Packtite recall affects some original Packtite models

by nobugsonme on December 12, 2013 · 19 comments

in bed bugs

Two models of the original Packtite heating system are part of a voluntary recall initiated by the manufacturer, after three consumer complaints (of incidents where heaters overheated, malfunctioned, and in one case, singed some items being treated). Thankfully, no injuries have been reported.

It’s essential that if you currently have a black Packtite original, that you check it to determine if it’s part of the recall, and if so, obtain a free replacement of the Packtite’s heating unit.

This recall does not affect Packtite Original models purchased after February 2013, nor does it include the Packtite Closet.

Per Packtite’s recall page, it’s easy to determine if your Packtite is included in the recall:

The recalled PackTite® units were sold under the PackTite™ brand name. The outer covering is black and the brand name is stitched in white on the top flap of the covering.

If your PackTite is GREEN, this product (PackTite Closet) is NOT under recall.

If your PackTite unit has a BLACK covering and white stitching, unzip the top flap of your PackTite and look down at the heater that is connected underneath the black shelf.

Please refer to the pictures here.

If there is visible text printed on the upward-facing side of the heater casing, then your Packtite is NOT under recall.

If the side of the heater casing that is facing upward is blank, with no text visible, then your unit IS involved in the recall and you should follow the directions (here) to receive a free replacement heater free replacement parts for your PackTite Unit.

This video shows how to determine if your Packtite original is part of the recall:

This second video shows how to claim replacement parts if your Packtite is covered by the recall:

This video shows how to reassemble the unit once replacement parts are received:

(Link to YouTube videos embedded above, in case it does not load. Click “How to determine if your PackTite unit is involved in the recall” for all three videos.)

You can read more about the recall in this press release from the US Consumer Product Safety Commision:
PackTite Recall (PDF)

Recall FAQs from Packtite

The Packtite kitted out with replacement parts will look like this:



I do not have any information confirming this but I suspect Packtite users getting a replacement may find this new unit to be more powerful, judging from the similarity of the new heating element to that used in the Packtite Closet.

(Post updated 12/13/13 to add links to FAQs, videos for steps 2 and 3 in the replacement process, and photo submitted by forum user who will remain anonymous.)

1 Jessica December 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Wow! Packtites catch fire?!

David Cain (the bed bug guy who is always posting here) said they were the best. Oh my gosh, I have to email them today about the recall and get mine replaced.

Thanks for spreading the word.

2 David Cain December 13, 2013 at 8:55 am


They are the best, the only Inhave tested that work.

The recall actually enhances my opinion of the company as they are clearly doing the right thing here. Other companies have public ally confessed to adapting failing units and not doing a recall. Many companies would have discontinued the product and let the insurers deal with claims.

The hardest path is to do a recall like this an absorb the costs of replacing the faulty units with a better version.

Had Mr James done this any other way he would have been due harsh criticism from me but as he is doing the right thing I take my hat off to him for again setting the highest possible standard.

At the end of the day the issue has affected 3 out of 9000 units and is a low risk issue that has not caused repeat failures or a design fault. PackTite has chosen to do the right thing here when others clearly have not, for that reason alone they will continue to lead the field and set examples that others should (but often don’t) follow.

My thoughts are with the PackTite team as they go through this stressful time.

David Cain

3 nobugsonme December 13, 2013 at 9:37 am

Hi Jessica,

Given that there have only been three reported incidents, two involving overheating, and a thirdwhere the result was what sounds like lightly singed items, it is not accurate to say that “Packtites catch fire”.

Of course, you want to prevent any kind of damage or potential for injury, so if you have an original model, you should definitely check if your heating element has been recalled, and if so, replace it.

If you do so, or if you have a Packtite not covered by the recall, I would be very confident in continuing to use the product.

Like David, my good wishes go out to the company, which is doing the right thing in voluntarily recalling the heating component and replacing it.

4 Denise December 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Since the conception of the Packtite units, many of our members and people who have called our bed bug hotline have purchased them through the distribution channels. I have never heard one complaint from anyone and they say that they are a life saver for them.

After realizing the recall I immediately let everyone on my mailing list know what was happening so that they were completely aware of the problem with the units and so they can get replacements if needed. Like said above there was no caused repeat failures or a design fault.

Personally I champion the company for doing the right thing. Heck, they could have buried their head in the sand like most companies do but they made it right. And in my book that accounts for pure business integrity! (something that is lacking in many businesses now days).

Here’s the letter I sent to me email list:

Hi Folks!
Some of you may of heard about the recent recall for Packtite. Just so you know NOT ALL OF THEM WERE AFFECTED.
Please take time to read below about the recall.
Before I have ever promoted any product, we make sure they are tested fully. The Packtite units went through rigorous testing to make sure there were no cold spots anywhere within the units. Because of the efficacy of the Packtite units many pest management, hotels, schools, businesses and people that travel use these.

Just like anything else you may have bought in your life – sometimes during manufacturing things can go wrong. One bad apple doesn’t always spoil the whole bunch. Who knows, maybe during the manufacturing of a couple of the heat components the person doing the assembling fell asleep or didn’t solder something correctly. Things happen in life!

