You need the best bed bug heater AKA bed bug oven if you want to heat treat some items in a closed chamber. There are many vital times when you can use a bed bug heater.
One helpful way I use mine is to heat treat my suitcase after a trip. A second practical purpose is to heat the bed bug-sniffing dog’s leash and collar after searching a place that turns up positive for bed bugs.
A third meaningful way I use my bed bug oven is when I go to a public place and sit down somewhere. As soon as I get home, I put all of my clothing into the bed bug heater. It gives me peace of mind that I am killing any potential bed bugs on my clothing.
However, the primary way most of our clients use this bed bug heating machine is to heat all of the things that they can’t put into the dryer. You can safely make sure that you kill any bed bugs on your books, backpacks, storage boxes, laptops, smartphones, couch cushions, toys, and so much more.
A bed bug oven is a tool that will allow you to kill bed bugs instantly.
No time to read the whole article? Here are the best bed bug heaters available for 2022!
You don’t have to set the temperature with these best bed bug heaters manually. Most of them have a built-in timer to shut off; usually, placing it on high heat for 2 hours is enough to kill anything living in an item.
Bed bug heaters are a great non-toxic alternative for heavy pesticides, bed bug machines work best when coupled with professional treatment. Ever since we stopped using DDT for bed bugs, they have been on the rise.
Bed bug heating machines are simple and easy to use. They plug into the wall and give you three choices, off, high heat, or low heat. Once you have it plugged in, you have to put the item inside, and zip close the chamber. Due to malfunctions, we are not reviewing the PackTite heater since a few people I know had to send it back.
The Top 3 Bed Bug Heaters and Why We Use One More than the Others
#1 Thermal Strike Bed Bug Heater
- [Lethal Heating System] ThermalStrike uses a patented six-sided heating system that surrounds and destroys bed bugs, carpet beetles, moths, and other insects – including eggs, larvae, and adults. Heat in excess of 120 degrees penetrates deep into cracks and small openings.
- [Commercial Grade Construction] A fully sealed inner liner constructed of hospital grade heating pad material traps the bugs inside the unit. Additional layers of insulation keeps the heat inside the Ranger to minimize electrical power draw while seven thermostats continually monitor and control the heating system.
- [Easy to Load and Operate] Place luggage directly into the unit or load the Ranger like a laundry hamper. Heat comes from all sides and eliminates cold spots, so there is no moving air, motors, or moving parts which can break down. Items being treated can touch the interior walls.
- [Ongoing Support] ThermalStrike Ranger has a one-year warranty, ongoing customer service, and quality materials and workmanship
- [Everything You Need] Includes a built-in timer (two, four, and eight hour cycles) which turns the unit off and a thermometer which clips onto the front of the unit and shows the current and maximum temperature reached during a heat treatment. Based on a national average, a four-hour heating cycle costs less than 16 cents.
Every year, the United States spends $300 million and more to combat bed bugs. Unfortunately, not all chemicals work, and many have harmful side effects that could ruin households and clothes. The most effective method for treating objects like bed bugs on books, backpacks, shoes is a heat treatment inside a chamber.
A bed bug heating machine is excellent because bedbugs cannot withstand temperatures higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.89 degrees Celsius); they die soon after getting exposed to high heat within a bed bug oven.
As a result, these pests cannot reproduce or infest more areas in your house. You can kill bed bug eggs inside of the bed bug heater as well.
Make sure you remove things like makeup, toothpaste, pills, and food items before putting your bags into this bed bug-killing heater. We love the Thermal Strike because you do not have to worry about shorting out your outlets. Not only will this bed bug heater work for bed bugs but it will help you if you have an infestation of some other common NYC apartment bugs.
- 29 inches tall x 13 inches deep x 16 inches wide.
- Collapsible design
- All 6 sides have heating elements
- It kills 100% of your bed bugs in various life stages, including eggs, nymphs, and adults.
