Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs: 3 Ways to Kill Bed Bugs at Home

Using heat treatment for bed bugs is probably the smartest way to get rid of these buggers for good. Heat is all-natural so it’s safe and non-toxic for you and your family, it’s convenient and sanitary, and the best part? It’s very lethal for bed bugs.

Studies have found that bed bugs will die at 113 degrees Fahrenheit if it’s sustained for 90 minutes or more. But they’ll die even quicker – just 20 minutes – at 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bed bug eggs are a little more resilient – to get rid of them, you need to expose them to 118 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to reach 100% mortality.

So how do you expose these pesky blood suckers to heat high enough to kill them? It can all be done in the comfort for your home. Here are the best 3 heat treatments for bed bugs to do at home!

Your Dryer Makes an Easy Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs

This under-appreciated household appliance is hands down the easiest way to kill bed bugs and will soon become your best friend in your battle to get rid of bed bugs.

That’s because clothes dryers typically reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than sufficient to kill bed bugs for good. Not sure how hot your dryer gets? Check with Thermal Dot Stickers.

Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs

Use it for clothes, towels, bedding, stuffed animals, backpacks, sleeping bags and any other fabric that can survive the dryer.

The bed bugs will probably be dead after 30 minutes on high heat, but run it for at least 90 minutes to make sure you killed them all – including the bed bug eggs.

Kill All Bed Bugs with a Bed Bug Heater

If you have a lot of items in your house that you can’t simply toss in the dryer or clean out one by one, a bed bug hot box is the best thing to kill bed bugs on pretty much all your belongings.

These units can safely heat up to around 160°F and effectively kill bed bugs within a few hours.

The large heaters like the ZappBug Room can be pricey – around $1,500 – but it’s huge enough to fit in furniture like mattresses and couches, as well as entire shelving units so you get rid of bed bugs from pretty much everything you own.

huge bed bug heater

This is hands-down the most convenient option to heat treat all your stuff for bed bugs in one easy go, but if the cost is prohibitive – check around your area for bed bug heater rentals.

If it turns out that the cost of renting a unit for several days and the cost for buying a unit is roughly the same, check with your neighbors to see if they’d be interested in sharing the costs with you. Especially if you live in a multi-unit building like an apartment or condo, there’s a good chance your neighbors are dealing with a bed bug infestation as well so you can likely all chip in for a quick solution.

Plus, this way, you can eradicate the bed bug problem from the entire building, making re-infestation a lot less likely.

Another option for treating smaller objects that can’t be places in the dryer is to opt for a smaller, portable heater. These are perfect for things like shoes, handbags, books, papers, tools, clothes, and even your suitcase, which makes it an essential bed bug prevention tool to take along when you travel.

The ThermalStrike Ranger is the best to take along on vacation – it folds up nicely, hardly takes up any room in a carry-on, and will prevent any bed bugs hitching a ride back home with you

Use a Steamer to Kill Bed Bugs On Contact

A steamer is probably the most handy tool you can have in your fight against bed bugs since it allows you to heat kill bed bugs in large, hard-to-wash objects that are likely to harbor the majority of the bed bug infestation, i.e. beds and couches.

You can also use a steamer on box springs, bed frames, in the corners, nooks and crannies of wooden furniture, heavy comforters you can’t wash and dry, curtains, pillows, mattresses, sofas and other upholstered furniture as well as along the tacking strips of carpet and behind baseboards.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress

Steam is very effective for killing bed bugs on contact and can reach up to 3/4″ into fabric surfaces as well as 2 to 4″ into cracks and crevices.

A professional heat steam treatment costs $300 to $1,200 but you can pick up a home steam cleaner that you can use again and again to clean and sanitize your house, even after you get rid of bed bugs. We recommend the Vapamore Primo Steam Cleaning System – it produces steam at a temperature of 214 degrees, which will kill bed bugs and more importantly, their eggs. At $300, it is pricey but it’s great quality and also comes with a lifetime warranty. 

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