Bed Bugs in Electronics: The Definitive Guide [2019]

Having problems with bed bugs in electronics? In this post, I am going to show you how to get rid of bed bugs in electronics based on the scientific studies from the experts.

Here, you will find the list of electronics household that you need to inspect and the right techniques for eliminating bed bugs for each of devices safely.

In fact, the list of electronics household and the techniques to treat bed bugs in electronics below are suggested by Experts based on their studies.

Now it is time to show you how exactly to get rid of bed bugs in electronics.

Likelihood of Bed Bugs in Electronics

Can bed bugs hide or even live in electronics? Yes, there is a possibility for bed bugs to live in electronics as long as the devices are warm and close to their host or any other their nourishment source. Fyre & Gangloff-Kaufmann (2018) states that bed bugs are drawn to heat. Warm electronics, especially, should be inspected.

But, there are some arguments that explain that not all electronic devices will potentially become a place to live. For example, it is quite rare to find bed bugs in kitchen appliances. It is because of the kitchen usually is far from the bedroom. That distance will make bed bugs need to crawl or even travel for a long way just to feed.

However, once a house or any place is being infested by bed bugs, there will be a possibility that those bugs will spread around it. In fact, bed bugs can hide or even live anywhere as long as it fits them, including electronics. The question is what does the place or particular electronics appliances give advantages for them to live there?

Here is what Fyre & Gangloff-Kaufmann (2018) list about the electronics household items that need to be inspected; air conditioner, alarm clock, radio, speakers, power tools, digital cameras, CD and DVD player, game console, computers and laptop (desktop, keyboard, speakers, mouse, monitor), television & TV remote, home phone, lamps, printer, and refrigerator.

Well, let us dive in.

1. Air Conditioner

When there is a bug infestation in a room, it is wise to also check the air conditioner even the existence of bed bugs in the air conditioner is still questionable. Here are the reasons why people usually do ignore air conditioners.

First, it is because those bed bugs have to climb (or crawl?) the wall to reach the AC. They cannot fly or jump, so it takes time and effort to get there. Imagine that bed bugs have to travel from AC to the bed only to bite the host. It is hard to imagine that, but that will be a different story if they decide to turn the AC to be their nest or even city.

Then, it is a well-known fact that bed bugs are attracted to heat. But, on the other side, air conditioners can decrease room temperature. It seems quite strange to think that bed bugs will come to the machine that can make the entire room freezing. Well, in this case, the electronic parts in the AC are still warm. So, this is why bed bugs hide in the air conditioners.

Therefore, it is still worth to check the air conditioner or even to do some treatments to make sure there will be no bed bugs left. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, hand wash, vacuuming, and using heat.

2. Alarm Clock

Both electronic and non-electronic alarm clock offers a good place for bed bugs to hide. People usually put their alarm clock near the bed so they can reach it easily. In this case, it can be a perfect place for bed bugs to move from your bed to space in the alarm clock.

However, the electronic alarm clock produces more heat while it is on. That is why it is necessary to inspect the alarm clock. Any small holes and spaces in the alarm clock can be the entrance for bed bugs to hide and even stay.

To eliminate bed bugs in the alarm clock, you do need special treatment. It is because the modern electronic alarm clock is quite small and fragile. Also, inappropriate treatment can break devices. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, hand wash, vacuuming, throw away, and using heat.

3. Computer and Laptop

Bed bugs are bound to discover their way into a PC or PC screen than a TV. Desktop computers have undeniably more passageways for them, while as yet being reliably warm. Such devices like keyboards, speakers, mouse, and monitors can be the perfect place to hide.

When your personal computer is in an infested room, it expands the opportunity that there may some bed bugs in there. There may likewise be some underneath the CPU because people usually do not really aware that part. Also, some devices connected such as a keyboard, speakers, mouse, and monitor need to be inspected.

While on the other side, for a laptop, it is quite rare to find bed bugs there unless you leave your laptop for a long period without any encasements. The laptop doesn’t have many spaces as the computer has. The possibility is that bed bugs can crawl through the keyboard or air holes.

Then, the laptop is a quite sensitive device that needs extra treatment. You cannot just simply spray pesticides because the electronics components are fragile. Learn more about the technique to eliminate bed bugs in computers and laptops.

