How to kill Bed Bugs with an Iron Steamer

using a steam iron to get rid of bed bugs

In this article, we will answer the question: How to kill bed bugs with an iron steamer?
Bed bugs are unwelcome pests that can infest our homes and disrupt our sleep. These tiny insects, known for their nocturnal feeding habits, can cause irritation and discomfort with their bites.

Luckily, there is a powerful tool that can help in the battle against these pesky critters: the iron steamer. With its high temperatures and targeted steam delivery, an iron steamer becomes an effective weapon in the fight against these insects. In this article, we will explore how the simple act of steaming with a garment steamer can help you eliminate bed bugs and reclaim your peaceful sleep.

Can you kill Bed Bugs with an Iron Steamer?

Yes, using an iron steamer can be an effective method to kill bed bugs. They are highly sensitive to heat, and exposing them to high temperatures can be lethal. Steam treatment is particularly useful because it can reach into cracks, crevices, and other hiding places where they may be present.

When steam comes into direct contact with them, it penetrates their exoskeleton and causes damage, leading to their death.

To effectively kill bed bugs with steam, it’s important to ensure that the steam reaches temperatures above 113°F (45°C), as this is the temperature at which bed bugs and their eggs are killed. Sustained exposure to steam at higher temperatures, around 120°F (49°C) or above, increases the effectiveness of the treatment.


Can you kill Bed Bugs Eggs with an Iron Steamer?

Yes, using an iron steamer can help kill bed bug eggs. Their eggs are highly sensitive to heat, and exposing them to high temperatures can be lethal. Steam treatment is an effective method for targeting and eliminating their eggs. Indeed, steam can kill their eggs by denaturing the proteins inside them, preventing them from hatching.


Will any Steamer work for Bed Bugs?

Not all steamers are equally effective for eliminating them. To effectively kill them, you need a steamer that can reach high temperatures and deliver dry steam.

When selecting a steamer for bed bug treatment, consider the following factors:

  • Temperature: Look for a steamer that can reach temperatures above 120°F (49°C). The higher the temperature, the more effective it will be in killing these insects.
  • Steam Quality: Dry steam is preferable for bed bug treatment because it has less moisture content. Excessive moisture can lead to saturation of materials and make it difficult to maintain the required temperature. Ensure that the steamer produces a steady flow of dry steam rather than a wet or inconsistent one.
  • Nozzle Design: The steamer should have a nozzle that can focus the steam and deliver it in a targeted manner. This allows you to direct the steam into cracks, crevices, and other hiding spots where they may be present.
  • Continuous Steam: Look for a steamer that can provide a continuous supply of steam. This is important for sustained treatment without interruptions.
  • Safety Features: Choose a steamer with safety features such as an insulated handle and automatic shut-off to prevent accidents and overheating.


While any steamer capable of reaching high temperatures and producing dry steam can potentially work for pest treatment, it’s recommended to use a steamer specifically designed for this purpose. These steamers often have attachments and features tailored for effective bed bug eradication.

Additionally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using a steamer, and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your surroundings during the treatment process.

If you want to find the best steamer for bed bugs on the market, you can check our Steamers for Bed Bugs Buying Guide.


How to kill Bed Bugs with an Iron Steamer?

To kill bed bugs with an iron steamer, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the area: Remove bedding, linens, and other fabrics from the affected area. Launder them in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill any bugs or eggs present.
  2. Fill the iron steamer: Fill the water reservoir of the garment steamer with distilled or filtered water. Avoid using tap water, as minerals and impurities in it may clog the steamer or affect its performance.
  3. Set up the iron steamer: Set the iron steamer to the highest steam setting available. Ensure that it produces dry steam rather than a wet mist, as dry steam is more effective for killing these insects.
  4. Treat infested areas: Cracks and crevices will be hard to reach for a garment steamer. And they like to hide in those tiny spaces. However, a garment steamer will be effective to treat your infested clothes and mattress. Slowly move the device along those items, ensuring that the steam makes direct contact with them.
  5. Monitor and repeat treatment: After steaming, monitor the area for any remaining bed bugs or signs of activity. If necessary, repeat the steam treatment to ensure complete eradication.
  6. Use a vacuum cleaner: After steaming, use a vacuum cleaner with a bag to remove any dead bugs, eggs, or debris. Seal the vacuum bag tightly in a plastic bag and dispose of it outside your home to prevent re-infestation.


