Can a hair dryer kill bed bugs

Fighting bed bugs - how does it work? An overview.

How are bed bugs basically combated? What remedies and home remedies can I use to protect myself from bed bugs? What poisons or methods does an exterminator use?

In this article, we will track down “insider tips for controlling bed bugs” from the Internet and shed light on common methods so that you can get an idea for yourself.

If you are investigating the question of whether you should fight bed bugs yourself or rather call in an exterminator, you should refer to the article Fighting bed bugs yourself? Three questions. Three answers. referenced.

The methods presented here are not recommendations for self-treatment, but are merely presented thematically.

Please bear in mind that the point in time at which you can no longer do anything without professional help is already exceeded in most cases when an infestation is detected. Our recommendation is always to call a pest controller on site as soon as possible.

Bed bug control options

Bed bugs are among the most difficult insects to control. The infestation has increased dramatically worldwide since the late 1990s.

If you notice several bites running next to each other on your skin after waking up in the morning, you should act immediately. The nocturnal pests usually hide in bed or in its immediate vicinity, so that the feet of the bed and neighboring pieces of furniture such as the bedside table should be carefully examined.

To confirm a suspicion of bed bugs as well as to ward off and control them, there are various options, some of which will now be presented.

Build or buy barriers:

Coating the feet of the bed with a fatty cream is a simple and inexpensive barrier to making it difficult for bed bugs to get to the mattress. Specially shaped plastic trays are available in stores, e.g. filled with water and placed under the feet of the bed. However, bed bugs can survive for a long time without food, reach the bed from the ceiling or instead nestle in the immediate vicinity or in neighboring rooms, so that this is more of a defense measure than a control method, and it can only ward off bed bugs hiding outside the bed.

Bed bug traps:

Bed bug traps, also known as monitors, are mainly used to confirm suspicions about an infestation. Bug eggs, larvae and bed bugs that get into the bed through the ceiling cannot be reached. The traps are provided with glue mixed with attractant. The bed bugs should stick to this.

Self-made bed bug traps consist either of strong, double-sided adhesive tape that is attached to the feet of the bed and / or of plastic trays that are placed under each bed leg and filled with mineral oil, which are emptied and refilled every day. Trapped bed bugs can also be killed in water with 10% detergent added or, like bed bug eggs, burned outdoors in a metal container.

In the Balkans, bed bug traps have been made from the hairy leaves of the bean plant that are scattered around the bed for hundreds of years. The bed bugs get stuck in it and are collected together with the leaves the next morning and burned or flushed down the toilet.

There are many different ways to get to grips with the animals, and a combination of these can also be useful - whether the use of home remedies, sprays and / or heat or cold treatments on your own is appropriate or whether an exterminator should be called depends, among other things on the extent of the infestation, which should be determined as soon as possible.

This is how you get a quick overview:

Check the furniture thoroughly from all sides, also look for the walls behind it, all objects such as books, pictures, lamps or alarm clocks as well as cracks and sockets in the infested room for traces and clean them. With a screwdriver you can take a look under the light switch, where there are sometimes quite a few bed bugs. Vacuum the bed frame, the mattress and all corners and edges thoroughly and carefully with a vacuum cleaner with a fine dust filter, the bag and filter of which should then be carefully packed in a well-sealed plastic bag and disposed of (incinerated). Bagless vacuum cleaners could, however, spread the bed bugs and their eggs throughout the room through the exhaust air.

Since the bed bugs are barely visible to the naked eye and hide well during the day, there is always the possibility that other rooms and objects are already infested!

Home remedies:

A frequently cited home remedy for bed bugs is the antimicrobial curcumin contained in the Asian spice turmeric. For example, it is sprinkled on textiles or in cracks and should no longer breathe and let the annoyances die so that they can then be disposed of in a well-sealed vacuum cleaner bag after thorough vacuuming. It is more likely, however, that they will run away and find a new place to stay.

Home remedies in the form of strongly smelling scented soaps and candles as well as scented sachets with essential oils such as clove, lavender or mint oil neither prevent bed bugs from biting nor are they suitable for killing bed bugs. These will avoid the corresponding area at most, but could seek a new one and thereby increase the infestation.

By dusting them with plant-based silicate dust (so-called diatomaceous earth or kieselguhr), bed bugs lose their protective lipid layer and become dehydrated. In addition, the fossil material is believed to damage the fine skins between the segments of the chitin armor, as well as the mouthparts, respiratory organs, and gastrointestinal tract. The application of the fine dust is difficult and only possible in a dry and wind-free environment, a health hazard is possible if incorrectly applied. An immediate result is not to be expected.

