Thinking Of Heat As A Treatment For Killing Bed Bugs

Thinking of heat as a treatment for killing bed bugs in Toronto? Here are your options…

bedbug+heat+treatmentFor people living in the Toronto area bed bugs have become a serious concern. Hundreds of homeowners are being exposed to these insects each and every day and although they may seem small in size, bed bugs can have a horrible impact on those that find themselves having to get rid of them!

Over the past few years a number of new options for treating a home infested with bedbugs have come to the forefront. The most promising – Heat! That’s right, heating a home to the ‘thermal kill range’ and taking care of the problem in one fell swoop.
Unlike pesticides, heat is simply that – the temperature of the air is warmed to the point where it permeates every little crack and crevice where the bugs hide and literally cooks them. An important aspect of this is that the high temperature also kills the bed bug eggs as well – no pesticide approved for use in Canada can do this.
When done properly, a bed bug heat treatment is safe, 100% effective and a true solution to the problem of bed bug eradication.
Not all bed bug heat treatments are the same. As it is a relatively new process, entrepreneurial types have invented new ways to heat a home. Below, see your options and make an informed decision.

Types of bed bug heat treatments

There are three different types of equipment currently being used to kill bed bugs in the Toronto area; PropaneElectric and Heat Transfer Fluid or ‘HTF’.
Let’s have a look at each one’s benefits and drawbacks.
The propane based system utilizes a truck that is parked outside of the home to be treated for bed bugs. Propane is burned and the associated hot air is then blown into the home through a large flexible duct. Although the air at the source of ignition is very hot, significant heat loss occurs during the airs journey through the duct. In addition, the hot air comes out of one source only – the duct which is inefficient and may cause damage to belongings inside the home.


This system gets kudos for being the first bed bug heat treatment to be introduced but, as you will see below, falls far short in many respects compared to others introduced since. In addition, there have been many reports of this system causing damage to articles located inside the treatment area.

Online reviews of companies using this type of bed bug heat treatment in Toronto show many cases of damage to belongings located in the home.

High marks for being the first but no longer recommended – there are much better options.



The concept of treating a home with hot air generated by simple electric heaters is not new. In the past these systems were used to treat for spores and even to dry out basements after a flood.

Of great benefit to this system is the ability of the treatment technicians to move the actual source of the heat easily into the affected areas of the home that have the highest concentration of the bed bugs in them.

The electric heat systems now in use for bedbugs are arguably more effective than the propane however, the heaters themselves are not extremely powerful relative to the ‘HTF’ (see below).
Heat treating with electric involves moving high-voltage units with their accompanying high-voltage power lines into a home. This, coupled with the heating elements themselves pose an obvious risk of fire and/or electrocution.


In addition, the electric method often takes much longer to heat the space sufficiently to ensure a total kill of the bed bugs and their eggs due to their relative lack of power. This lack of power in heating a space sufficiently and quickly enough posses the threat of repelling the bed bugs deeper into walls and crevices.
Electric heat systems are better (in some ways) and worse (in some ways) than the propane but fall far short in efficacy relative to the system described below and may pose significant safety hazards while being used.
For these reasons, the electric heat system is not recommended.
And, finally –

Our Winner!… “HTF”  

The Heat Transfer Fluid or ‘HTF’ system is the latest and most modern heat system for killing bed bugs. It is now available in the Toronto area.

This system is quite ingenious in its simplicity. Here are the basics of how it works…

A simple viscous fluid is heated by two high-power burners (located in a relatively small trailer) and pumped through lines to heat transfer units that are placed strategically inside the home. This system operates much like a simple radiator system. When the hot fluid goes through the heat exchanger(s) inside the home a built-in fan transfers the clean heat to the surrounding air.
Supplemental fans are placed in the space to ensure good and even airflow. The system is  ‘closed loop’  so there is constant flow of hot fluid circulating through the system at all times. This enables the system to consistently kill not only the bed bugs but also their eggs.

This type of system enables your heat treatment crew to raise the temperature of the treatment area quickly and sufficiently to ensure a 100% thorough job each and every time.

The primary benefits of HTF system are:

  1. Absolutely no risk of fire
  2. Sufficient temperature to ensure that the bed bugs are not repelled and guarantee a 100% kill
  3. It’s ‘green’ as in it does not use a huge amount of electricity or produce extra gaseous emissions
  4. This heat system is easy to scale for any sized job from small to very large.


Considering the above mentioned comparisons it is clear that the HTF system has proven to be the safest and most effective system for bed bug heat eradication. When selecting a company for the heat job it is important to remember that killing bed bugs in this way – although extremely effective because only one treatment is necessary and there is very little preparation necessary prior to the commencement of the job – that the cost is usually higher than the traditional pesticide spray treatments, however, the benefits far outweigh the difference in pricing as most companies guarantee 100% eradication.



The HTF glycol system has been proven to be the best for bed bug heat treatments.

When all is taken into consideration – there is simply no better option than a heat treatment to solve a bedbug problem.

When selecting a company you are cautioned not to necessarily go with the lowest price. Ensure that the company is legitimate, ask for proof of insurance – it should be a minimum of 2 million dollars in Canada – and take heed that a company that quotes on the very low end may not necessarily take the time required to do the job correctly (they would have to do more jobs to make up for the low price and take less time per job to do so – makes sense right?!).

The time that it should take for a typical heat treatment is between 6 and 10 hours depending on the size of the home that is being treated and the severity of the bed bug infestation inside the home.

One Toronto based company that offers the HTF heat treatment system is GreenTech Bed Bug heat . Reviews of GreenTech Bug Heat have been excellent! They are licensed, bonded and insured and are members of all of the top level pest control associations.

GreenTech Bug Heat services all of Southern Ontario including Scarborough, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Richmond Hill, Markham, London Ontario and Hamilton.

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