Bed bugs. The words alone can send shivers down your spine. These parasitic pests are rising in numbers throughout the US, infesting homes by the thousands. Worse still, they can be notoriously difficult to get rid of.
One of the many things we do know about bed bugs is that they don’t do well in heat. In fact, many professional pest control experts use powerful, professional grade heaters to get rid of bed bug infestations effectively.
However, the best bed bug heaters and the professionals that go with them can be costly. Furthermore, you’ll usually need to vacate your home for several hours during these treatments.
But did you know you can now buy the best bed bug heaters yourself to get rid of these pests on your own? Join us today as we learn all about personal bed bug heaters, how they work, and where you can find them.
But First, Let’s Make Sure You Have Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are nocturnal and only come out to feed at night.
There are quite a few bugs that look like bed bugs. Getting rid of bed bugs can be difficult and sometimes costly, especially if you are looking into hiring professionals or purchasing the best bed bug heaters.
Before you invest in this bed bug removal method, let’s first make sure you are indeed dealing with these pests.
Some Common Signs Of A True Bed Bug Infestation Include:
- Finding small black spots on your bedding that look like ink marks. (This is the waste of bed bugs).
- Finding unexplained blood spots on your bedding and pillow cases from where bed bugs fed.
- Waking up with itchy bites or an unexplained cluster of bites.
- A foul or sickly sweet smell in certain areas of the home. (A scent released by bed bug glands and most commonly present in very large bed bug infestations)
- Physically seeing a bed bug
If you still are not sure if you have bed bugs and need the best bed bug heaters, you can always go on a hunt to find these pests. Bed bugs are nocturnal, and often won’t come out for days at a time after a decent blood meal. However, there are a few ways you can go about finding bed bugs, even during the day.
Where To Look For Bed Bugs:
- Search All Mattresses And Boxsprings
- Look Along Bed Headboards And Footboards
- Search Cribs, Playpens And Strollers
- Search All Furniture Including Desks, Dressers, Tables, And Nightstands
- Search Along All Baseboards
- Look Along Carpet Linings
- Search Walls and Behind Picture Frames
- Look In Book Shelves
- Search Under Beds
- Look In Closets
- Search All Electronics
- Search All Appliances
The below video goes into further detail about how to know if you have bed bugs and if you should invest in the best bed bug heaters.
Now, if you’re certain you do have bed bugs, read on to learn more about the best bed bug heaters and other methods you can use in conjunction with each other to get rid of them.
What Are The Best Bed Bug Heaters And How Do They Work?
Bed bug heaters work by heating up past 120 degrees fahrenheit to dehydrate and kill bed bugs.
A bed bug heater is just what it sounds like – it is a small heater designed for personal use to eradicate bed bug activity. Because these heaters are specifically designed for the use of pest control, it’s important to ensure you use these products only as directed.
A common question many people ask is “can I use a personal bedroom heater to get rid of bed bugs?”. Unfortunately, the answer is generally no. While some bed bugs may be taken care of using a personal electronic heater, most will survive as the heaters will not get hot enough or reach a large enough area.
The best bed bug heaters work by heating up to at least 120°F in order to effectively dehydrate and kill the pests and their eggs. Most treatments last about two hours, but can sometimes last for longer depending on the severity of your bed bug problem. Still, the average bed bug, egg and nymph will die within 90 minutes of a quality heat treatment.
Most professionals use the best bed bug heaters to treat the whole house, but you can use smaller bed bug heaters for individual belongings or to heat up smaller spaces.
Of course, there are pros and cons to using a personal bed bug heater. Keep reading to learn more.
Pros And Cons Of Using Bed Bug Heaters
Personal bed bug heaters may not work for larger bed bug infestations.
While the best bed bug heaters can be effective, there are pros and cons to using these products alone for pest control.
Pros Of Using The Best Bed Bug Heaters
- Heat treatments are often a safer alternative to chemical treatments
- Heat is very effective in killing most, if not all, bed bugs in the home at once
- Using the best bed bug heaters can be cost effective
- Bed bug heaters are easy to find and simple to use
Cons Of Using The Best Bed Bug Heaters
- All animals and people should vacate the area while the heat treatment is occuring
- Some of the best bed bug heaters can be costlier than others
- Personal bed bug heaters may not work 100% of the time for larger spaces
- Bed bug heaters may need to be used multiple times in order to be effective
The Best Bed Bug Heaters
Some bed bug heaters are designed to heat small spaces while others are made to heat personal items like clothing and bedding.
Not every bed bug heater is going to be right for every home. Some may need to be used in conjunction with other bed bug control methods while others can be used on their own to eradicate the problem.
For your convenience, we have listed some of the best bed bug heaters below for you to consider for your unique situation.
ZappBug Heater Bed Bug Killer
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First on our list of best bed bug heaters is the ZappBug heater. This heater is designed specifically for pest control and should kill 100% of bed bugs. It also works for bed bugs in all their life stages from eggs to nymphs to adults.
It is user friendly and simple to set up. It also folds for easy storage. We like that this product is safe to use in homes with people and pets as it is completely pesticide free.
