We are often asked if we provide “heat treatments”, while our service is part based on super-heated steam which is a form of heat, we don’t offer whole room or tented heating services.
While we are aware of the technology and have evaluated many systems the reality is that that in London it is not the solution it can be marked as being. We often get called behind companies who have conducted expensive heat and/or chemical services only to find a process or infestation dynamic failure to what they have done.
Main reasons for not using heat
There has been no independent testing of the type of machines used in the UK, and a significant number of papers that indicate that some of the solutions provided by small and large companies will not work for technical reasons. In some cases it is because the company has applied an existing drying solution rather than designing things specifically for bed bugs.
The systems used in the UK are completely different to the whole house treatment systems used in the US where heat is pumped into the building and even those only have a published success rate of around 70%. This often means that providers want to use a combination of pesticides and heat which rather defeats the purpose. There are also some buildings which do not heat efficiently because of their design, something that is impossible to asses over the telephone.
We have been out to numerous cases where heat treatment has been used and the householder continues to have problems because it has not worked. In some of these cases its because of how bed bugs are actually being introduced into the property while in others there were simply no bed bugs to begin with. While heat may be effective in the moment it has no residual protection and should not be a service sold through fear.
Some of the tent based solutions we have assessed have failed because of cool spots which develop when the units are used. This can be as a result of a failure in design as well as failure to prepare the items being treated, there are a lot of variables to take into account. This approach also fails to deal with any bed bugs which are in “non standard” places or which may have become dislodged as the room is moved around.
Often what is promoted as being the green and environmentally sensitive approach requires such a vast quantity of energy in terms of diesel generators or electricity that it has a much larger carbon foot print than you would initially realise.
We are also not aware of a single operator of such systems in the UK with an integral quality assurance system or who take adequate steps to monitor post treatment.
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