Pest control treatment to use: spraying or heat treatment?
When you have a pest infestation in your home, you‘ll want to deal with it as soon as possible. Whether you‘re suffering from bed bugs, moths, or fleas, there are many ways to deal with critters inside your home. One of the two of the most common pest control treatments is spraying with pesticides. But heat treatment offers not only a good alternative to synthetic chemicals but a very powerful way of eradication that works almost instantly as well. Which is better? Let‘s take a look at what they are and which is the most effective.
What is a fumigation treatment and for what pests?
A fumigation treatment involves filling an infested space with a gaseous solution. Depending on the type of chemical used, the pesticide either kills pests on contact or dissolves their membranes. It is also known as ULV treatment or fogging. The important point to make is that fumigation is a non-residual pest control treatment that is very useful against flying insects such as moths but pretty useless against bed bugs and fleas.
In a nutshell, think of fumigation as a burst of flame that lasts but an instant and kills all it touches directly. But the next instant, the flame is out, so any new larvae that hatch or any new insect that come out from its hiding spot will keep on living. Basically, the fumigation treatment lasts pretty much for as long as it lasts. From the moment you switch off the ULV machine and stop fumigating, the mist will dissipate and dry, and it will be over. So, fifteen to twenty minutes of very powerful knock-down effect is the result.
Why do we spray against insects rather than only fumigate?
The effectiveness of a spray treatment depends on the type of products or pesticides used, their strength in the solution, and the expertise of the person applying them. So, the key difference from fumigation is that spraying offers the possibility of spraying residual insecticides that will remain active over a period of two to three weeks. That continuous killing action will be depleting the population of adults, larvae, and eggs that gets in contact with it.
That residual pest control treatment is generic in the sense that spraying can be used successfully for any type of insects, flying and crawling pests alike, by covering the surfaces they are active on. The real advantage of heat treatment is that it exterminates pests regardless of which stage of life they‘re at – from eggs to pupae and adults. This means that repeat visits aren‘t necessarily needed, and you could be pest-free in just one day.
Bed bugs spend most of their time in hiding, in cracks, at the back of the skirting boards, or within an electric socket. A round of fumigation during the daytime would possibly not kill any, as there isn’t anyone sleeping to feed on, so why be out then? Even spraying with the non-residual organic products would have a limited effect only, as it would not reach the bed bugs hiding. Only spraying residual insecticides has any chance of killing them as and when they come out to feed on you.
In the case of moths, we actually use both spraying and fumigation for the best results. The residual spray breaks the life cycle, and the fumigation knocks them down and reaches where the spray may not.
Is heat the best pest control treatment available?
Every method has its use and place in the arsenal of the pest controllers. And each has its benefits and drawbacks. At Inoculand, rather than speaking about heat treatment only, we speak about the heat treatment service with a big emphasis on SERVICE. The reason is that we actually combine all the appropriate methods around the heat treatment.
Procedurally, heat treatment involves raising the temperature of an infested space to 56ºC or above for a prolonged period of time, killing bugs in the process. This allows the heat to penetrate deeper within the walls, the floors, the furniture, and furnishings. If any cold spots remain, we use the professional pest control eradicator steamer and make another pass. When we are done packing the heat treatment equipment, we then spray thoroughly. And in the case of moths and carpet beetles, we finish off with a round of fumigation. Then two weeks later, we return to ensure no residual activity remains.
So, I can say that heat treatment is by far the most effective pest control treatment available. Also, heat treatments offer great advantages over spraying and fumigating only treatments. In the case of bed bugs, the residents won’t have to suffer continuously from so many bites since the heat will kill the bed bugs pretty much instantly. The heat will be able to kill the larvae underneath the carpet and within the clothes. Another advantage is that it doesn‘t have to rely on chemicals, as spray treatment does. This is not only better for the environment but can be a huge relief if you normally suffer from pesticide-related allergies or are pregnant.
Certain pests are becoming more resistant to particular pesticides. The problem is further exacerbated if the person administering it is not qualified. Often, substandard treatments or even the best DIY pest control products will have the counter-productive effect of priming the pests for resistance and selecting the stronger pests, not unlike what a short exposure to antibiotics would do with the bacteria causing an infection.
When is heat the only appropriate pest control treatment?
When dealing with pests in your home, both spray treatment and heat treatments are viable options to take. And because fleas are the second toughest pest we deal with, many home owner prefer to have a flea heat treatment done to ensure optimal results. We already brushed on the individuals that cannot be exposed to pesticides in the previous section. We will add to the list infants, chronic disease sufferers, and possibly pets.
When a flat is empty of tenants, no amount of spraying will get rid of all the bed bugs. They will stay dormant, safe from the pesticides in their hiding place, and as and when the new tenant moves in, they will come out and feed. So, landlords looking to rent out a bed bug-infested flat, or even in the case of hotel rooms, should only consider heat treatment.
In the case of a moth infestation affecting the clothes of the residents, the clothes should be heat treated to ensure that the clothes do not end up reinfesting the home. The clothes could also be dry-cleaned instead of heat-treated, but that is a matter of choosing the most efficient, convenient, and economical method.
Bear in mind, though, that spray, fumigations, and heat treatments must only be administered by professional pest controllers. If you currently have an infestation in your home or office, then get in contact with Inoculand. Based in London, our professional pest controllers will find the most suited pest control treatment to ensure you‘re bug-free as soon as possible.