Virtually all of reliable sources on bed bug control state that heat or steam treatments are the most effective method in controlling and eliminating bed bugs. Aside from the safety features of these methods they also destroy their eggs which can stay dormant for years and probably longer. Since bed bugs tend to be `homely` creatures, typically found within 2 meters of their victims, sleeping humans, why aren’t these methods promoted to a far greater degree, especially since they are superior to the employment of chemically based treatments like pesticides and insecticides?
While heat treatment is considered a good method of controlling bed bugs, it is not always 100% effective. When heat is applied bed bugs will try to escape through cracks and crevices or following plumbing and wiring to a cooler location in the building. Most bugs and eggs in the heated area will be killed. Once the rooms have cooled down, there is no residual effect to prevent a re-invasion. Many successful professionals use a combination of treatment methods to ensure an effect and long lasting control program. Most important is a very thorough inspection to locate problem areas. Beds are just one likely spot. Thorough vacuuming can remove some live bugs and eggs. Insecticide sprays will flush out some from hideouts that heat may not penetrate. If residual pesticides are applied in appropriate locations before heat treatment, those attempting to escape will be affected.
Fumigation is not considered an effective method of control.