Table of Contents
- 1 What is a bed bug heater machine?
- 2 How to Select the Best Bed Bug Heater Machines For Your Requirements
- 3 Best Bed Bug Heater Reviews
The best bug heater does not keep the bed bugs nice and toasty warm but gets them so hot they die. Heat is an incredibly effective way to kill bed bugs without the use of pesticides. You can use vacuums, steam cleaners, clothes washers and driers set at their hottest temperatures to kill bed bugs. However, not all items can survive the wash or a steam clean. This is when you need a bed bug heat treatment machine or chamber.
What is a bed bug heater machine?
Bed bug heat treatment equipment kills bed bugs in items where they hide. Vacuuming, steam cleaning and the laundry will generate enough heat to kill the creepy critters, but getting rid of bed bugs in other items like electronics, suitcases and small furniture will be hard. To kill bed bugs in these items, a bed bug heater is a proven method, but often not the only tool you’ll need.
Here’s a list to the best bed bug heaters available to buy:
- ZappBug Heater
- ZappBug Oven 2
- ZappBug Room
- Prevsol Bed Bug Heater System
- Dr. Infrared Portable Bed Bug Heater
- PackTite 2
Bed bug heaters work on electricity, which means they have to plug in your home socket somewhere. Before you buy even the best bed bug heaters, check on your home’s wiring. It may not be able to handle the large amounts of juice needed to get the heaters hot enough to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs.
Why Does Heat Kill Bed Bugs?
Heat is a more efficient way of killing bed bugs in comparison to whole house foggers or “bug bombs.” Insecticide needs to get in contact with the bugs in order to kill them. Bed bugs are experts at making sure they do not come into contact with pesticides. They hide in tiny cracks and crevices and wait for the pesticide to wear off.
As noted entomologist Dini M. Miller explains, heat gets right into the cracks and crevices where the bed bugs hide. You do not have to throw the infested item away. You do not have to physically remove each bug in order to kill it. The heat does it for you. The only problem is that you have to place the whole item in a bed bug heater in order to kill all of the bugs.
Specifically, Miller explains that a heater needs to get to at least 133 degrees F in order to kill adults and larvae. The bugs do not immediately die, however. They need to be exposed to the high heat for a long time in order to die. A bed bug adult needs about 90 minutes in 113 degree F heat before it will kick the buggy bucket. They die in a mere 20 minutes when it is 118 degrees F. Bed bug eggs, much tougher than their parents, need at least 90 minutes in 118 degree F heat in order to die.
How to Select the Best Bed Bug Heater Machines For Your Requirements
Some people just choose the least expensive option for just about everything. Price should not be your only deciding factor in choosing a bed bug heater. You need to take in mind:
- How large and heavy the bed bug heat treatment machine is
- Do you want to just heat items like suitcases or whole rooms?
- If the heater can be compacted so it will take up less room in storage.
- How much electrical power does it need? Usually, the smaller the heater, the least number of outlets it needs to be plugged in. Are extension cords included?
- How long the items need to be cooked.
- How to operate it safely so you do not get burned.
- Do you have to put it together or is it already assembled?
- Are any warranties included?
Bed bug heaters usually reach temperatures of 120 degrees F. If you have very small children or small pets that constantly look for warm hiding places, you need to figure out how to keep them away from the heater when it is in use.
Best Bed Bug Heater Reviews
Since bed bug heat treatment equipment costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars, operating instructions can usually be found online before you purchase such a pricy item. Check out YouTube for the latest promotional videos on how to use them and reviews of each model. Before that, please read the following bed bug heater reviews to help you decided which one is best for you:
Zappbug Room Bed Bug Heaters
One of the most popular brands of bed bug heaters for homes and businesses is ZappBug. They offer several kinds of bed bug heat treatment equipment and offer many advantages for the frantic bed-bugged homeowner or business owner:
- They have many how-to videos up on YouTube and their own website so you can virtually test drive the heater before plunking your money down.
- Their products come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- They offer a free support hotline at 1 (206) 430 5514.
