If you notice bed bugs in your home, wanting to act fast is only natural. However, that often ends up with homeowners considering ineffective DIY methods that won’t solve the problem.
So where do blow dryers land in the grand scheme of things? Can you use a hair dryer to kill bed bugs, or is it pointless?
This guide will teach you everything you need to know.
Can A Hair Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are one of the more challenging and frustrating pests to eradicate. They’re resilient little bugs that quickly migrate and spread like a plague! If you suspect that your home has bed bugs, your best choice is to call an exterminator and pay for professional treatment.
However, some homeowners wonder if they can use DIY methods to tackle this unique pest problem. More specifically, many consider trying to use hair dryers, and the idea isn’t as out of left field as it might seem.
Professionals typically utilize heat to kill bed bugs and their eggs. So can a hair dryer kill bed bugs, too?
Unfortunately, using a hair dryer for bed bugs isn’t a practical choice. Technically speaking, the heat coming from your hair dryer could kill these bugs. But the nature of these pests would make that next to impossible.
Here are a few other reasons why using a hair dryer to kill bed bugs isn’t a realistic idea if you want to tackle your pest problem.
It’s Not Hot Enough
Hair dryers get hot, but do they get hot enough to kill bed bugs? That depends.
A high-end model can get above 100 degrees. But even then, you likely won’t even see minor results unless you tackle these bugs individually and focus the heat on them for a prolonged amount of time.
When professionals deal with infestations, they use high-powered heaters to raise the temperature of the entire area. Remember: Bed bugs have a knack for getting into every nook and cranny they find. They’re masters of evasion and will often scurry out of harm’s way when you try to take them out.
That’s why heat is so effective against these pests. When you raise the temperature of the entire home, you can kill these bugs no matter where they hide. It’s an effective way to eradicate entire colonies, even those you don’t know exist.
The optimal temperature to kill bed bugs is over 118 degrees. They will die from prolonged exposure to 113 degrees.
Now that’s a heat that some hair dryers will reach, but there’s more to it than that. It’ll take over an hour of constant exposure at that temperature to kill the bed bugs. Even then, some eggs might survive. Ideally, you’ll apply 118-degree heat. That’s the magic number where roughly 90 minutes of exposure results in a 100-percent mortality rate for adult bugs and eggs.
Most exterminators go far above that temperature for even quicker results. Usually, the heaters reach temperatures between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unfortunately, your lowly blow dryer can’t replicate the results. You could technically kill a few stray bed bugs if you see them, but attempting to use it to deal with even a small infestation is far from practical.
Bed Bugs Are Hard To Find
Another reason why using hair dryers to kill bed bugs isn’t practical is the difficulty that’s associated with accessing these critters in the first place.
Bed bugs are notorious for slipping into tiny cracks and crevices. You may see a few stray bugs on your bed, and most people spot a few after realizing they’re covered in bites.
However, finding the entire colony is a challenge. These bugs lay eggs everywhere and spend most of their time hiding inside furniture cracks, molding, and more.
Getting to all of those bugs is almost impossible. Even if using a hair dryer to kill bed bugs was an effective choice, you wouldn’t be able to reach all of the ones hiding in your home. Most would inevitably get out of harm’s way, tucked away in places you can’t see.
When it comes to bed bugs, you can never truly get rid of the infestation until you kill every bug. Adult females lay an egg every day. Multiply that by a colony of hundreds; it doesn’t take long for these bugs to spread.
Failing to get them all in one go would only result in ongoing problems.
It Would Be Incredibly Time Consuming
Finally, let’s talk about the time commitment this theoretical method would require.
Trying to use a blog dryer to kill every bed bug in your home would take far more time than most people realize. You have several things working against you here.
First, your blow dryer likely doesn’t get to a high enough temperature setting to be anywhere close to efficient. As a result, you’d have to blast the bugs for over an hour to kill them. In that time, they can easily escape and hurry to a new hiding place.
Secondly, there’s the issue of trying to get each one. You may be lucky and kill off a small collection of bugs in the corner of your bedside table. But what about the rest?
Even if you found where the rest were hiding, that’s another several hours of ongoing blow dryer blasts!
Simply put, it’s not a good use of your time (and that’s an understatement). You’d have to spend days trying to kill these bugs, and they’d multiply in that time to make your problem even worse.
Save yourself the trouble and use more extreme measures or call in a professional. In most cases, exterminators can use their high-powered heaters to kill every bed bug in only a couple of hours.
While a powerful hair dryer can technically kill a bed bug or two, it’s nowhere near powerful enough to be a reliable option for getting rid of these pests.
If you have an infestation, consider more complete treatment methods (or consult with a pest control specialist).