Bed bugs are notoriously hard to kill and hard to stand once they start multiplying beyond control. Sometimes, only using one of the best bed bug heaters can save you from a full blown infestation of your entire home.
Don’t think that using powders is always enough. You never know when you might be carrying bed bugs into your home from a restaurant, hotel, airplane, train, and other places you visit. Here are some heaters that might spare you having to pay top dollar to an exterminator.
6 Best Bed Bug Heaters on the Market
- 6 Best Bed Bug Heaters on the Market
- What Are Bed Bug Heaters?
- Choosing Between Small and Large Heaters
- The Pros and Cons of Using Heat Treatment
The ZappBug heater can be a very handy tool when you’re moving or coming back from a trip. This heater measures 23” x 37.5” x 23” and can fit a good amount of clothing, footwear, toys, and accessories inside it.
It can reach temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees Celsius on the inside. That’s more than enough to kill bed bugs, as well as their larvae and eggs in about two hours. There’s a bit of a ramp up time, but nothing too long.
It’s a non-toxic solution for dealing with bed bugs that may have escaped your previous treatments or that may have hitched a ride on your clothes back home. The setup is simple – simply put the heater down on a flat surface, fill it up, plug it into a wall socket, and crank the heat up.
The ZappBug Heater is a foldable heater and has a very strong seal at the top. This ensures that there’s minimal heat loss and thus the heater can sustain high temperatures even when filled up to its maximum capacity.
I also like that when placing fewer items inside the heater, the bed bug killing process may only take a couple of minutes. Obviously, as you pile up more items, the process becomes longer as the heat will have more bodies to penetrate.
This is perhaps the bed bug heater if you have a very serious infestation and lots of stuff to clean. The ZappBug Oven 2 is a massive heater that needs two circuits to run. That’s because the ZappBug Oven 2 features two separate 1,500W heaters.
The Oven 2 can easily reach and maintain 155 degrees Fahrenheit. But, that only happens when both heaters are running. Now, you should know that even though the heaters are rated at around 12.5 amps each, it’s not recommended to run them both through the same circuit.
It is possible, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a serious chance of popping a breaker, especially if you stuff the Oven 2 with lots of clothes or bedding.
The unit measures 39” x 39” x 27” and has a capacity of over 22 cubic feet. Not only that, but the interior walls are highly slippery which makes it difficult for bed bugs to escape the heater.
The airtight zippers are reliable in keeping the insects inside of the oven. Despite its massive size, the Oven 2 is easy to set up. It doesn’t weight much and it can fold flat for convenient storage.
This new an improved version of the Dr. Infrared Heater is a colossal unit that you can surprisingly take with you while traveling. Its collapsible structure makes it easy to store and carry, even though it’s not the lightest model on the market.
What makes this uniquely viable as a portable solution is the two-tier rack system. This helps create a stable and sturdy 38” x 38”x 26” oven which can accommodate a wide range of items.
The heater can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit really fast and has a maximum temperature of around 155 degrees. This means that it takes minutes for the heater kill all bed bugs on the items placed inside. Also, because of the rack system, the air flow will be much better.
Sure, this also means that it doesn’t come cheap. But, this oven tent is still easy to carry and prop up, and comes with a convenient multi-purpose controller with timer, alarm, and thermometer features.
ZappBug knows what it’s doing when it comes to killing bed bugs, mites, and other annoying insects that can plague your home. The ZappBug Heat Treatment Chamber is massive and pricey, but it can deal with severe infestations in professional fashion.
The chamber is 80” x 111” x 57.5”, having enough room to stick your whole bed inside along with bedding, carpeting, clothes, and other potentially affected items.
Because it’s this large it also has plenty of power. The heat treatment chamber runs on four heaters, each rated at 120v and 1,500W. You may need separate circuits to make this happen but the extension cords are pretty long, so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The maximum temperature it can reach is around 150 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its immense size, it doesn’t make much sense to use it to clean a few shirts or a luggage you’ve traveled with.
But, if you really want to get rid of a large scale infestation, and if your diatomaceous earth or other pesticide treatments haven’t panned out, you could give it a try.
ThermalStrike upped its game by redesigning the Ranger Bed Bug Heater. The new model can reach optimum temperatures much faster and also comes with a timer. Timer lets you choose between two, four, and eight hour treatments.
