Bed bugs have been a persistent nuisance to humans for centuries. These parasitic insects, scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, have coexisted with humans for thousands of years, and their resilience and ability to adapt have made them one of our closest ectoparasites.

Throughout history, humans have made remarkable advancements in technology and pharmaceuticals to combat various pests and diseases. However, bed bugs have  proven to be exceptionally resilient, surviving every attempt made by mankind to control their populations effectively. Bed bug infestations have, in fact, experienced a significant proliferation over the past decade, posing an increasing challenge for communities worldwide.

Understanding the Bed Bug Battle 

One of the primary reasons behind the survival and resilience of bed bugs is their unique biology and behaviour. Bed bugs are highly adaptable creatures that have evolved various mechanisms to thrive in human environments. Specifically, bed bugs find the ideal conditions for their survival in environments where a consistent source of food is available. The bedrooms of most homes often provide this optimal environment. In such favourable conditions, a female bed bug can lay between one and five eggs per day. This reproductive capability contributes to the rapid expansion of their populations. Whatsmore, bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, often latching onto luggage, clothing, or furniture, allowing them to spread rapidly from one location to another. 

Humans were not the only ones impacted by Covid lockdowns. Bed bugs were as well. When travel restrictions were imposed, hotels closed, and people were confined to their homes, a noticeable decline in bed bug sightings occurred. In Canada, for instance, reported bed bug sightings saw a significant 20 per cent decrease in 2020. However, now that the pandemic is firmly in the rear-view mirror and life has mostly returned to normal, bed bugs have made a resurgence. They have once again latched onto us as we go about our daily lives, reminding us of their persistent presence and resilience.

The resistance of bed bugs to control measures such as pesticides presents a major hurdle in effectively managing infestations. Over the years bed bug populations have exhibited a remarkable ability to develop resistance to numerous commonly-used insecticides, diminishing the efficacy of these chemical treatments in eradicating these pests. This resistance phenomenon is a consequence of the genetic adaptability of bed bugs, enabling them to rapidly evolve and acquire defence mechanisms to survive exposure to chemical agents.

In a study conducted in 2010, researchers investigating bed bug resistance to insecticides found that nearly 90 per cent of bed bugs throughout the United States exhibited a mutation that conferred them with the ability to withstand the effects of insecticides such as DDT and pyrethroids. This finding highlighted the widespread presence of this genetic adaptation among bed bug populations, indicating a formidable challenge in effectively controlling these pests using conventional chemical treatments.

The Power of Steam

Steam cleaning has become a popular means to get rid of bed bugs, providing an effective and non-chemical option to combat bed bugs, particularly in the early stages of infestation. By harnessing the power of high temperatures, steam becomes a valuable tool in integrated pest management (IPM) strategies targeting bed bugs.

Steam cleaning involves applying hot, pressurised steam to areas infested with bed bugs, including mattresses, furniture, baseboards, and cracks and crevices where these pests tend to hide. The elevated temperature of the steam proves lethal to bed bugs at all life stages. As the steam makes contact with the pests, the intense heat quickly permeates their bodies, causing cellular damage and ultimately leading to their demise.

A notable advantage of steam treatment is its chemical-free nature, appealing to individuals concerned about the potential health risks associated with insecticides. By relying solely on the power of heat, steam eradicates bed bugs without leaving behind any chemical residues. This not only provides a safe and environmentally friendly alternative but also reduces the risk of exposure to potentially harmful substances.

The Limitations of Standard Steamers

Whilst steam cleaning can serve as an effective initial response to bed bug infestations, it’s crucial to recognise that it may not offer long-lasting residual effects due to certain limitations. Standard steamers commonly release high levels of moisture, resulting in residual water on treated surfaces. This excess moisture creates a damp environment that can foster bed bugs' survival and reproduction rather than eradicate them. 

Another important consideration is that standard steamers might not always completely eliminate bed bugs. In some cases, the steam can disperse the pests, causing them to scatter and potentially relocate to different areas. This dispersal can impede eradication efforts and result in the bed bugs returning or infesting new locations, which is far from ideal.

Freshly laid bed bug eggs add an additional challenge for traditional steamers. Female bed bugs secrete a sticky, glue-like substance to secure their eggs to various surfaces, including vertical walls or the undersides of furniture. Removing this adhesive material with conventional steamers can prove difficult, hindering the effectiveness of steam treatments in eliminating the eggs and preventing further infestations.

Why Superheated Steam is the Ultimate Solution 

The use of superheated steam is a recommended bed bug treatment for effective eradication. Superheated steam is heated to an extremely high temperature and this elevated temperature is crucial for achieving the desired results in bed bug eradication. The intense heat generated by superheated steam is lethal to bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle. It effectively destroys their bodies by causing thermal shock, denaturing proteins, and rupturing cell membranes. This makes it an efficient and reliable method for killing bed bugs, including the bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adult forms.

Superheated steam can penetrate deeply into various surfaces, such as mattresses, upholstery, carpets, cracks, and crevices where bed bugs may reside, ensuring a more thorough treatment. By penetrating these secluded harbourage sites, superheated steam can effectively get rid of bed bugs that may otherwise escape other treatment methods.

Polti's Cutting-Edge Solution to Combat Bed Bug Infestations 

When it comes to superheated steam solutions, Polti is unrivalled. With an illustrious history dating back to 1978, Polti has continuously pioneered the development of household appliances that harness the power of steam. Utilising patented technology Polti Cimex Eradicator, sets a new standard in the targeted eradication of bed bugs, showcasing Polti's unwavering dedication to delivering unparalleled results in pest control.

The Polti Cimex Eradicator sets itself apart by utilising dry saturated steam superheated to 180°C to eradicate bed bugs. Unlike standard steamers, this advanced device reaches temperatures of up to 180°C, delivering dry saturated superheated steam that instantly gets rid of bed bugs upon contact. In comparison, standard steamers typically reach temperatures of 99-105 °C. Not only does the Polti Cimex Eradicator provide higher heat levels, but it also excels in producing steam with minimal moisture. This ensures that no excess moisture is left behind during the treatment process.

To enhance its capabilities, the Polti Cimex Eradicator is further complemented by the inclusion of HPMed. This eco-friendly detergent is specifically formulated to target the gel-like protective coating of bed bug eggs, aiding in their removal and eliminating the unpleasant odours caused by bed bugs without causing any damage to surfaces and fabrics. This combination of superheated steam and HPMed provides a comprehensive treatment for tackling bed bug infestations.

For a deeper understanding of the Polti Cimex Eradicator, we invite you to explore our product page.

Polti Cimex Eradicator is an appliance which is able to eliminate bed bugs and their eggs without using insecticides. Dry saturated steam superheated to 180°C kills 100% of eggs and 90% of adult bedbugs by thermal shock on the very first stroke*.