As bed bug infestations continue to grow and the collective expense for consumers has been exorbitant, researchers are studying how to create new ways to kill them and stem the problem effectively and inexpensively.

While chemical sprays and heat treatments do work, they are costly, so other methods are being explored. So, while you can certainly kill bed bugs with heat, perhaps other strategies will soon be available to use as a standalone solution or in conjunction with heat warfare.

How to Kill Bed Bugs with Heat

There are many ways to use heat to eliminate bed bugs with heat:

Steam Cleaners

When it comes to products that kill bed bugs, it’s hard to beat a steam cleaner. This basically comes down to two reasons. First, the heat emanating from the device is powerful enough to kill bed beds upon contact, without a chance of them escaping. Second, attachments allow you to get inside the cracks and crevices in your house where the parasites are hiding. The only drawback is that you can only treat your house one area at a time.

bed bug fecal matter on mattress

Bed bug fecal matter on mattress

Bug Oven

Over the years, facilities such as dorms and elderly centers have employed the use of what is known as a “bug oven.” The device is the size of a duffel bag and its concept is simple. As residents enter the building, they are asked to place clothes and other belongings inside the device, which uses heat to kill any offending critters. Unfortunately, the heat is quite intense and has been known to start fires if caution isn’t utilized at all times.

Whole House Heat Treatment

This isn’t a product, per se, but it’s worth mentioning because it is a technique employed by many pest control experts, in addition to being something you can do yourself, if you’re so inclined. Think of it as a fumigation process, but with the use of heat in place of toxic chemicals. But is this safe? Most of the time, nothing bad will happen, but it’s important that you be aware of the risks.

The process itself uses heat of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for a period as long as 8 hours. This extended exposure to such intense heat is a bit risky and has, on several occasions, started a fire. But even if a fire doesn’t occur, you need to be aware of other effects, such as melting and other damage.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Using Heating Unit Systems

There are a number of heating units on the market that are designed to effectively kill all the bed bugs in your home. These systems often include two primary components: the electric heating unit itself and a series of fans. The heating unit generates a good amount of heat, but it’s limited to a small area surrounding it. In order to distribute the heat throughout the room, a series of fans are set up in strategic locations. This allows the heat to reach the bed bugs no matter where they’re hiding. Keep in mind, however, that larger homes may need to utilize more than one heating unit in order to completely get rid of the pests.

portable heating unit

Portable Heating Unit

Portable Heating Units

Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t just a problem when we’re at home. They’re also as issue when we go on trips and stay in strange hotels. Although hotels typically have a policy of specifically inspecting their rooms for bed bugs and disposing of them accordingly, you shouldn’t leave it up to someone else to protect you against them. A portable heating unit is a great way to ensure that you won’t have a problem. These smaller units can be taken anywhere and are used to treat your personal items for bed bugs.

Benefits Of Using Heating Units

  • It is considered a safe way to kill bed bugs without relying on chemicals.
  • It is relatively affordable compared to other heating methods, which can cost over $1,000 or more. This unit retails for just over $300.
  • It has a timer and offers variable heating times of up to six hours.
  • It is also an ideal solution for travelers who an take the device with them in their luggage
  • While many items cannot be placed in dryer to kill the bed bugs, they can be put into the portable heater. These items include toys, shoes, sleeping bags and even dry-clean only clothing.

Problems with Using Heat

However, there are some caveats when thinking about how to kill bed bugs with heat:

  • The heat must permeate through layers of fabric and into the drywall and insulation in order to be effective. It must also cover multiple rooms to ensure bed bugs don’t simply migrate to another area or deeper into the structure.
  • Treating a “whole house” can be expensive and disruptive. Just an apartment can take close to eight hours. You have to remove all perishable food items, electronics, and other décor items like candles that will melt. It may even impact wallpaper, paint, wood furniture and other items that don’t do well in heat.
  • Other heat treatments also work and do cost less money but they can still be inconvenient in terms of the effort and time needed to cover all the areas and potential hiding spots, as well as run what may seem like endless loads of washing.
  • It’s always advisable to consider a bed bug dog inspection company that could help pinpoint exactly where the bed bugs are to make sure that all areas are covered by the heat treatment should this strategy is used.
  • The quality of the heating unit and components means that its ability to work consistently is not guaranteed. Some people noted having problems with the heating unit. Like all technology, it may need a little fine-turning.
  • The unit is too small to take care of all the belongings in an entire house or apartment and would take a very long time to take care of everything if it actually could.
  • The heating process takes a considerable amount of time.
  • The portable heater does not work on larger items like mattresses not does it work with bed bugs that might be hiding in wall cracks, floor boards, or other hard to reach areas.

In conclusion, while heat does kill bed bug and has been found to work effectively, there are still other useful treatments to consider that may not be as expensive or inconvenient.

Whether or not you’ve had bed bugs in the past, it’s a good idea to be aware of ways to kill them just in case an infestation occurs. There are several types of products that are used for killing bed bugs on the market, with some being much more effective than others.

A few of these products include some type of heat application. The question is, are they safe? Should you trust the use of extreme heat as a way to help quell a bed bug infestation? Let’s take a look at three possible heat treatments and how safe they may.


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