Some of the rare places that people forget to inspect when looking for bed bugs are in the electronic appliances. So many cases of bed bugs in electronics have been reported and that is why research is being done on effective ways of eliminating bed bugs from electronics. This article discusses how bed bugs get into your electronics, ways of eliminating and preventive measures.
Can Bed Bugs live in Electronics-TVs & Other Appliances?
Can they live in electronics?
The answer is yes. Bed bugs can live almost everywhere. Electronics are not immune and bed bugs can find their way into them through any openings.
Bed bugs are tiny and that makes it easy for them to crawl into very tight spaces in the electronics.
Most electronics that harbor bed bugs are those close to your bed.
However, if your entire house is infested with bed bugs, the electronics are exposed to the risk of bed bugs crawling into them from every part of the house.
Electronics Appliances they are thought to live in
Your television is not safe from the attack by bed bugs. There are some people who report to have found bedbugs on their flat screens. Bed bugs crawl around the walls of an infested house.
Sometimes, they are just looking for a hiding place. When your television is placed against the wall, it will probably stay there for years as long as it is functional.
Bed bugs love hiding in places that are hardly disturbed. They like being comfortable and they hate movement. This explains why they would make a home in your TV which is rarely moved. Bed bugs get into the TV through any tiny openings.
When your television becomes highly infested, the cost of fumigating it may be equivalent to the cost of buying a new television. Inspect your television occasionally to avoid such infestations and resulting expenses.
Your refrigerator stands a risk of bed bug infestation just like your bed and other furniture around your house. Bed bugs can crawl into the fridge or fall off from other items into the fridge.
Sadly, the temperatures in the refrigerator are not cold enough to kill bed bugs. In fact, bed bugs can hide in that refrigerator without food for more than 12 months.
Simply, when inspecting your house for bed bugs, you should never leave out the refrigerator.
Once you find out that your fridge is infested with bed bugs, remove everything from the fridge then vacuum the inside and outside of the fridge.
Apply a mixture of vinegar and washing soda all around your fridge.
You are also advised to wipe all around the fridge using a cloth dipped in water that is at a temperature of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
This ensures that both live bed bugs and their eggs are killed. Since the water is extremely hot, remember to wear protective gloves.
Your laptop could be a perfect hiding place for bed bugs. This is especially if you love sleeping with your laptop next to you. Bed bugs get into your laptop through the many openings in your computer.
Some people report that they found baby bed bugs in their laptop speakers. Your laptop keyboard is also likely to be a good hiding place for bed bugs.
You carry your mobile phone in almost all places you go. That means the phone may be one of the electronic appliances exposed to the greatest risk of bed bug attack. To begin with, most people sleep with the mobile phone just next to their pillow. For that reason, the bed bugs can crawl into the very tiny openings of your phone.
The baby bed bugs are extremely tiny and they therefore can get into your phone through the tightest openings. Remember, most bed bugs come out of their hiding places at night so that they stay around your body and feed on your blood. As a result, they can easily slip into your mobile phone.
Additionally, when you go to a friend’s home that is infested with bed bugs, placing your phone on the coach is a risk of letting bed bugs into your phone. Bad news is that the bed bug can hide in your phone for more than a year without feeding.
Inspect your phone from time to time by opening the back cover and the battery. If you see any bed bugs, kill them immediately and seek assistance on probably heating or fumigating your phone.
How to get bed bugs out of electronics
Treating bed bugs in your electronics can be very difficult. This is explained by the sensitivity that comes with the electronics.
For instance, remedies in form of solutions are no option when treating bed bugs in your electronics yet they are common treatments of bed bugs in other areas. As much as heat can be used to treat bed bugs in electronics, it is extremely risky.
Too much heat damages your electronics while even a drop of water can cause serious problems to your electronics. This means that you have very limited options in getting rid of bed bugs and you must be extremely careful on whichever method you settle for
Among the methods you may find helpful in eliminating bed bugs from electronics are as discussed below;
Nuvan ProStrips is considered one of the best solutions since it is safe for use in getting rid of bed bugs from electronics. The ProStrips emit dichlorvos or 2, 2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP) which is a chemical favor.
