How Does Bed Bug Heat Treatment Work?

Bed bug on a mattress. How does bed bug heat treatment work?

Did you know that four Michigan cities (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Flint) ranked among the worst for bed bugs in 2019? It’s safe to say that Michiganders are looking for any type of relief from the potential burden of bed bugs. Traditional bed bug techniques are great, but they don’t work for every situation. That’s where bed bug heat treatments come in. 

Bed bug heat treatment is the most effective modern means of treating bed bug infestations of all sizes. It’s fast-acting, all-encompassing, and (most importantly) permanent. This is how bed bug heat treatments work, why they work, and why they’re the best way to solve bed bug infestations today.

What is bed bug heat treatment?

Bed bug heat treatments utilize special equipment to safely heat each target area to a temperature bed bugs can’t withstand. These treatments are commonly done room by room. Bed bugs and their eggs can’t withstand temperatures above 122 degrees Fahrenheit. An average heat treatment raises air temperatures in a room to levels between 135 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The pest management professional conducting the treatment will monitor room temps with help from remote thermostats. This type of treatment can take between six and ten hours depending on a number of factors. These factors include the severity of the infestation, the number of rooms treated, and the layout of the area.

How does bed bug heat treatment work?

There are a few main ways bed bug heat treatments are conducted. The most common way is for a pest management professional to bring in large electric heaters into your home. The heaters turn on and run until they reach 135 and 145 fahrenheit. Experts may also blow hot air into rooms via ductwork or apply localized steam heat. 

We use devices to create a sustained high heat environment that bed bugs can’t live in. This method is especially helpful compared to others because it leaves bed bugs with no place to hide. A bed bug heat treatment treats entire rooms, not just portions of it.

Why does bed bug heat treatment work?

The presence of the heat dries out the bodies of the bugs. Sapped of the moisture they need, they quickly expire. Sustaining the heat over the entire area means bed bugs can’t escape it when they attempt to hide. 

We’ll set up the heaters and use remote monitors to make sure we reach the bed-bug killing temperature in every area. After achieving the temperature, we’ll sustain it for at least another hour to guarantee effectiveness. 

Why is it more effective than other methods?

Bed bug heat treatments are more effective than other stand alone methods because there is room for error. Insecticides can’t cover every inch of a home. K-9 units are trained and effective, but they’re still living creatures, so there’s always room for error. Your best option is to use as many varied treatment options as possible to guarantee your success.

 

One of the most important things to know about bed bug infestations is that they spread fast. Once they’re established in your home and lay eggs, those eggs start hatching within days. Not long after that they’re reproducing again, turning small infestations big in a matter of weeks. 

If you even remotely suspect a bed bug issue in your home or business, contact the team at Griffin Pest Solutions immediately. Our heat treatments can wipe out infestations quickly, completely, and permanently.

How Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home [Video]

Bed Bug close-up

Bed bugs re-emerged as a serious pest problem in Michigan and the rest of the US relatively recently. After they suddenly reappeared, the bloodsuckers started spreading like they were making up for lost time! Today, bed bugs are considered one of the worst pest problems facing Michigan’s cities.

One reason why bed bugs were able to spread so quickly is that people don’t understand how they spread. No matter how far they spread, however, it’s not too late for you to keep them away! That’s why we put together this video on how the annoying pests spread, and how you can stop them:

Obviously, there’s a reason why these bugs spread so successfully. They’re very good at sneaking into traveler’s bags and making themselves at home. Whether you brought them inside or a visitor did, it’s all-too-easy to end up with a bed bug infestation, despite your best efforts.

If you’re worried you have an infestation, don’t hesitate to call Griffin Pest Solutions right away. Our experts have the tools, experience, and knowhow to wipe out your pests quickly and effectively. If you’re having troubling sleeping tight, just get in touch right away. We’ll make sure the bed bugs don’t bite.

