Heat does not mean fire in bed bug extermination.
Last week, Global news reported an apartment fire in Edmonton, Alberta that resulted in $4.5M worth of damage. The cause of the fire was a propane-fuelled heater, which was being used to exterminate bed bugs. Under normal circumstances, the use of a propane heater would not result in fire. In this case, the heater ignited combustible material inside the apartment, resulting in fire. Six people were injured in the Edmonton fire – two adults, two children and two firefighters. Edmonton Fire Rescue is still reviewing the circumstances of the fire. Its investigation is considered ongoing.
In May of this year, a similar incident was reported in Cincinnati, Ohio. When fire broke out inside of its owner’s home, they lost absolutely everything.
The war on bed bugs is being battled all across North America and many exterminators are using heat to eradicate them. Their sources, however, are not all the same. While some consider propane-fuelled sources to be safe and reliable, others consider them risky business. Propane heaters must be used in units where all combustible materials or ignition sources have been removed. This is very, very important, since more often than not fires are the direct result of combustible materials that have been left behind.
We use electric heaters, believing them to be safer and more reliable than propane fuelled heaters. Besides the fact that propane heaters are highly combustible, they also give off carbon monoxide – fumes that are toxic in high volumes.
When choosing a bed bug exterminator, choose a company that is trained to use the equipment, experienced and professional. We were using our electric heating systems long before we went into the extermination business. We were using it to harden concrete, but soon discovered that it was an effective technique for exterminating bed bugs as well.