- A bed bug heater will also kill various types of larvae that infest your mattresses like fleas and carpet beetles.
- You can heat treat wool, silk, leather, and more. Items you usually cannot put into a dryer can go into this bed bug heater.
- It will kill bed bugs that are hiding within electronics.
- A best bed bug heater is a great way to treat books.
- It doesn’t use as much wattage as the Zapp Bug.
- There is no motor.
- It is silent.
- It takes 7-10 minutes to get up to the temperature.
- A temperature sensor on the outside lets you check and make sure it’s at the bed bug death temperature.
- You can collapse it to store it in a closet easily.
- It is straightforward to use; just plug it in, and turn it on.
- It has an automatic shut-off timer built into the bed bug oven.
- You can heat treat items inside of bags without having to open them.
- Leather shoes that are in a squished position going in may temporarily retain that shape after coming out. (Give it time, and your boots should return to a standard form)
- If you use this heater for bed bugs in a cold garage or basement, it may take more time to get up to 120° F.
#2 Zapp Bug Bed Bug Heater
- Effective against bed bugs in all life stages, including eggs, nymphs, and adults.
- Heat-only bed bug solution.
- Easy to use: One person set-up, load with items, and press on. Tent folds flat for storage.
- Large-size chamber. Measures 23" x 37.5" x 23" treats luggage, toys, and more
- 1500-watt programable heater & wireless thermometer ensure necessary treatment time inside the chamber
Before I got the Thermal Strike, the Zapp Bug was my go-to bed bug heating machine. It is bigger than the thermal strike and will fit large couch cushions, large suitcases, oversized comforters, and more.
This bed bug-killing heater will kill all stages of bed bugs, including eggs. It eliminates bed bugs without chemicals; however, if you live in an old apartment building, then definitely purchase the Thermal Strike instead of the Zapp Bug.
The Zapp Bug uses more wattage than the Thermal Strike, which means it will cost more to run this bed bug heater that reaches 120° F. However, if you need to heat treat more oversized items like a pack n play or crib, you may be able to fit them in this portable bed bug heater.
The Zapp Bug bed bug heater is great because you can place multiple things inside the chamber at once. So if you have many household belongings infested, you can heat treat them all simultaneously. Both of these portable heaters will also kill other common bugs in your bed that are not bed bugs, like lice or bird mites.
- Requires a 120V circuit to operate
- Collapsible design
- The chamber heats up via forced air
- Measures 23″ x 37.5″ x 23″
- The bed bug-killing heater has plenty of room in the inside chamber.
- The bed bug heater will Killlets you 100% of your bed bugs in various life stages, including eggs, nymphs, and adults. (great for making sure the bed bug eggs die.)
- I have put leather shoes in here many times. However, there is always a risk of them getting damaged.
- You can heat treat wool, silk, leather, and more. Items you usually cannot put into a dryer; can go into this bed bug heater.
- Their FAQ page says that you can treat electronic devices.
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- It takes up a large footprint, so it’s not ideal if you live in an apartment.
- It may short out your outlet, if you plug it into an outdated socket.
- It takes 1400 Watts or more to run the Zapp Bug bed bug heaters.
- The thermostat broke, so I had to buy a secondary thermostatic sensor.
- Do not pack the machine too tightly; otherwise, some items will not reach the temperature of 120° F.
- If you use this bed bug-killing heater in a cold basement, it will take hours to get up to the bed bug-killing temperature.
#3 ZappBug Room Portable Bed Bug Heater for Beds and Couches
- Large capacity heats furniture, mattresses and extra-large items above 120℉ 50℃ using four 1500W electric heaters
- The ZappBug Room system kills bed bugs in all stages of the parasites’ life cycle – eggs, nymphs and adults.
- Easy to use: set up, load with items, and press on, no need to bag items.