I can’t tell you the amount of items I have personally purchased in my life time that have sparked, sputtered, smoldered and died on me and I wound up throwing them away costing me in the long run. Heck I even fried my hair on a curling iron once because no matter what setting I used it heated up too hot.

The Packtite company jumped on this right away and is doing the right thing to address those units that were affected.

#1 Packtite immediately did a voluntary recall (manufacturer recall)
#2 Only three (3) of the units had a problem out of the 9,000 some units sold of this type
#3 No body was hurt or harmed
#4 Packtite company is making the right choice of replacing all of those particular units
#5 The new units are fully UL registered which you will NOT find with any of the other heat units on the market.
#6 All affected units get a free replacement

You can always count on Quality and Sustainability from Packtite products and the company!


5 TAOT December 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I bought my regular Packtite used, so I’ll have to look at it. I had a problem with a small part of my Packtite Closet (the heater that is attached to the blower) and he offered to send one out to me immediately. It was more than 3 months old when Packtite made the offer, so I didn’t take him up on it. I actually could buy it locally through a supplier so I did that for a nominal fee. I have found Packtite to be very responsive and straight up.

I know it’s more expensive but I recommend the Packtite Closet to anyone who can afford it for doing coats, shoes, etc. quickly. It’s nice to hang things up.

If mine is recalled, I may just ask if I can buy a heater. I have no documentation. Or, I paid $125 for it and just consider that I got a good year of use for it. I lent it out several times, with no one having an issue. I mainly bought it because people wanted to borrow my Packtite Closet! 😉

6 nobugsonme December 14, 2013 at 1:06 am


I did not see anything in the information on the recall suggesting that secondhand Packtites would not be treated the same as new ones. I think the manufacturer just wants to get the affected units fixed.

7 nobugsonme December 14, 2013 at 1:06 am

Note post above has been updated and a few additional comments added here:

8 TAOT December 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Thanks, Nobugs, for all you do.

9 nobugsonme December 15, 2013 at 2:25 am

Thanks for your contributions, TAOT!

10 sara-t March 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

Has anyone received a replacement yet? I followed the directions, but received no notice that my parts had been received. After emailing, I got a form response, stating that it would take 3-6 weeks to receive a replacement. After 6 weeks, I emailed again and got no response at all.
I am glad that the company is being responsible, and hope that it won’t get hurt too badly. However, I dissected a working unit that I need regularly, and have no idea when, or if, I will be up and running again.

11 nobugsonme March 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Hi sara,
I will alert David from Packtite to this comment (without sharing your email). Stay tuned!

12 nobugsonme March 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Another follow up– I heard back from David and have sent an email to you.

13 highlyneurotic April 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

To piggyback on Sara above: I also sent my old Packtite parts in the first week of January, based on the company’s estimate that it would take 6 weeks to get replacements. It has been at least 12 to 14 weeks, but no parts have been forthcoming. I tried to call in mid-February but even though I reached a person at the recall hotline, that rep was not able to help me determine the status of my replacement parts. I then emailed and did receive an email on February 27 saying that the company had my old parts and I was on the list to receive a replacement. No word on when, and it’s now been another month and a half. I have to say, this is very frustrating. I have been on two trips and stayed in hotels, only to return and have no Packtite to treat my things. I’m going away again next week and staying in a hotel. Had I known it would take this long to get a replacement, I think I would have taken my chances and skipped the recall. (I have always been careful to monitor the unit while using it.)

14 nobugsonme April 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm

I am going to send you an email.

15 sara-t April 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

I now have a Packtite 2 to replace my recalled Packtite. Thanks to Nobugsonme for putting me in touch with David.
I have some pictures of the Packtite 2 which I will try to post on the forum. They may be useful, since the company has no photos of the unit on the website.

16 JC June 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

I have to say that I’ve been quite frustrated with the recall. Both me and my mom bought packtites through do your own pest control a few years back. No one contacted us to tell us that there had been a recall even though doyourownpestconrol has our contact info.

We didn’t find out until we needed the packtite until recently – we had both been BB free for a few years, but my mom had a small outbreak after a recent trip. I went to the packtite website to re-read the manual and found out about the recall then!

We called the recall hotline and were told that once we sent in our heaters, there would 6-8 days of processing and then a 6 week wait. We told the rep that we needed it sooner and she said she could not help us, but to contact packtite directly. We did, but was told no exception could be made. We then made the choice to hold on to the old heaters until our current issue is gone.

But we’ve also found that the support arms of my mom’s packtite broke away from the bottom shelf! This happened to my own packtite shortly after I got it and packtite replaced it quickly. This time, my mom was told that a shelf with new arms would only be replaced at the same time as the heater!

So basically we are left with a packtite with broken arms and a recalled heater while trying to deal with a bb problem. Not great – as it’s pretty much useless now.

I’m glad the packtite exists, but I wish that they would at least sell replacement parts if they are not going to support the entire item.

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