How to use Heaters for bed bugs?

Heaters for bed bugs

Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate as they are difficult to spot. Because they excel at hiding in small cracks and crevices and have the ability to hide in any item in an affected room. On top of that, they are becoming more and more resistant to insecticides that are sprayed against them.
Heat treatments provide an environmentally friendly and chemical-free solution to fight against them. It consists in raising temperature with the use of a unit that physically heats the concerned room. The heat will kill them in a whole house, wherever they are hiding and regardless of their stage of life cycle (egg to adult.). In this article we will show you How to use heaters for bed bugs.

There are different kinds of heaters with different sets of power. Some can heat a room, others will heat a zipped enclosed plastic tent.

Which Temperature will kill Bed bugs?

The temperature should reach at least 120 °F (50ºC) to eliminate them. To kill them you should expose them for a minute at least to this temperature. The house however needs to be heated for hours to high temperatures, to ensure all items and cold spots reach the desired temperature.

Advantage of owning a Heater to eradicate bed bugs

  • A benefit of this method is that heat penetrates the whole room and will get rid of bed bugs in spots you would not have thought they were hiding. Another benefit is that when using a heater
  • You do not need to dispose of any furniture. 
  • You can control the process of extermination in the timeline and the terms
  • Heaters in steel can reach high temperatures that can be useful for eradication of other pests such as cockroaches, fleas or other, and pathogens and molds.
  • You can use a heat tent to treat your luggage when you come back from an hotel or you think you have slept in a bed bug affected area
  • To dry out your home (structures, home furniture, and personal items) if you live in a humid climate or if you experience a flood.
  • It will cost you around the same amount of money or less as hiring a professional exterminator.

Will heat treatment damage my home?

Heat treatment can last for hours, it should however not reach a heating point where it could cause damage to the structure of a house.

That is why you should first remove from your house:

  • People
  • Pets
  • Houseplants
  • High temperature sensitive items (medication, perishable food, alcohol, plastic items, candles, wax items, pressurized items (e.g soda bottles), electronic devices, flammable items, etc,..

You should also unplug Electronics in the affected rooms. In some cases, some items cannot be taken away from a room, you should then cover them in foil and sheet to avoid heating. If you want to know more about DIY Heat treatment against Bed bugs, you could have a look at our Hair Dryer and Bed bugs article


How to use Heaters for bed bugs

  1. You should treat those items separately to avoid the risk of a reinfestation. Sealing some items in a plastic bag for a year is an option. Because they cannot survive that period of time without food.
  2. You should also cover: HVAC tents, lights, wall air conditioners, bathroom exhausts fan and bottom of doors. You should cover windows with sheets or blankets to prevent loss of energy.
  3. Air movement is important using a heater. To maximize results, you want the air to rotate within the room to do so you should first move objects away from the wall, as they will block air flow. It could be the table, a desk, a bed or drawer for instance. You should just slide them away for like half a meter or so. The purpose is to place the fans in a circular pattern across the room. You should place them close to the wall in a circular pattern. The heater should be the start and the end of this pattern. Meaning the heater should send heat to one of the fans and should receive air from another one.
  4. Do not forget to close the door of the concerned room when using a heater.
  5. You should also open night stands and drawers so that hot air can circulate inside of them.
  6. You should plug the socket of the heater in a different room, than the one you desire to heat.
  7. Walls that are made of block or concrete require more heat to reach the desired temperature compared to other materials.
  8. To ensure success in your heating treatment make sure to pre-heat the room beforehand. You can do that with a boiler or a radiator for instance.
  9. We recommend that you set the temperature above to the bed bugs’ lethal thermal death point. In order to ensure internal temperatures within personal belongings and cracks & crevices are at the desired levels.
  10. When using a heater, you should always read the manual guide and follow instructions from the manufacturers.


Now we have seen in this article how to use heaters for bed bugs. It is now time to find the suitable heater for you and your home. But with all the heaters available, how to pick the right one that will do the job for bed bugs? You can check our detailed Bed bugs Heaters Buying Guide to help you find the best heater online.