- Large collapsible treatment tent: Measures 111 inches-by-57.5 inches-by-80 inches
- Two carry bags allow for easy transportation by a single person
The fact that you can fit a mattress, headboard, bed frame, or couch in this heater for bed bugs is its selling point. You may short out your outlets, and you may have to babysit the bed bug killing machine while it’s running, but if you get it up to 120° F and keep it there, it will kill your bed bugs!
Bed bug heaters are great to complement a professional treatment by a licensed pest control professional.
If you need to treat many large items, this is one of your only solutions.
Often when a pest control professional treats a couch, it takes multiple treatments to eradicate the bugs since there are so many hiding places on a sofa. Having a sofa professionally treated and then using a heat chamber for bed bugs will ensure that you successfully eradicate the bed bugs.
Pro tip: Buy some additional thermometers that you can monitor from an APP on your phone. If you spend this much money on a bed bug heater, definitely add more temperature sensors to the chamber. It will allow you to monitor everything inside the heat box closely.
- 6.5 feet x 9.25 feet x 5 feet
- Uses forced air
- You will need 4 120 volts and 1,500 watts circuits.
- You can heat treat large items.
- Kills 100% of your bed bugs in various life stages, including eggs, nymphs, and adults. (great for making sure the bed bug eggs die.)
- It requires a lot of space to use since it’s over 9 feet on one side.
- You may short out your outlets.
- You’ll need four outlets that are rated at 120 volts each.
What Is A Bed Bug Heater And Why You Need One
A bed bug zapper isn’t an absolute necessity. You can indeed get rid of bed bugs through pesticides, other green methods, or professional services. But in all honesty, you might realize that you are finding yourself stressed out about certain things and wondering if there are bugs on them.
Using a best bed bug heater, like the Thermal Strike, allows you to treat something that you wouldn’t usually be able to. (like luggage, handbags, backpacks, heavy blankets, books, and so much more.)
The Different Types of Bed Bug Heaters and Bed Bug Ovens
There are two main bed bug heaters: an insulated enclosure with IR heat and forced air. There may be more competition in the future, but these are the two types of portable bed bug heaters for now.
- IR Heat to kill bed bugs. Radiant heat sources such as a bed bug oven do not just warm up objects; they make them vibrate. When these waves touch any surface, they release energy and warm up the molecules in contact. Bed bugs cannot flee when the heat surrounds them from all sides inside of a closed chamber, making it impossible for them to escape.
- Forced Air Heat to kill bed bugs. Like the radiant heat method, forced air kills bed bugs by heating objects inside a chamber. Forced air usually carries heat through the air, making it essential to allow air to flow on all surfaces of your items that you put into the bed bug heat chamber.
5 Benefits Of Using A Best Bed Bug Heater
– You can heat treat items that you usually can’t put into the dryer.
– Anytime you travel, you can quickly come home and heat treat your entire luggage, making sure it’s bed bug-free.
– A best bed bug heater kills 100% of your bed bugs in all of their various life stages, including eggs, nymphs, and adults.
– Feel more confident going places knowing that you can come home and heat treat your clothing.
– Enjoy going to the movies, knowing that you can heat treat everything you wore into the movie theatre.
5 Things To Look For In A Best Bed Bug Heater
While all bed bug heaters try to conquer the killing of bed bugs, different brands offer various benefits. Consider the following factors when choosing a bed bug heater:
- Size – If you have a small apartment, go with the Thermal Strike; it has a smaller footprint than the Zapp Bug. However, you may need a giant machine like the Zapp Bug to treat more critical items.
- Ease of Use – The Thermal Strike is easier to set up and start using since it does not have a motor.
- Noise Level – While the Zapp Bug is not super noisy; its motor does make a humming sound when it’s in the bed bug killing mode.
- Outlets – Do you have older outlets that might short out? The Zapp Bug is known to short out outlets if you don’t plug it into the proper type. Your circuit must be rated 15 amps and above to use the Zapp Bug.
