Can a Heat Gun kill Bed Bugs?

using a heat gun to get rid of bed bugs

A heat gun looks like a drill or hair dryer. Its functioning is identical to the latter: it draws air through a turbine, then the air is heated by an electrical resistance. This device can heat a small area by emitting a jet of hot air. It usually comes with different shapes of nozzle: they make it possible to adapt the tool to carry out a wide range of practical tasks. In this article we will answer the question: Can you kill bed bugs with a heat gun?


2 Types of heat guns

The electric stripper: To use it, simply plug it into a power outlet. This is the standard model that is most often used by professionals and amateurs.

The gas stripper: It works with a gas cartridge. This heat gun will suit you if you are looking for a wireless one, it is easily transportable if you often work outdoors.


Uses of Heat Guns

The heat gun is a device that has a wide range of applications. You can use the hot air that the the heat generate to :

  • Remove old paint
  • Dry fresh paint coatings
  • Shrink cable ends
  • Remove sealant
  • Join plastics
  • Defrost pipes
  • Speeds up drying
  • And lots of other uses…


We will see further below if Heat guns can be used to get rid of bed bugs.


How to recognize a bed bug?

Before taking action, you need to ensure that there are bed bugs in your home. Here is how to recognize them.

Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye: when they are adults, they measure between 4 and 7 millimeters long, or about the size of an apple seed. Their color varies from red to brown, due to the blood they absorb for food.

They do not jump or fly, but rather move like ants. You can often find their eggs in clusters of four or five. They have the shape of white rice grains of 1 to 2 mm.

Their bites are usually painless, due to the presence of painkillers in their saliva. Thus, some people will not even realize that bed bugs feed on them and others will feel intense itching in the morning, which subsides as the day progresses.


Can a Heat Gun kill Bed bugs?

A bed bug, regardless of its life stage (adult, nymph, egg), dies when its body temperature reaches above 122 degrees Fahrenheit (which corresponds to 50 degrees Celsius).

A heat gun can make a small area reach that temperature for a few seconds.

So you can heat small spots, one by one in a room, with a heat gun to get rid of those pests once and for all.

However if the infestation level is advanced, it will be difficult to get rid of a bed bug infestation with a heat gun only. Because they can only treat small zones. If bed bugs are spread in several spots across a room. It will be difficult to treat large areas with a heat gun.

And bed bugs like to hide in hard to reach areas like cracks and crevices around the bed, furniture or the seams of a mattress. Those areas could be hard to reach with a heat gun and they could also be the cause of a house fire. If you are interested in DIY heat treatment you could have a look at our Hair Dryer and Bed bugs article.


How to use heat gun to kill bed bugs


  • Before you begin, refer to the user manual of the Heat gun for detailed instructions such as adhesive location and surrounding sensitive components, as well as specific operating or safety procedures.


  • Always keep the heat moving and never leave it on one spot for too long, as this may damage the device and the surface heated.


  • Check the temperature emitted by the heat gun to ensure that the temperature is above 122 degrees Fahrenheit (which corresponds to 50 degrees Celsius). If you are above this temperature, bed bugs will die instantly.


It is essential to wear safety equipment during use. Wearing protective goggles to protect yourself from projections, protective gloves against the powerful hot air emitted by the gun, especially when changing the nozzle, and finally against the toxic gasses emitted a filtering protective mask.



In this article we answered the question : Can you kill bed bugs with a heat gun? The answer is yes but it will be difficult to treat a spread infestation only with a heat gun. For such a case you would need a heater specifically designed for bed bugs. If you want to know the best heaters for bed bugs available in the market. You can have a look at our Best Bed bugs Heaters Buying Guide.