Is it better to buy, hire or rent an electric bed bug heater?
UPDATED by Michael Ferkiss July 13th 2021
To Buy or to Not Buy (a bed bug heater)? That is the question!
If you have just discovered bed bugs in your home or in that of your guests, tenants, or residents your head is probably spinning right now.
Take a deep breath. Don’t panic. You have several good options available to you, all of which will effectively solve the problem of killing all life stages of bed bugs including unhatched bed bug eggs.
Read below for three options to choose from with the pros and cons for each.
When comparing the differences between killing bed bugs with heat yourself using DIY bed bug heaters for sale versus the cost of bed bug heat treatment by hiring an exterminator versus paying some to borrow their equipment here are the top items to consider in your decision:
- What will be the total dollar cost to completely eradicate all living bed bugs but also the unhatched, well-hidden and well-insulated unhatched bed bug eggs?
- How much time will the job take and will it be one visit or multiple visits over weeks or months?
- How much time can you devote to deal with killing bed bugs?
- How much emotional distress are you willing to subject you and your family to while dealing with the problem?
- Are you confident in your abilities to effectively use some else's equipment you have never used before to take care of the problem in 1 day?
- How simple and safe is the bed bug heater to use? How many power cords does it require?
HOW MUCH IS AN EXTERMINATOR FOR BED BUGS?
Most folks will find that reputable bed bug heat treatment exterminators and pest control companies will charge minimums of between $1.00 and $3.00 or more per square foot depending on where you live, how many flights of stairs they need to carry their equipment, how close they can park to your front door, how many other companies they are competing with in your market, if they use toxic spray chemicals or heat alone or in combination, how much stuff you have (hoarders pay big) and a variety of other location and weather specific factors too numerous to go into in this article.
By simply multiplying your home’s square footage you can see this translates into a range of between $1,000 and more than $3,000 minimum.
PROS OF USING A BED BUG HEAT TREATMENT EXTERMINATOR:
- Convenient – they come to you. There is minimal preparation time compared to toxic chemical spray treatments
- One day turnaround versus chemical insecticide applications which require multiple visits over 2-4 weeks or more to kill the baby bed bugs that hatch
- Safer, Non-toxic if no insecticides are used
CONS OF USING A BED BUG HEAT TREATMENT EXTERMINATOR:
- Most expensive option of the three
- Fees and upcharges for limited parking and having to haul equipment up to higher than ground floors in apartment situations.
- Bed Bug Re-infestation = Pay again and again and again
- Limited or No guarantees. Must prove it was not a re-infestation but rather the same bed bugs from the first go around. Good luck with that.
- You must vacate the premises and allow strangers into your home for at least one full day.
- Must treat whole home at once. Majority of bed bug exterminators will not allow for 1 or 2 room bed bug heat treatments even though most bed bug infestations are localized to 1 or 2 rooms. Their fixed investment costs in their electric bed bug heat treatment equipment means jobs need to be of a certain size to be profitable.
HOW MUCH ARE BED BUG HEATER LOAN RATES?
The average daily rate, in the US, for an electric bedbug heater that will kill bed bugs in one large (up to 300 square foot) bedroom is around $400.
WHERE CAN I BORROW BED BUG HEATERS IN EXCHANGE FOR PAYMENT? Bed Bug heater loaners for payments is a growing business due to the increasing problem of bed bug infestations everywhere. Although we have seen a few of the national equipment companies offer bed bug heaters it is the independents and some of the pest professionals who have met the market demand for bed bug heater equipment loaners for pay.
Doing an internet search is the best way to find these companies.
PROS OF BED BUG HEATER EQUIPMENT DAILY LOANERS FOR PAY:
- You are in control – if you have a light to moderate infestation limited to 1 or 2 rooms
- Allows for DIY bed bug treatment
- Less cash outlay IF no re-infestation occurs and you take care of the problem quickly
CONS OF BED BUG HEATER EQUIPMENT DAILY LOANERS FOR PAY:
- Learning curve for success is longer than you think, or most bed bug heater daily loaner companies will admit to. Effectively killing all bed bugs in one day are rare given the customers are first time users of the equipment and there is a learning curve with all new equipment of any kind
- Plastic, budget heaters with built-in fans are not as effective as using a separate bed bug treatment heater and separate bed bug treatment fan
- Complicated and confusing power requirements (up to 8 cords plugged into separate circuits) can be challenging and unrealistic
- Watch out for bed bug heater daily loaner companies that claim you can treat 2-3 bedrooms per day. It might be technically possible if you have 2 bed bug heaters, and you are counting a day as 24 hours but what you won’t hear is that these types of heaters very often require plugging into 6-8 power outlets each of which needs to be connected to its own 15- or 20-amp circuit. This is not a minor detail that can be overlooked. Assuming that all the power outlets in each bedroom are connected to and share the same 15-amp circuit breaker I find it hard to believe the average person will ever find 6 separate outlets to plug one bed bug heater into.
