How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Cell Phones (2023)

A cell phone is one of the devices that is very difficult to be separated from us in our daily life. We often bring our cell phones to bed. This is why we can find that bed bugs hiding in cell phones. Then I believe that you are here because you have got some problems with bed bugs in your cell phones.

So, how to get rid of bed bugs in cell phones? When our cell phones become hiding places for bed bugs, actually the easiest way to deal with them is by using isolation, hand washing, and heat treatment method. Here, isolation is the safest way to kill bed bugs on cell phones but it takes a very long time. While on the other side, hand washing and heat treatment take less time yet need a bit more attention and effort.

how to get rid of bed bugs in cell phones
How to get rid of bed bugs in cell phones

Are bed bugs attracted to cell phone?

Basically, bed bugs will hide anywhere as long as the place or object is able to provide a sense of security to them. This is because the behavior of bed bugs will only come out of hiding when humans sleep. They just come out to suck blood. After that, they will return to their hiding place.

In fact, bed bugs are not particularly attracted to cell phones. This is because there are other objects around the mattress that can be used as a hiding place. However, in certain cases where a room does not have many hiding places, cell phones are an option.

On the other hand, one of the human habits is to put their cell phone near the bed before going to bed. This is commonplace because most human activities involve gadgets. Of course, this is the reason why bed bugs choose to hide in cell phones.

Related post: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Electronics

Can bed bugs hide in cell phones?

If we imagine cell phones today, there will be zero possibility for bed bugs to hide in human cell phones. This is because the latest cell phones will be very tight and very thin so there is no chance for bed bugs to hide. In addition, the latest cell phones also usually have a waterproof feature so that bed bugs will not be able to hide in them.

However, if we understand that bed bugs have a life cycle, then there is a possibility that the nymph of bed bugs can hide in cell phones. The size of bed bugs nymphs is very small, ranging from 1.3 mm – 5 mm. With this size, bed bug nymphs can hide cell phones through small gaps and holes around cell phones. If this is what you find, then you can be sure that you are experiencing a massive attack of bed bugs.

On the other hand, for cell phones that were made in the past and are still used today, we will find that other small insects such as ants can hide in them too. In the past, people often had to disassemble their cell phones to clean the dust and micro-sized grains of sand because it could interfere with the performance of the device.

Well, that is a sign that bed bugs can hide in cell phones too. When you can find dirt in your phone, it means that bed bugs nymphs can get in and stay there. Those nymphs are just so small that they can sneak in.

Can bed bugs live on cell phones?

This is probably one of the most difficult questions to answer because we generally carry our cell phones with us wherever we go. So, of course, it is absolutely impossible for bed bugs to live and breed on cell phones. However, keep in mind that not everyone has the same habits.

The nymphs of bed bugs can live on cell phones as long as the device is stored and rarely used for a long time. If we have an old cell phone that is stored in a place with a high spread of bed bugs, then of course bed bug nymphs also live in those cell phones. This is because bed bugs will always look for the safest place to hide and bed bug nymphs can fit in it.

But, why cell phones? Well, it would be very difficult for bed bugs to stay and hide in the same place. This is because bed bugs sometimes have a strange mating cycle in which the female bed bugs get hurt. It is called traumatic insemination in bed bugs.

Traumatic insemination can cause death to bed bugs because the male bed bugs are so aggressive during the breeding season. Sometimes, it is also found that male bed bugs will inject sperm into the other male bed bugs too because they cannot differentiate clearly. This situation leads the female bed bugs to stay away during the breeding season, saving their life. That is why you can find bed bugs spread even in unexpected places, including cell phones.

How to get rid of bed bugs in cell phones according to experts

Based on research that has been done by experts, there are at least three methods to get rid of bed bugs in our cell phones. The methods are isolation, hand washing, and heat treatment. These three methods are the safest recommendations that we can apply to deal with bed bugs in cell phones.

Read other guides fully at How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs


In principle, isolation is a way to kill bed bugs by letting them die slowly without a supply of oxygen and nutrients. This method is very safe and effective in killing bed bugs on cell phones. It’s just, that we need a really long time.

This method is very simple. All we need to do is just put the cell phones in a plastic bag. Then, seal tightly. Do not leave any holes in the plastic bag. If it is well sealed, then store the bag for 6 months. Make sure that you put it in a safe place.

After 6 months, it is certain that bed bugs in cell phones will die by themselves because they do not get enough nutrition to survive. Make sure the plastic bag is always tightly sealed for 6 months to prevent bed bugs from escaping.

Hand washing

This method is used only to clean cell phone cases made of plastic. Never wash other parts of cell phones if we don’t really know-how. This is because a drop of water that enters will damage the electronic circuit of the cell phones. In this case, we can use all kinds of laundry soap to clean cell phone cases. This is because what we usually find is limited to eggs and nymphs of bed bugs.

However, if the bed bug infestation is really severe, we can use a particular detergent such as insect detergent. We need to use this kind of detergent to wash blankets, clothes, fabrics, etc. that are invaded by bed bugs. It is like we get rid of bed bugs completely in our house.

Heat treatment

The last way we can use is heat treatment. Normally, we need a minimum temperature of 113°F to kill adult bed bugs within 90 minutes and 8 hours to kill the eggs. However, in reality, cell phones usually will be damaged at this temperature level. This is because cell phone batteries are usually flammable at a certain temperature level.

Therefore, before choosing this method, you must read the instructions for use from your device because each cell phone and the battery has a different resistance to heat. If it is possible, you can use a hairdryer to kill bed bugs on cell phones using heat. In this case, you have to be very careful because cell phones are susceptible to heat at a certain level.

On the other hand, if this method is safe for your cell phones. Then you have to suck the bed bugs in your cell phones using a vacuum. This is because dead bed bugs will be trapped inside so you need more effort to get them out.

To do this, use a particular vacuum such as a HEPA vacuum that professional pest exterminators use to do their job. A regular vacuum is not good enough to suck bed bugs and other tiny bugs inside your house. So, in a long term, you have a useful vacuum that can do both cleaning and controlling pests.

That is how to get rid of bed bugs in cell phones. There are three methods you can use such as isolation, hand washing, and heat treatment. Each of the methods has its own pros and cons, so choose carefully. Well, do you have any suggestions or tips to share on this topic?

Related post: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs with Heat Treatment