasty creatures, I’d rather be a little paranoid and keep them out.
Source: Andrea Kenning, “A ‘Magic Bullet’ to Eliminate Bedbugs,” ABC News Website, Go GMA Video, 31 August 2010