It takes a lot of time, patience, and money to get rid of a bed bug infestation. While bed bugs are not disease carriers, they can certainly affect the quality of your sleep and ultimately the quality of your life. It is therefore of immense importance to take steps to clear an infestation. While insecticides are available, they are usually not effective against modern bed bug populations and they can be quite toxic too. That is when you will be better off using cold or heat treatments. Heat treatment is non-toxic and proves quite effective. The problem is that though bed bugs cannot withstand a very high temperature, you just cannot expose some of your delicate items to such high heat. This is when you consider freezing bed bugs to death.
Cold Treatment to Kill Bed Bugs
Cold treatment for bed bug extermination is a better choice when you have delicate items that need cleaning. Moreover, heat treatment is usually relatively expensive and also has no residual activity. It means that if you do not take special care while cleaning, you may have to deal with a re-infestation in near future. Alternatively, you can use your freezer to help get rid of bed bugs, including their eggs and nymphs. It is important to have clear information about the temperature at which bed bugs freeze.
Keep in mind that when it comes to freezing bed bugs to death, it is better to keep the temperature as low as possible. By keeping the temperature low, you can also reduce the time needed to de-bug your items. You can get good results by exposing bed bugs to a temperature of 0F. Most bed bugs cannot survive at this temperature – they will freeze from the inside and eventually die. However, you should ensure that you keep your belongings in the freezer at this temperature for at least 4 days. Make use of a remote thermometer to confirm the temperate is correct.
Keep in mind that you should be checking the temperature from the center of the materials being placed in the freezer. It implies that you will have to wait longer if you have placed bulky items in the freezer. Only start counting the 4-day exposure time once the center of the items shows a temperature of 0F. Bear in mind that if the temperature is less than 0F or you do not leave your items long enough in the freezer, small bed bugs (nymphs) and bed bug eggs may survive.
It is clear that the temperature needs to be very low to kill any bed bugs, so it is not a great idea to leave your belongings out in the open and hope for the best. Humidity, sunlight, and temperature variations throughout the day may increase the risk that bed bugs or at least their eggs would survive. You should use your freezer only or seek professional help when you are not completely sure about performing a cold treatment to de-bug your belongings.