Tips and Hints

Loading the unit

Think about heat treating your belongings the same way that you think of drying clothes in the sun. If your belongings are densely packed together, it will take a significantly longer time for them to reach bed bug killing temperatures. Always use the provided ventilation blocks and/or net to ensure maximum air circulation around your belongings.

Escape-proof system

Bed bugs suffer from thermal shock and can’t escape through the heater duct while the heating unit is on. Make sure to turn the heating unit on before placing potentially infested items inside the ZappBug Room.

Temperature requirements

Our units should only be used indoors, in temperatures over 70° Fahrenheit. The heating unit works by adding heat to the air from the room in which it is located. If the room temperature is below 70°F, the ZappBug Room may not reach adequate bed bug killing temperatures.

Monitoring your unit

Always monitor the temperature inside the ZappBug Room with a thermometer. Your purchase includes a wireless thermometer.

Treating on hard flooring

Do not place the ZappBug Room directly on cold floors such as concrete, tile, linoleum, wood, etc. Hard flooring absorbs heat from the unit and makes it difficult for the unit to build up to bug killing temperatures. If treating on hard flooring, please place an insulator such as an area rug, a towel, cardboard (the box your unit arrived in should work), foam padding, or a similar insulator between the floor and the unit.

Thermometer tips

If you’re having issues getting a temperature reading, you may need to do a simple thermometer reset. To reset your thermometer, first, remove all batteries from the device (both from the sensor and the display screen). After all the batteries are removed, first re-insert the display screen batteries. Then, you can reinsert the sensor batteries. This order of battery insertion will reset your thermometer.

Keep in mind, that it can take some time for your unit to fully heat up (sometimes 2-3 hours or more depending on the room, temperature, and size of treatment load). Also, note that the display screen may lose signal if it is too far away from the unit, or if the unit heats above 140°F. If this happens, simply follow the reset instructions above.

Safety Tip-Over Switch

The Safety Tip-Over Switch is a small black button located on the bottom of the red, square heating unit. When your unit is plugged in, the button should naturally be pressed in. The button must be pressed in for the unit to turn on. Should your unit ever be knocked over, the button would be released, resulting in shutting off power to your unit. This ensures safety in the case of any tip-over accidents.

If you plug in your heating unit and it does not turn on, please check the safety tip-over switch, to verify that it is indeed pushed in.

Difficulty heating

The most common reasons as to why units might struggle to reach 120°F are ambient conditions and item arrangement. The ZappBug Room works best in rooms that are at least 70°F. Whenever possible, do not run the unit on concrete flooring; if you must, place insulation (such as cardboard or area rugs) between the ZappBug Room and the floor, in order to limit heat loss. Always arrange items as spread out as possible to allow air to flow easily throughout the unit.

Thermometer Probe Tips

If you aren’t receiving a signal from the thermometer probe, you may need to set the probe channel. To do that, remove the back of each thermometer probe and change each probe’s channel by sliding the button to position 1,2,3. All probes need to be on its own channel (1, 2, 3) in order to monitor treatment correctly.

Optimal circuit management Make sure each heating unit is on it’s own circuit, to avoid power issues.

The recirculation fan, however, can be on the same circuit as one of the heating units.

Troubleshooting and FAQs

I’m clean person. I wash my clothes and shower daily. Aren’t bed bugs usually found in dive motels and nasty places?

No. Bed bugs aren’t associated with poor hygiene or dirty habits. They feed on blood and live in many places besides beds. They have been found in 5-star hotels, fancy shops, high-end homes and just about any place people are found. Having bed bugs is in no way a reflection of the cleanliness of your home; it’s simply a pesky problem that needs taking care of.

Can bed bugs spread blood borne disease?

No. There is no scientific evidence that bed bugs transmit disease. Bed bugs are annoying and their bites may cause you to itch, but they will not seriously harm your health.

Why are bed bugs so difficult to eradicate?

Bed bugs are small oval shaped insects that live in the fabric of bedding, furniture, clothing and almost any place they fit. They move from place to place by hitchhiking on fabrics and can walk from room to room. In hotels and apartment buildings, they can spread from unit to unit through the electrical conduits and through minute cracks between walls and floors. Bed bugs can live up to 18 months without feeding and breed at phenomenal rates. Additionally, many bed bug populations have also developed resistance to common pesticides.

What can I do if get bed bugs?

The first thing to remember is DON’T PANIC. Bed bugs are difficult to eradicate, but you are in good hands with our expertise. We have created a series of free tutorials that show you, step-by-step, exactly how to get rid of them. Click here for our tutorials: 8-Step Approach

Where do bed bugs come from? A decade ago, I had never heard of anyone getting bed bugs.

There has been a dramatic resurgence of bed bugs in recent years. There is no concrete evidence as to the reason of this influx, but some scientists believe it is due to the increase in international travel and the discontinued use of DDT.

Just how prevalent are bed bugs?

Very. According to a 2011 national survey, 99% of pest control professionals indicated they had encountered a bed bug infestation within the last year. Source: http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/press-releases/press-releases/2011-bugs-without-borders-survey-new-data-shows-bed-bug-pandemic-is-growing/

What can I do to keep bed bugs out of my home?