4. Television and TV Remote

If it is the CRT type of TV, surely, there are some spaces for bed bugs to live. CRT TVs provide enough space for them to hide inside. Also, this type of television has some air holes that can make the bed bugs easier to get in there. That is the perfect environment for bed bugs to live.

On the other side, today is the age of slim TV. This type of Television has less room inside because it has a slim body. Besides, it is quite rare to find air holes there. So, today, television doesn’t attract bed bugs anymore. But, still, if there is any small holes or cracks, which is going to be the best entrance for bed bugs to come in.

However, if you put your TV near you or in your bedroom, the bed bugs will be so happy to live there. While it is hungry, the bed bugs will surely try to find you. That’s why you need to pay attention to bed bugs in electronics near you.

In addition, TV remote also need to be checked because this device also offers some spaces for bed bugs to hide. Even though there is a very limited chance for bed bugs to come in, but, still, it is necessary to check it. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, freezing, and using heat.

5. Radio

Radio is one of the devices that are very iconic with its classic design. Even when people have radio applications on their smartphones, the icon will be the same with the design of classic radio appearance. This situation shows that this device is so popular for people around the world.

On the other side, following the digital era, a new modern design for radio has been developed following it. Here, you can see some digital panels and even LCD to display the frequency. Here it is, radio has evolved.

However, the bed bugs issue still remains the same for both classic and modern design radio. As long as the small space and entrance do exist, bed bugs can come in and start living. So, it is important to check the radio because it is also the favorite place for bed bugs in electronics. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, freezing, and using heat.

6. Speakers

When we talk about speakers, what people imagine may differ from each other. Speakers have been evolved through ages, from a big box to a pocket-size design. You can see that speakers from the concert or even small gigs have a quite big size that needs extra effort to carry. While, on the other side, small speakers also do exist for laptop or computer.

In this case, both speaker sizes have the same chance when there is a small hole as the entrance for bed bugs crawling. Even the compact one still has the same risk for being infested if there is enough space to come in and to live in.

On the other side, the old school speaker design surely has greater chance of being infested because it has a bigger space and more holes as the entrance for bed bugs. However, who would keep a big size speaker in a room? Well, you may ask some musicians or even dancers. Surely, they need this more than other people. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, hand wash, throw away, and using heat.

7. Power tools

It is quite surprising to put this equipment into the list of households that people need to inspect due to the existence of bed bugs. It seems like the power tools have very limited holes or spaces in their design. But, when we realize the size of bed bugs, the thing seems possible.

Bed bugs are so tiny, especially when this bug has not reached the adult form. It needs a little bit of effort to see its existence. When bed bugs are in the second stage of larva form, those bugs do look like just dust in your equipment. So, it is quite hard to realize if that dust is actually a bed bug.

Therefore, people need to inspect their power tools, especially when the room is being infested by bed bugs. There may be just some bed bugs that stay there, but, still, a massive infestation just starts from just a few lucky bed bugs that can survive through the time. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, hand wash, throw away, and using heat.

8. Digital or Video Cameras

When you use your digital or video cameras frequently, this device can be probably safe from bed bugs in electronics. But, this particular device offers warmth for bed bugs to live in it. So, you do need to check this particular device regularly.

In an extreme bed bugs infestation, there is a big chance to find bed bugs in digital or video cameras. Remember that bed bugs in the larva phase have a very small size, which is about 1 mm. with that size, it is easy for bed bugs to come and stay in the devices.

Therefore, when there is a bed bugs infestation, it is necessary to inspect digital or video cameras to find whether there are bed bugs in electronics or not. It is important to treat this device carefully. A professional is needed to do this. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, and using heat.

9. CD and DVD Player

It seems like this device is no longer that popular in the digital era. People nowadays would rather play music from their gadgets. But, some people out there still use this device to play. There, it is a perfect combination of home theater.

If the CD and DVD player are being used frequently, it likely draws more attention to bed bugs. This device usually produces more heat when it is on. Also, there is a quite big space for bed bugs to hide and even live.

Thus, when there is bed bugs infestation in a room, people need to check this player to see the existence of bed bugs in electronics. Some techniques can be applied to get bed bugs out of the device. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, hand wash, and using heat.

10. Game Console

If you are a gamer or a pro gamer precisely, a game console is particularly your daily needs. So, it may take a few times for you to play the game in order to practice your skill. Moreover, nowadays, being a gamer is also a good job with a high income.