The 4 Worst Pest Infestations You Can Have

Wasps nest

All pest infestations are bad. If you have pests, you should get rid of them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Period. Just because all pest infestations are bad, however, does not mean all pest infestations are equally bad. There are some pests that are inconvenient, while there are others that are… far, far worse. Maybe not “pack your bags and move away” worse, but… close…

These are four of those kinds of infestation. We’re not talking most damaging or most immediately destructive, though there’s some overlap. We’re simply talking about the pests you least want in your home. These are the pests that will keep you up at night–sometimes literally! Give Griffin a call right away if you think you have…

Termites

termites inflict billions of dollars of damage in structural damage in the US every yearThere’s one, very clear reason why you never want termites: they’re the most destructive wood pest in the US. Termite colonies eat and bore through wood, creating cavities that compromise wood’s structural integrity. Every year, termites cause billions of dollars of structural damage. Sometimes, termites can inflict wood damage so significant that it can seriously compromise a home’s safety. Unfortunately, termite infestations are common all over Michigan’s lower peninsula, even in cities.

Termites infest homes by working their way into wood from the outside in. They’ll start by accessing moist, damaged, or low-lying wood. As the colony expands, they’ll chew their way deeper into a home’s structure, damaging it as they go. Termites often access wood by building “mud tubes” between wood and the ground. Look for these mud tubes to find where termites may have accessed your home. Deprive termites easy access to wood as much as possible. Termite-proofing your home will always pay off in the long run!

Wasps

Wasps are dangerous and frustrating when they build wasp nests near people's homesNo common neighborhood pest inspires terror quite like the wasp. It’s not difficult to understand why. Virtually everyone has a wasp sting horror story. The insects are notoriously territorial, aggressive, and unafraid to sting. Wasps are at their most frustrating and dangerous when they build nests near homes. When a wasp nest is right outside your door, it’s all-too-easy to seem threatening to its defenders. Wasps are especially prone to attack people during and after breeding season.

Wasps choose where they build their nests for several reasons. First, they look for places where their nest will be safe from threats. They often build into existing shelters or cover, such as eaves, gutters, house corners, or chimneys. Wasps build nests out of wood fiber, which they collect from damaged wood. If there’s easily accessible weathered wood near your home, wasps could use it to build their nests. Finally, wasps like living near other insects, so they always have a good source of food.

Pantry pests

pantry moths lay eggs that hatch into larvae inside pantry food like pasta and cerealThere are several kinds of pest that love to infest pantries. The worst thing about these pests is that, contrary to popular belief, they’re not just eating your food. They’re often also laying eggs in it. Yeah, that’s no good. Moths, beetles, and weevils all lay eggs directly inside stored food products. These offspring are often the pests doing most of the actual eating. In fact, most adult pantry moths can’t eat at all!

Pantry pests are attracted to easily accessible food, especially when it’s stored in dark, quiet places. They infest a wide variety of dry products, including bread, cereals, pasta, flour, nuts, dry fruits, and more. Basically, if you keep it in your pantry, they want it. Some pantry pests make their way into your home from outside, but more often, you’ll accidentally bring them in yourself! Pantry pests hide in or latch onto other food containers. When you place those containers in your pantry, you inadvertently give pests access to all your other food.

Bed bugs

few pests are as upsetting as bed bugsSure, bed bugs aren’t as damaging or dangerous as any of the other pests on this list. But what if you had to choose one of these four infestations? We’re betting you’d choose any of the aforementioned pests before you subjected yourself to bed bugs. We don’t blame you! Bed bugs are probably the most upsetting common pest infestation in the US. And they are common, too–even here in Michigan.

Like with pantry pests, most bed bug infestations begin when a homeowner inadvertently brings them inside themselves. Bed bugs infiltrate homes by sneaking in on packages and bags. They hide out in dark, inaccessible areas and wait until night to move. Once they’ve found a more permanent hiding place near a food source (that’s you!), they start reproducing. There are all kinds of ways to keep bed bugs out, but they all come down to diligence. Keep a close eye on what you’re bringing indoors, especially if you’ve been traveling.

 

Probably the worst thing about pest infestations is what they can do to you. No one wants to feel like they’re uncomfortable or unhappy in their own home. Pest infestations never go away on their own and they never stop being annoying. If you’ve got a pest problem, it’s always worth it to seek help fast.

Luckily, you’ve got help right here. Griffin Pest Solutions is always ready to help you reclaim your home. No matter the severity of your infestation, we have everything it takes to wipe it out completely. Don’t let pests take your home from you; call today!

