Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Electronics | Effective Methods and Prevention Tips

Written by Thomas Matthews

Taking care of a home and all the things in it is sometimes tedious work, especially when pests come inside your home. Not everything is always about mattresses or sofas or similar house objects. In this article, we are going to talk about bed bugs and electronics.

How to get rid of bed bugs in electronics? The best way and most secure way to treat bed bugs in electronics are with Nuvan ProStrips. Many people were satisfied with the effect of this product on bed bugs. Basically, you put the infested electronics in an air-tight bag that has the Nuvan ProStrips inside. This product kills the bed bugs easily, it secures the infested items very well, and the bed bugs have no other place to hide.

Nuvan ProStrips (Pack of 12 Strips with 12 Cages)
  • NUVAN PROSTRIPS: features a convenient plastic cage that may be...
  • CONTROLS: labeled pests include bed bugs, flies, mosquitoes,...
  • ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Dichlorvos 18.6%
  • IRAC: Group 1B Insecticide
  • MODE OF ACTION: Dichlorvos, an organophosphate insecticide, works...

Also, if you don’t have this product, you can always try wiping the electronics with insecticides and the heat treatment (when you place the infested electronics in a room with a high temperature of circa 120°F or more, but with prior checking which temperatures your electronics can withstand). If you think these methods won’t work the best thing then would be to call professional bed bug exterminators.

The bed bugs don’t go into electronics because they have something special to offer to them! Bed bugs just need a hiding place until their next feeding.

Bed bugs dislike warmth, and they only go near warm/hot places if they have to. Usually, this happens when the host (you) is far from them, or when bed bugs are far from the spot you sleep in. So, in between feedings, the bed bugs could get inside electronics as their last resort. And getting rid of them isn’t impossible, you just have to know the right methods.

How to Tell If Your Electronics Are Infested with Bed Bugs

Electronics Infested with Bed Bugs

One sure way to know if electronics have bed bugs is to check the whole house and every spot for bed bugs. If you have a moderate or severe infestation with bed bugs in other parts of your house, then the electronics could be affected as well.

One common thing that is a sign of bed bugs near us is skin changes. Yes, our skin can show us where bed bugs are! If we rule out the surfaces where we sleep, and if there are changes on the skin after we were in direct contact with the electronics. The changes look like mosquito bites.

Also, look for dark spots, and black stains/spots around the surfaces in the home. These spots are the bed bug feces they leave behind. More often than not, these spots are a combination of shed skin and fecal matter.

You may want to look for eggs or eggshells of bed bugs too. These are quite small and hard to see, but if you notice yellowish-ivory stains somewhere – that is a bed bug-infested area!

However, other signs that electronics are infested with bed bugs can be complex to see. Once bed bugs are discovered, the sight is unpleasant. When you see their den (wherever it is), it looks brownish, or even rusty, tarnishes too. Sometimes when you see reddish spots it is also a sign of bed bugs.

Can Bed Bugs Damage Your Electronic Devices?

Can Bed Bugs Damage Your Electronic Devices

If there is one certain thing about bed bugs, it is that their only interest is a human! So whatever damage they can cause, it is to us and our health.

This means that bed bugs can’t damage your electronic devices. Bed bugs do not cause any sort of great physical damage to our home. If their presence and unsightly grouping are considered damage, then maybe yes.

Otherwise, it is much scarier to think what sort of damage they cause to us. Your electronics are safe, but you aren’t. The damage they can cause you are itchiness or minor to severe allergies, and more.

Related: Ants in Laptop | How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Laptop

Different Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Electronics

The good thing about the removal of bed bugs in electronics is that there are a few methods that could resolve this issue. For example:

  • Heat treatment
  • Bagging
  • Nuvan ProStrips (combined with bagging whenever possible)
  • Vacuuming (and applying insecticides if needed)
  • Neem oil
  • Tape and drowning
  • Fumigating the whole home (last resort solution)

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Electronics – Step-by-Step Instructions

Method 1 – Heat treatment

Step 1: Close all the windows once you enter the room where the TV is.

Step 2: Unplug the TV.

Step 3: Place the TV in a big bed bug heater bag.

Step 4: Turn on the thermostat to 50 °C.

Step 5: Wait until the whole room reaches this temperature.

Step 6: Keep the TV covered like this for approximately half an hour.

Step 7: Dispose of the bag outside after this process is done.

Method 2 – Bagging

Step 1: Get some type of bag.

Step 2: Take the object infested with bed bugs, and place it in the bag.

Step 3: If you don’t use chemicals inside the bag, make sure that the bag is closed tight without any space for air!

Step 4: If you use a regular bag without heating technology, leave the object inside the bag for 1-2 weeks until the bed bugs die off.

Step 5: Or, if you use the bags with special heating technologies, then leave the object inside for a certain amount of time (see the instructions that come with the heating bag – method 1).

