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Old 21st July 2014, 06:28 PM   #1
Hogwild is offline Hogwild  Canada
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Default Freezing electronics to kill bedbugs?

Hi everyone:

Strange subject, I know, but...

I found a Denon receiver on someone's curb yesterday (DRA-425R). When I went to look at it, I saw a tiny red bug come out. I've had more than one friend who has been cursed with bedbugs, so I don't want to take any chances.

Some bedbug Websites say you can wrap and freeze electronics such as audio gear, as long as there's no LCD screen. I believe this unit has an LED screen. Do any of you have any suggestions as to how I can freeze this thing without damaging it? We have a large deep freeze in which it should be able to fit just fine.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 21st July 2014, 06:30 PM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Perhaps heating it might be a safer option. Up to 60C should be safe for plastics. Don't know if that would kill the bugs though

Aren't bedbugs to small to see ? If it was red and crawling it sounds like something else
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Old 21st July 2014, 06:50 PM   #3
ColinA is offline ColinA  United Kingdom
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I have heard about putting amps or CD players in a freezer as a "Snake Oil" improvement.
Just stuff it in a plastic bag.

But don't quote me if it goes wrong.
Judge quality with your ears not instruments or simulators
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Old 21st July 2014, 07:01 PM   #4
Hogwild is offline Hogwild  Canada
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Thanks folks. The most authoritative sources I could find were and

Both were helpful, but didn't detail exactly how I would put electronics in a freezer.

The temperatures are listed for killing them with heat- Above 106 Fahrenheit If I remember right.

On man reports good success with heat.
My bed bug death machine. Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums

But since we already have a large freezer downstairs, I'm thinking that wouldn't require much work-just figuring out how to wrap the gear or ??

This page on describes what conditions are required for freezing them
Freezing Bed Bugs - Cold / Freeze Treatment

But doesn't list how to wrap/protect electronics.
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Old 21st July 2014, 07:07 PM   #5
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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If you freeze it then I would bag it first (sealed poly bag) and on unfreezing do not re open for several hours (until its back at ambient temperature). The cold isn't such a problem, its the condensation when it meets the warmer air that is. That will make all the internals wet and any dust on the PCB's will form a caked on residue when it dries.

On balance I don't think I would do it tbh. Heating though, yes, and 106F is only 42C. It would exceed that if left in the sun. The components will stand a minimum of 85C generally, its the plastic bits you have to be careful of in an oven.
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Old 21st July 2014, 07:31 PM   #6
Hogwild is offline Hogwild  Canada
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Leaving items in the sun is not recommended, as apparently sometimes, a few bugs don't get killed that way. Reports suggest it's just not that reliable enough a method to count on. I don't want no bugs! Well, except a few in my software...
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Old 21st July 2014, 11:13 PM   #7
WSJ is offline WSJ  United States
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How about CO2, a plastic bag with some dry ice in water. A small hole at the top of the bag will allow excess CO2 to escape.

Yard and Garden News - University of Minnesota Extension: Does Cold Kill Bed Bugs?
Cold temperatures can kill bed bugs if they are exposed to it long enough and at temperatures that are cold enough. However, there is not a lot research on this topic to say what those exposures and temperatures are. What information is available is contradictory. One researcher in 1966 found that bed bugs can tolerate temperatures around 5 F for a brief time and when acclimated can survive temperatures at or below 32 F for days. This is in contrast to findings in 1991 that bed bugs are killed when exposed to temperatures around 32 F for just hours, although the same article also went on to say that the eggs are very cold tolerant and need to be exposed to freezing temperatures for 30 to 60 days.
There is even less research that looks at how long you need to freeze bed bugs when they are in furniture or other objects. The U.S. military believes that if you expose furniture to 0 F or less for four days or more, that may be sufficient. While we have been at or below 0 F often, those temperatures have generally fluctuated and have infrequently been sustained for four days or more.
There are other factors to consider. First, the temperature where the bed bugs are hiding may not be as cold as you think it is, i.e. the air temperature is not necessarily the same where the bed bugs are located in the furniture. You also need to factor in the effect of the sun shining on any objects. Although the temperature may say 0 F, the warmth of the sun can considerably raise the temperature in localized areas (as recently witnessed by the melting snow on my roof in near 0 F temperatures).
Again, cold can kill bed bugs, but the bottom line is you can not reliably kill all bed bugs infesting objects by exposing them to 0 F temperatures.
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Old 21st July 2014, 11:24 PM   #8
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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polystyrene caps don't like 85C

most electronics PCB can washed - hot soapy water, multiple rinses, finish with DI/distilled water and then Isopropyl Alcohol, dry thoroughly before turning on

some open pots, tuning sliders may not be as happy if you wash away the lubricants

Last edited by jcx; 21st July 2014 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 21st July 2014, 11:43 PM   #9
asmith is offline asmith  United States
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When we have this problem at work, they heat the room to 140* for 2 hours. Kills everything
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Old 22nd July 2014, 12:35 AM   #10
kouiky is offline kouiky  United States
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^ I just realized we had the same method.

They die at approximately 114 degrees F. Place the device in a 300 weave per sq inch microfiber sack tied and taped shut and load it into a preheated oven at 140F for two hours. Or, leave it at the curb. No loss. You really don't want those things - people have been psychologically affected for years after being infested. I won't buy used gear unless it comes from a clean residence with equally unbitten residents, and even then I haven't bought anything used in years. Picking something up off the curb is even riskier, and in my opinion it is not worth the affect it may have on you.

Some bees use this method to kill invading scout hornets. Scouts are females that do not breed, and are large and easily mistaken as queens by people. Just like their close relative the ant, they go out at certain times of the year to prospect new hive locations. Hornets and bees are sworn enemies, and hornets usually win the battle when it comes down to all out war. However...Bees die about 1 degree hotter than hornets. They will swarm the invading scout and vibrate to dissipate energy as heat and bring their body temperature to half a degree higher than what the hornet can tolerate.

Last edited by kouiky; 22nd July 2014 at 12:56 AM.
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