Steam cleaner being used to kill bed bugs

Does Steam Kill Bed Bugs?

You’ve just gotten out of the shower and you’re getting ready for the day when all of a sudden, you spot it. There’s a bed bug crawling across your towel! Gross! In your panic, you try to think of everything you know about bed bugs. They can’t survive the heat. Wait a minute, it’s pretty warm in the bathroom due to the steam from your warm shower. Will that kill the bed bugs? While closing the door after a hot shower might not trap the steam well enough to kill bed bugs, steam can be used for bed bug control in certain circumstances. 

Does Steam in the Air Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tougher pests than you might think. They can survive in below-zero temperatures for up to three days! When it comes to heat, they can’t survive temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit for more than about 90 minutes. Unfortunately, steam in the air (such as the steam hanging in your bathroom after a hot shower) doesn’t heat a room to that high of a temperature. Consequently, even if you run the hottest water possible and shut the door to let the steam fill the room, the bed bugs in that room won’t die. 

How to Kill Bed Bugs Using Steam

Though steam hanging in the air won’t get hot enough to kill bed bugs, concentrated steam will. If you’ve ever gotten a burn from steam while cooking, you know just how hot steam can get! In order to kill bed bugs with steam, you have to use a steam cleaner and move it over the bed bugs. Steam cleaners concentrate the steam so that it reaches about 230 degrees. At this temperature, bed bugs die almost immediately. 

The Advantages of Removing Bed Bugs With Steam

There are several advantages to using steam to kill bed bugs. For one thing, steam is a very sustainable way to remove bed bugs since water is a renewable resource. Also, like heat treatment, steam does not leave any chemical smells or residue in your home! Steam cleaning to remove bed bugs is something that you can easily do by yourself, and if you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can rent one from most hardware stores. Perhaps the biggest advantage of steam cleaning to get rid of bed bugs is that the steam reaches such a high temperature that the bed bugs die nearly instantly.

The Disadvantages of Removing Bed Bugs With Steam

Of course, there are some disadvantages to using a steam cleaner to kill bed bugs. One significant disadvantage is that the steam must make direct contact with the bugs in order to kill them, similar to chemicals. So if you miss a spot and a few bugs escape, you could end up with an infestation all over again. The other main disadvantage of using steam is that steam cleaners can be expensive. If there isn’t a place near you where you can rent one, they can run you a few hundred dollars. 

How Does Heat Treatment Differ From Steam?

Heat treatment may take a bit longer than steam cleaning to kill bed bugs, but it tends to be more thorough. Bed bugs take about 90 minutes to die at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature your home is typically heated to during a bed bug heat treatment. However, since heat permeates every part of your home, including small cracks and crevices, there’s a very low chance of missing any bugs and having to start the process over again

Do You Need Bed Bug Removal Services?

If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat sanitation treatment, contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC in Lakewood, Ohio! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and we offer entire home sanitation heat treatments. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 12 hours, and Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC offers a 60-day warranty for you to verify for yourself that your bed bugs are fully eradicated. Contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC today for a FREE quote at (216) 221-1227 or through our website, and check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.

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