Can you kill Bed Bugs with a Space Heater ?

using a space heater to kill bed bugs

For comfort in the coldest times of the year, a home must be properly heated. However, today there are many types of heating systems available in the market nowadays. We know that Bed bugs can be very sensitive to high temperatures. So the question you may ask yourself is : Can you kill bed bugs with a Space Heater ?


Different kinds of Space Heaters

The term Space heater or “heating appliance” refers to both heat generators (boilers or heat pumps, for example) and their emitters (water radiators and underfloor heating, in a central heating circuit). In some cases, the appliance is both a generator and an emitter of heat.

Fireplaces, wood stoves and pellet stoves

Wood stoves and pellet stoves are very energy efficient heaters (both generators and emitters of heat). Ecological and economical, these devices use natural and renewable energy. However, they require some maintenance and storage space.


Boilers are heat-generating devices, which can operate from several energy sources. The heat they produce will be distributed in the home, via a central heating network (Water radiators or underfloor heating). They includes :

  • Gas boilers, which capture combustion fumes and recover their heat
  • Wood-fired boilers, which work with logs or wood pellets.


Heat pumps

Heat pump is a heat generating device. Thanks to an outdoor unit, it recovers the calories from the outside ambient air, to transform them into heat. There are several types of heat pumps:

  • Air heat pump rejects heat in the form of hot air, directly into the rooms of the dwelling
  • Water heat pump distributes heat via a central heating network. It rejects the heat in water, then sent to the radiators or the heated floor.
  • Geothermal heat pumps operate using energy captured underground or in groundwater (aqua thermal).


Electric heaters

Electric radiators are heating systems that do not use gas or hot water but electricity to heat your home.

Now that we covered the different kinds of heaters, we will then check how you could use them to get rid of bed bugs.


How to detect bed bugs in your home ?

First, you need to ensure that you are having bed bugs and not another pest such as cockroaches.

You can usually observe presence of those bloodsuckers with those most common signs:

1)  Bites on the skin : Skin lesions due to bed bug bites are visible on the skin. Usually you can find the bites in the uncovered skin areas such as feet, arms or hands.

2)  Bed bugs feces and streaks of blood on the sheets, mattress, box spring, baseboard :

  • Small black spots of 2 to 3 mm, corresponding to the excrement of those insects, on the sheets, the mattress, the box spring. Feces are mostly made up of digested blood, which explains their black color.
  • Streaks of blood on the sheets resulting from the crushing of a bug during the night


3)  Live or dead bugs, molted skin shells, or eggs that you can often see in or near the bed. For your information their eggs look like translucent small grains of rice.

They preferentially hide in the box spring and mattress, near the person they are going to bite at night. But other hiding places can be sought: bedroom furniture, clothes, backpack, sleeping bag, suitcase, rugs, curtains, baseboards, door and window frames, loose tapestry, electric plugs, etc


What do Bed bugs eat?

They are hematophagous insects, which means they feed on human blood. Their blood meal lasts a few minutes only.

They can bite multiple times in one night. However, they can survive without blood meals for several months (up to a year and a half).


Can you kill bed bugs with a Space Heater ?

Bed bugs are particularly temperature-sensitive insects. We know that from a certain heat and the time of exposure of the insect to it, the parasite dies at :

  • A temperature of 113°F (45°C) , the bed bug dies after 90 minutes.
  • A temperature of 122°F (50°C), it dies after 15 minutes.


That is why in order to kill adult insects and their eggs in apartments, professional pest control experts use dry heat diffusion to raise the room temperature to 140°F (60°C) for several hours. One of the benefits of heat treatment is that you will not have to use chemical products (insecticides, larvicides) in the process

The issue is that it will be difficult to reach this temperature with space heaters. You may indeed break them because they are usually not designed to reach these high temperatures.

Heating with a space heater will not do the job because the diffusion and penetration of heat vary considerably from one item to another. Indeed to ensure their extermination you should heat the room up to 140°F (60°C) for a few hours. To ensure that the heat penetrates all items and cracks and crevices of the room, where they like to hide.

To eliminate them by yourself using heat, the best choice is to buy a heater that is specifically designed to handle bed bugs. If you want to learn about the best heaters for bed bugs available in the market today, you can have a look at our Best Bed Bugs Heaters Buying Guide.

Even if heaters cannot do the whole job when dealing with an infestation. You could still use them to preheat a room before a treatment with a bed bug Heater.


How to get rid of Bed bugs with a Space Heater ?

1)  Bed bug colony grows above 55°F (13°C), but below 48°F (9°C), the bug no longer feeds, which will stop its growth.As a result those critters will go into hibernation mode. So one of the ways you could use your space heater against them is to turn it off in cold weather so that the colony will not grow.

2)  We previously saw that space heaters will not be able to heat a room to high enough temperatures for a prolonged period of time to get rid of those invaders. However you can use heaters to preheat a room before using heaters that are specifically designed to get rid of bed bugs.



In this article we answered the question :  Can you kill bed bugs with a Space Heater ?  And the answer is No. However, Heat is one of the best weapons to get rid of those insects. Being economical, ecological and having direct results against bed bugs.

Indeed Heating treatment will minimize replacement costs for items such as mattresses, which are difficult and expensive to treat with conventional methods. And with such treatment you can get rid of bed bugs in a few hours once and for all. If you have an interest in DIY home heat treament, you could check our article on Propane Heaters and Bed bugs.