Instructions for Using Your Bed Bug Heater
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The main reason combining electric heat and fans have become the #1 method for killing bed bugs and eggs is because the 145°F/63°C heat penetrates everything in the infested area and all bed bugs and their eggs die quickly at around 120°F/49°C.
In order to allow the heat to penetrate anywhere bed bugs (and their eggs) might be hiding you need to create enough space so the hot air can circulate and penetrate everything in the treatment area: furniture, appliances, clothing, wall hangings, behind electrical outlets and light switch plates, etc.
For optimal results follow these steps:
Preparation for Heat Treatment
- Seal all vents, cover all windows and seams/cracks around doors with plastic sheeting (or insulation board) and blue painters’ tape – no air gets in, no air gets out during treatment
- Remove all light switch and electrical outlet plates for optimum heat penetration
- Move furniture 3 feet away from walls
- Closets: separate clothes on hangers so the hot air can circulate between them. Remove some as needed and drape over furniture or lay them out on the floor
- Dressers: loosen clothes and other items in drawers, remove some as needed and drape over furniture or lay them out on the floor
- Windows: remove vinyl blinds from the treatment area
- Leave electronics in the treatment area but make sure they are turned off and unplugged. Do not unplug the refrigerator
- Remove anything from the area being treated that will melt or explode or be harmed by the heat including pets, plants, crayons, candles, cosmetics, ammunition, fireworks, fire extinguishers, aerosol cans, alcohols, lighters, etc. Prescription and non-prescription medications can be put in refrigerator.
- If possible, pre-heat treatment area using furnace, boiler, PTACs (combined AC/HEAT units found in most hotel rooms), space heaters, etc. Preheat the area using the hottest setting possible for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight when possible. Starting your heat treatment at 80-90°F/27-32°C versus starting at 65°F/18°C will greatly speed up the time it takes to achieve lethal temperature and improve results. Bed bugs love it warm but die when it gets too hot.
- Anything removed from the treatment area prior to starting a heat job must first be placed into plastic lawn/leaf or contractor bags and sealed tightly to avoid spreading bed bugs and their unhatched eggs into non-infested areas and making the problem worse. Bagged items should be disposed of or put into a dryer on highest/hottest temperature setting (very dry) for at least 20 minutes to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
- Do not heat treat bathrooms as the wax ring underneath the toilet may melt. If you suspect bed bugs residing in items in the bathrooms move the infested items into the main heat treatment area.
Using the Heater & Fan(s)
- Insert orange fiberglass pole into top of heater and attach black end of black thermistor cord (pulls out from top of heater) to top of fiberglass pole with attached velcro strap. You will see the temperature at the tip of this cord on the front LCD readout of the heater.
- Plug orange heater power cord into 110/120v standard wall outlet. This activates the internal heater fan and the automatic LCD thermostat which regulates the temperature. Air is drawn into the top, through the finned heater elements and blown out of the bottom of the heater on 3 sides
- Make sure black heater switch is in “OFF” position
- On heater, connect twist-lock connector at one end of black power cord into underneath/bottom of thermostat control panel. Be sure to both push up and twist into locked position. Not twisting can cause problems. Do not touch the red automatic thermostat buttons. The temperature has been preset at the factory not to exceed 145°F/63°C.
- Plug the other end of the black power cord into a stove receptacle, dryer receptacle, generator receptacle or attach directly to a 60 amp or higher circuit breaker panel (it is recommended that a certified electrician be consulted before using this power method).
- Once both ends of the black power cord are connected to the heater and plugged into a power source confirm GREEN LIGHT on front of control panel is glowing green which confirms power is LIVE.
- Turn black heater switch to “ON” position to activate heater elements. After 1-2 minutes heat will begin to come out of the bottom of the heater on 3 sides. Toggles: 3 UP = 10,000 Watts. 3 DOWN = 6,250 Watts – see “Toggle Switches Explained” document here.
- Plug blue fan(s) into standard 110/120v wall outlet 5-10 feet away from heater and point airflow straight up or at an angle towards the ceiling. Never point fan towards the heater! Only operate fan(s) on HIGHEST/FASTEST setting. Leave TIMER switch in ON position only. The goal is to distribute the hot air throughout the treatment area as evenly. NOTE: Fans can plug into one another (daisy chain) as needed if wall sockets are limited.
Temperature Monitoring & Heater Shut-Down
- Place 1 of the 3 battery operated temperature sensors on the floor, the 2nd sensor on furniture about 4 feet above the floor or window sill and a the 3rd sensor as close to the ceiling as possible on top of a ladder or tall furniture. Both the sensors and the readout have been programmed at the factory so do not to push any buttons on either of them.
- Run heater and fans until treatment area reaches 120°F/49°C, about 90-120 minutes, and place plastic milk crates or risers in between the mattress and box spring or lean them up against each other in an “A” configuration. This ensures equal heat penetration from all sides
- Continue treatment for 3-4 additional hours or until internal/core temp of furniture reaches 120°F/49°C.
TIP: use a digital meat thermometer to confirm internal lethal temperatures (>120°F/49°C) in furniture and clothing in drawers.
- Turn black switch to “OFF” position to deactivate heater elements
- To ensure maximum lifespan of heaters allow internal heater fan (orange heater power cord) to run for 5-10 additional minutes to allow heater elements to cool down
- Unplug orange heater power cord to disconnect internal heater fan
- Turn off and unplug external blue fan(s)
- Open windows and/or turn on AC to bring temperature down to normal
The user of this equipment is responsible for verifying the building electrical system is adequate, properly sized and installed per NFPA 70: National Electrical Code for the load indicated. PestPro Thermal Systems is not responsible for damages or non-functionality due to an improper electrical system. PestPro Thermal Systems recommends consulting with a licensed electrician prior to connecting the heater(s).