Bed Bugs in Michigan This Summer

Bed Bug close-up

This January, we updated you on the situation concerning bed bugs in Michigan. We predicted back then that the problem wouldn’t go away anytime soon, and unfortunately, we were right. In fact, it’s only become worse. This summer has been a banner season for bed bugs all over the US. We’ve answered the calls to prove it.

If you’re worried about bed bugs this summer, we can’t say we blame you. The best way to assuage those worries is to make your home bed bug-proof as best you can. The best way to do that is to understand how bed bugs work and how to counteract them. Here’s everything you need to know about this summer’s bed bug infestation, so you can do just that.

The Situation

It’s not just us–half the pest control companies in the US report that summer is their busiest bed bug season. The National Pest Management Association declared June 3rd to June 9th “National Bed Bug Awareness Week,” largely to get the word out. For our part, we’ve continued to take calls about bed bug infestations all over Michigan throughout summer. These calls from all kinds of places and people. Bed bug infestations can happen to anyone.

Why Summer?

Bed bugs often hide in luggage and other commonly-transported articlesThe big question: why are bed bugs more active in summer than other times of year, any way? There are two main reasons:

1. Heat

Bed bugs love heat. The hotter their environment, the more active they are, and the longer they remain active. That’s actually part of why bed bugs hunker down in mattress and sheets. When they move around more, they spread more. They can access more hiding places, including hiding places they might not otherwise find. The more diverse their hiding places, the greater the chance someone will accidentally transport them into a new home.

Heat also dehydrates bed bugs (just like it does to everything else). When bed bugs get thirsty, they’re more motivated to get moisture. Unfortunately, for them, moisture often means you. As if all that isn’t bad enough, heat also helps the bugs molt and grow faster. When they grow faster, they feed, reproduce, and spread faster, too. Heat weather accelerates bed bugs’ entire life cycle, which means they spread out more and infest more homes.

2. Travel

Overall, summer is easily the busiest travel time of year. Even the holiday seasons don’t come close, because they don’t last for months. You’re probably already tired of learning this, but bed bugs are consummate travelers. In fact, hitchhiking along with unsuspecting travelers is their primary means of spreading. They tag along inside your bag, luggage, sheets, or whatever else you’re transporting. Then, when you get unpacked, you’ve helped them move in without even noticing!

Unfortunately, we’re not exclusively referring to out-of-town travel, either. It doesn’t matter if your bed bugs came from a hotel 300 miles away or your neighbor’s house 5 miles away. Obviously, people move in and out of your home far more often during summer than other times of year. Often, they’re also carrying something in or out, too. Bed bugs are uncannily good at seizing on opportunities just like those to find a new place to live.

What Can You Do?

Carefully inspect your bed and the room around it for bed bugs whenever you're worried about infestationsFirst and foremost, figure out if you already have bed bugs. Strip your bed as bare as possible and check each component thoroughly. Don’t forget about the zippers, folds, and underside. Check around the bed too, in places like the headboard, frame, nightstand, and siding. If you find signs of an infestation, give us a call right away. Repeat the process with every bed in your home. Bed bugs are very small and flat, so we recommend using a flashlight to look for them.

After you’ve made sure you don’t have bed bugs, you just have to keep it that way. The best way to do that is to pay close attention to what’s coming into and out of your home. Bed bugs enter homes by hiding inside transported items. Whenever you bring in a piece of luggage from outside, inspect it thoroughly. Consider throwing anything you can into the dryer for 20 minutes after you bring it in. It sounds like a hassle, but it’s the best way to prevent bed bug infestations.

 

We expect to continue to receive all kinds of bed bug calls for the rest of summer, and beyond. Unfortunately, the upsetting insect is as tenacious as it is distressing. Bed bugs can come from just about anywhere and they can happen to just about anyone.

If you have a bed bug infestation, feel free to give Griffin a call. Like we said, we’ve fielded plenty of bed bug calls in the past. We’ve got all the tools, know-how, and experience we need to wipe yours out for good. Don’t let the bed bugs bite out of embarrassment; just give us a call and reclaim your summer!

