How do you choose the right bed bug steamer?
This refers to the amount of water the steamer can hold at one time. This is usually indicative of the type and extent of steaming you can do with any particular bed bug steamer.
You have handheld steamers that can hold about 10 ounces of water which can deliver about 15 to 20 minutes of steaming.
For bed bug treatment, this may be an ineffective way and here’s is why. When the water gets exhausted and you go to get the tank refilled, by the time you are ready to continue, the already treated areas would have sufficiently cooled down to allow some bed bugs move back into them. If you then decide to continue from where you stopped, you may just find that during the stop for refilling, the already treated areas became re-infected.
Your best bet is to get a bed bug steamer that can deliver continuous steam for about an hour. These will however not likely be handheld models. If what you really want are the compact handheld versions, then understand the implication as far as it has to do with bed bug treatment.
It is important that the temperature of the steam is enough to kill the bed bugs and their eggs. To kill bed bugs, the temperature should be at least 120 to 130 degrees as that is the temperature at which the heat can kill them. However, for better effectiveness go for steamers that achieve temperatures up to 170 degrees and above. You will then have ensured that any bed bug or egg will be killed immediately upon contact.
Pressure and pressure adjustment
Look out for the pressure the steamer is capable of. This is usually given in psi (pressure per square inch). The higher the pressure, the hotter and dryer the steam will be. The minimum psi you should consider should be about 40 psi.
You should also try to go for a model that allows you to adjust the pressure at the tip. This helps both with the efficiency of the treatment and also the proper utilization of the steam. Some areas may require higher pressure than others.
If you want to treat an area that has a lot of deep hiding places and crevices, you will certainly need a higher pressure so the steam can reach deep into those hiding places. If however, you want to treat a hard material with little hiding places, you may not need as much pressure.
Percentage of water in the steam
The idea behind using steam is so you won’t end up leaving the treated areas wet. As we noted above, the higher the pressure, the dryer the steam will be. The maximum percentage of water you should have in the steam should be about 5%.
If you have more than this, then you will likely leave a trail of wetness after you. In addition to this, you will also promote the growth of mildew and mold.
Some steamers – especially those used for commercial steaming – allow for continuous flow. This means you can refill the tank as it works. You do not need to unplug, wait for the de-pressurization before refilling and then waiting for heating. Once the water in the tank gets low, you can have it refilled even as you continue with the steaming.
This type will be ideal for major projects and maybe not for home treatment of bed bugs unless you think the treatment requires such heavy steaming.
Steamers are not just used for treating bed bug infestations. They are great for cleaning, disinfecting and even straightening rumpled clothes.
There you have it. We have looked at important factors you should consider especially if you are looking out for the best bed bug steamers since the bed bug heat treatment costs are much lower if you use your own steamer for bed bugs. And to help you some more, we have put together a list of 10-bedbug steamers for your consideration. Go through our review and see if one of these meets your requirements.