Step 6: Do not open the bag during this process at all.

Step 7: Dispose of the bag outside after this process is done and your electronics should be bed bug-free.

Method 3 – Nuvan ProStrips

Step 1: Take the Nuvan ProStrips and unpack them

Step 2: Get in the enclosed space and wear protective equipment (glasses and gloves)

Step 3: Check the space and make sure it is not bigger than 200 cubic feet (the Nuvan strips cover an area of 200 cubic feet maximum)

Step 4: Remove the strip from its foil package and place it in the special plastic cartridge (these strips can also be used without the cartridge as well)

Step 5: Place this cartridge in the area of infestation (or in a plastic trash bag, if you decide to use chemicals and regular bagging method for objects)

Step 6: Close the bag well and leave it in the enclosed room for at least 10 days

Step 7: After those 10 days, open the bag and let it air out.

Method 4 – Vacuuming

Note – We will take the system unit of a desktop computer just for reference).

Step 1: Unplug the computer.

Step 2: Start vacuuming on the outside first.

Step 3: Unscrew the cover of the system unit and start vacuuming inside.

Step 4: Inspect the area with a flashlight just to check before you are done.

Step 5: Empty the vacuum bag outside of the home.

Method 5 – Neem oil

Step 1: Get the neem oil in a form of a spray and put on the gloves.

Step 2: Get an old towel.

Step 3: Spray the towel with approximately 3 teaspoons of neem oil.

Step 4: Get a plastic bag and toss the towel with neem oil inside the bag.

Step 5: Put the infested object in the bag.

Step 6: Close the bag and leave it like this for 7 days.

Method 6 – Tape and drowning

Step 1: Get a sticky tape roll, a bowl of rubbing alcohol, a magnifying glass, a flashlight, a playing card, and a trash bag

Step 2: Open the electronic and look inside with the flashlight and the magnifying glass

Step 3: Poke the bed bugs with the playing card and get them to stick to the tape

Step 4: Drown the bed bugs in the rubbing alcohol

Step 5: Put the tape with the bed bugs in the trash bag and throw it out outside

Step 6: Bag the phone without the heat treatment (if you can, at least for a week, or 2 weeks maximum).

Method 7 – Fumigating

Fumigating the whole place/calling the professionals. Usually, this is done when no other methods work, and when you can’t remove bed bugs yourself.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Cell Phones

There is really almost no point in explaining how to get rid of bed bugs in phones. Old phones had points of entry for bed bugs but even that was close to impossible.

When it comes to new smartphones it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to have bed bugs. There is just no way for bed bugs to get into your smartphone because even you can’t open your phone. Phone manufacturers have made it hard even for us to access our own phones and to change the battery.

So if you are reading this because you think your smartphone could be infested then just relax because your phone is safe. If you are reading this because of a house phone then just apply one of the methods above and you will get rid of them in no time.

Best Products for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs in Electronics

1. Nuvan ProStrips

Nuvan ProStrips (Pack of 12 Strips with 12 Cages)
  • NUVAN PROSTRIPS: features a convenient plastic cage that may be...
  • CONTROLS: labeled pests include bed bugs, flies, mosquitoes,...
  • ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Dichlorvos 18.6%
  • IRAC: Group 1B Insecticide
  • MODE OF ACTION: Dichlorvos, an organophosphate insecticide, works...

This product comes in a package of 12 strips with 12 cages, each of 16 grams. It comes at a moderate price, and it is worth it because these strips have a long-lasting effect. The Nuvan strips work on more types of pests, not just bed bugs, and every bar of 16 grams can cover 200 cubic feet.

It works great for electronics infested with bed bugs; you just have to seal the electronics in a bag with a Nuvan strip inside. Leave the electronics in the bag like this for 3 days minimum, or 7 days maximum, and you will see after this time that the strips worked excellently.

However, a word of advice is to use this product very carefully because it can be lethal for your pets, and it will have the same effect on them as for the bed bugs. To protect yourself always wear gloves while handling the Nuvan strips, and once you seal the bag tight, don’t open it for at least 3 days.

2. ZappBug Heater

ZappBug Heater Bed Bug Killer, Bed Bug Heater Treatment Equipment, Eliminate Pests with Heat, Professional Bed Bug Heater System
  • Effective against bed bugs in all life stages, including eggs,...
  • Heat-only bed bug solution.
  • Easy to use: One person set-up, load with items, and press on....
  • Large-size chamber. Measures 23" x 37.5" x 23" treats luggage,...
  • 1500-watt programable heater & wireless thermometer ensure...

This bag heater can kill every single bed bug, and its eggs too. It can be pricey, but it pays off once you see that these pests and their eggs are no longer a problem for you.