Bed Bugs in Michigan: a Report

Michigan Bed Bug Report

Up until relatively recently, Michigan and most of the rest of the US were almost entirely bed bug-free. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. All of a sudden, the beauty sleep-wreckers re-emerged, hardier–and hungrier!–than ever. In just a few short years, bed bugs proliferated all over the US and reclaimed their status as major pests.

Unfortunately, Michigan was not spared from the bed bug’s resurgence. In fact, we got hit worse than most of the rest of the US! If we’re going to combat the new bed bug menace infiltrating our state, we have to get organized. That’s why Griffin put together this bed bug situation report for residents of Michigan and the rest of the Midwest. This is everything you need to know about why bed bugs are back and why they’re a problem.

How Bad It Is

Michigan and the rest of the midwest have a serious bed bug problemAs of 2015, 99.6% of all pest control companies in the US reported treating bed bug infestations. 95% of the pest professionals who treated for bed bugs reported infestations in apartments and condos. According to the same report, 1 in 5 Americans have either encountered bed bugs themselves or know someone who has. In 2013, Americans spent around $446 million treating bed bug infestations.

Michigan’s bed bug problem is particularly severe. As of 2017, 605 bed bug infestations have been reported in commercial properties in Michigan on The Bedbug Registry. Detroit ranked #3 on a 2017 list of the top 50 worst cities for bed bugs in the US. In a different 2015 report, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and Detroit all ranked in the top 20. Griffin gets calls about residential and commercial bed bug infestations almost every single day.

Why They’re Back

Bed bugs have recently become a major problem againThere are a couple theories about why bed bugs are back with a vengeance after their prolonged absence. Most disturbingly, recent studies show that bed bugs have developed resistances to the pesticides commonly used to control them. Resisting these common chemicals means bed bugs survive in much greater numbers, even in controlled environments. The more bed bugs survive, the more they grow, reproduce, and spread out.

Unfortunately, this rapid expansion is facilitated by our commuter and travel-based society. Bed bugs are consummate hitchhikers. Travelers inadvertently transport them from place to place on bags, luggage, clothing, and other commonly transported items. Finally, because they hadn’t been a problem for so long, the public doesn’t quite know how to handle them. Most of the thousands of bed bed infestations that occur every year could have been prevented relatively easily. When it comes to fighting the bed bug menace, knowing is more than half the battle!

Where They Came From

Bed bugs spread by traveling with unwitting commuters and touristsAlright, we’re not going to try to pass the blame onto someone else. The fact of the matter is, bed bugs are everyone’s responsibility. Buuuut… Ok, remember how Detroit was #3 on the list of worst cities for bed bugs? Well, Ohio cities Cleveland and Cincinnati ranked at #1 and #2, respectively. As major urban centers, thousands of people travel between each of these three cities every single day. They bring all their cargo and luggage with them–and often, their bed bugs, too!

Like we said above, the number one way bed bugs spread is by hitchhiking with travelers. Bed bugs smuggle themselves from place-to-place on cargo and luggage. When they reach a new destination, they spread out in search of food and hiding places. If they find either of these in a home or business, they’ll stick around to hunt and reproduce. When the next generation is born, they’ll spread out to find new homes, and the process begins again.

Who’s At Risk

Travelers are at increased risk of bed bug infestationBed bugs spread with travelers, so anywhere that sees lots of traffic is going to see more bed bugs. That means places like hotels are more likely to contend with bed bugs. They’re not the only ones, however. Any frequent traveler should be particularly careful about bed bugs, especially if they frequent hotels or travel with bags. This counts for people expecting company, too.

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not a sign of a dirty home or bad hygiene. Any traveller can carry them, and they can end up anywhere. Bed bugs can hitchhike on virtually any transported item, including furniture, suitcases, bags, laundry, and (of course) bedding. The more opportunities they have to enter a structure, the more likely it is that they will. That means recent movers are at high risk of bed bug infestation.

The situation we’ve painted here looks dire, but remember: you’re not fighting this battle alone. Griffin is here to help. We’ve taught you how to identify bed bugs. We’ve helped you protect yourself when traveling or commuting. All the info on bed bugs you need, we have.

And if you ever need more than info, all you have to do is call. Our treatments will guarantee that the bed bugs don’t bite ever again.