Now, let’s look at some specific ZappBug heaters:
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ZappBug Heater Review
This is the smallest and least expensive of the ZappBug line. It’s a best bed bug heater seller for many good reasons.
- Soft sides, making it easy to collapse into a small space when you’re done using it.
- Claims to kill bed bug eggs in items as well as adults and larvae. Not many things can kill bed bug eggs.
- Only about ten pounds in weight.
- Has an automatic shut-off timer.
- Has a customer service number to call for help. Many customers have reported good things about ZappBug’s customer service.
- This heater does not instantly become super-hot when you turn it on. It may take up to 6 hours for it get to get its hottest.
- You can only heat a single layer of a few things at a time.
- It takes many hours to cook your items thoroughly enough so the bed bugs are sure to be dead.
- It’s only about four feet by two feet, so you can only place small things within it.
- It really should be plugged directly into a wall socket without using an extension cord, as the cord could overheat.
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ZappBug Oven 2 Review
This bed bug heat treatment machine is basically a larger version of the ZappBug Heater. It offers many of the same features, only in a larger size.
- The larger size. The ZappBug Oven 2 is roughly twice as large as the ZappBug Heater and weighs about 222 pounds.
- Includes an extension cord tough enough to take the heat.
- Also has soft sides so it can be placed in a small space when not in use.
- Has a wireless digital thermometer.
- Warms up quicker than the smaller version and so takes less time to kill the bed bugs.
- Also has the customer number service for help.
- The larger size. It’s twice as big and about twice the price as its smaller brother.
- It needs TWO sources of power, hence the extension cord.
- You have to put it together, although it isn’t as hard as trying to hook up a VCR to a TV (anyone remember that?)
- Some people have reported that it never gets to the expected 120 to 155 degrees F.
- Since it needs so much power, it’s best used in a home that was recently built or that recently had new wiring put in. In homes built in the 1950s or before that still have original wiring will not be able to handle the energy requirements for this heater.
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ZappBug Room Bed Bug Heater Review
This is a bed bug heat treatment machine for an entire room and not just for “small” items like luggage, suitcases, cell phones and ottomans.
- ZappBug claims that this is hot enough to kill bed bug eggs as well as adults and larvae. This goes up to 155 degrees F.
- It can be taken apart after use.
- Contains an automatic shutoff timer.
- Soft sides.
- Has features that claims will keep the ZappBug Room from falling over.
- Comes with a one year warranty and the afore-mentioned customer service.
- It’s very expensive. Quite frankly, it may be cheaper just to call an exterminator.
- You have to put it together. You need a room-sized space in order to assemble it.
- This requires a LOT of electricity to run. You need abut four outlets in order to get it to work.
- You, your pets, your plants and anything that cannot tolerate such high temperatures cannot be in the room when this is operating because of the high heats generated.
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Prevsol Bed Bug Heater System Review
ZappBug not doing it for you because it’s too small? There are plenty of alternatives for those looking for an industrial-strength heater. One of the best bed bug heaters for areas up to 300 square feet is the Prevsol Heater System.
- Generates heat up to 140 degrees F, which the manufacturer claims is hot enough to kill even bed bug eggs.
- Works quicker than many other bed bug heat treatment machines of its size, killing bed bugs in an average of seven hours.
- Easier to set up than some other kinds of bed bug heat treatment machine.
- Includes four extension cords.
- Comes with a DVD of instructions.
- Can be moved from room to room in a home or business.
- Made in the USA.
- It costs thousands of dollars and it is not a magic bullet for getting rid of bed bugs. A professional bed bug heat treatment cost could be less expensive for your particular situation.
- It takes a LOT of electricity to run. It should not be used in a very old house with original wiring.
- It does not fold up neatly after use, so you need to find a place to put it after you are done with it.
- Although the manufacturer claims that this is good for apartments, you need to check with your landlord before using it or you ay violate the terms of your lease. Some landlords will not be happy if you tackle your bed bug problem all by yourself. Bed bugs can also move from your treated apartment to an untreated room and then come right back after the heat dies down. Apartments need to be treated all at once in order to effectively get rid of them from a building. This makes this item better for landlords than for tenants.
