Mold, as undesirable as it is, oftentimes attracts even more undesirables, with one example being mold mites. We will reveal what these pests are, how you got them, and some actionable tips on getting rid of them.
Mold Mites – What Are They?
What Do They Look Like?
Do They Pose a Threat to Humans?
Other Insects That Are Attracted to Mold
What are mold mites, and how did I get them in the first place?
Mold mites, as the name suggests, are mites that feed on mold. If they are present in your home, then you most definitely have a mold problem that needs to be dealt with.
For the most part, they are found near the mold source, but it’s not uncommon for them to also feed on stored food that is rich in protein and fat.
What do mold mites look like?
They mostly have a tan color, or sometimes even see-through, with their bodies covered in hair.
They are also hard to see with the naked eye because they are so small, although they are easier to spot when grouped in a large colony.
Do they pose a threat to humans?
On the bright side, they do not bite or feed on human blood. However, they can trigger allergic reactions in people.
Their bodies are covered in millions of tiny hairs that pollute indoor air when they fall off and become airborne. When these hairs are breathed in, they create the same type of allergic reactions as mold spores, such as shortness of breath, sneezing, coughing, and a sore throat.
These hairs are usually not a problem if the mites are present in small numbers, but they multiply incredibly fast considering that their population can double every 2-4 days with a reliable food source and in temperatures exceeding 68°F (20°C) with over 65% relative humidity levels.
How to get rid of mold mites
Trying to kill mold mites directly is not necessary because in most cases, all you have to do is eradicate their main food supply – mold.
On our how to remove mold page, you will find all the necessary information on removal methods and cleaning solutions.
Living with bed bugs is an unpleasant situation, to say the least. Getting rid of them from most of their hiding spots is fairly easy, but things get a little tricky after they have burrowed their way into mattresses or couches. The only way to kill them then is by exposing them to high temperatures, and the best way to do so is with a steamer. Here we will show you how high-temperature steam gets the job done and review some of the best bed bug steamers you can buy.
Bed Bug Steamer Review Table
Why Use Steam?
What to Look For When Choosing a Bed Bug Steamer
Water Tank Size
Accessories and Add-Ons
The Best Bed Bug Steamers
The Sunbeam Handheld Steam Press
The Conair Turbo Handheld Steamer
The Kiato Handheld Steamer
The Ivation 1800W Canister Steamer
The McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
Model: The Sunbeam Handheld Steam Press Type: Handheld Steam time 15 minutes Max temp: 212°F (100°C) Suitable for: Bedding, linen, drapery, all types of fabrics.
Model: The Conair Turbo Handheld Steamer Type: Handheld Steam time 20 minutes Max temp: 395°F (202°C) Suitable for: All fabrics/garments, upholstery, mattresses.
Model: The Kiato Handheld Steamer Type: Handheld Steam time 8 minutes Max temp: 221℉ (105℃) Suitable for: All fabrics/garments, upholstery, mattresses, tiles, kitchen, bathroom, car interior, kid’s toys.
Model: The Ivation 1800W Canister Steamer Type: Canister Steam time 30 minutes Max temp: 338°F (170°C) Suitable for: All fabrics, upholstery, mattresses, tiles, kitchen, bathroom, car interior, ovens, carpets.
Model: The McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner Type: Canister Steam time 45 minutes Max temp: 200°F (93°C) Suitable for: All fabrics, upholstery, mattresses, tiles, kitchen, bathroom, car interior, ovens, carpets.
Why use steam?
Steam is a great and highly effective way of sanitizing and killing bacteria, viruses, mites, bed bugs, and even mold without the need for using toxic and harmful chemical agents. Also, bed bugs have built up a very strong tolerance to harmful chemicals, whereas they are completely vulnerable when it comes to high-temperature steam.
Better yet, steam effortlessly penetrates most surface areas to clean and sanitize much deeper than just the surface level.
It can also remove stubborn stains, grease, and even odors from a range of different materials.
What to look for when choosing a steamer
Today there’s a large variety of steam cleaners available to buy, which can make choosing the best one for your needs a little bit difficult.
Here are some things to consider when choosing one.
Portability and functionality
There are two main types of steamers to choose from – the portable handheld ones and the larger and less portable canister types. The canisters are on wheels so they can be easily moved around, but they take more time to set up. However, what they lack in portability they make up for in functionality.
Water tank size
Handheld steamers have smaller water tanks (+- 220ml), which take just under a minute to heat up and give approximately 15 minutes of continuous steam time. For small jobs, this should be fine, but for larger ones, it could be a problem because you would have to refill the tank every few minutes.
The canister steamers have larger water tanks and can therefore easily give off hot steam for 30 to 45 minutes on average, which makes them much more suitable for bigger jobs.
Steam temperature is a very important factor to consider. Most steamers are capable of producing 120°F (48°C) steam which is enough to kill mold, bed bugs, bacteria, and viruses upon contact.