Insecticides and resistances:

There is a wide range of insecticides that are or have been used today or in the past. In connection with the control of bed bugs, names such as pyrethroids (λ-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, alpha-cypermethrin, permethrin and tetramethrin), neonicotinoids, phenylpyrazoles, phosphoric acid derivatives used as pesticides such as thiophosphoric acid esters (diazinonates) and some carbonic acid esters (poisonous carbene) appear , Propoxur and Organophophate).

Many of the insecticides used by professional pest controllers are not over the counter. Even with over-the-counter insect repellants, the toxic ingredients can be harmful to humans and animals, especially small children and sensitive / sick people. Through unspecific and thus incorrect application, many bed bug strains became resistant to some of the chemical agents. Rapid tests can provide information about the resistance status of the respective population.

Professional pest control:

Trying to fight a large infestation out of shame or fear of spending too much on your own can actually worsen it considerably. Ultimately, this increases the effort and costs for professional pest control, which is then unavoidable.

Due to increasing resistance, the poisons specially handed out to trained pest controllers are also becoming more and more ineffective. Since they also have no influence on bed bug eggs, regular follow-up treatments must be carried out to remove surviving and hatched animals and success checks.

Thermal combat (heat disinfestation)

The bed bug protein denatures at temperatures above 45 ° C. As a result, they die after a few minutes, as do their larvae and eggs.

For example, microwave ovens are increasingly available in mountain huts, in which overnight guests should briefly heat their sleeping bags in order to prevent the unloved animals from being brought in. Unfortunately, this selective measure does not mean that bed bugs that have already been introduced would be eradicated.

A professional thermal process for treating rooms is so-called heat disinfestation, in which either the room air is increased to around 55 ° C by means of heating ovens (circulating air process) or the outside air with oil or gas-fired burners with separate flue gas ducts, so that even the smallest niche is reached becomes. This fast-acting, chemical-free treatment does not harm people or the environment, does not create drug resistance and also has an impact on resistant strains. Not every object survives such heat treatment without damage. Sensitive objects are therefore to be treated separately. Before such treatment, the room must be sealed so that bed bugs cannot escape from the heat. This is not easy in practice, as all cracks, pipes, holes, etc. have to be closed, i.e. it is not advisable to carry out a heat disinfestation as a layperson, as the bed bugs could spread in all directions.

The special electric ovens require a voltage of four hundred volts (three-phase current, also called heavy current) with appropriate power connections from a specialist (similar to that of the electric cooker). High electricity costs are to be expected in large-volume buildings. Typical locations for heat disinfestation are in particular food processing companies, flour mills, bakeries, warehouses and organic companies that are not allowed to use chemicals, as well as individual rooms in hotels and youth hostels.

Washing machine:

Clothes, bed linen, curtains or soft toys should be washed at 60 ° C for more than thirty minutes. Lower temperatures will kill the bed bugs, but most of the eggs will survive. To avoid spreading to other rooms, make sure that everything is transported to the washing machine in closed plastic bags.

Tumble dryer:

Drying in the tumble dryer at a constant temperature for a period of thirty minutes is an additional safeguard.


In midsummer, pieces of furniture, mattresses, blankets and pillows can be placed in the blazing sun for a few hours.

Hair dryer (hair dryer) / heat gun:

A hair dryer or a heat gun can only destroy bug eggs, the bed bugs would try to escape the heat and find other hiding places. The device should reach at least 50 ° C and be aimed at the clutch for thirty minutes. In addition to the risk of fire, there is always the risk that bed bugs and clutches are thrown around the room and pushed into inaccessible cracks.

Steam jet:

A successful treatment of individual, insensitive objects with a steam jet is possible, provided that it reaches the required temperature. In all other cases, pressure from a steam cleaner could also distribute the bed bugs throughout the room.


Bed bugs also do not survive temperatures below -18 ° C. Sensitive and small items such as CDs, DVDs, books or luggage as well as non-washable materials can therefore also be placed in the freezer. A large mountain of laundry (such as bed linen) requires a large freezer and accordingly more time to reach the required temperature inside. The recommended times for freezing therefore vary from up to eight to at least 72 hours.

Carbon dioxide fumigation:

Individual items such as electrical appliances can be treated in special tents / chambers with a high concentration of carbon dioxide.

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