As little as possible. The more you take with you, the greater chance of bringing a bed bug with you that won’t be killed by the heat. If you have a stroller or wheelchair or powered scooter you will need to leave them behind for the day and make other arrangements.
Electronics, including TVs and computers, are fine to go through the heat treatment process.
- Things that will melt – candles, crayons, lipstick, crafts held together with glue, vinyl blinds or records
- Live plants and any pets – including fish
- Things that can “pop”! – pressurized containers such as aerosol cans, carbonated beverages, etc.
Ask us for our heat treatment preparation sheet for full instructions.
We bring the ambient air temperature of your home up to between 135oF (57oC) to 140oF (60oC). This is done in order to ensure the temperature inside all furniture and under carpets gets to 120oF (48oC), which is the thermal death point of all stages of the bed bug including the eggs. It takes many hours to do this in order for the heat to soak in and penetrate to the middle of your mattress and through all the items in your closets and drawers. To put it in perspective, an oven gets hotter than 450oF (232oC), a BBQ reaches 600oF (315oC), and saunas are typically 195oF (90oC). So, your home will be too hot for the bugs, but it won’t even get as hot as a sauna!
The first thing you will probably notice is that your home and many of your belongings are still very warm. This is normal and is due to the fact that they were kept at a high temperature for a couple of hours and it takes time to cool down. You will also find dead bed bugs – these can just be vacuumed up (no special precautions required). There should be no more live bed bugs in your home by the time you arrive home.
Occassionally, people will notice bite marks after the treatment – this does not mean there are still bed bugs present as reactions to bed bug bites are usually delayed (typically 1 to 3 days but as long as 14 days). You may also notice that some of your items are not in exactly the same place – we actively manage the heat during the treatment and we will have to repeatedly move your belongings to ensure the heat penetrates to all areas. We do our best to put everything back in its place.
Upon completion of the treatment, we will open all of the windows and doors and start blowing in colder outside air to actively cool down your home. Most treatments begin at about 7;30am and are completed by 5pm. In most cases, you can be back in your home by 6pm. It will still be warm but no hotter than on a summer day here in Vancouver.
There is no difference in the treatment or the preparation but there is an important difference. Vinyl finishings are often used in mobile homes – this soft material may sag or warp during the treatment. If this is a concern, a heat treatment may not be a suitable option. Ask us for more details.