Heat Treatment or Insecticides - Bed Bugs

5 Replies

Well it was only a matter of time before I had a bed bug issue.... I don't want to get into the details of it but suffice to say, I bought a property, and about a week in we discover roaches and bed bugs. 

I'm fine letting the property sit vacant while we get it cleared out. But I'm not sure which direction to go. 

Exterminators that have heat treatment equipment, hands down, recommend heat treatment as the only way. Except this method as quoted will be 3200 for the heat treatment and another 500+ for roach treatment. 

Option number two, exterminators that offer only insecticide, highly recommend this as a cheaper option that works after 2-3 treatments. Especially in vacant units. This can be done for as little as $500-$600 total.

So, the question is, which is better, which actually works, which doesn't work? 

Everyone I speak to has a vested interest in recommending me what they can and not what's in my best interest. So I turn to the wisdom of Bigger Pockets.  

(please don't answer both, I know that they work great in tandem. The question is which is better, or do they work individually) 

Originally posted by @Anthony R. :

Well it was only a matter of time before I had a bed bug issue.... I don't want to get into the details of it but suffice to say, I bought a property, and about a week in we discover roaches and bed bugs. 

I'm fine letting the property sit vacant while we get it cleared out. But I'm not sure which direction to go. 

Exterminators that have heat treatment equipment, hands down, recommend heat treatment as the only way. Except this method as quoted will be 3200 for the heat treatment and another 500+ for roach treatment. 

Option number two, exterminators that offer only insecticide, highly recommend this as a cheaper option that works after 2-3 treatments. Especially in vacant units. This can be done for as little as $500-$600 total.

So, the question is, which is better, which actually works, which doesn't work? 

Everyone I speak to has a vested interest in recommending me what they can and not what's in my best interest. So I turn to the wisdom of Bigger Pockets.  

(please don't answer both, I know that they work great in tandem. The question is which is better, or do they work individually) 

 lol, ya your boy has experience.

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The heat treatment is obviously the most efficient way to go. However the cost is about 6x that of the poison. If the infestation isn't too extreme you should be fine to go with the insecticide. I've only ever had to go full on heat treatment a couple times & that was for some freakin insane infestations that you see in my photos above. Other than that we primarily use the insecticide. 

Sounds like this is your 1st experience with bed bugs. It certainly won't be your last. Especially if you are in low class neighborhoods & have a lot of multi family buildings. What I recommend doing at larger multi family buildings on an ongoing basis is preventative quarterly treatments. 

@James Wise Awesome, this is what I was hoping to hear. I can't blame the exterminators for pushing products they have but it's EXTREMELY hard to find a no BS answer. They make it seem like if you don't heat treat, it'll never get fixed.

I appreciate the Wis[e]dom 

@James Wise follow up question. Out of curiosity, when you find bed bugs or roaches, since they're both likely brought in by that tenant, do you remove the tenant or treat and see if it returns first? 

I see that bed bug prep is intensive and it's not likely a tenant is going to take all the necessary steps required to clean their things prior to treatment. What has been your experience? 

Originally posted by @Anthony R. :

@James Wise follow up question. Out of curiosity, when you find bed bugs or roaches, since they're both likely brought in by that tenant, do you remove the tenant or treat and see if it returns first? 

I see that bed bug prep is intensive and it's not likely a tenant is going to take all the necessary steps required to clean their things prior to treatment. What has been your experience? 

 They are definitely brought in by the tenant. Walls don't grow bugs amigo. When you have a multi family building it can be tough to track exactly who started the bug issue. To be honest there are a lot of bed bugs in Cleveland. Cleveland actually has more bed bugs than anywhere else in the world. (SEE ARTICLE HERE)

Problem is you run into tenant A who's got bed bugs. You treat the bed bugs then he goes to his buddies house who's also got bed bugs. Guess what, you got bed bugs again. Same thing happens when somebody garbage picks a couch or their kids go over a friends house. If you are in the low income neighborhoods bed bugs are something you are going to deal with many times over.