How to Kill Bed Bugs with a Heat Gun
Bed bugs have become a significant problem again for many reasons, but one method of removal is to kill them humanely with a heat gun. Many people are traveling internationally and acting as hosts for the bugs to bring back home. They can hide in a crevice so tiny that they can go undetected. Another problem is the rise in yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist and other used furniture acquisitions, which is a perfect way to bring them into your home. They can also hide in electronics and even picture frames. Once in your home they can be difficult to remove.
Identifying the Pests
Bed bugs are tiny brownish-black flat bugs that can be seen with the naked eye. During daylight they often hide in cracks, seams and crevices. They are totally motionless, so they can be mistaken for just a speck of dirt or dust. They migrate, so if you live in attached housing, such as a duplex or apartment, and the unit next to you has them, chances are you will get them too. They will even travel away from fumigation attempts and return. If you are a camper, they can crawl into camping equipment or sleeping bags and tents and enter your home or basement that way. Once you have them, they can be very difficult to get rid of.
- Use the gun on the lowest heat setting, since 200 degrees is hot enough to kill the bugs and destroy their larvae.
- Never lay the gun down while its on.
- Cool the gun down before turning it off and putting it away.
- Don't hold the gun any closer than 4 inches from the surface.
- Remove children and pets from the area.
- Don't wear loose clothing or jewelry.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Remove all bedding if you are going to treat a mattress. Use your sweeper to clean off the mattress of lint, dust and hair. Turn the heat gun on and move it slowly in circular motions all over the mattress. Do this on both sides of the mattress, including the seams. Be sure to do the box springs or metal springs also. Wash all bedding, including the pillow, in hot water and allow it to dry.
Apply the heat gun to draperies in the same way if they can't be removed to wash. If your bed has a metal frame and is hollow, blow heat through the framework to kill any bugs that could be hiding in there. If you have items stored under your bed, treat that area also.
Use the heat gun on all upholstered furniture in your entire house, as bed bugs don't just live in beds. Don't forget to do children's mattresses, stuffed animals and even crib mattresses. Also use the heat gun on heat vents and cold air returns. You may want to follow all of this with a bug bomb designed for bed bugs. Bed bugs can be very stubborn to remove, so you must be thorough.