This is the reason PestPro Thermal has designed its electric bed bug heaters to use high voltage 220/240v power from electric stove or dryer receptacles. Plugging into one stove or one dryer outlet will allow you to heat treat a bedroom safely and effectively without overloading your home's electrical system leading to tripped breakers.
Tapping into enough power to create enough heat to kill bed bugs safely is an absolute must. Trying to cobble together 6-8 110/120v power cords to make this work is at best a complicated and confusing scenario for most folks in dire need of relief and at worst a frustrating waste of time and money.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO BUY YOUR OWN BED BUG TREATMENT HEATERS?
Electric bed bug treatment heaters today come in all shapes, sizes, heat output ratings and prices.
There are whole room bed bug heaters, heaters that will heat up a closet and heaters that will heat up a zipper enclosed tent for small personal belongings like a luggage or small pieces of furniture.
Whole room plastic budget bed bug heaters with built-in fans can be had for $1,500 or less but often require additional cords or equipment to achieve a complete turnkey package that can be used effectively.
A top-of-the-line, all-steel heater to kill bed bugs that is manufactured by hand in the USA and built for repeated commercial usage and comes with separate air movers versus built-in fans runs around $4,000.00 USD.
A customer at a large city bus authority who kills bed bugs nightly on their fleet of buses using PestPro Thermal bed bug heaters recently commented that comparing our heaters to the plastic heaters they used to use is like comparing a Kenmore consumer grade washing machine to the Speed Queens used in 24-hour laundromats. The upfront costs will always be higher if you are willing to pay for dependability, durability, effectiveness, Tier 1 customer support and constant product improvement.
If you are asking how do bed bug heaters work? PestPro Thermal bed bug treatment heaters are rated at 10,000 Watts. You should be able to “cook” a large 18 x 18-foot bedroom including furniture, electronics and clothing in about 4-5 hours. It can be less but there is no exact number that can be provided until all factors are considered and you have done it a few times in your environment. It all depends on how much heat absorbing stuff is in that room, what the outside temperature is, the room temperature you are starting at (was the room preheated using boiler/furnace/radiator/space heater, etc. before the bed bug heat treatment was started?), construction materials (wood frame, brick, cinder block, etc.), good, bad or ugly pre-treatment preparation (all vents, cracks, windows, sealed and taped for hermetically tight seal). All these details cannot be overlooked and can be the difference of a heat treatment working or not working.
Why spend your valuable time and money doing 95% of what needs to be done and not get the results you need – DEAD BED BUGS and DEAD BED BUG EGGS? Don’t be that YouTube star who lost the ball on the 1-yard line.
For how to use bed bug heaters here are links to both our training video and another produced by one of our power users, Greg Osborne, owner of BugBakers of Columbus OH training video.
The reason we recommend that timeframe is because it is not enough to just get the air temperature up to the thermal death point of bed bugs. How hot do bed bug heaters need to be? You must get the air temperature higher than the thermal death point of bed bugs to achieve internal, core temperatures inside furniture and personal belongings of at least 120° F. It is no different than roasting a chicken in the oven. To get the internal temperature of a chicken up to 180° F you set the oven temperature at 350° F and cook it until that digital thermometer reaches the thermal death point that kills harmful bacteria so you can eat that chicken safely without getting ill.
Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn...
If you own a hotel, motel, resort or any other form of lodging establishment you are probably asking how to use hotel bed bug heaters. There are of course a variety of hotel bed bug heaters on the market but the method that PestPro uses is to leverage what are called PTACS and to plug two power cords into 2 PTAC power outlets. Since most hotel rooms only have one PTAC outlet the second power cord needs to be long enough to reach into an adjoining room. Although not ideal it is still better than the alternative of needing to plug up to 8 power cords into 110/120v outlets on separate circuits.
