Heat is one of the surest ways to kill off pesky bed bugs, but it has to be controlled heat. Bed bug heaters are an essential tool to anyone suffering from a bed bug infestation and needing to decontaminate their clothes, bedding, personal property of every description – and yes, entire rooms.
But not all bed bug heaters are created equal. They come in many shapes and sizes and serve somewhat different purposes as well as varying in overall effectiveness. And given the great variety of options available today, choosing the best bed bug heater can be a complex process that requires careful thought.
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Thorough Review Of Today’s Top 5 Best Bed Bug Heaters
After much research, there are definitely some products that stand out more than others. And the winner is ZappBug Heater.
1.– Best Bed Bug Heater All-around
ZappBug Heater ranks among the most popular devices of its kind on the market today. It is relatively affordable, of moderate size (23 x 37.5 x 23 inches), comes ready to use out of the box. You simply load it up with items, close, push the button and wait until the unit reaches 120 degrees or higher for results.
The heater is non-toxic. It uses no chemicals, only heat, to kill bed bugs in all stages of life from egg to larvae, to nymphs, to adults. There is a single 1,400-Watt heater that reaches temperatures ranging from 120 to 155 degrees.
The length of time it takes to get up to temperature can vary based on how full the unit is, but it may take several hours. Once at 120 degrees or higher, however, bed bugs will die in as little as one minute.
ZappBug Heater is highly portable, sets up in seconds, and folds down flat for easy storage.
There are a wide range of recommended items to heat and clear of bed bug infestation inside of the ZappBug Heater. Clothes, shoes, coats, bedding, books, paper items, toys, and even some electronics like radios and toasters can be safely heat-treated.
You may also want to heat small pieces of luggage (that will fit in the ZappBug) before or after going on a trip since hotels are frequent harbingers of bed bugs.
I do NOT recommend to heat cellphones, anything with batteries still inside of it, or food items. And it is preferable to remain in the house while the bed bug heater is in use and to keep a close eye on it.
Pros & Cons
The ZappBug Heater is my top pick for the best bed bug heater overall, but every product has both pros and cons – and this is no exception. Here are the most notable advantages and drawbacks to be aware of.
- Sizable yet highly portable.
- Easy to store.
- Includes timer and a wireless digital thermometer.
- Side vents even out the internal temperature and help prevent overheating.
- Very quiet – no noisier than having a fan on.
- Not big enough for the largest jobs. For that, consider ZappBug Heater 2 (discussed below.) Note that using the “bricks” shrinks usable space.
- Doesn’t include a thermostat, so you have to watch it closer.
- Can take 3 hours or more to get up to temperature with heavy loads.
2.– Fast Heatup Time For 18 Cubic Feet
The Dr Infrared Heater (upgraded version) uses infrared heat to quickly raise temperatures inside the unit to over 120 degrees. It is spacious, at 18 cubic feet, and offers high portability and a built-in thermostat to make it easier to use.
Dr Infrared also features a two-tier rack system that can make organizing items to be heated more convenient. For those who want to save time by heating up larger batches of clothes and other bed bug-infested possessions, while waiting less time per batch – The Dr Infrared Heater is a top pick.
The best bed bug heater when it comes to heat-up time may well be the Dr Infrared Heater. It takes only minutes for the unit to reach 120 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit – compared to hours with many of its competitors. The heater uses 12.5 amps and a devoted circuit. It can run on an ordinary outlet.
In many cases, it takes only 15 to 20 minutes to get to 120 degrees, but this can vary based on the starting temperature of the air, the amount and type of items placed inside, and other factors.
The included thermometer, timer, alarm, and built-in thermostat make it extra-simple to keep this bed bug heater at the right temperature, while also lowering any risk of overheating.
If you travel and bring large suitcases along, the Dr Infrared Heater would be a good travel mate. While its dimensions are as large as 38 x 38 x 26, giving you 18 cubic feet, it collapses down to a small, thin size.
The extra temperature controls and protections of this bed bug heater mean you don’t have to watch it as closely as some other models – but it is still best to be in the building while it is running.
Technically, bed bugs can be killed in only a minute under 120-degree or higher temperatures. Most recommend, however, running the unit 40 to 60 minutes just to be extra sure that all bed bugs and bed bug eggs have been successfully exterminated.
Pros & Cons
The most important positives and negatives to be aware of with the Dr Infrared Heater are as follows:
- Effective heat-up in only a matter of minutes.
- Large size at 18 cubic feet.
- Thermostat regulates temperature, while the (quiet) turbofan evenly spreads temperatures out.
- Energy-efficient and well insulated. Uses heavy-duty nylon and industrial-grade zippers. (Nylon patching material is included.)
