Frequently Asked ZappBug Questions

Questions and Answers

Hello all! We hope you’re having a happy, bed bug-free summer. We’ve gone through our customer emails to find questions we get asked a lot and made the following FAQ as a helpful resource for anything you might need to know after browsing our website. All questions have been edited to remove any names or other identifying details.

Never hesitate to contact us any questions you may have, even if you feel like they might be obvious. You can reach us through our online chat, through the contact form, or by phone. We’re always here to help!

All the best, ZappBug.

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Question:

Hello ZappBug!
What an awesome product. I however don’t have bed bugs, I have a carpet beetle problem. These nasty bugs eat your clothes and furniture and I have tried everything to get rid of them, but you only need one to survive and clothes are ruined again. I’ve tried to look, but I’m not sure there is much scientific research on what temperature kills all stages successfully. Do you know if the oven will kill carpet beetle, adult, larvae and eggs? Do you know if this has been tested or can you test this? I think it would be great if you could certify this product as able to kill carpet beetle as they are just as much of a pest as bed bugs and it would help so many people! […]
Thanks

Answer:

Sorry to hear that you’re fighting carpet beetles! There hasn’t been much recent research on the matter, but a lot of testing was done in the early 20th century and determined that carpet beetles die at the following temperatures:

• Larvae: die at 120F after 30 minutes, 125F after 15 minutes, 128F after 10 minutes – according to the USDA in 1923
• Eggs: die at 125F after 15 minutes, 130F after 11 minutes. – according to the USDA in 1923
• Adults: less definitive answers are available for this life stage, but Colorado State University suggests several hours above 120F will kill them. [For more information see here]

The ZappBug line of products gets above 120F and depending on the size of the load you are putting in it (smaller loads get hotter) usually reaches about 140F. We’ve had customers in the past who have bought this to use on carpet beetles successfully. My recommendation would be to treat your belongings for at least 1 hour after reaching 120F for best results.
Our product has not been certified as able to kill carpet beetles, but we have had independent testing done that verifies we kill bed bugs and reach temperatures over 120F. For more info on that see this link.
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Question:

I just want to confirm that absolutely NO pesticides or chemicals are used in the oven. We travel a fair amount and we are always careful, but this would help us be even more careful. […]

Answer:

The ZappBug line of products do not use any chemicals or pesticides – we treat bed bugs only heat, and our product is most comparable to a space heater that comes with a insulated bag to put your items in and heat them quickly. Nothing in the bag gives off any pesticides; we don’t treat any of our products with any chemicals.
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Question:

[…] How long do things need to stay in the bag for, at 124 F? Are they absolutely sure that laptops, cameras, would be safe at that temperature? Also, do I leave the clothes in the suitcase, or open it, or take the clothes out, to ensure that anything that may or may not be there, is GONE? Would photographs, papers be ok at that temperature, or would they shrivel?

Answer:

The industry standard recommendation is to treat items for 1 hour once the bag is over 120F. We’ve had no issues treating electronics (although any film cameras should have their film removed before treating), but we always recommend checking with the manufacturers to be safe. You can leave clothing in an opened suitcase, just fluff the clothing a bit to allow air flow and put the included temperature sensor in the middle of the suitcase so you know the hardest area to heat is getting up to temperature. Papers are always fine to treat without shriveling – the temperature of the ZappBug can best be compared to that of a closed car trunk on a hot summer day. Photographs should also be ok but if any are antique/delicate we recommend using caution.
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Question:

What size suitecase will fit into the ZB Heater? I’m concerned that this Heater model will be too small to be adequate.

Answer:

The ZappBug Heater measures 37″ x 23″ x 23, and as long as your suitcase is about 2″ smaller than these measurements you should be fine to fit it in the Heater. If that doesn’t work for you the larger ZappBug Oven 2 measures 28” x 39.5” x 39.5”.
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Question:

Hello,

I recently bought the zappbug as a preventative measure for when we travel. I presently have my husbands carry-on bag with his books and electronics. I have it on my hardwood with a piece of wood in between the zappbug and floor. I didn’t see anything in the manual about if it will damage the flooring that it is on when it reaches full heat. Is it a fire hazzard to place it on carpet? What is the best surface to have it on?

Thank-you, […]

Answer:

The ZappBug should be perfectly fine to run on any flooring without damage. We recommend treating on carpet if possible because it usually reduces the time required to get up to temperature; hardwood and concrete flooring can leach some heat out. If you’re getting good results on the hardwood you can continue treating there without issue, but if you want to switch to carpet that’s definitely fine too.
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Question:

We recently purchased a ZappRoom and wish to purchase shelving for it. […] What brand and style of shelving do you use and where can it be purchased.

