Bed bugs in my laptop! NOW WHAT?!?

Many people are surprised that bed bugs will harbor in an electrical device. But if you think about it, electronics are typically warm, cozy spaces with lots of nooks and crannies that are not frequently disturbed. It is a perfect spot for a bed bug home. Think about your alarm clock. It is right next to your bed, it is only touched twice a day (setting & snoozing) and it is likely slightly warm from the electricity. (Warmth usually means food to them.)

So what happens when they decide to find other electronics to hide in? What do you do? I was recently brought in to heat a hotel room with this exact problem. The hotel guest had been in the northeast and admittedly stayed in a not-so-nice hotel. After two days at her conference here in Atlanta she opened her laptop to a horrible surprise – bed bugs were pouring out of her laptop keyboard! What happened?!?! My educated guess is that the bugs made their way into her laptop case at the prior hotel. Since it was cold outside, they found the warmest spot in her bag – the laptop – when she left the hotel. A few days later they were hungry again and came out when they smelled food. Gross!!!

To treat electronics you need heat. Liquid pesticides cannot be sprayed onto electronics and dusts will just muck up the systems. Check your user manual first, but most electronics are fine up to 150 degrees. If you are not doing a bed bug thermal heat treatment on your whole space, then I recommend a PackTite™. All your items can be placed inside it and cooked for the appropriate amount of time for proper bed bug extermination. But remember, just because they are dead, does not mean they are gone. Dead bed bugs inside an electronic device can cause problems. So I recommend that you find a good electronics “disaster recovery” company. If it is an infested computer they may be able to clean it for you or at a minimum pull off your data for your new one. They worked miracles on a Katrina flooded desk top that I had.


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