This is a larger bed bug heater, so make sure you do your research and proper measurements to prepare accordingly. We should also note that this heater does not heat up entire rooms. Instead, it is designed to heat individual items like bedding, toys, clothing, etc.
ThermalStrike Ranger Bed Bug Heater
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Another bed bug heater we are adding to our list is the ThermalStrike Bed Bug Heater. This is one of the best bed bug heaters for individual belongings as it is larger than most and stands taller. The heater can hold several items at once including toys, pillows, clothing and bedding. It heats up over 120°F for severe bed bug infestations to ensure the pests are killed the first time.
This is an ideal product to use for items that cannot be washed or dried. It also comes with a timer and thermometer to ensure you leave the items inside the heater long enough and that the heater is hot enough to work.
Portable Electric Bed Bug Heater
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If you are looking for the best bed bug heaters to heat up small spaces like bedrooms or living rooms, we suggest looking at the Portable Electric Bed Bug Heater listed above. This bed bug heater by GreenTech Heat Solutions is designed to heat rooms to the designated temperature in order to kill bed bugs in all their life stages.
It runs on electricity and includes six power outlets. When used correctly, it can cover up to 400 square feet, making it ideal for apartments, hotels, dorm rooms and smaller bed rooms.
However, this product takes about 8 hours to work properly, and pets and people should not be in the heated room during the treatment.
Sunbeam Handheld Garment Travel Steamer for Bed Bugs
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Sometimes the best bed bug heaters are not heaters at all. The above hand-held garment steamer can work for clothing, bedding and toys to kill bed bugs and dust mites. This is an ideal hand-held steamer perfect for travel or anyone who frequents areas where bed bugs may be prevalent.
You can order it in different variations depending on your needs. It heats in under 45 seconds and works after a 15 minute treatment. Of course, use this product only as directed and remember you may need to apply it to clothing or property longer in order to ensure you kill the bed bugs in all their life stages.
Dr Infraraed Upgraded Bed Bug Heater
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Another portable bed bug heater that is considered one of the best bed bug heaters is a Dr Infrared Heater. This heater folds for easy storage and includes a timer, thermometer, and heating system that kills bed bugs in all their life stages.
It reaches the optimal temperature needed to kill bed bugs, eggs and nymphs and includes an alarm so you know when the treatment is complete.
Again, this is not a room bed bug heater, but is instead designed for personal items like bedding, clothing and toys.
Alternatives To Using Bed Bug Heaters
Diatomaceous Earth works well when used in conjunction with bed bug heaters.
While the best bed bug heaters can be highly effective and are typically safe for use in homes with people and pets, not all homes will find that they are suitable for bed bug control. If you would prefer to use other methods in place of the best bed bug heaters, you’re in luck.
Take a look at some of the other alternatives you have when it comes to bed bug treatments.
Bed Bug Interceptors
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Along with using the best bed bug heaters you can find to get rid of bed bugs, it’s also a good idea to use interceptors or bed bug blockers to protect yourself at night. The above bed bug interceptors work to trap bed bugs and keep them from climbing into your bed.
This is also an ideal tool you can use to monitor these pests and ensure your bed bug heaters are working. The above order comes in an 8 pack and will work to protect two beds.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
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Also known as DE, Diatomaceous Earth is a must-have when it comes to bed bug control. Along with using the best bed bug heaters to eliminate a bed bug problem, Diatomaceous Earth can help protect you while you sleep and eradicate these pests without the use of chemicals or pesticides.
Diatomaceous Earth is an all natural dust made of fossilized algae. It is safe to use in homes with people and pets and works by penetrating the bed bugs’ hard exoskeleton, which dehydrates and kills them.
Ortho Home Defense Max Bed Bug Killer
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While the best bed bug heaters are ideal for those who do not want to use chemical methods, sometimes more intensive treatments are needed. You can use the above insecticide by Ortho to get rid of bed bugs in conjunction with a bed bug heater for best results.
The spray includes an application wand for easier use, and helps reach areas where bed bugs hide like along headboards, in mattress creases, along seams, baseboards and more. This spray also works against other blood sucking pests including ticks and fleas.
Hot Shot Bed Bug Killer
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If you are looking for more of a spot treatment to use along with the best bed bug heaters, you might like this bed bug spray by Hot Shot. It is specifically designed to target and kill these hard to reach pests in all their life stages and is made with a non-staining, water-based formula.
To work effectively, it should be reapplied every two weeks until you no longer see the bed bugs. We also recommend following the above and below treatment methods and monitoring your home to ensure bed bugs are being taken care of.
While this is an effective treatment for indoor use, it should be used only as directed and kept out of reach of pets and children.
EcoRaiter Bed Bug Killer
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A more natural and non-toxic bed bug killer that is safer to use in homes with people and pets is a spray by EcoRaider. This product is made with natural ingredients and is safe to use around children and animals. It is also more gentle on the environment.
The spray comes in a bottle that is ready and simple to use. It is meant for targeting areas where bed bugs are present, including along bedding seams, cracks, and crevices, as well as along baseboards and headboards.
