Can you use a steam iron to kill bed bugs?

steam iron to kill bed bugs


This guide will analyse how to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget using a steam iron to kill bed bugs.

how to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget

Bedbugs spread quickly and are famously challenging to eliminate. So it is reasonable to be concerned about discovering such pests in your house or workplace. Your first thought may be to contact an exterminator, but this is frequently a costly and ineffective option. Harmful chemicals are used by exterminators, which are hazardous to both you and the surroundings. Chemical treatments may not destroy the bed bugs’ eggs, so your pest problem will return in a few weeks.

Understanding bed bugs and why heat is the best bed bug killer

Bed bugs have just one genuine vulnerability: Heat. As durable as they appear, exposure to a steam temperature of 120°F/48°C is all it takes to destroy them (the higher, the better). If they are exposed to some direct temperature, they will kill them at once, lower temperatures can still kill them in minutes. Hence heat therapy is an option.  Some solutions like steam irons and portable steamers have been proven by professionals.  So these are know considered strong alternative treatment arsenals.

Online heat weapons such as clothes iron were proposed, which were less proved. Clothes irons may achieve the necessary temperature to kill bed bugs, but the Heat will not penetrate deep into soft fabrics, where bed bugs may be hiding. Other than clothing and sheets, you cannot iron places such as cracks and gaps in walls, floors, and furniture. Many of the materials it was not meant to be used on would be damaged by the metal surface and high surface heat.

Tip: Get the right kind of Steam Iron or steamer

To kill a bed bug you need to subject it to a thermal range of 117-122 degrees Fahrenheit.  Making sure you focus your steaming precisely at the regions where bugs are hidden to accomplish this.

Steam is a very productive way to destroy bugs at every stage of life, and the therapy given by a steamer is useful when used appropriately. Use an iron with a strong steam function with a minimum capacity of one gallon and a steam volume control setting.

Lots of steam irons do not achieve sufficient degrees to prevent an infection with a bed bug. Steamers work by generating and transmitting deadly Heat to areas where these bugs may be lurking.  Steam is highly effective when bed bugs are on the surface of an item. Steam can penetrate up to three quarters of an inch through the surface of a cloth.

Within fissures, steam kills bugs 2 3/8 an inch into a gap at the proper temperature. Make sure that the thermometer in the treated area is used to monitor the surface temperature correctly. The surface temperature must be 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit immediately after passing the brush to guarantee to kills the bugs.

steam iron to kill bed bugs on sheets
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How to Kill Bed Bugs with steam

Bed bugs may be challenging but can’t resist the steamer’s intense Heat. Steamers are an excellent, chemical-free means of handling bedding and other pests, including mites of dust. Steamers are to kill and completely clean the region afflicted by bedbugs and their eggs on contact. There are a few rules to follow when treating an area to guarantee all pests are safely eliminated.

Step 1:

Look for a steam cleaner with a tank capacity of at least 1 US gallon (3.8 L). A steamer can be purchased, but they are frequently priced at $800 or more. Rent a steamer from any local hardware store or look for a used one.

Step 2:

Connect the hose to the triangular nozzle. For steaming upholstery and other surfaces, most steam cleaners come with a wide, angular nozzle. Before you turn on the steamer, attach this nozzle to the end of the hose. Avoid using a carpet attachment because the bristles may obstruct the nozzle from getting near to the object. Use a pinpoint or other narrow nozzle to avoid blowing bed bugs and their eggs around the room.

Step 3:

Get steaming – ensuring you do around the holes and creases. Fill the tank with water before turning on your steamer. Begin steaming all of the upholstered and hard surfaces in the space, start at the highest point and work your way down. This ensures that any bed bugs are forced down rather than up and around the room. Bed bugs can be found hiding in soft-surfaced items as well as holes and nooks and crannies.

Step 4:

Achieve good coverage by moving the wand carefully over the surface of the goods. Try for a pace of around 12 in (30 cm) per 30 seconds. This will help guarantee that each segment of the item or area receives sufficient steam exposure to kill the bed bugs and their eggs. Remember that steaming can be time-consuming and labour-intensive, especially if you have a large area to cover. Take breaks as required or have someone assist you to avoid rushing through the job.

Step 5:

When you’re finished I recommend opening the windows and turning on a fan in the room to allow the air to flow. If a ceiling or floor fan is available you should also turn this on. This will aid in the drying of the objects and the prevention of mold and mildew formation. Aim the fan at the items you’re steaming, such as the ground if you’re steaming a section of carpet. Or focus fan on any furniture or mattress’ you’ve been steaming.

Step 6:

Continue the cycle a further two or three times to verify that all of the bed bugs have died. It generally takes two or three steaming sessions to kill all of the bed bugs since they may migrate to avoid the steam. This also covers you in case you have accidentally skiped a section. Repeat the steam treatment a few hours later or the next day. Because bed bugs grow fast, don’t wait more than a few days before repeating the procedure

steam iron to kill bed bugs on sheets

Conclusion: Can you use a steam iron to kill bed bugs?

It’s only a good idea to use a steam iron to kill bed bugs if it has a steam function that is efficient enough to reach the required temperature. If you don’t have a high quality steam iron then a steamer can prove to be the best bed bugs killer as it is high in temperature and is efficient enough to reach the cracks and holes of the space you are cleaning. 

A side note: If your steam irons reach a thermal range of 117-122 degrees Fahrenheit, then you may use them on soft fabrics like mattresses, sheets, and clothes. But you cannot use it on hard surfaces which is where the steamer is a great option.

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