Can a Blow Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?

You may be able to kill a few individual bed bugs at close range with a blow dryer, but you won’t end an infestation with this tactic. Bed bugs hide themselves and their eggs inside your walls, furniture, and clothes. There’s no way to find all the bed bugs in your home to heat them with a blow dryer, so you’ll only kill a few bugs. The ones you don’t find will continue to multiply and infest your home. Contact a professional bed bug exterminator to use heat and pesticide treatments that will eliminate bed bugs permanently.

Can a blow dryer kill bed bugs?

Are Blow Dryers Effective at Killing Bed Bugs?

Most blow dryers don’t get hot enough to kill bed bugs in all stages of life. It requires temperatures of 140℉ (60℃) to kill a bed bug. Only the most powerful blow dryers are capable of reaching this heat. So, bed bugs can survive direct exposure to the heat from most blow dryers. This means you may just be wasting your time by blowing hot air on bed bugs.

  • Blow dryers are not a reliable means of killing bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs are only reliably killed when exposed to temperatures of at least 140℉ (60℃) for 30 minutes.
  • Most blow dryers only heat up to 80–130℉ (27–54℃).
  • Bed bugs can often run and hide from a blow dryer before it kills them.

Once a bed bug feels the heat from a blow dryer, it will likely run for cover to protect itself. Tiny bed bugs can disappear into furniture, carpets, or under baseboards. So, it’s no guarantee that using a blow dryer will kill a bed bug.

Can a Blow Dryer Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

Bed bug eggs are hard to find and tough to kill. Unless you expose bed bug eggs to heat over 140℉ (60℃) for at least half an hour, you can’t be sure you’ve killed the eggs. This makes using a blow dryer inefficient because you’ll have to spend countless hours killing bed bug eggs. Since there are no outward signs that the eggs are dead, you still won’t be sure your blow dryer was hot enough to do the job.

  • Only an extremely powerful blow dryer will bed bug eggs.
  • Even if your blow dryer gets hot enough to kill bed bug eggs, it takes 30 minutes of heat exposure to do the job.
  • There is no way to tell if your blow dryer has killed bed bug eggs—they may still hatch later.

Even if your blow dryer reaches the optimal temperatures for killing bed bug eggs, you still have to find the hiding spot of every bed bug egg in order to kill them all. You won’t stop a bed bug infestation with a blow dryer, so it’s not worth your time.

How to Kill Bed Bugs with a Blow Dryer

If you really want to kill bed bugs with a blow dryer, get an extension cord and prepare for a bug hunt. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Plug your blow dryer into an extension cord so you can reach every corner of the room.
  • Search for bed bugs in your clothes, carpet, or couch.
  • Turn the blow dryer on high heat and direct the heat at the bed bug.
  • Hold the hair dryer 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) away from the bed bug.
  • Continue applying heat until the bed bug stops moving and dies.
  • Repeat to kill more bed bugs.
  • Remain careful so you do not burn yourself, your belongings, or your carpet with direct heat from the blow dryer.

This process is very inefficient since it requires you to hunt down each bed bug individually. In the same period of time you used to kill a few bugs, a pest control service can kill hundreds of the pests.

Can You Eliminate a Bed Bug Infestation with a Blow Dryer?

You will not be able to get rid of all the bed bugs in your home with a blow dryer. Bed bugs hide during the daytime, then emerge at night to feed on human blood. During the day, they will hide in the walls of your home, under baseboards, or even deep inside couches and box springs. You simply will not be able to discover every bed bug and bed bug egg. The surviving bugs will repopulate your home and continue pestering you.

  • You will not be able to stop a bed bug infestation by using a blow dryer.
  • Most bed bugs will remain hidden in walls, carpets, and furniture during the day.
  • If you kill the bed bugs you find, others will breed in your walls and furniture to take their place.
  • Working with a professional exterminator is the best way to get rid of bed bugs permanently.

Killing a few bed bugs with your blow dryer might make you feel better, but it won’t stop the problem at the source. Pest control operators are your best bet for controlling bed bugs. You will also need to take further measures, such as washing your clothes to kill bed bugs.

How to Use Heat to Kill Bed Bugs

Work with professionals to use heat treatment and other tactics to kill all the bed bugs in your home. Some companies will seal your home and heat the interior to over 140℉ (60℃) to kill all the bed bugs living in your clothes, furniture, and walls. Others use specialized ovens to heat certain personal items to high temperatures in order to kill bed bugs.

  • Professional exterminators can use powerful heat tools to kill bed bugs.
  • Some homes can be heated to high temperatures for extended periods in order to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Some pest control services use small “ovens” that heat certain household items to eliminate bed bugs.

It is always best to call a reputable exterminator when you are facing a bed bug problem. They can advise whether professional heat treatments or other measures are best in your case. 

Are Blow Dryers Good for Killing Bed Bugs?

Blow dryers are a very poor choice for battling bed bugs. Here’s why:

  • Most blow dryers do not get hot enough to kill all bed bugs and their eggs.
  • You will have to expose each bed bug to high heat for several minutes to kill the bug.
  • Most bed bugs in your home will remain hidden in walls, carpet, and furniture—you won’t be able to find them in order to attack them with a blow dryer.

While professionals do kill bed bugs with heat, a professional bed bug heat treatment is very different from what you can do with a handheld blow dryer. Killing a few bugs with a blow dryer on maximum heat won’t kill off all the bed bugs in your home, so it’s better to not waste your time.

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