Hope College Builds Bed Bug Heat Chamber

Hope College

If you live in the US, odds are you’ve lived most of your life knowing about bed bugs from the little “don’t let the bed bugs bite” saying when being tucked in as a kid. Bed bugs were basically wiped out in the mid-1900s but they’ve started to show back up. Like any insect, you can’t ever really wipe them out 100% across a continent so they have been steadily growing in numbers for decades.

As the population grows, little pests like these resurface here and there; add in easy, cheap travel options and you’ve got the right recipe for insect growth right alongside us humans. In dorms and university housing, bed bugs can pop up out of nowhere and certain bed bug extermination methods like fumigation and chemicals can simply chase them to nearby rooms or to hiding spots causing more headaches than you can imagine.

Hope College in Michigan evaluated their options for treating these annoying little bugs and came to the conclusion it would be easier to keep their own extermination device on campus to use when they need it. Costing $50,000, a portable heat chamber device was built and put into action. They used one from a local company before but due to scheduling conflicts, it seemed more logical to just have one on hand, especially considering Michigan and Minnesota have been two of the states hit hard by this new bed bug population boom.

The dean of students, John E. Jobson said “in response to the reality that bed bugs are a part of college and university housing and our commitment to effectively respond to these situations with a minimal disruption to our students as possible.”

How It Works

Large insect exterminator companies have these and what they do is simply create an environment where insects and their eggs simply cannot survive. It cooks them thoroughly and there is no hiding from the heat. Even if they drop off a bed, they remain contained in the device and die quickly. The device itself is pretty much a large heating unit with adjustable plastic sleeves (think large dry cleaner bag) that can be setup around an entire bed, no matter what size it is.

This setup works amazingly well and prevents the bed bugs from “bugging out” to nearby furniture or the room next door.

You can usually choose the heat chamber option as an addition to a full home or full unit package when you select a bed bug extermination service. This is almost a must treatment if you run a small apartment building or hotel/motel. Combine the heat chamber with high heat drying of linens and some baseboard spraying and you can knock out even the most irritating infestation in just a few days or weeks.

As of March 2013, 1 percent of the on-campus beds have needed treatment and each time the results have been impressive. Currently there are zero cases of bed bugs and no students have even reported a “suspected case”.

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