Heat Treatment
PREPARATION checklist

FOR HEAT TREATMENT

10 THINGS TO PREPARE

Do not use any pesticide foggers, bombs, sprays, or dusts just prior to treatment. Vacuum or sweep up powders, dust, and pet hair as it can damage equipment (like Diatomaceous Earth).

  • Eliminate all areas of possible heat loss: 

    • Close and cover A/C vents, bathroom exhaust fans.

    • Cover single-pane windows (insulated blankets available).

    • When leaving a room for the final time, place a bath towel under the door to prevent heat escape.

     

Make sure there is ample space for airflow! Airflow is critical, so any area heavily overstuffed (closets, dresser drawers, stacks of boxes, etc.) will limit the effectiveness of heat treatment and should be rectified. Clothes and other items in piles will serve as insulators. 

Disturb the room as little as possible, but organize any excessively cluttered areas. Examples include stacks of boxes, piles of magazines, laundry, and bags of belongings that make it more difficult for heat to circulate, creating possible “cold spots.” 

Unless you are permanently throwing something away, it should stay in the treatment area or you could reintroduce the bed bugs back into space. Anything thrown away should be done in tied heavy-duty or doubled up garbage bags before taking it from the room. 

 

  • It is recommended (but not required) that all clothes and linens be washed and dried on high heat at a laundromat during treatment. 

  • It is okay to leave sheets on the bed to be laundered afterward. 

  • Hang blankets and bedspreads from the corner of a door inside the treatment area.

  • Leave clothes hanging in the closet, but air needs space to circulate. If crowded, remove clothes from the closet. 

  • Leave folded clothes in dressers, but air needs space to circulate. If crowded, remove clothes from the dresser drawer(s).

  • All excessive piles of clothes and sheets should be loosely placed into open-weave laundry baskets (not plastic bags), left in the treatment area, then washed and dried following treatment. 

  • During treatment, you will likely “toss” all your linens to allow maximum heat penetration.

  • Lightly pull all furniture away from the walls 4-6 inches. 

  • Dresser drawers, desk, and nightstand drawers should be left open in a staggered position to allow heat to penetrate all areas inside. 

  • If your bed and box spring has no frame and is directly on the floor, prop it up for optimal airflow around each piece. 

  • Chair and couch cushions should be removed and stood on its edge; leg rest areas extended. 

  • Sleeper sofas must be pulled out. 

  • Water and air beds should be drained. 

  • Area rugs (on carpeted or hard floors) should ideally be rolled up and stood on end, leaning against a wall. 

  • Some vinyl or faux wood blinds have rather low heat tolerance. They can be laid flat to avoid possible warping. 

  • Leave all electronics in your home including flat-screen TVs, LCD monitors, computers, CDs, DVDs, etc.

  • Unplug everything except for the refrigerator.

Empty and leave all suitcases, back-packs, purses, and briefcases inside the treatment area. These are high risk for bed bug infestation and should be empty for effective treatment.

ALL living things must leave the treatment area! However, kennels, pet bedding and carriers should be left behind.

 

Some liquids will separate at high temperatures, altering the taste of wine and ruining cosmetics. Remove makeup from the heat treatment area, otherwise, the foundation will separate, lipstick will melt and dangerous bacteria may possibly grow. Prescription medications should also be removed.

  • Loose papers and light objects that could be blown away by stiff wind should be weighted down.

  • Loose posters, paper calendars, or other pictures hanging on the wall could blow down if not removed.  Heavier framed pieces should not be affected.

  • Remove anything that may be flammable or explosive in heat, including all aerosols, lighters, bullets, candles, propane gas, etc.
  • While heating, prevent heated air from escaping the treatment area. Cover HVAC Vents, bathroom exhaust fans, and wall air conditioners with tape or plastic. 2-in blue painter’s tape is recommended and will not leave a sticky residue.

  • Cover windowpanes with towels other insulating material to minimize heat loss.

  • Block any gaps under doors with rolled towels.

  • Cement, tile, block homes, single-pane windows, poor insulation, and high ceilings may require longer heat times or more equipment to successfully treat.

  • Do not re-introduce items into the property that have not been properly heat disinfected.
  • Be aware of how easily bed bugs can transfer to clothes, luggage, bags or other belongings. If you have bed bug bugs, it is highly likely that you may have had a hitchhiker join you to visit friends and family, especially if you live between places. Bed bugs can also be brought into vehicles and places of business. All sources should be inspected and treated.

GET OUR PRINTER-FRIENDLY HEAT TREATMENT PREPARATION CHECKLIST TO GET YOU STARTED