What is a Bed Bug Heater and What are its Benefits?


Bed bug infestation is one of the worst nightmares for homeowners. It can cause discomfort, sleepless nights, and potential health risks. It’s because the presence of bed bugs may cause itching, which sometimes leads to excessive scratching, increasing the chance of a secondary skin infection. Therefore, when faced with these persistent pests, it is very important to explore effective methods of extermination. One such method that is quite popular is the use of bed bug heaters.

But what are bed bug heaters exactly and how can they help with removing bed bugs? If you have the same question in mind, you’re in the right place. In this article, we are going to provide you with more information about what exactly a bed bug heater is along with its different benefits. This way, you will be able to further understand how bed bug heaters work and their advantages in order to make an informed decision on how to tackle a bed bug infestation effectively and efficiently.

What is a Bed Bug Heater?

portable electric heater

A bed bug heater is a device made specifically to eliminate bed bugs. These pests are notorious for infesting bedding, furniture, and other areas where most of us rest or sleep. Bed bug heaters are portable units that generate and distribute high levels of heat to raise the temperature in infested areas to a level that is lethal to bed bugs. This is usually between 120°F to 140°F (49°C-60°C).

Bed bug heaters are equipped with heating elements and powerful fans to ensure the even distribution of heat throughout the infested space. They are made to treat an entire room, including mattresses, furniture, baseboards, and other areas where bed bugs commonly reside. The goal of this device is to expose the bed bugs and their eggs to sustained high temperatures to effectively kill them and prevent their infestation.

There are different sizes and configurations when it comes to bed bug heaters. They range from compact units that are great for treating small rooms, to industrial-grade units that can tackle larger infestations. Most bed bug heaters have temperature controls, timers, and safety features to ensure effective and safe operation.

The Different Types of Bed Bug Heaters

two fan heaters

Professionals use three different types of heaters to heat up an area, room, or complete structure to kill bed bugs. They can be indirect-fired, direct-fired, and electric heaters. Read on below to learn more about these:

Indirect Fired Diesel/Kerosene/Jet Fuel Heaters for Bed Bugs

These types of bed bug heaters are great and portable choices to do bed bug heat treatments with. They are powerful and ready to operate with fuel in the tank and a 110V plug-in for the fan to work. Many companies use indirect-fired diesel heaters, wherein all of the harmful pollutants are removed from the heat that is produced by the heater before they are ejected out into the ducting stretched out through a door or window from the area being heated for bed bugs.

Kerosene and jet fuel bed bug heaters can also be used, but diesel is the least expensive option among them. These types of heaters also work just the same on all fuels. The heaters stay outside during the bed bug heat treatment service.

Direct Fired Propane/Natural Gas Heaters for Bed Bugs

Another great portable option is propane or natural gas bed bug heaters. However, multiple propane holding tanks are required to keep the lines and tanks from freezing up during operation. These heaters are commonly direct fired, but they can also be indirectly fired. When it is directly fired, it means no pollutants are removed from the heat pushed into the conduit run through a door or window from the heater’s output. Also, in this type of heat treatment, fresh air is needed to prevent CO2 poisoning in the home.  

Electric Bed Bug Heaters

Electric bed bug heaters are very portable. However, they are not as powerful as indirect-fired and direct-fired heaters. This means that they will take much longer to reach killing temperatures, giving bed bugs more time to run and hide in areas outside of the heater’s reach. With this, they are not ideal to be used as a stand-alone heat treatment for bed bugs. They can be useful in some cases, but some may also need a generator, making it a more expensive choice.

The Benefits of Using Bed Bug Heaters

a heater inside a room

After learning about what a bed bug heater is and its different types, let us now discuss the good things that you can get from them. Below are the benefits that you can get from using bed bug heaters:

Effective Bed Bug Elimination

One of the main benefits of using a bed bug heater is its effectiveness in eliminating bed bug infestations. Heat treatment has been proven to be very effective in killing bed bugs and their eggs. They can penetrate into cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas where bed bugs may be hiding. Compared to chemical treatments that may have different degrees of effectiveness, heat treatment for bed bugs offer a more reliable and comprehensive solution. It’s because it can target bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle, from eggs to adults, ensuring thorough eradication of the infestation.