Use whatever setting makes you feel more comfortable, but also keep in mind that some items may begin to deteriorate after a prolonged exposure to intense heat. Also, there’s almost never a good reason to leave it on for eight hours if you haven’t packed the Ranger full of stuff.
The measurements are 18” x 14” x 27”, which is not bad for an average portable bed bug heater. Since it has a foldable, backpack-type design, this unit is very easy to store and carry with you on the road.
A sealed PVC enclosure is featured in order to prevent escape. Industrial zippers are responsible for a reliable seal and easy operation. The exterior is not bad either, as the 600D nylon cover provides good insulation and durability.
All in all, this may be the most convenient bed bug heater you can take on the road. And, thanks to its design, it should reach the optimum killing temperatures faster.
The Dr. Infrared DR-122X4 is a massive unit. When assembled, the tent boasts impressive measurements of 112” x 58” x 79”. It can fit a wide range of carpeting, furniture, clothes, footwear, and other items inside, thus servicing almost an entire room at the same time.
When combined with a diatomaceous earth treatment, the DR-122X4 may be one of the most efficient bed bug killers on the market. Not only is it big and powerful but it also boasts a very sturdy frame. However, it doesn’t come cheap.
The metallic frame may take two people to prop up. That said, once fully assembled, the DR-122X4 doesn’t wobble like other large bed bug heated tents. This makes it much safer to use if you have kids and/or pets or if you want to use it in a high-traffic area.
The DR-122X4 relies on four heaters to reach its optimal temperatures quickly. This, of course, means that each heater will need its own circuit and you’ll need a total of 6,000 Watts to cover the operating requirements of the tent.
Extension cords are not included, which is not cool if you ask me, especially at this price range. But, that’s pretty much the only bad thing I can say about the DR-122X4, given its reliable performance and massive capacity.
What Are Bed Bug Heaters?
Commercial bed bug heaters are controlled bags or tents in which the air temperature is quickly raised to levels between 120 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The purpose of heaters is to kill bed bugs that may be residing on clothing, furniture, shoes, toys, luggage, and any other items in your household. They also kill bed bugs in all life stages.
The difference between commercial heaters and professional heaters is that commercial heaters are usually airtight, foldable enclosures that feature one or more heating elements, whereas commercial heaters are just powerful heating elements that raise the entire room temperature to the desired target levels.
Choosing Between Small and Large Heaters
Small bed bug heaters are very handy if you want to sanitize your luggage or some clothing items. Most people use them to avoid bringing back bed bugs from their travels. Some people even travel with them if they’re compact enough when folded.
But, small heaters won’t help you deal with a serious infestation. The majority of heaters may be able to take on bedding, sheets, clothes, and stuff like that, but won’t be able to fit in a carpet, let alone a mattress.
This is where large heaters come into the picture. Think of large bed bug heaters as grow tents. They’re large, collapsible structures that feature two or more sealed vent ports in which the heaters go. Usually, they can have a huge power draw but at the same time they can fit entire couches, beds, mattresses, and all sorts of furniture.
Not all of them are expensive, but most of them can be hard to run. They require plenty of open space to be propped up and enough individual circuits to run each heater safely.
The Pros and Cons of Using Heat Treatment
Unlike some powders that may be hit or miss, a proper heat treatment kills bed bugs every time. That’s because bed bugs die within minutes when exposed to sustained temperatures of around 150 degrees. A heater that can quickly reach and maintain a proper temperature level is more than worth its salt, be it small or big.
Often times, heat treatment is used in conjunction with bed bug steamers, vacuums, sprays or other insecticides to provide a thorough sanitation. While diatomaceous earth slowly kills living bed bugs, it won’t do much against eggs.
And, as a barrier, it can redirect bed bugs to other parts of the house. The heat treatment makes sure that anything infested gets cleaned once placed inside.
But, as previously mentioned, most bed bug heaters, even the small commercial models, can have a massive power draw. There are also limitations to what they can fit inside at any given time. While they do work, you won’t be able to clean the house overnight.
There are also some items that don’t respond well to heat treatment. Some shoes may deteriorate under high temperatures, the glue that holds toys together may also melt, as could thin plastic book covers.
Raise the Temp When the Stakes Are High
Regardless of the drawbacks of using a bed bug heater, at the end of the day, it’s pretty much the only guaranteed method of killing bed bugs at all life stages.
Depending on how much room you have inside your place and how many items have been affected, you should be able to use the tips in this article to pick the perfect match for your infestation.