If the need for eliminating bed bug eggs is one of the primary reasons for wanting a steamer, then one that creates 120°F (48°C) steam won’t do.
Instead, you would need temperatures of around 300°F (149°C) to kill the eggs instantly. Fortunately, the Ivation 1800W Canister Steamer, reviewed on this page, easily exceeds that required temperature.
Accessories and add-ons
Accessories and add-ons extend the capabilities of the steamer, which is extremely useful as it allows you to clean various surfaces and materials such as tiles, tile grout, mattresses, carpets, etc. Most of the canister types include and can support these types of add-ons, but not all handheld steamers do.
The best bed bug steamers
Whether you want a steamer for general cleaning and sanitizing, or for bed bugs and mold – here are the best handheld and canister versions for what you need.
Sunbeam Handheld Garment Travel Steam Press
Not only does this steamer excel at sanitizing and removing wrinkles from fabrics, but thanks to its high-temperature steam, it also effectively kills bed bugs.
Its 300ml tank heats water to a maximum of 212°F (100°C) in a mere 45 seconds and will give off 15 minutes of continuous deep-penetrating steam. The water tank twists off easily, which makes refilling easy and quick and its base allows it to stand on flat surfaces between uses.
Things to keep in mind:
1: It has a feature that keeps the device releasing steam if you lift the trigger after pressing. This is convenient, but also dangerous because you can unknowingly engage it and you won’t know until you’ve put the steamer down and see that it’s still releasing steam.
2: The device is not cordless and has a relatively long swivel cord that measures 10 feet long. This is both good and bad – good because it gives you reach and bad because the cord is permanently attached thus prevents the steamer from being stored easily because you first have to wrap the cord around the device.
3: The steam reaches a maximum temperature of 212°F (100°C), which is sufficient for killing bed bugs. However, it’s not enough to kill their eggs.
Overall, the Sunbeam GCSBHS-100-000 handheld steamer is a high-quality product that can easily kill bed bugs by penetrating steam into mattresses, upholstery, curtains, teddy bears, and a whole lot more.
The product has dimensions of 6.88 x 5.03 x 11.22 inches, weighs 2.46 pounds, and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Conair Turbo Extreme Handheld Steamer
The freestanding Conair Turbo Extreme steamer is easy to use. Just fill the 230ml water tank and wait 40 seconds for it to convert the water into steam. There are also 5 steam settings to choose from ranging from delicate to supercharged turbo and LED lights to indicate when the steamer has heated the water and is ready for use.
It comes with a handy 3-in-1 attachment which includes a fabric spacer for protecting delicate fibers and trims, a silicone band for pulling taut, and more importantly, a bristle brush for extra steam penetration into fibers.
Even more impressive is its ability to reach temperatures 395°F (202°C) – which is more than enough to kill bed bug eggs upon contact, thus making it the best handheld bed bug steamer on this list.
Things to keep in mind:
1: The product has a steam on/off button located near the handle and it’s therefore easy to accidentally trigger it without knowing.
2: It has a 10 feet long swivel cord that has to be wrapped around the device when storing.
The product has dimensions of 5.6 x 8 x 13.6 inches, weighs 2.2 pounds, and has a limited 2-year warranty.
Kiato Handheld Steamer
The Kiato Handheld Steamer includes a 10 piece accessory set that allows you to use the steamer on various items such as mattresses, sofas, kid’s toys, vehicle interiors, clothing, and even floors, toilets, ovens, etc.
It has a large 450ml tank, but it’s recommended to only add 250ml water for optimal use. The water takes about 2 and half minutes to create 221℉ (105℃) pressurized steam, which is hot enough to kill bed bugs, as well as all types of bacteria on contact.
Also, it’s fairly lightweight, portable, and comes with a power cord that measures just over 16 feet long.
The product weighs just under 5 pounds and has dimensions of 10.67 x 9.8 x 6.34 inches.
Ivation 1800W Canister Steamer
The Ivation 1800W Canister Steamer obliviates bed bugs and their eggs instantly upon contact because of its scorching hot 338°F (170°C) steam.
Even better is that the steamer includes 14 accessories that allow you to sanitize and steam just about any surface area such as floors, clothing, curtains, and even greasy ovens.
Its 2-liter capacity tank takes 7 minutes to heat up and provides an impressive 30 minutes of 338°F (170°C) continuous high pressure and deep penetrating steam. Pressure can be monitored via a manometer and even controlled with the built-in pressure control switch.
The unit may not be as portable as a handheld steamer, but its wheels are rugged and smooth which allows for it to be easily and effortlessly moved over various surfaces such as laminated floors, hardwood floors, and carpets. Also, its lengthy 16.4-foot power cord and 5-foot steam hose enable it to reach anywhere.
The product has dimensions of 19.69 x 12.6 x 42.91 inches, weighs 13.75 pounds, and has a limited 1-year warranty.
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
The McCulloch MC1275 is called a heavy-duty steamer, and for the most part, it is but unfortunately lacks the necessary steam temperature to kill bed bug eggs upon contact.