Safe and No Chemicals are Needed to be Used

Another benefit of using bed bug heaters is that it offers a non-chemical solution for eliminating bed bugs. Traditional pest control methods usually rely on using chemical pesticides, which may pose possible health risks and environmental concerns. Bed bug heaters, on the other hand, mainly use heat as a means of extermination. It is perfect for people who are sensitive or those who prefer to avoid being exposed to chemical substances.

The non-chemical nature of bed bug heaters also makes them environmentally friendly. Chemical pesticides can have adverse effects on the environment, including soil and water contamination, harm to beneficial insects, and potential toxicity to pets. By opting for heat treatment with a bed bug heater, you can reduce the environmental impact typically associated with pesticide-based treatments.

Can Treat a Whole Room

Bed bug heaters also offer the benefit of whole-room treatment. This ensures the comprehensive elimination of bed bugs throughout the infested area. Unlike some localized treatments that may only target specific areas or individual pieces of furniture, bed bug heaters are able to treat an entire room in just one operation.

Whole-room treatment is particularly advantageous because bed bugs have a knack for dispersing and hiding in multiple areas. The heat from a bed bug heater is distributed evenly throughout the space. These include walls, furniture, mattresses, and other areas where bed bugs potentially hide. This means that a bed bug heater does not leave any safe harbor for them to survive.

Versatile Device

Bed bug heaters are versatile devices as they can be used in various settings. Whether you are dealing with a bed bug infestation at home, in a hotel room, dormitory, or multi-unit housing, you can effectively use bed bug heaters. They also come in different sizes and configurations to meet the needs of different environments. There are smaller units for treating single rooms or smaller spaces, and there are also larger, industrial-grade models that can handle larger areas.

Also, bed bug heaters can be moved easily from one room to another, making them suitable for multi-room treatments or when dealing with infestations in different areas of a building. Additionally, the versatility of bed bug heaters extends to their compatibility with different types of infested items. Not only can they treat mattresses and furniture, but they can also be used for other items such as clothing, luggage, and personal belongings that may have become infested.


Bed bug heaters can offer a cost-effective solution for bed bug eradication in the long run. While the initial investment in a bed bug heater may be higher compared to some other treatment options, the benefits it provides can outweigh the costs over time.

First off, bed bug heaters’ ability to totally eliminate infestations with just one treatment can help you save money. Bed bugs may need to be completely eliminated using several treatments with some conventional pest control techniques, which can raise overall costs. With a bed bug heater, the heat treatment often provides a quicker and more effective treatment, cutting down on the number of sessions and associated expenses.

The ability of bed bug heaters to stop further infestations is another factor contributing to their long-term cost-effectiveness. Bed bug heaters greatly lower the chance of reinfestation by completely eliminating the pests and their eggs. This implies that you will be less likely to shell out more money in the future for professional services or continuous pest control measures.

Minimal Preparation Needed

Another advantage of using a bed bug heater is that it typically requires minimal preparation compared to some alternative treatment methods. While some precautions are still necessary, the preparation process is generally less extensive, saving you time and effort.

With chemical treatments, extensive preparation is usually needed, such as clearing out infested areas, covering or moving furniture pieces, and possibly vacating the premises for a certain amount of time. This is a disruptive and time-consuming method, particularly if you have to disassemble furniture pieces and pack up belongings.

In contrast, preparing for a bed bug heating session is far easier. All you need to do is remove all the heat-sensitive items in the room or area, such as electronics and delicate fabrics. Then, you need to ensure proper ventilation to prevent overheating. Lastly, place the bed bug heater in the right spot in the room to facilitate efficient heat distribution. Doing these will take you only a few minutes and you are prepared to start the process. It saves you time and it reduces inconvenience, making the treatment process more manageable.


Bed bug heaters are indeed among the most helpful methods of eliminating bed bugs. They are also safe and more convenient compared to using chemical treatments. You just have to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a bed bug heater. If you are not confident about using one, it is better to consult professionals for effective and safe treatment. We hope this article helped you learn more about what a bed bug heater is and its benefits. 

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