Steam is a very good method for killing bed bugs if used properly and correctly. The quality of the steamer is important if using steam to kill the bed bugs. The steamer that you use to steam clothes will not be effective to kill bed bugs. Try to use a commercial steamer which has a minimum capacity of 1 gallon, advisable with a steam volume control. The carpet cleaning machines fail to reach high temperatures, this cannot be used to kill bed bugs using steamer. It is a quite expensive for a person to buy it,the best affordable idea is to rent a steamer.
Steamers delivers high temperatures to bed bugs no matter where they are hidden. The best way to solve this problem is to kill bed bugs using steamer. To ensure effective work of steamer make sure the surface temperature should be around 160-180°F soon after the steam brush has passed.
Read below the types of bed bugs and the cuases of infestation in your home:
Types of Bed Bugs
1.) Domestic Bed Bugs
This is one of the most common form of bed bugs. These are used to infest our average household. They can survive in mild temperatures and adapt very easily to human surroundings. They are light red in color and appear to be flat in shape. They can turn fat and in blood red color in case they get a fresh meal.
2.) Tropical Bed Bugs
As the name says, these one are found in a hot and humid temperature. It is not that commonly visible. They do have a same characteristics and features as the domestic bed bugs. It also changes its size and color when gets food.
3.) Bat Bugs
Surprisingly, this one is not dependent on humans, but it is directly to their Dracula famed counterparts. They are known to feed on bats and lives in colder and mild temperatures.
4.) Mexican Chicken Bugs
These bed bugs infest on domestic fowl and are prevalent in the barn and poultry. They are found in a mild and cool environment.
5.) Barn Swallow Bugs
This type of bedbug take is found on bird’s nest and eventually disturb a human home when a bird moves into your home.
Causes of Bed bugs
Some of the reasons why bed bugs infested in the house are:
- Unhygienic environment.
- Enters from outside of your home may be a shopping bag, clothes and birds.
- Cracks in walls.
- Excessive use of pesticides and insecticides.
Steps to Kill Bed Bugs Using Steamer:
- Attach a nozzle to the steamer wand. Use a triangular nozzle that comes with the steamer because it works well most of the time. The floor nozzle attachment will also work, but you have to move the nozzle slowly to obtain the enough temperature.
- The surfaces must reach a temperature ranging between 160-180°F, lower temperature will not work and the bed bugs may survive. Above this temperature range increases the risk of damage to the fabric and materials. Use an infrared thermometer to measure surface temperatures after the wand has used over the area need to be steamed. If the temperature is too low, raise it by moving the wand slowly and if the temperature is high, move the it faster.
- A fabric with damp can be steamed, but make sure it is not wet. If it is too wet, the steamer usually has an option to decrease the steam amount.
- Use the steamer on the surfaces where you find the bed bugs and areas where you think bed bugs may are hidden.
- Using a fan will help to dry the items you have steamed.
- If you are done, read and follow the manual instructions for cooling the steamer and make sure the pressure is relieved.
- Repeat this activity to kill bed bugs using steamer for a couple of times as this method only kills of bed bugs that are affected by the heat. There are some who do not get affected.
Precautions to Take While Killing Bed Bugs Using Steamer
There is no doubt to kill bed bugs using steamer effectively, but it can be dangerous too. There are several important precautions to take care of when you are operating a steamer:
- Always read and follow the manual before using the steamer.
- Always understand the manufacturer’s directions.
- The steam contains the hot pressure, be careful when refilling the steamer.
- The temperature of the steam will be hot, and ranging between as high as 212-230°F. This can burn, so be careful to kill bed bugs using steamer, never allow children to use the steamer and always place the steam away from your body.
- Some fabrics are very delicate that it gets damaged when comes in contact with steam, so always test on a small hidden corner. If it is a micro-fiber, always read the direction to kill the bed bugs using steamer for microfiber.
- When you start the steamer, sometimes Steamers will spit hot water, or after the steamer has not applied steam for a while. Point the wand at a towel when you start it, and the towel will absorb this water.
- Keep a pin-point steam nozzle aside, do not use it, try to use a nozzle that distributes the steam because this will help you to kill bed bugs using a steamer, at lower pressures such as a floor. Pinpoint nozzles will not help to blow the bed bugs away or it may let them survive.