That kind of activity lures more bed bugs’ attention because the electronics part inside the game consoles becomes warm. This condition will also lead to more bed bugs when extreme infestation happens. The game console can be the perfect place to stay.

Therefore, people do need to check the game console to make sure the bed bugs are not there. The price of a game console can be so expensive. So, we do need to be careful and just apply the right techniques to eliminate bed bugs in electronics. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, and using heat.

11. Home Phone

Nowadays, there are so many options to call and stay connected to other people. In this digital era, people may prefer to some internet based connection apps such as WhatsApp, Line, Messenger, and etc to make a call. It is because those apps can cost so very cheap with a high quality connection.

However, some people out there still use home phone because it offers the advantages that cellular phone doesn’t have. Home phone or landline phone is self-powered so people do not have to worry about some batteries. Also, when blackout comes, people can still be connected each other.

On the other side, home phone offer more spaces for bed bugs to hide and stay. Therefore, it is necessary to check the home phone while bed bugs infestation happens. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, freezing, and using heat.

12. Lamps

It is a common knowledge and also an observable thing that insects do attract with lamps. So, it is easy to see other insects fly around the lamps. But, the problem here is that bed bugs do not fly. So, people will not find any bed bugs without clearly check the lamps.

Lamps can be so bright and hot in the same time. The longer people light the night, the hotter the lamps will be. Also, lamps are daily needs that people use every night, or even every day to light the dark places.

That condition makes the lamps become the great place for bed bugs to stay around. The lamps position that rarely is untouched by people will be a good place to hide. Therefore, lamps do need to be inspected. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, freezing, and using heat.

13. Printers

It is likely to say that printers are the easiest device for bed bugs to come in. Here, bed bugs can find easily any holes or spaces as the entrance to go inside. In addition, people usually will leave the printer openly without any encasement. Such conditions make printers may become the best choice for bed bugs to hide and escape.

To getting out bed bugs from printers need extra efforts and some more risks. Unlike other electronic devices, printers needed special treatment. It is important to not damage the small parts in the printer, including the head of ink cartridge.

Therefore, learn more about the technique to eliminate bed bugs in printers. So, you can minimize the risk of losing your printer. If you cannot do that, it is better for you to ask a professional to do this. The recommended treatments are inspection, isolation, vacuuming, freezing, and using heat.

14. Refrigerator

It is said that refrigerator is safe from bed bugs. It is because usually a refrigerator is set far from bedroom. That particular distance means there is a long way to travel for bed bugs from their nest to the host. So, it is possible right?

Then, usually refrigerator is the place for cockroach to live. There, left-over foods are the most things that lure cockroach to come. Also, it is easy for cockroach to find some water there. That is why, usually people will ignore refrigerator when it comes to bed bugs infestation.

However, refrigerator provides a very big space for bed bugs to hide, especially when an extreme infestation happens. There, the space is good enough for bed bugs to stay, hide, and even live. In fact, bed bugs can live in a long period without any food. So, people also do need to check the kitchen. The recommended treatments are inspection, vacuuming, hand wash, and using heat.

How to Treat Bed Bugs in Electronics?

how do bed bugs get into your bed

The illustration of bed bugs in electronics | Photo by Tistio Brand on Unsplash

How to get rid of bed bugs in electronics? Surely, each of the types of equipment listed previously has the different conditions and does need different treatments. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the right techniques to eliminate bed bugs in electronic equipment.

The right techniques to eliminate bed bugs in electronic equipment below come from very careful research that has been done by experts. Those techniques are inspection, isolation, hand wash, vacuuming, the use of heat, and freezing.

Also, there are some ineffective, unsafe, and even illegal practices to get rid of bed bugs. So, it will be wise to not practice those things. Those techniques are bug bombs, dry ice, fumigation with pest strips, ultrasonic devices, herbal sprays, ozone, and the use of a microwave.

1. Inspection

If people ask what is the first thing to do to get out bed bugs from their belongings? Here, inspection will be the most essential thing to do. If people have a good skill in inspecting bed bugs, there will be less cost to pay professional.

What we need here is just some cheap tools like magnifying glass, flashlight, crevice tools, and lint roller to eliminate bed bugs. It may take a while but it is effective to deal with bed bugs in initial stages.