It is found very effective in getting rid of bed bugs which hide in areas that are difficult to treat. This is because the vapor penetrates in almost everything.
- Get the Nuvan Strips from their sealed enclosure.
- Into their hanging holder, place the Nuvan strips. In sealed garbage bags, bag the strips in your electronics.
- DDVP is neither safe for humans nor for pets. For this reason, you are advised to use gloves when handling the strips and leave the bags sealed for up to 48 hours.
- When you are through with the treatment, take the bags outside and open them, giving them time to air out. Always read carefully through the product label and adhere to the listed instructions.
As much as these strips are very effective, the Center for Disease Control highly discourages their use since dichlorvos, the main component of the strip, is extremely toxic. The strips also produce a very bad smell that has been found to cause nausea for some users.
Controlled levels of heat
Some electronics can be treated using a heater but that is still a risk you will be taking. Heating to kill bed bugs is normally an effective method only when the heat is high enough for bed bugs not to survive.
In the case of electronics, it is not how much heat will kill the bed bugs but rather, how much heat would not destroy the electronic appliance.
There are portable heaters that are available in the market but you can only set them at a heat level of 120 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Any temperatures higher than that are likely to damage the electronic appliances. You must also read the instructions that come with the electronics carefully since different electronic appliances can stand different levels of heat.
Before applying heat into the appliance, you are advised to unplug it, switch it off and remove the batteries. Any ink cartridges should be removed as well.
Heating the electronics at the given temperature may only kill some bed bugs especially those in the premature stages. Heating should come as your last option since, no matter how much heat the appliance can stand, too much heat is destructive.
Though not very advisable, you can heat the electronic appliance internally. This is especially in the case of computers.
The high temperatures that come with the internal heating kill the bed bugs. Heat causes the bed bugs to be uncomfortable and that may even cause them to leave the computer.
Once they are exposed, you can spray them dead. Temperatures that are above 113 degrees Fahrenheit kill bed bugs.
Most electronic appliances can stand heat of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can simply place the electronic appliances into a thermal chamber and turn on heat. The heat must however be regulated.
Some users from online forums recommend that you let the appliance for instance laptop heat internally. They term this process as ‘over-clocking’. This not proven to work as overclocking itself is not safe for your machine.
Rag soaked in pesticide
This method involves soaking a rag into a pesticide then placing it in a plastic bag and finally putting it next to your laptop. The soaked rag is to be left next to the laptop for about 48hours.
The fumes from the pesticide suffocate the bed bugs that hide in the electronics. Below are precautions you must take when using this method;
- Ensure the electronic appliance is closed properly especially in the case of computers so that the soaked cloth does not come into contact with the keys.
- The cloth should be kept far away from the electronic appliance and only vapors or fumes of the pesticide should be allowed to get into the appliance.
- Wipe through the electronic appliance using a safe deodorant to get rid of the bad smell of the pesticide.
Fumigation using sulfuryl fluoride
Chemicals such as sulfuryl fluoride are used to kill bed bugs. Electronic appliances can be fumigated using sulfuryl fluoride.
However, you are advised toss call a professional since such chemicals are harmful and using them for fumigation requires expertise. Fumigation is relatively expensive.
There are several tips that can prevent your electronic appliances from being attacked by bed bugs. Discussed below are some of the prevention measures;
- Always keep your electronic appliances away from your bed. This is especially in the case of the portable electronic appliances such as laptops. When you place your laptop on the bed, bed bugs can easily crawl into it. Remember, most bed bugs are found on the bed as they await to feed on human blood in the night.
- Always inspect your laptop when you travel and probably heat it internally from time to time so as to kill any bed bugs that hide in it.
- When you notice any signs of bed bug infestation in your home, seek treatment options that get rid of such bugs. Killing the bugs in the house immediately ensures that they do not get into your electronic appliances.
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