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers some recommendations to lessen your risk of a bed bug infestation: 

  • When traveling, inspect your room as a Crime Scene Investigator might
  • Keep your luggage in plastic bags
  • Wash all of your items when you get home 

For a full list of tips, visit: http://www.pestworld.org/all-things-bed-bugs/bed-bug-prevention/ 

Our most efficient, and reliable, prevention tool is the ZappBug Room. When returning from a trip, we recommend that you place all of your clothes and shoes, along with your luggage, inside the ZappBug Room. The heat treatment cycle will kill 100% of any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride and prevent them from spreading into your home.

Your product uses heat to kill bed bugs. Why can’t I just rent a big heater or crank up the furnace and cook everything in the house?

Household furnaces can’t get the entire house hot enough. If you bring in additional large electric heaters, you would need so many of them to get the house hot enough, that the power draw would blow your circuits. Additionally, propane heaters are a fire hazard and can produce carbon monoxide gas which is poisonous. There are professional pest control companies that use whole house heat treatments to kill bed bugs, and they do this by bringing in heaters and fans connected by cables to generators outside, so that they don’t blow the house’s circuits. When done properly, this is an effective option; but it is very expensive. More information on professional heat treatment of the entire house can be found here: https://www.zappbug.com/approach-2-professional-heat-treatment/

I have a bed bug infestation. How will the ZappBug Room help me get rid of bed bugs?

The ZappBug Room can be used to kill bed bugs in items that you cannot put in the dryer. This means you will be able to save your shoes, electronics, books, bags, purses, artwork, delicate items and small upholstered furniture. If you have a full-blown infestation in your home, the ZappBug Room will be very helpful, but it’s important to realize that you must take additional steps to rid your entire home of bed bugs. We have created a series of free tutorials on how to do this. Read our guide for more information: 8-Step Approach 

I travel and want to prevent bringing bed bugs home. Will the ZappBug Room stop bed bugs from entering my home?

Yes. People often inadvertently pickup bed bugs when they travel. Upon returning from a trip, we recommend that you place all of your clothing and shoes, along with your luggage, inside the ZappBug Room. The heat treatment cycle will kill 100% of any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride and prevent them from spreading into your home.

What is the size of the ZappBug Room? And what is usable interior space?

The size is 111 in x 57.5 in x 80 in (282 cm x 146 cm x 204 cm).

It is critical that air is allowed to flow around and under objects in ZappBug. We include foam support blocks and a mesh support net to get objects off the floor of the room to ensure proper air flow.

What temperatures kill bed bugs?

The higher the temperature, the quicker bed bugs die. At 106°F (41°C) it takes over 1.5 hours to kill bed bugs. At 120°F (49°C), it takes less than one minute to kill bed bugs. We strongly suggest that you follow the industry standard of heating your items to 120°F for one hour to ensure that all bed bugs and bed bug eggs are killed. Here is a scientific paper from the University of Florida showing this research:

In addition, at ZappBug we conducted our own experiment with killing live bed bugs at 120°F in one minute. We used a water bath to ensure proper control of temperature and shot a video of the experiment. You can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdNjOmbhTFU

The temperature inside the ZappBug Room typically ranges from 120°F to 145°F.

Once I turn on the heat, won’t the bed bugs try to escape through the heater connection tube or the air vent?

No. Scientific evidence shows that bed bugs do not run toward convective heat sources. The ZappBug Room blows hot air, which is convective heat, so bed bugs won’t try to run toward the heater. Additionally, if the heat is hot enough, bed bugs will immediately go into thermal shock and be paralyzed. The air coming out of the oven’s heater is so hot that if it were to blow directly on a bed bug it would immediately paralyze the bed bug and result in a quick death.

How long does it take?

The time required to perform a successful heat treatment varies depending on the items you are treating and the room temperature. That being said, typical treatment times range from 3 to 6 hours.

Heating items in the ZappBug Room is a lot like cooking a turkey in the oven. It takes time to cook the middle of a turkey no matter how high you set the oven. This is because it takes time for the heat to conduct through the bird. The ZappBug Room heats your belongings with the maximum power possible at safe temperatures. The time required to complete a heat treatment depends on how many items are in the room as well as the thickness of your items. If you have any questions please let us know. Also, be sure to check your user manual.

Is there a thermometer that comes with the ZappBug Room, to monitor the temperature?

Yes. We include a wireless thermometer that you can put in the deepest, darkest part of your belongings that you treat in the ZappBug Room. This will ensure that temperatures get to 120°F or above, which will kill bed bugs.

Will the ZappBug Room shrink clothes, melt sequins or destroy electronics?

No. Assuming the clothes you put into the ZappBug Room are dry, they will not shrink. The temperature inside the ZappBug Room ranges from 120°F to 145°F, which is plenty hot to kill bed bugs, but is not hot enough to melt sequins or harm most electronics. Here is a video that we shot of the ZappBug Room heat treating items, including a laptop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZfaMOhlBMA.
Notice that all the bed bugs are killed and the laptop works fine after heat treatment.

Can I put the ZappBug Room in the washing machine or dryer?

No. The ZappBug Room has an internal flexible steel wire frame and won’t fold small enough to let you put it in a washing machine or dryer. If need be, it can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Is the ZappBug Room guaranteed to be effective?

Yes. We have a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee. Try ZappBug risk-free for 30 days. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with it, simply return it within 30 days for a full refund, not including the cost of return shipping. View our return policy for more details.