It is not toxic, so it has no chemicals and no pesticides inside – it works only with heat. The ZappBug Heater is very easy to use as well; you just set it up, put the electronics inside, and turn it on.

The temperature range starts at 119.84°F and reaches up to 154.94°F, so at these temperatures, you can rest assured that the bed bugs will be dead. There is a timer too, and it will go off automatically once this heat treatment is over.

And, the bag has a thermometer that will show you the temperature, and this is really practical, it has a wireless part that will help you control the heat better (in case it is above 119.84°F).

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Electronics

There are a few ways you can try to make your home and electronics bed bugs free:


Try to always have a clean home. This isn’t just for bed bug prevention, but it goes a long way for overall benefits too. Vacuuming the bed bugs can be a good solution if you dispose of the contents of the bag afterward in the right way.

Vacuum the home and all corner spots every few days, and don’t forget to vacuum elevated spaces too (up to the walls, near the curtains, etc). After vacuuming, empty the vacuum bag outside of the home.

Try Steam Cleaning

Sometimes the vacuum can’t go in most places, so steam is better in this case. The steam will kill the bed bugs, especially if the temperature is 140°F.

Use Silica Gel

Do you know those little packets that sometimes come with shoe boxes? Their purpose is to keep the contents dry and without insects.

For this method, use those beads and grind them, then use that powder to sprinkle it on the affected bed bug areas. If you have pets, or kids, avoid this because it can easily be reached. In this case, use baking soda instead.

Try Spraying and Rubbing the Alcohol

Use a spray bottle to store the alcohol, and spray it everywhere you see them. Be careful not to damage the electronics.

Use Double-Sided Tape

To protect the most valuable electronics, try to wrap the double-sided tape around the spots where the electronics are placed. That way the bed bugs will get stuck if they try to come near the electronics.

Natural Herbs

You can also try natural herbs as a way to repel the bed bugs with a nice smell. Tea tree oil, lavender, mint leaves, black walnut tea, bean leaves, sweet flag, Indian lilac, thyme, lemongrass, cayenne pepper, clove…When these scents are near the electronics or the bed, they can repel the bed bugs, so they would stay further away.

If bed bugs come very near to these scents, they could suffocate. If you have dry leaves of these herbs, place them around the home, or leave a diffuser of the oil open. Or, you can purchase them as spritzes and sprays too. The good thing about this method is that your home will smell amazing.

Can Bed Bug Prevention Products Damage Your Electronics?

There are a few downsides to using chemicals for bed bugs on electronics. You should never use pesticides directly on electronic surfaces because there could be some damage to the electronics – even more damage than bed bugs would do.

If you choose natural remedies, don’t worry, they are mostly safe even though they don’t always give 100% best results. However, for heat treatment, you have to check what the electronics manuals say.

What to Do If None of This Works?

bed bug exterminator

If none of the remedies and suggestions from above don’t work, it could be time to call the professionals. Hiring pest management is always a great idea, and safe for you as well because you don’t get to do the dirty work.

To prevent further damage to the things in your home, hire these experts earlier rather than when the damage is already done. Also, expect them to come to a couple of times, especially if the problem was severe.

One last thing, don’t be surprised if the experts take apart some furniture pieces or similar objects – sometimes everything has to be done to get rid of the nagging bed bugs!

Bed Bugs in Electronics: Where Can They Live?

So, which are the things that are most important to you; answer this and inspect those elements in the house. Do you have any old appliances that are pre-owned? Is your kitchen bed bug free? What about the PC, laptop, or phone? Is the vacuum cleaner good enough to help you with this matter?

It is uncommon for bed bugs to be living in electronics, but also not impossible. Click on our article “Can Bed Bugs Live in Electronics?” – if you want to know more details on which types of electronics can bed bugs live in.

There are always some solutions to this problem. Bed bugs might be annoying, tiny creatures that are too persistent, but you can always remove them once and for all.

Usually, the bed bugs don’t go in electronics, but when they do, then you should know that your whole house is probably full of bed bugs. Electronics are not the favorite places for bed bugs, so if they are in electronics, you might want to check every other thing in your home.

With our methods of removing bed bugs from electronics, you will get rid of them without any problems.

Best of luck on your bed bug hunting adventures!

List of Sources

Frye M., Kaufmann J. (2018), How to Get Bed Bugs Out of Your Belongings, New York State IPM Program, Cornell University

Snetsinger R. 1997. Bed bugs & other bugs, pp. 393-425. In Mallis A, Hedges SA [eds.], Handbook of Pest Control, 8th ed. Franzak & Foster Co., Cleveland, Ohio

Koehler PG, Pereira RM, Pfiester M, Hertz J. (July 2011). Bed bugs and blood-sucking conenose. EDIS. (26 April 2017)

Frishman A. 2000. Bed Bug basics and control measures. Pest Control 68: 24.

Thomas Matthews
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