Ditch Unwanted Pest Souvenirs on Vacation

It’s easy to understand why souvenirs are so popular. Everyone wants something physical that reminds them of a happy vacation spent with loved ones. When you picture souvenirs, however, we’re guessing you picture snow globes, postcards, and culturally appropriative knick knacks–not bed bugs. Unfortunately, traveling is maybe the number-one way most homeowners end up with bed bugs. And you don’t even have to travel somewhere with a bed!

Bed bugs, ticks, moths, and other pests like them have evolved to become excellent hitchhikers. Given half an opportunity, they’ll happily bum a ride back to your place with you. The last thing you want to do after a nice, restful vacation is contend with an infestation of gross bugs. Here are some vacation pest prevention tips to ensure you only bring home the things you want next time you go on vacation.

 

plane in flight above the clouds during a sunrise

Flight

You’re not even safe from pests 30,000 feet in the air. Pests like moths, silverfish, and bed bugs sneak into suitcases. You check those bags, take off, and your new pests get a free flight. It’s not uncommon to pick up pests at the airport itself, too. The number of people traveling and the amount of garbage they create foster pest communities that are just as diverse and thriving.

Keep your bags sealed whenever when you aren’t using them–this means in the hotel, on the road, in the airport, and even on the plane. Refrain from keeping food in carryout bags. Don’t take garbage from the plane with you. Wash all your clothes when you get home. Throw your bags in the dryer for 20 minutes to kill bed bugs hiding in them. Carefully inspect everything you brought home for signs of pest infestation, even after washing and drying it.

 

Long, lonely desert road

Road Trip

People have nothing on a bug’s love of the open road. Bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and spiders are just as comfortable wandering from one (ahem) cockroach motel to the next on a cross-country adventure. All of the hotel advice above counts double for road trips. Check the sheets, carpet, curtains, and bathroom for signs of pest infestation. Keep your bags elevated and tightly shut whenever you’re not using them. Check your socks and the inside of your shoes every morning.

Keep your windows closed when possible out on the road, especially if you’re traveling through wooded areas. Don’t eat messy foods in the car, and thoroughly clean up any food or beverage spills immediately. Keep the interior of the car clean and dehumidified. Have everyone stay hydrated to prevent sweating and heat generation, but make sure you don’t leave beverages in the car after you get out.

 

visiting grandma and grandpa

Visiting Relatives

No, we’re not going to teach you how to keep your in-laws from coming back with you. That’s not the kind of vacation pest prevention we specialize in. But it’s important to be wary of pests in any home, no matter how clean and well cared-for it seems. Pests don’t discriminate, and the theory that they only pick on dirty homes is totally wrong.

Follow all the steps above, and change the sheets you’ll be using as soon as you arrive. Check furniture for signs of infestation, particularly if it’s old or beat up. Don’t hang up your clothes in their closet or leave your bag open in their living room. Remember that bed bugs seem to look for travelers specifically. The residents probably don’t even know they’re around. Following these tips should keep you safe from those pests, but good luck explaining what you’re doing under the bed to your mother-in-law.

 

Campers sitting around a campfire at night

Camping Trip

The greatest vacation pest prevention challenge yet! You’re going outdoors. Pests LIVE outdoors. Insects and all kinds of other pests will assail your site for as long as you’re there, looking for a weakness to exploit. You won’t give them one.

Keep food in sealed containers 10 feet from the site and at least 8 feet in the air. Keep your firewood supplies 20 feet away. Seal your tent with your bags inside it when you’re not using them. Sleep under a mosquito net and check your sleeping bags for pests every night. Dispose of food remains immediately by taking them away from the site. It should go without saying, but always wear bug spray and anti-tick ointment. Thoroughly wash and dry all your equipment when you get home, including your clothes, your tent, your sleeping bag, and your own body. Check yourself for ticks or bites.

 

Follow each of our vacation pest prevention protocols while you’re out enjoying your time off, and you won’t have to worry about bringing back any unexpected “guests” when you return. Those freeloaders will have to find some other tourist!

If you’d like to learn more about pests, check out some of our blogs. If you need pest investigation, prevention, or a treatment service, let us know right away. Have a great vacation!