- No Rearranging – With the Thermal Strike, you can use the entire inside space since the heat radiates from all six walls. On the other hand, you may need to rearrange the items halfway through with the Zapp Bug if the center ones are not heating up fast enough.
What is the best bed bug suitcase heater?
Having the ability to heat your suitcase after a trip is imperative since bed bugs can quickly get onto and into your travel bag.
If you have a small bag that is 18 x 13 inches (and even if you have a medium one that’s 20 x 14 x 9), then you can quickly get away with the Thermal Strike best bed bug heater. However, if you have a large suitcase over 27 x 18 x 14 inches, you’ll want to go with the Zapp Bug.
What is a Packtite portable heating unit?
Packtite was one of the original companies that sold bed bug heat boxes. Then they had a few recalls, and the Zapp Bug took over. You can still find the pack title closet at a few online bed bug supply stores. However, the Zapp Bug and Thermal Strike are just as good.
What is a Packtite rental company?
Packtite rental NYC companies will rent a machine, and they will drop off the bed bug heater. However, you can buy a new one for the exact cost of renting one. A bed bug can attach to the outside of the Packtite rental, ending up in your apartment. I would not want to rent a bed bug heater that has been inside other apartments with a bed bug issue.
Is it possible for bed bugs to get into a zipped suitcase?
Yes, they can since the zipper is not approved or designed to keep bed bugs out. If there is a small space where the ends of the 2 zippers meet, then that will be plenty of room for a bed bug to squeeze between. However, the chances are slimmer at happening if your suitcase is zipped, and that one-bed bug will find the exact hole where the zippers meet.
Do bed bug heaters really work?
Yes, a heater for bed bugs works by killing bed bugs inside of a closed chamber with heat.
Can bed bugs survive after heat treatment?
If you use a Zapp Bug or a Thermal Strike, bed bugs will not survive after this type of enclosed heat treatment. However, if you heat treating a house or apartment, the unfortunate reality is that bed bugs can survive after heat treatment.
The reason is that a few bed bugs will find a place that is just cool enough nearby to escape the heat. Suppose your heat treatment company also places a chemical barrier, using Crossfire or some other lethal bed bug-killing chemical after the heat treatment. In that case, the odds of success are better.
Sometimes the bed bugs will get into a wall where they can survive the heat, or somewhere high up or deep where the temperature is not getting to 120° F.
We do many post-heat treatment K9 inspections. Often people need a second heat treatment because we are finding some bed bugs survived the heat treatment.
Can I turn my heat up to kill bed bugs?
You may end up making your bed bug situation worse. No turning up your heat will not generate enough concentrated heat to kill bed bugs.
Unfortunately, the high heat may cause them to scatter, but it won’t be high enough to kill them. Therefore you will probably end up seeing bed bugs in unusual places, like a bed bug in the bathroom, ceiling, closet, inside of cabinets, and more.
What is a hot box for bed bugs?
A hot box for bed bugs is an enclosed chamber that heats up to 120° F. You can place fabrics, books, and much more inside the chamber, and if there are any bed bugs on them, the bugs will die. If you are seeing bed bugs active during the day then you may need professional help.
Final Thoughts on the Best Bed Bug Heater
While we use both the Zapp Bug and the Thermal Strike, I prefer the design and ease of use of the Thermal Strike a little more. I like that all I need to do is plug it in, set the timer, and walk away, unlike the Zapp Bug, which heats an entire chamber using a motor; for safety issues, you may not want to walk away and leave it running.
If you’re wondering whether bed bug heaters work, the answer is yes. While all brands offer different benefits depending on your needs and space constraints, there are some features to look for in a good one like size (if it’s too big or small), ease of use (is it easy to set up?), noise level (will it disturb others?) outlets (are they outdated?).
Also, consider how often you’ll be traveling because that will affect which kind of bed bug heater will work best for you. The more travel-heavy customers might benefit from the Thermal Strike due to its smaller footprint, but those who need something large should opt for options like Zapp Bug.