How Easy Is It To Use a Bed Bug Heater?

Posted by Michael Ferkiss on

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

- Leonardo da Vinci


Photo of All Steel PestPro Thermal Universal Bed Bug Heater Package including fan, cords and temperature monitor

The Basics

The basics of how to use a PestPro Thermal Bed Bug Heater are simple and are outlined below. Detailed instructions are included with every purchase so please consider this is a high level overview.


  1. Put the bed bug heater and fan into the room where you want to kill bed bugs. Prep the room as described in “Preparing a Room for Bed Bug Heat Treatment”

  2. Choose the pigtail adapter (from the set of 4 that are included with your bed bug heater) that matches either your electric stove or dryer outlet.

  3. Attach the pig tail adapter by twist-locking it to the end of your black power cord.

  4. Attach the other end of the black power cord by twist-locking it into the receptacle on your bed bug heater. Be sure the ON/OFF switch is in the OFF position.

  5. Plug your pig tail adapter into stove or dryer outlet.

  6. Plug orange cord into the side of the heater and the other end into any 110/120v wall outlet.

  7. Turn black ON/Off switch to ON position. Your bed bug heater will take a few minutes to start blowing out of the bottom of the heater on 3 sides.

  8. Position separate blue fan so it is facing directly up towards the ceiling and plug it in to a standard wall outlet. A ‘torus’ effect similar to what a mushroom cloud looks like when a nuclear bomb is detonated will keep the air flowing from floor to ceiling to floor until the heat has effectively penetrated everything in that room and killed bed bugs in all stages of their lifecycle. This will take on average 5 hours from start to finish.

For downloadable detailed instructions on preparing a room for and using your PestPro Thermal Systems Bed Bug Heater Packages click here.

For downloadable detailed instructions for how to use the Universal Bed Bug Heater toggle switches click here.

Customer Training Video

The video below was made by long time customer Bug Bakers of Columbus of Ohio. The owner, Greg has been using PestPro equipment for about 8 years now and provides training for PestPro Thermal customers east of the Mississippi River. 

The first part of the video gives a brief description of how his Universal Bed Bug heater package works. Greg goes into detail on the unique power flexibility found on these bed bug heat treatment heaters outlining that it includes pig tail adapter cables  that will fit any dryer or stove power outlets in North America which is a feature not found on any other electric bed bug heater. See below. 

Four pig tail adapter cables included with PestPro Thermal All Steel Universal Power bed bug heater package.

Greg then peels back another layer of the onion to describe the purpose for the toggle switches on the side of his Universal bed bug heater.

Proprietary Power Flexibility

The metal toggle switches are part of a proprietary power solution developed by PestPro Thermal Systems which offers our customers the ultimate in power flexibility.  PestPro Thermal customers are not just purchasing one bed bug heater when they buy an All Steel Universal Bed Bug Heater package. They actually get 4 bed bug heaters in one!

Let me explain: by combining the flexibility of choosing from one of the 4 pig tail adapters included with each bed bug heater and then combining them with the 3 toggle switches your PestPro Thermal All Steel Universal bed bug heater allows you to match whatever power source you are plugging into.

When plugging into a 50 amp stove receptacle you will flip all the toggle switches to the UP position and your heater will be a 10,000 Watt 240v heater which is the maximum setting. This is the equivalent power usage of 5 professional hair dryers rated at 1875 watts.

1950s woman having her hair dried by oversized hair dryers representing the equivalent heat put out by an electric bed bug heater

When you plug into a 30 amp electric dryer outlet you will have all 3 toggle switches in the DOWN position and your bed bug heater will function as a 6,250 watt 240v bed bug heater.

Because the wattage is never an exact science there are two more pig tail adapter/toggle switch options allowing you to plug into a 40 amp stove outlet which will either enable your bed bug heater to put out 7,500 or 8,750 watts.

3 toggle switches on All Steel Bed Bug Heater enable universal power flexibility to plug into stove or dryer outlets


After explaining the power flexibility options by zooming in on the  toggle switches and discussing the pig tail adapter cords  Greg then unloads his work van showing you the power cables, bed bug heat treatment heaters and fans.

