How to prepare for heat treatment

One of the most effective methods of pest control is heat treatment. Our heat treatment procedure has a 100% success rate and can be used to eradicate a number of pests, including cockroaches, moths, and most commonly, bed bugs. It’s extremely effective and relatively non-invasive compared with other methods, but it does require some prior preparation on your part. Your pest control expert should tell you this once you’ve booked your session, but it never hurts to be forewarned. Here’s our guide on how to prepare for bed bug heat treatment.

What NOT to do

Many people instinctively think that they should completely clear their house, rearrange furniture, and perhaps even perform some pest control themselves in order to help the heat treatment procedure. In fact, this can limit the effectiveness of the treatment.

Removing items from your house should be done with care, whether they are to be brought back into your house or not. For the most part, items that you intend to keep in your home should be left where they are (we’ll discuss exceptions to this rule in the next section). Temporarily removing items that may be infected with pests and placing them back into your home following the heat treatment may reintroduce pests to your home. Additionally, leaving potentially infected items outside your house e.g. for collection by a waste collector, may cause pests to spread to your neighbours or even back into your house. As a general rule, it’s best not to remove anything from your home.

Furthermore, significantly moving furniture around or performing your own form of pest control beforehand is to be avoided. Doing so can force bed bugs and other pests into harder-to-reach places, making them harder to target with heat treatment. It’s best to leave things relatively undisturbed for maximum effectiveness.

Things to remove

Despite what we’ve just said, there are some items which should be removed from your home in preparation for heat treatment. Temperatures in your home will reach 56°C during the procedure, and some items may be unable to withstand the heat.

The first thing you’ll want to do is remove all the rubbish you’ve accumulated in the days leading up to the heat treatment. It’s unnecessary for it to be there and will only smell bad after being exposed to the intense heat (and may attract more pests!). It’s also best to vacuum a day or so before the treatment too, especially if you have pets, since hair and fur may interfere with the equipment.

Things that are valuable and/or irreplaceable, such as pets, plants, family photos, and artwork, should be removed from the premises to protect them. Depending on the pest you’re targeting with the heat treatment, you’ll likely need to ensure your pet is checked for pests (e.g. fleas) so they don’t recontaminate your home.

Similarly, items which are flammable or likely to melt should also be removed. This includes candles, alcohol, books, posters, aerosols, perishable food, vinyl blinds, and any papers or documentation that are left out. Heat treatment is supposed to solve a problem, not cause more by burning or melting your household items!

Remember, when removing potentially infested items from your home, do so with caution so as not to infect your neighbours or indeed the clothing you’re wearing at the time. This will only cause more pest control problems further down the line.

Things to arrange

While moving your furniture a lot can hinder the heat treatment, moving large items like beds and sofas slightly away from the wall (a few inches) can be a big help. This will allow the heat to access more of your room – the tight spaces under and between furniture without disrupting the pests too much – thus increasing the efficacy of the treatment. Allowing air to flow is of the utmost importance for effective heat treatment.

You should also hang all clothing up on hangers and hooks. Clothing piled up on the floor or in a washing basket may form a refuge for pests avoiding and may make it more difficult to reach them. Hanging them up means there’s nowhere left to hide. By this same token, unfold any large blankets and unpacked any tightly-packed areas to limit the hiding spaces available for pests.

You’ll want to leave any and all clothing and fabrics that are likely to be infested in your home during the heat treatment. It’s the best course of action for ensuring the problem is dealt with quickly. Bags and purses are also common vessels by which pests enter the home, so it’s best to leave them exposed during heat treatment to make sure they are dealt with properly.

Following these steps will ensure that your home is prepared for heat treatment and that the procedure will be a success. Here at Inoculand, we have over a decade’s experience performing heat treatment all over London and the surrounding areas. If you think you have a bed bug or moth infestation and may require heat treatment, be sure to give us a call on 020 3405 5000. We’ll give you a full brief on whether you need heat treatment and what exactly it entails.