Bed bugs are known as one of the most hated household pests. They can cause much discomfort including insomnia, psychological problems and allergic reactions.
Their cryptic habits and ability to hide in cracks and crevices make it extremely difficult to kill them. No single treatment can kill bed bugs. You need a range of treatments to kill bed bugs two of which are cold treatment and fumigation.
The insect cannot withstand extreme temperatures. Studies have shown that the pest die within 30 minutes of being exposed to temperature at -17°C (1.4°F) - the freezing point for the insect.
There are 3 freezing techniques: cold freezer, a naturally cold environment and frozen CO2. In each case, the temperature must be at least -17°C. If your home freezer can reach this temperature it is a good way to kill bed bugs on fabric sensitive to extreme heat.
Wrap the object into a sheet, towel or other types of absorbent material that collects condensation. Place the wrapped object into a plastic bag, extract the air from the bag and seal it tightly.
Place the object into the freezer for at least 2 weeks. Avoid defrosting freezers because they are very dry and don't maintain steady temperature in their cycle. Do not freeze objects made of layers of paintings, lacquer ware, ivory or photograph. Objects consisting of one material such as wool or wood are ideal.
Cryonite is the main CO2 product in the market designed to kill bed bugs. Cryonite freezes the fluid in the insect's cells and cause instant death. The cells crystallise when the insect cools to -20 °C to -30 °C. The snow is -78.8°C (110°F). CO2 snow evaporates and becomes CO2 gas when it hits surfaces at normal temperature.
Cryonite is available to rent or purchase. You don't need a license to operate it.
a. It freezes the pests in hard-to-reach areas such as cracks and crevices.
b. It kills bed bugs quickly.
c. It kills the insect at all stages in the life cycle.
d. It leaves no messy residues and it requires no drying time.
e. It can be used on any surface. The cold does not penetrate the material.
f. CO2 in Cryonite is non-toxic.
g. It flushes the insects from the harbourage and makes them easy target for the vacuum's nozzle.
h. Infested items that cannot handle extreme heat and is not sensitive to moisture are perfect to treat with Cryonite.
i. Deep freezing is a quick DIY treatment.
j. Freezing with Cryonite takes a short time to kill bed bugs.
a. Freezing has no residual effect.
b. The pests can re-infest.
Health and safety issues
Read the instructions carefully before using the Cryonite unit. Be very careful with the snow. It can reach temperature of -110°F. This can burn the skin.
In extremely severe infestation, fumigation is the best bed bug treatment. This bed bug treatment kills the pests at all stages in the life cycle. Fumigation gases remains in the air and are easily spread over a wide area.
Ethylene oxide (ETO), a gaseous fumigant used in libraries in the 1980s, cause serious health problems to workers. Studies have shown that ETO can alter the physical and chemical properties of paper, parchment and leather.
Residual ETO remains in untreated material that causes off-gassing toxins. Lethal fumigants include methyl bromide, sulphur dioxide, propylene oxide, sulfuryl flouride and aluminum phosphide. Asphyxiants such as carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen are classified as fumigants.
There is heavy reliance on fumigation treatment, especially in severe infestation since the insects are developing resistance to household pesticides.
a. Kills bed bugs at all stages in the life cycle.
b. Can be applied to the whole room.
c. It is the ideal treatment for severe infestation.
a. It has no residual effect.
b. It is the most toxic of all pesticides.
c. The pests can re-infest after the treatment subsides.
This treatment is very expensive and you need to hire special equipment to fumigate a whole room. However, when the treatment is done properly it is guaranteed that all the insects in the infested area will die.