Home Remedies – DIY Bed Bug Repellent Options
A hair dryer can be a good alternative to bed bug heaters when used correctly, though they are not always foolproof.
Some of the best methods include using:
- A Hair Dryer
- Double Sided Tape
- Essential Oils
- Doing Laundry On High Heat
- Cayenne Pepper
- Baking Soda.
- Rubbing Alcohol
Essential oils are often used as a form of natural pest control. Some of the best essential oils to use in conjunction with the best bed bug heaters to repel bed bugs include:
- Clove Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Lemon Oil
- Thyme OIl
- Neem Oil
- And Lavender Oil
You can make your own essential oil bed bug repellent spray by mixing 10 to 25 drops of the essential oil of your choice in two cups of water. Add the mixture to a spray bottle and shake it to mix. Then spray this solution around your home and anywhere you suspect bed bug activity.
These oils will also repel other pests like rats, mice, roaches, spiders, fleas and ticks.
DIY Cayenne Pepper and Water Spray
Bed bugs, like many other pests, are naturally repelled by cayenne pepper. To make your own cayenne pepper spray to repel bed bugs, combine one tablespoon of grated ginger, a tablespoon of cayenne, and a tablespoon of oregano to a spray bottle and mix it with two cups of water.
As with the essential oils, spray this solution around areas you suspect bed bugs. You may also spray this solution directly on the pests.
The Hair Dryer Treatment
If you’ve decided not to use the best bed bug heaters, you could use your own hair dryer. This is best for small infested areas like below the bed or in furniture creases. This method works especially well if you find the bed bug nest.
Put the heater on its highest setting and hold it on the area for at least thirty minutes. This should kill the bed bugs, their eggs and their larvae, but only in small numbers.
The Best Bed Bug Heaters – When To Contact A Professional
Professional bed bug heat treatments can be effective, but depending on your home they can also be costly.
While the best bed bug heaters are helpful in smaller infestations, sometimes a professional is needed to come in and heat-treat the whole house to effectively eliminate these pests.
Depending on where you live, a bed bug professional heating treatment can cost between $300 and $2,500. This price is often based on the size of your property and number of rooms that need treatment.
Once the bed bugs are gone, your next step should be to focus on preventative measures so you never have to deal with these pests again.
Tips On Preventing A Future Bed Bug Infestation In Your Home
Inspect hotel rooms and second hand furniture for signs of bed bugs before settling in.
Bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of, even when using the best bed bug heaters on the market. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to go about preventing them from becoming a problem again.
Take a look.
Inspect Hotel Rooms Before Sleeping
Many people pick up bed bugs during travel, and often in hotels. The quality of hotel you are staying in does not guarantee it is bed bug free, so be vigilant and check for these pests. Check beneath the mattress, in cracks and crevices in bedding, curtains, and along creases in furniture.
If you find a bed bug, request to go to another room immediately.
Wash Clothing and Bedding After Traveling
Even if you do thorough inspections around hotel rooms, it’s still always a good idea to wash and dry clothes immediately upon getting home. Store dirty clothing and bedding in trash bags and wash them on high heat, if possible, before putting them away.
Invest In A Bed Bug Mattress Cover
A bed bug mattress cover not only protects your mattress from a future bed bug infestation, but it also helps prolong its life. It can even reduce mold, mildew, stains and dust mites, saving you time and money in the long run.
Reduce Clutter In Your Home
Bed bugs like small, dark spaces where they can hide between blood meals. They often choose creases below mattresses or build nests in folds of furniture. The more clutter there is around your home, the more nesting options they have.
To reduce your chances of bed bugs, reduce the clutter. Keep things as clean and tidy as possible and keep your eyes peeled for any signs of these nasty pests.
Keep Dryer Sheets In Your Drawers and Suitcases
Pests like bed bugs are overwhelmed by the scent of dryer sheets. You can help protect yourself both at home and during travel using these household staples. Simply place dryer sheets in your drawers and pack a few into your suitcase.
While this method isn’t necessarily foolproof, it can help reduce your chances of bringing bed bugs home with you if you stay in an infested room. It can also prevent them from spreading to your clothing in drawers.
Refrain From Bringing Second-Hand Furniture, Clothing or Bedding Into Your Home
This is a broad statement, and there are some exceptions to this rule. Many second-hand stores are excellent at examining their furniture and bedding to ensure the products are safe to sell. However, don’t trust this implicitly. When going to a second hand store, do your own thorough inspection on furniture, clothing, curtains and bedding.
And never take something home off the street unless you are absolutely sure it is bed-bug free.
Vacuum and Sweep Your Home Often
Vacuuming and sweeping will not only reduce your chances of dealing with bed bugs in the future, but it can also help reduce other pest issues like ants, roaches and rodents.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Regimen
Last, we always recommend that our clients use a proper pest control regimen year-round to repel and prevent home-invading pests. There are plenty of options available that range from chemical insecticides to natural repellents.
Whichever method you choose to use, it should at least help ensure you have further protection against these blood sucking pests.
So, what do you think about the best bed bug heaters? We would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.