If PTACS are NOT available to plug into many customers choose to simply install a dedicated 50-amp outlet (208v or 240v or 277v). Most lodging customers install this outlet at the breaker panel in the electrical closet or hallway. The bed bug heater power cord can run up to 300 feet without losing significant power.
PROS OF OWNING YOUR OWN BED BUG HEAT TREATMENT PACKAGE:
- Gives you complete CONTROL to do DIY bed bug treatments on your timeline and your terms
- ALL-STEEL bed bug heater cabinet allows up to 158° F setting to kill pathogens, molds, mildews and most pests including bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, spiders, chiggers, silverfish and others. Plastic heaters are not capable of this higher temperature due to melting and warping issues.
- Use heater and fan to dry out or SANITIZE odor causing moisture in humid climates
- FLOOD REMEDIATION to dry out structures, furniture, and personal items
- No time limit for learning how to perform a heat treatment properly. Use your equipment when it is convenient for you on your timeline not someone else's
- Same price as hiring an exterminator one time
- FINANCING OPTION #1 - Spread payments out over 6 months NO INTEREST with PayPal Credit
- FINANCING OPTION #2 - AFFIRM consumer credit offers 6-36 month payment plans starting at just $139 /month. Six months NO INTEREST!
- UNIVERSAL POWER FLEXIBILITY to plug in to ANY stove or dryer outlet
- FAST RETURN ON INVESTMENT - Rent your bed bug treatment heaters to other landlords, hotel owners or property managers for $400 per day.
- BE A HERO - Loan your bed bug heater package to friends, family, non-profits
- Heat treat one room at a time using a bed bug rom heater or create a "Bed Bug Hot Box’ in a closet or using Zip Wall spring loaded, telescoping poles and plastic sheeting and blue painters tape (see photographs) to kill bed bugs on personal items, like luggage and wall hangings that cannot be placed in a clothes dryer
- START A BED BUG HEAT TREATMENT BUSINESS with 1 heater and 1 fan. Grow incrementally by adding additional heaters and fans as the money starts to flow
- Heater can be used as a BACKUP OR EMERGENCY HEAT source
- High Volume (CFM) Fan can be used to dry carpets, exhaust smoke from home, campfire or BBQ, vent hot air from attics for use as a portable whole house fan (one of our fans move 3600 CFM which is enough to provide adequate cooling to a 1750 square foot home). See calculator here.
- Six Heater/ 12 Fan Bed Bug Beast™ allows you to earn $3,000 per day or more!
- ‘The Beast’ is a source of emergency power, emergency heat and can even plow snow!
- Bed Bug Beast™ - just one job will cover your monthly finance payment!
CONS OF OWNING A BED BUG HEAT TREATMENT PACKAGE:
- Higher initial cash outlay than renting one time but with PayPal Credit or AFFIRM you can spread the payments over 6 months without incurring any interest. This means you will make 6 equal payment of $665.84 and get the "Best In Class" PestPro Thermal 10,000 watt Universal Bed Bug Heat Package
There are many ways to get rid of bed bugs using electric heat but these three are your best options if you are looking for the most effective, non-toxic and safest options available today.
Homeowner mega site Porch.com recently used Google Trends to determine what types of bugs Americans were searching for most often in all 50 states and guess what?
Bed bugs came out as the #1 insect search term in the United States and the most common bug searched for in 32 out of all 50 US states.
Termites were a very distant second due to their prevalence in the southeast US states.
The worst states for bed bugs for many years running now were OHIO at #1 followed by other midwestern states including Illinois,
The two most buggiest cities based on search volume were Cleveland OH and Tulsa OK.
Searches for bed bug pest control were most popular in 32 of 50 states. Over 62K searches were conducted on "bed bug' related keywords every month in these states. Searches for terms related to termites were a very distant second at just over 39k.
The Top 5 states for searches on any insect related queries were: Ohio, Washington DC (my hometown), Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas. Insect related monthly searches exceed 6000 per month in those states.
The next 5 states include South Carolina, California, Florida and New York averaging about 5500 searches for bugs or pest control related terms.
At this point you might be asking where can I buy electric bed bug heaters that can kill both bed bugs and bed bug eggs and of course the answer is to follow this link.
For additional information and details on bed bug heating equipment visit this post: Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Bed Bug Heat Options Using PestPro Thermal Commercial Equipment
We look forward to providing you with meaningful answers to your intelligent questions.
Call or text 970-443-8119 for meaningful answers to your intelligent questions about our bed bug heat treatment equipment.
We appreciate and thank you for your time.