- Removable two-tier rack system helps you organize the unit’s contents.
- The larger size can be negative if you have limited space to store it in while traveling.
- You may have to pay a little more for the extra space and faster functioning as compared to ZappBug Heater. That may or may not be worth it, depending on how often you use your bed bug heater.
3.– The ZappBug Heater 1’s “Big Brother”
ZappBug Oven 2 is essentially like ZappBug Heater (covered above), only it delivers even more power and comes with additional beneficial features. Obviously, that will add a bit to the price tag, but for those who really need this extra size and capability – it is well worth the investment.
ZappBug 2 is just as safe and easy to use as its “younger brother, ” and is even more effective. It is the “new and improved” version of an already effective and popular product.
This unit uses two heaters instead of just one and offers 22 cubic feet of heatable space. Its dimensions are 39 x 39 x 27 inches.
After plugging in the two 1,500-Watt heaters, simply place items inside the unit, close, and let it work. The heaters are exactly the same as with ZappBug Heater except there are two of them, making the heat up process go a bit faster.
Temperatures will range from 120 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit while the unit is in operation. That is plenty of heat to kill all bed bugs and bed bug eggs. And there is no need to pretreat items with sprays or powders. Even with two heaters, the unit is surprisingly quiet.
There is no thermostat, but an auto-shut-off feature that is timer-based will help keep the unit from overheating.
The ZappBug Oven 2 is especially useful for treating large luggage, up to 39 inches wide, for possible bed bug infestation. It is probably the best bed bug heater for this specific purpose.
The question of whether to get ZappBug Heater or ZappBug Oven 2 will be a major decision point for many. The size of your suitcase is likely to make the determination.
Pros & Cons
The most important pros and cons of ZappBug Oven 2 would include:
- The best bed bug heater for de-bed bugging large luggage pieces.
- Controlled cycle with auto-shutoff safety feature.
- Digital wireless thermometer included in package.
- Comes with helpful 25-foot long extension cord.
- The unit does not include a thermostat to regulate temperatures.
- You have to use two outlets at once, preferably on two different circuits.
4.– Best Overall Bed Bug Heater For Furniture
Killing bed bugs in your clothes, suitcases, and various other possessions is not enough if you have an infestation in your home. The three units reviewed above are great for preventing infestations and for getting bugs and eggs off of items during an infestation – but ZappBug The Room does more.
ZappBug The Room is so large that it can handle de-bugging entire pieces of furniture. Matresses, couches, chairs, computer desks, and more can all be freed of bed bugs to help prevent reinfestation after you finally get rid of your bed bugs – and save your furniture too!
The ZappBug Room Bug Heat-treatment Chamber, or simply “The Room, ” measures 80 x 111 x 57.5 inches, giving it the largest capacity of any other portable bed bug heater.
The unit includes four heaters and needs four separate 120V outlets to operate at full strength. Like other ZappBug bed bug heaters, it can reach temperatures of from 120 to 155 degrees. Note that bed bugs start dying rapidly at temperatures above 120 degrees.
This unit comes with three sensors that let you measure air temperatures in the middle and on each side of the heater during operation. Periodically checking the temperature is a good idea, although the included timers make constantly watching the heater unnecessary.
Be sure to use this bed bug heater in a relatively warm room. If you do use it in a cold room or in a garage with a cold, concrete floor, you should consider putting a mat underneath it to help the unit get up to 120 degrees faster.
By turning up the heat in your home or business when using this unit, you make it work faster. And by placing large numbers of items, both small and large, inside ZappBug The Room, you reduce the number of times you have to go through the de-bugging process.
Pros & Cons
ZappBug’s “The Room” is the best bed bug heater for furniture and extra-large items, but it too has both pros and cons.
- Huge amount of space lets you kill bed bugs on virtually anything they have infested.
- Easy to assemble and use. Takes one person only 10 minutes to set up. Just fill and turn on to operate. The auto-shutoff feature controls the heating cycle.
- Folds down to become surprisingly portable and space-saving. Fits into two black storage bags that can easily fit in your closet.
- Very quiet operation.
- Comes with extension cords.
- Heaters have auto-turnoff should they tip over.
- Extremely well built and durable. The material does not easily tear.
- This bed bug heater admittedly takes a large amount of space to set up. For its size, it is very portable, but not as easy to move around as smaller units.
- You have to carefully position the three sensors that connect to the thermometer.
- While there is a cycle and auto-shutoff feature, there is no thermostat built into this unit.
5.– Best Heater For The Whole Room / House
The Convectex Block Heater is our number one pick for bed bug heaters that can handle a whole room – and potentially a whole house, one room at a time.
Both residential and commercial uses of Convectex’ bed bug heater are common – and the company even has a slightly different package designed for each type of use.
