As bedbugs develop resistance to conventional methods of extermination such as pesticides, many homeowners are having success using heat to kill bedbugs. 

There are different methods involving heat that can be used forbed bug removal and to kill bed bug eggs, and the methods chosen will depend on which household items that you intend to treat and the heating equipment that is available.

Bedbugs will die if exposed to temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of at least 90 minutes, while their eggs will need a temperature of at least 118-120 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter temperatures kill both in less time.

How can homeowners use heat to kill bedbugs?

There are several options for homeowners. Before beginning to use heat treatment, a supply of black plastic bags should be kept on hand. As individual items are treated, they must be protected from items or areas that haven't yet been treated. Using heat to kill bedbugs only kills the bedbugs that are present but will not eliminate stragglers hiding in crevices of mattresses or furniture.

Possible options include:

Clothes dryer

Clothing, bedsheets, and stuffed animals can be successfully treated by placing them in a dryer on high heat. One cycle is enough to kill both bedbugs and eggs because of the high temperature in a dryer on high setting. Care should be taken with some clothing and other items that cannot be exposed to high heat.


Items that can't be placed in a dryer can be placed in black plastic bags and exposed to sunlight. They should be double-bagged to ensure that no bedbugs escape through small holes or tears.

A thermometer should be used to ensure that the aforementioned temperatures have been attained for the required amount of time. If the sun is not strong enough, they can be placed in a vehicle to be heated, but an extra bag layer should be added. This avoids the possibility of bedbugs escaping and infesting the vehicle.

Heat gun

A heat gun, which resembles a powerful blow dryer, blows air that is hot enough to kill bedbugs almost on contact but must be used with both patience and caution. Using a heat gun will require heating every crevice in mattresses and furniture by moving it slowly across each inch of affected surface. Exposing sensitive materials to a heat gun could also result in scorching or burns. A heat gun can be rented or purchased at local home improvement stores

Although these methods can be successful, the homeowner should consider hiring a professional if the infestation is extensive. Many bedbug exterminators now use a whole house heating system, which heats the entire home or infested areas.

If you get rid of infested items, be considerate. Don't give them away, donate them, or take them to a dry cleaner to infest other people's homes.

Mattresses or furniture that are placed outside for disposal should be cut open or rendered unusable in some other fashion so someone doesn't take them into their home. If they need to take in used furniture, they don't need the extra problem of bedbugs.