How long does it take to kill Bed Bugs with Steam?

The time required to kill bed bugs with steam can vary depending on various factors, including the temperature of the steam, the intensity of the steam flow, the size of the infested area, and the level of infestation. Generally, they and their eggs are killed when exposed to temperatures above 113°F (45°C) for a sustained period. (source)

As for the duration, it is important to expose the bed bugs to steam for a sufficient amount of time to ensure their eradication. While there is no specific timeframe that applies universally, maintaining direct contact with the steam for at least several seconds on each spot is generally effective.


Can you get rid of Bed Bugs without throwing everything?

Yes, it is possible to get rid of bed bugs without having to throw away all your belongings. While pest infestations can be challenging to eliminate, a comprehensive approach that combines different methods can help you achieve success.

Here are some steps to consider:

  • Thoroughly clean and vacuum: Start by cleaning and vacuuming the infested areas. Vacuum mattresses, box springs, furniture, carpets, and any other areas where they may be present. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister into a sealed plastic bag and discard it outside your home.
  • Steam treatment: Use a steam cleaner or iron steamer to treat infested areas. Direct the steam to mattress seams, cracks, crevices, and furniture joints to kill them and their eggs. Make sure the steam reaches temperatures above 113°F (45°C) for effective eradication.
  • Launder and dry bedding: Wash infested bedding, linens, and clothing in hot water, preferably above 120°F (49°C). Dry them on high heat for at least 30 minutes to kill any remaining bed bugs or eggs.
  • Encase mattresses and furniture: Encase mattresses, box springs, and pillows in special bed bug-proof encasements. These encasements create a barrier that prevents them from entering or escaping, trapping any remaining bugs inside.
  • Use bed bug insecticides: Apply bed bug-specific insecticides to cracks, crevices, and other hiding spots as directed. Make sure to use products specifically labeled for pest control and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Reduce clutter: Reduce clutter in your living space as much as possible. Decluttering makes it easier to detect and treat pest infestations effectively.
  • Repair cracks and crevices: Seal cracks and crevices in walls, furniture, and other areas where they can hide. This helps eliminate hiding places and reduces the chance of re-infestation.
  • Monitor and repeat treatments: Continuously monitor the area for signs of these insects and repeat treatments as necessary. Bed bug eradication may require multiple treatments over several weeks to ensure complete elimination.


Remember, consistency and persistence are crucial when dealing with bed bugs.


Will Steaming your clothes with an Iron Steamer get rid of Bed Bugs?

Steaming your clothes with an iron steamer can help in reducing the presence of bed bugs on your garments, but it may not completely eliminate a bed bug infestation. They are typically found in areas beyond clothing, such as mattresses, furniture, and cracks and crevices. While steaming your clothes can kill any bugs or eggs present on the fabric, it will not address the infestation at its source.

Here’s how steaming your clothes with a garment steamer can be helpful:

Killing bed bugs on clothing: Steam can effectively kill them and their eggs on clothing. By directing the steam nozzle over the fabric surface, the high temperatures can eliminate any bugs present, including adults, nymphs, and eggs.

Treating infested garments: If you suspect that your clothes have come into contact with these insects or have been stored in an infested area, steaming them can provide some level of treatment. Focus on seams, folds, and areas where they might hide.

Preventing re-infestation: Steaming your clothes can help prevent the spread of these pests. If you have been in a bed bug-infested environment, steaming your clothes upon returning home can kill any potential hitchhikers and prevent them from infesting your living space.



In this article, we answered the question: How to kill bed bugs with an iron steamer?
Iron steamer proves to be a valuable ally in the fight against these bloodsuckers. Its ability to produce high-temperature steam can effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs, offering a chemical-free and environmentally friendly solution.

By incorporating the use of a garment steamer into your eradication efforts, you can tackle infestations with confidence and regain control over your home. Remember, persistence and a comprehensive approach that combines steaming with other bed bug control methods can yield the best results. Say ciao to bed bugs and enjoy a peaceful, bug-free environment once again!

If you are interested to see the difference between heat and steam treatment for bed bugs extermination. You can check our comparison article of Heat treatment vs Steam treatment.