It has a 1.5-liter capacity tank that heats water to a maximum of 200°F (93°C) in about 8 minutes. Steam exists through a powerful jet nozzle for up to 45 minutes and the handle has an optional lock that keeps releasing steam without having to hold the trigger down.
You will be able to steam clean just about any part and surface area of your home because of the 18 accessories included. Also, the 15.7-foot long power cord and 9-foot long steam hose increase its maneuverability while making it easy for hard-to-reach places.
The product has dimensions of 20.08 x 13 x 12.6 inches and weighs 12 pounds.
Heat is a guaranteed way of killing bed bugs because unlike pesticides, they cannot build up immunity to it. Here we will discuss how to kill them with bed bug heaters, and how these devices work, along with the pros and cons. We will also review two of the best bed bug heaters you can buy – the Dr. Infrared heater DR-122 and the ThermalStrike Ranger.
What is a bed bug heater and how does it work?
Pros and cons
What can be put inside a heater?
The best bed bug heaters
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122 The large tent heater evenly distributes heat to a temperature of 120-155°F (50-70°C) within minutes. It also includes features such as an automatic timer and a thermostat.
The ThermalStrike Ranger The heater has an internal PVC enclosure with welded construction to prevent heat loss and to stop bed bugs from escaping. It heats to a temperature of 120°F (49°C).
What is a bed bug heater and how does it work?
Modern-day bed bug heaters consist of an insulated bag that you set up like a tent, with a built-in heating element, thermometer, and timer.
Whatever items you suspect or know of to contain bed bugs gets placed within the bag. After the bag is sealed everything inside gets heated evenly, thus killing all bed bugs.
Pros and cons
1: 100% kill rate: The heat spreads evenly throughout the bag and all items contained within while also penetrating deep into places that cannot be reached by pesticides, thus ensuring a 100% kill rate.
2: Non-toxic: Bed bug heating systems rely solely on heat and not toxic pesticides. It’s therefore a much healthier way of eradicating pests.
3: Kills bed bugs through all life stages: Chemicals have a limited effect on bed bugs, and if that’s not bad enough, it does not affect the eggs that are already laid. Meaning that soon after pesticide treatment, the eggs will hatch, and the problem will start all over again. Heat is the only way of guaranteeing that bed bugs, along with their eggs, are killed.
4: Full control over the eradication process: A quality heating system comes with a timer and thermostat.
1: Potential fire hazard: Although many of these products claim to be safe, one can never be too careful as there is always the possibility of fire which can lead to damage to property and/or loss of life. Always follow the safety guidelines of the product, and as an extra safety precaution never leave it running while unattended.
What can be placed inside the heating chamber?
What can be placed and the number of items that can be placed within the bed bug heater are limited by the size of the chamber.
In general, most household items suspected of harboring bed bugs are perfectly suitable, such as clothes, cushions, books, kid’s toys, etc. Just use your own discretion when it comes to electronic equipment because the heat can damage such devices. Electronics, especially those with LCD screens such as cellphones should rather not be placed in the chamber.
If you are fairly certain that bed bugs are in your electronic equipment, then try this instead.
The best bed bug heaters
Here we have listed the best electric bed bug heaters for sale – the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122 and the ThermalStrike Ranger.
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122 Bed Bug Heater
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122 comes with everything you will need to kill those pesky bed bugs.
The tent is sizeable at three and a half feet tall and can fit most household items with ease. It’s made from heavy-duty nylon and has industrial-grade zippers which makes it extremely durable, while also being portable and collapsible for easy out-of-the-way storage when not in use.
Inside the tent is a 2 tier steel rack that helps prevent cluttering and a quiet turbofan, both of which help prevent hot and cold spots. The product uses radiant heating which heats up to 120-155°F (50-70°C) in minutes.
Additional features include a thermostat and a timer that automatically shuts everything off once the desired temperature has been reached.
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122 bed bug heater also comes with a limited 1-year manufacturer warranty.
The product has dimensions of 38 x 26 x 38 inches and weighs 27 pounds.
ThermalStrike Ranger Bed Bug Heater
The ThermalStrike Ranger Bed Bug Heater has a smaller compartment size than the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-122. On the other hand, it uses a unique patented heating system and is the preferred choice among many professional exterminators at their own homes.
The tent, which measures 18″ x 14″ x 29″ inches, has an internal PVC enclosure with welded construction. This makes it perfectly sealed to prevent heat loss and bed bugs from escaping during treatment. The outer shell is made from durable 420D nylon with industrial-grade zippers. On the inside, temperatures of over 120°F (49°C) will be reached, which is enough to kill bed bugs at all of their life-stages.
Safety is of extreme importance when dealing with bed bug heaters which is why the product has been lab certified for safety. It includes a built-in timer, a digital thermometer and has been constructed from UL parts.
The product has dimensions of 18.31 x 14.25 x 7.36 inches and weighs 8.5 pounds.