Again, Greg introduces himself and his company and describes how he is the official trainer for PestPro Thermal Systems in the midwest US. He goes on to describe that his PestPro bedbug heaters are the most efficient, durable and  cost effective heaters he has ever used in his heat business and that he has been using them without incident on an almost daily basis for over 8 years.

Greg then describes that he chooses either a dryer or stove outlet as a power source for the bed bug heater and then turns off the circuit breaker to that outlet for safety purposes.

Once the circuit breaker is turned off he finds the matching pig tail adapter cable  and plugs it into the receptacle. Depending on how far he has to go he either chooses a 50 foot long or 100 foot long power cord and twist-lock connects it to the plugged in adapter cable.

Emphasis on the "twist-lock".

Not twisting the cable into a locked position is unsafe and may result in dangerous 'arcing' which will void the warranty on the bed bug heater.

The next step shows Greg laying his PestPro Thermal All Steel Universal bed bug heater on its side which makes it easier to connect the other end of the power cable, again, by twist-locking it into place. 

Twist-lock electrical connectors are safer, more durable and more expensive and are used exclusively on our bed bug heaters.

The twist-locking mechanism was carefully chosen when we were designing our bed bug heaters to provide maximum safety and durability for our customers. They cost more than standard connectors but we feel our customers and their customers are worth the extra investment.

The thick black 240v power cord supplies power to the internal stainless-steel heating elements. The orange 110v  power cord supplies electricity to the internal bed bug heater fan that draws unheated air from the top of the bedbug heater and blows it over the heating elements where the hot air then exits the bottom of the bed bug heater on three of the four sides. This cord also supplies power to the automatic thermostat which is pre-set at the factory so no need to push any buttons. Reprogramming is possible and we can send you instructions on an as needed basis if you need to go to higher temps for sterilization and decontamination purposes.

 The "GREEN LIGHT" illuminated on the front of the heater will be on and glowing which indicates that power is flowing to the heater and is ready to be switched on.  It does NOT indicate that the bed bug heater is on and producing heat yet.

With the green light glowing and the orange power cord plugged into the side of the bed bug heater you are now ready to turn on the black ON/OFF switch which will start the heat treatment process.

In an average sized room Greg describes that it will take 60-90 minutes for his PestPro Thermal bed bug heater to achieve 120• F which is when bed bugs start to die quickly. Greg starts his clock at this point and goes another 4-4.5 hours for a complete heat treatment remediation.  He goes a bit longer to be sure the heat has penetrated everything in that room and that all the unseen bed bug eggs which are hiding in well insulated places get terminated by the heat.

Terminator movie actor on motorcycle to represent heat killing bed bug eggs using a heat treatment bed bug heater

External Fans Create Convection Effect

Greg no longer uses the external blue fans that came with his bed bug heater purchase because he says our heaters have plenty of air movement capability with the internal fan alone but most other customers do use the blue fans to enhance the convection effect of moving the hot air. Once the heater is running and putting out heat they point the blue fan straight up towards the ceiling to move the hot air coming out of the bottom of the bed bug heater up to the ceiling and creating a torus (mushroom cloud) effect of rapidly moving hot air. 

External high volume fan enhances the penetrative convection effect when used with an electric PestPro Thermal bed bug heater
Graphic showing torus effect which mimics a mushroom cloud for a bed bug heater treatment fan.

Once you are done with your heat job you will turn the black ON/OFF switch to OFF. The GREEN light will still be glowing indicating you are still connected to the power source but no power will be powering the heater elements and they will begin to cool down.  Let the internal heater fan run for 5-10 minutes before disconnecting the orange cord.

Unplug the pig tail adapter from the power source, Twist-Unlock the pig tail adapter cable from the end of the black power cord and then lastly Twist-Unlock the black power cord from the heater.

To cool down the super heated bed bug heat treatment area from 135° F you can open windows, leave the external blue fan running and/or turn on the AC.

Your bed bug heater treatment job is now complete. 


For additional information and details on bed bug heating equipment visit this post: The Ultimate Guide to Bed Bug Heaters: Buying a Bed Bug Heater vs Renting

Call or text 970-443-8119 for meaningful answers to your intelligent questions about our bed bug heat treatment equipment.

We appreciate and thank you for your time.


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