To understand whether a blow dryer can kill bed bugs, we need to know how hot the equipment gets. Lower temperatures will not kill bed bugs because their shells are quite hard. Some bed bugs have even developed heat resistance and can survive even much higher temperatures than previously thought.
Can a Blow Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?
Yes, a blow dryer can kill bed bugs at temperatures above 119 degrees Fahrenheit. It is difficult to aim directly at all bed bugs using the hairdryer and blowing could scatter the insects. Using heat from dryers to exterminate bed bugs could be a useless activity because you also risk causing fires.
There are many other reasons why you should think again when considering using a blow dryer to kill bed bugs.
To get the perspective, there are a few basics that everyone should have at their fingertips before proceeding.
How hot can a blow dryer get?
A blow dryer reaches the maximum heating temperature of between 80 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the brand. A typical hair dryer rarely exceeds 140 degrees F regardless of the amount of time it has been heated.
At such high temperatures, you could expect the hairdryer to melt even some types of plastics. Using it on your hair could bake it and damage the skin on your scalp.
However, is 140 degrees F enough to kill bed bugs?
Stylists use low to moderate-high setting when using blow dryers on human hair but these settings will not kill bed bugs.
Here is another important thing to know.
Having understood the temperatures for hot blow dryers, the next step is to determine whether bed bugs can die at that temperature.
At What Temperature Do Bed Bugs Die?
Bed bugs die at temperatures above 119 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to kill their eggs too, these temperatures need to reach upwards of 125 degrees. That’s generally a high level of heating that poses fire risk indoors.
Once you inspect and spot where the bugs are hiding spot, take out your hair dryer and set it to maximum heat. Fix it on one spot and blow the dryer across the infested place. The rising temperature will force the bugs to move out of the heated hiding places.
Second, to kill the eggs of the bed eggs, you need a higher temperature to get the job done. Because of the heat-resistant shells, these bed bugs eggs require temperatures over 125°F to get fully eliminated. And you need to give them constant exposure to that temperature for also 90 minutes to kill them completely.
If you try a blow dryer and it works better for the first time, go ahead and do it again next time. The problem is that you may not get all the bed bugs out from their hiding.
It is that the hairdryer heat will kill bed bugs, but it would not be worth the effort. The process will also take a lot of time because you will need to blow every single place.
Overall, a blow dryer surely can kill the insects, provided the heat gets to the bed bugs, which is hard to achieve.
One of our readers recalls a case where bugs were living in the tubes of a brass bedstead and were fried by a blowtorch. Not a very practical solution, with a risk of fire!
Does it make sense for you to chase these little critters across the sheets with a blow dryer? Please spare your heart the frustrations. Wash your bedding in hot water and call pest control.
Why Shouldn’t I Use My Blow Dryer to Kill Bed Bugs
- The temperature of the hairdryer will not be hot enough and stay hot enough.
- The nozzle of the blow dryer is narrow and will not provide sufficient airflow coverage.
- The risk for fire on your bed and bedding is too high when the temperature.
How to Use Blow Dryer to Kill Bed Bugs
- Connect the hairdryer to the socket. Use a socket closest to the bed or add an extension to ensure a working distance.
- Start your blow dryer and let it run for 5 minutes.
- Point the blower at the crevice where bed bugs are hiding.
- Hold on to the same spot until you’re sure the temperature has reached 119 degrees F.
- Switching the locations you are blowing before 2-3 minutes will not allow enough heating to be sufficient to make kill the bed bugs and their eggs.