Man trying to kill bed bugs sets home on fire in Gloucester County, NJ

by nobugsonme on June 12, 2013 · 3 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, DIY bed bug treatment, fire, New Jersey

I can’t emphasize it enough: heat treatment for bed bugs is not a do-it-yourself project. Not only is it dangerous, but it may not get rid of bed bugs, even if the DIY-er and the home survive intact.  (And that’s a big “if”!)

And now it’s happened again: someone attempting a DIY heat treatment sets their home on fire. In this case, it was a Gloucester County, NJ man employing a space heater, hair dryer and heat gun — how, I’m really not sure. (Note: Gloucester County, NJ is part of Greater Philadelphia.)

Conair Pro Style 1200 Blow Dryer

As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports,

A man trying to get rid of bedbugs from his Woodbury home accidentally set it on fire Tuesday, injuring himself and a firefighter.

Gloucester County spokeswoman Debra Sellitto said firefighters responded to the house on the unit block of Penn Street just before noon to find the second floor on fire.

The homeowner, a male who was not named, had apparently been trying to eradicate the bedbugs from his house using a home remedy that included a space heater, hair dryer, and heat gun to “heat” the bugs out, Sellitto said.

The man has unfortunately been hospitalized due to this failed bed bug treatment attempt. Philly.com reports that his home experienced a second fire five hours after the first, and firefighters aren’t yet certain what caused it, according to Philly.com.

Please do not attempt to heat treat your own home for bed bugs. It is just plain dangerous.  Even if heat treatment doesn’t result in a fire, it can make your bed bug problem harder to treat, as at least one Bedbugger Forums user found.

You may also be interested in our FAQ: Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs is not a Do-it-Yourself Project. It explains why this is not a good idea, and suggests some better alternatives if you must do your own bed bug treatment.

Image credit: Conair Pro Style 1200 Blow Dryer by twitchery on flickr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

 

Update (6/14):  more on the story including footage of the burning house in this ABC News video:

(You can also view it on the ABC site.)

And, not much story here, but most original headline award goes to The Philly Post for

“Good Night! Sleep Tight! Don’t Let The Bedbugs Drive You To Commit Arson Against Yourself!”

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1 Marge June 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

our exterminator did not do a heat treatment, he has only used chemicals…I am sorry to hear about this man …can relate to the desperation to get rid of the buggers and save money…

2 nobugsonme June 13, 2013 at 2:47 am

Just added:

Update (6/14): more on the story including footage of the burning house in this ABC News video:

(You can also view it on the ABC site.)

And, not much story here, but most original headline award goes to The Philly Post for

“Good Night! Sleep Tight! Don’t Let The Bedbugs Drive You To Commit Arson Against Yourself!”

3 nobugsonme June 13, 2013 at 2:49 am

Marge,

I understand the desperation, but it is fully possible to self-treat if needed, without harming one’s home, or injuring onesself and others.

No one should be trying do it yourself heat treatment for bed bugs.

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