Thus, it is essential to have a good skill in identifying how bed bugs look like at all stages. It can stop the nymphs to grow into the adult form. So, people can save their belongings and stop bed bugs infestation. Do you want to know some extra tricks about this technique? Learn more about the inspection technique from A-Z to eliminate bed bugs in electronics.

2. Isolation

Here comes to the common technique that people use to eliminate bed bugs in electronics that is isolation. Even though bed bugs can survive for a long time without food, they cannot resist desiccate (dehydrate). The concept of isolation is to make bed bugs starve and desiccate in the same time that leads them to the end of their life.

Bed bugs are susceptible to desiccation. They are so vulnerable to this technique that will drain their life. The time to do this technique depends on several factors such as temperature, the last time blood meal, humidity and etc. Here it is, the warmer temperatures can make quicker death for bed bugs because of the increase of metabolic activity.

Therefore, if it is possible, isolation technique is completely recommended to kill bed bugs safely. It may take time for a while, but it is so effective for long term. In this case, you do need to know how to do isolation correctly. Do you want to know some extra tricks about this technique? Learn more about the isolation technique from A-Z to eliminate bed bugs in electronics.

3. Hand Wash

Hand wash is one of classic method that people use to clean. What people need to do this is just some water and soap. The application is easy. People just need to rub the surface with soap and then clean it with water.

Then, it is quite surprising that hand wash is included as the technique to clean bed bugs in electronics. Well, hand wash is useful to clean the external parts of electronic devices. Make sure you unplug the device before cleaning it.

However, to treat bed bugs in electronics by hand wash, you do need extra tricks. Also, there are some particular things you need to aware of. So, it is not just a regular hand wash technique. Do you want to know those extra tricks? Learn more about the hand wash technique from A-Z to eliminate bed bugs in electronics.

4. Vacuuming

If you notice it carefully, you will find that a professional pest control will use vacuum to eliminate bed bugs. Vacuuming is great to remove both dead and live bed bugs. Also, it is quite inexpensive treatment that you can do manually at home.

However, you do need to pay attention with the technique and the vacuum equipment you use. If you just use a regular vacuum cleaner, the bed bugs will stay in your vacuum instead. That is not only made your vacuum infested, but also it helps to spread bed bugs easily.

Therefore, you do need to know the type of vacuum cleaner you need. Also, you do need to know some tricks if what you have is just a regular vacuum cleaner. Do you want to know some extra tricks about this technique? Learn more about the vacuuming technique from A-Z to eliminate bed bugs in electronics.

5. Using Heat

The idea of using heat to eliminate bed bugs comes from a well known fact that insects mostly cannot withstand in a high temperature. Here, people usually use common dryer such as hair dryer, iron, and even clothes dryer. That may work, but you do need to tweak more.

In this case, using heat to kill bed bugs needs an extra knowledge. You cannot just simply use heat without considering about two things. First, it is about the level of heat needed to kill bed bugs. Second, it is about the level of heat need to keep your devices work properly.

Here, you cannot just simply heat something without any preparation. You need to know some tricks to deal with certain items scientifically. So, you can keep your stuffs safely and kill the bed bugs completely. Do you want to know some extra tricks about this technique? Learn more about the using heat technique from A-Z to eliminate bed bugs in electronics.

6. Freezing

The freezing technique has been an arguable topic due to its inconsistency in eliminating bed bugs. It is observed that this technique can work and sometimes do not work at all. Also, it is rare thing to use freezing technique. The using of freezing technique is needed when the devices is susceptible with heat. So, it is not the best option.

Therefore, some researches find that it is necessary to choose the best thing that is needed to freeze bed bugs in electronics. It is found that freezer with liquid carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen works better than regular household freezer. So, it is for professional.

However, it is also found that regular household freezer can kill bed bugs after 4 or more days depending on the temperature. But, it cannot guarantee that this kind of freezer can kill completely bed bugs in all stages. Learn more about the freezing technique from A-Z to eliminate bed bugs in electronics.

References

Fyre, M. & Gangloff-Kaufmann, J. 2018. How to Get Bed Bugs Out of Your Belongings. New York State IPM Program and Cornell University. NYS IPM Publication No. 620. Published 2/2018 at https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/55760

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