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Dr. Infrared Heater for Bed Bugs Review
Don’t need to heat up a whole apartment building but need something to tackle a full-sized suitcase? Consider the Dr Infrared Portable Bed Bug Heater. The company has a long line of space heaters and has recently branched into making bed bug heaters.
- Reaches 155 degrees F, which is the hottest of all of the bed bug heater reviews here.
- Dr Infrared claims that the chamber heats evenly so there aren’t any cooler spots where a bed bug or an egg may survive.
- Runs quietly.
- Comes with thermometer and automatic shut-off timer.
- Has the size of 38 inches by 26 inches by 38 inches.
- Weighs about 24 pounds.
- Contains two racks for placing items on so you do not need to use just a single layer of stuff.
- It’s like a thin square tent, so it can collapse to be stored for later.
- Does not need as much electricity as many other bed bug heating devices.
- Comes with a “microfiber cleaning kit” which usually means there are other cleaning products to purchase later.
- Weighs about 24 pounds, so if you cannot pick up a bag of kitty litter you may not be able to pick this up.
- Does not seem to come with a warranty. You may have to purchase a warranty separately depending on where you buy the contraption.
- Gets very hot so it may be best used outside your home.
- Not much in the way of customer service.
- You cannot adjust the heat. It’s either on or off.
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PackTite Bed Bug Oven 2 Review
This brand has been around for a while and is recommended by customers online and entomologistsalike. In looks, it’s similar to ZappBug. The PackTite bed bug oven heats up to 150 degrees F, which is hot enough to kill even bed bug eggs. The original version is no longer sold, but the second version is.
- It’s soft sided and collapsible for easier storage.
- Contains a rack where you can place the bed bug infested items.
- Although originally built to sterilize suitcases, it also can de-bug many smaller items like CDs, hardback books, shoes, purses and tools.
- Has an automatic turn-off timer.
- Is lightweight enough to lug from room to room, if necessary.
- It takes several hours in order to properly sterilize your stuff.
- It does take a lot of electricity to run, so it is not recommended for old homes or homes with dodgy wiring.
- There isn’t much in the way of customer service.
Packtite vs Zappbug
Both of these brands are well established but Zappbug is more reliable in the Packtite vs Zappbug debate. The build quality of Zappbug isn’t the best but the heater is more powerful than the Packtite and as a result works a lot faster in comparison. The Zappbug also collapses making it easier to store away.
Other Tips for Fighting Bed Bugs
After you use your bed bug heater, you need to place all of your sterilized items in sealable plastic bags. This is to make sure that any other bed bugs in your home do not get into your nice, clean items. Since it may take weeks or even months to completely get rid of a bed bug infestation, depending on how bad it is, expect to keep these items in plastic bags for a long time.
Bed bugs can hide in carpeting, especially in any tears or around the edges. You need to steam-clean or vacuum your floors and whatever furniture that can take such treatment in order to kill the bed bugs hiding there. Be sure to empty the vacuum canister or bag immediately after using, since bed bug eggs are known to survive vacuuming. They can conceivably hatch inside your vacuum and crawl out.
After reading that comforting fact you may be ready for bed. Hold on – just don’t lie down when bed bugs are in town. Place your mattress in a mattress encasement. Any bed bugs in your mattress will not be able to bite you. Eventually, they will die of starvation, since their only food is blood.
In Conclusion: Even the Best Bed Bug Heater Machines Are No Magic Bullet
Bed bug heaters are great for certain items that cannot be “de-bugged” any other way except by hand (and who has the patience and the eyesight to do that?) However, no matter how much a mechanical bed bug heat treatment cost it is not going to get rid of your bedbug problems overnight. Heat is a proven bed bug killer and has the added benefit of being more Earth-friendly than pesticides.
Abed bug heater is just one tool in your fight against bed bugs. They are especially recommended for people who travel a lot, since bed bugs love to hitch a ride in your suitcases and purses. Since they hide just about anywhere, you need to do plenty of house-cleaning and laundry to get at them.After doing all of this work, you still may have to call an exterminator. There’s no shame in that.
Recommended reading: How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs | Detection, Treatment & Prevention