This is clearly the most powerful and largest of all five options reviewed here, and it is also the most expensive heater listed. But it can save you a lot of money compared to having to pay the exterminator to heat your home to kill the bed bugs (perhaps multiple times.)
The Convectex Bed Bug Heater includes three different heating elements that draw a combined 34 Amps of electricity and must be plugged into to three separate 120V sockets. The total BTU output is 14,000.
The high-CFU internal fan, the built-in thermostat and timer, and the included thermometer make for a powerful performance and one that is easy to control and monitor.
A breeze block axial fan keeps airflow moving and temperatures even throughout the room being treated. And the lighted power cords make it convenient to use these bed bug heaters even at night without having to keep the room’s lights on during the entire process.
If you have a major bed bug infestation at your home or apartment, and you fear it may be a recurring problem, it may make more sense to buy your own bed bug heater than to risk having to pay an exterminator to perform the same task multiple times at great cost to you.
Owners of hotels would do well to invest in the Convectex Block Heat Package to prevent an embarrassing bed bug infestation that could hurt business and your company’s reputation.
Whenever using this product, you will want to first prepare the room. That may mean closing all windows and doors, blocking door cracks, and reducing room clutter.
Pros & Cons
The most salient benefits and limitations of the Convectex Block Heat Package include the following:
- Can heat an entire room and rid it of bed bugs in a matter of only hours.
- Costs less than many professional treatments would if done by an exterminator.
- The unit is controlled by a thermostat, which makes for increased safety and convenience.
- At well over $1,000, this bed bug heater may not fit into everyone’s budget.
- The heater can only be reliably counted on to handle rooms of 200 square feet or less.
What is the Best Bed Bug Heater in October, 2019? – Your Expert Buyer’s Guide
Why bed bug heaters? The technology is relatively simple – apply heat. They are simply controlled heaters that raise temperatures high enough to kill bed eggs and bed bugs themselves at all stages of development in one fell swoop in a contained space.
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Advantages Of Heat Treatment
Over the last two decades, professional exterminators have begun using heat as the preferred way to treat rooms/homes for bed bug infestations. At-home units like ZappBug Heater & Dr Infrared Heater let you do the same.
Here are the prime advantages to heat treatment for bed bugs:
- Many bed bugs have become resistant to DDT and other chemical pesticides – plus, these bugs are often smart enough to avoid sprayed areas.
- Given the proclivity of bed bugs to hide in tiny cracks and crevices in the wall, flooring, mattress, furniture, or elsewhere, heat is often the only way to deal with a stubborn infestation.
- Who wants dangerous chemicals on their mattress, floor, walls, and personal possessions? Even diatomaceous earth can be dangerous to pets and kids. Bed bug heaters are safer and simpler to use.
- By using modern DIY bed bug heaters, you can avoid throwing out clothes and other items potentially contaminated with bed bugs and their eggs.
How Much Heat Do You Need?
Today’s bed bug heaters are designed to safely reach temperatures at or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
The reason is that it can take an hour and a half to kill a bed bug at 106 degrees, while at 120 degrees, they die in only one minute or less. But since it can take up to an hour to ensure all bed bug eggs are also dead – and to be extra safe, modern units hold temperatures of from 120 to 155 degrees for hours on end if necessary.
This kind of product works better than just using your dryer on high heat setting. Some dryers might work all right for clothing, but bed bug heaters can handle all manner of items, do not tumble the contents, and hold higher temperatures for longer to ensure superior results.
Top 5 FAQs Answered
Anyone seriously considering investing in a bed bug heater is going to have some important questions to ask. Here are the most common ones that I’ve heard before along with the answers:
How long does the treatment process take?
The answer depends on how long it takes the heater to reach 120 degrees, but once at temperature, bed bugs die within one minute. However, I recommend keeping the heat on for 30 to 60 minutes just to be safe.
Can I only treat clothing?
No – books, toys, most electronics, and many other items can be heat-treated as well!
Will the heat be evenly distributed?
Yes, but it can take longer to achieve uniform heat in a crowded bed bug heater.
Is it safe to leave the room during treatment?
I recommend not straying too far, but in reality, these units are designed to safely run on their own for hours on end.
Which is the best bed bug heater?
ZappBug is the best heater I’ve used overall for its simplicity, portability, and affordability. But Dr Infrared Heater is better if you need more space and insist on having a built-in thermostat.
What is the best bed bug heater? That depends on what you need it to do. Based on my own personal experience, I have listed 5 products that each qualifies as the best bed bug heater in a particular niche area.
Balancing power, capacity, and price tag may make the decision on which unit to purchase more challenging. But I trust this review has been helpful and will make the selection process easier.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.