Answer:

The brand of shelving that we have used during tests and that some other customers recommend is located at this link  – and should be available in local Home Depots. We haven’t contacted the manufacturer to see what the maximum temperature rating is but we’ve never had issues with it.
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Question:

I have a few questions on the ZappBug Heater which I just received. What happens if the elastic goes past the white line on the heater? Why don’t the knobs on the heater itself move? How long does it normally take for the heater to reach its highest temp? […] Is there a telephone number I can call to get additional questions answered?

Answer:

If the elastic goes past the “Do Not Cover” line on the heater it’s possible that it will interfere with the safety tipover switch on the bottom of the unit, in which case your unit will not turn on when plugged in. If that happens you can just move the sleeve back towards the line and you should see the switch (small black button on the bottom of the heater) is able to depress again when on the floor.

The knobs on the heater itself don’t move because the heater is designed to constantly run at the same temperature. You shouldn’t need to ever adjust any settings, just plug it in and go.

Normally the heater takes about 3 hours to reach 120F, depending on the size of the load […]. There are a couple things that might make a difference in how quickly it gets up to temperature. What kind of flooring were you treating on, and how warm was the room you were treating in? Concrete flooring or other cold floors (like tiles) can make it take longer to heat up as they leach heat from the bottom of the unit. If that is the only flooring you can treat on you can put cardboard [or a rug] under the unit to help mitigate that a bit. We also recommend treating in rooms over 70F, as that also decreases the amount of time necessary to heat up the load. You should also always make sure that there is air flow around the unit, especially underneath (using the included support blocks and netting). If your unit is full of things that are touching the sides/top of the unit you may have too much in there.
Also, make sure you are looking at the “Out” reading on the thermometer, as that is the reading for the sensor you have placed inside the ZappBug. The “In” reading will give you the room temperature.
If you need more info please call 206-430-5514 and we’ll be glad to help!
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Question:

I know this is gonna sound stupid but here goes anyway. The foam blocks came wrapped in plastic. Should this plastic wrap be removed prior to placing inside the unit? I would assume so but ya know what happens when ya assume stuff 🙂

Answer:

Yes, the plastic is just for shipping and should be removed. I don’t think it would cause any issues if it’s left on though.
If you have any more questions let us know, no matter how simple the question we’re here to help!
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[Question removed as European distribution information no longer accurate – 03/20/2017]
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Question:

I […] would like to know if this product is UL listed for commercial applications.

Answer:

While the entire ZappBug is not UL certified each individual component is either UL or ETL certified. For more information on ETL certification see here.
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Question:

I just purchased a zapp bug heater […]. It was sent to me directly from your company. I was reading that you accept return’s and repair’s on your products. It concerns me…. I was wanting to know is that done at the same location as your new products? I was wondering could my new heater be exposed to possible bed bug exposer from returned products? Please let me Know….

Answer:

We never ship out any returned products, nor do our returns go to our shipping warehouse. Repairs are usually just part replacements where we ship out a new component; in the rare occurrence that a part is sent back to us to be physically repaired we again do not ship it to our warehouse where new units are stored. Whenever you order from us there is absolutely no risk that any exposure to bed bugs has happened, and we only ship out new units.
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Question:

Will my dry clean only items be safe in the Zapp Bug? […] Can I put wet items in the Zapp Bug?

Answer:

Your dry clean only clothes are fine to treat in the ZappBug. Our rule of thumb is always that you can think of it like the trunk of your car on a hot summer day – anything you would be able to leave in there should safe in the ZappBug. […]
Yes, you can put wet items in the ZappBug, just make sure they’re not wet enough that they will be able to get any water into the heater itself (ie. damp not soaking wet). If you need to clean the unit after treating them you can either wipe it down with soapy water or rubbing alcohol, and let it air dry.
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Question:

Is the zappbug heater an effective way to combat lice?

Answer:

The ZappBug heater does work to kill lice on items that are infected with them. Lice die at 130F, and our ZappBug Heater is able to reach a maximum temperature of 150F. Depending on what items are infested and what temperature your home washer/dryer are able to reach you can also treat your items in that – just make sure to run everything on the hottest setting. If you have infested items that are not able to go in either the washer or the dryer, or don’t feel that those units can reach 130F, then I would recommend buying a ZappBug.
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Question:

What kind of financing options are available to me?

Answer:

Financing is available for the ZappBug Room through Amazon.com, with more information at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Financing-Offers/b?ie=UTF8&node=1261402011
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Question:

How is the ZappBug Heater to be cleaned after use? Could you please provide manufacturer cleaning instructions.

Answer:

We recommend cleaning the heater exterior and interior with rubbing alcohol – just rub it on and let it air dry. You can also use standard dish soap and water (and again let air dry), but we don’t recommend using any other solvents.