Fires, Sparking Lead To ThermalStrike Bed Bug Heat Treatment Unit Recall

A recall has been issued for bed bug heat treatment systems, following reports that suggest the electrical conducting strip may spark and cause a fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the PAB Two ThermalStrike beg bug treatment system recall on October 8, impacting an estimated 1,700 units.

At least four reports have been received involving problems where the electrical conducting strip broke loose from the heating element and sparked, including at least one incident where the unit caught on fire. To date, only one report of property damage has been linked to the recalled systems.

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Bed bug heat treatment typically consists of raising the temperature of a room or item to above 113 degrees Fahrenheit. It is believed that the bugs themselves are killed within 15 minutes, and the eggs destroyed in about an hour at that temperature.

The PAB bed bug treatment systems being recalled are box units lined with heating elements and a wired thermometer that allow a fixed temperature of air, usually around 135 degrees, to circulate around items placed in the unit which may contain bedbugs, like pillows or comforters.

The recall includes PAB ThermalStrike Expedition bed bug heat treatment systems that are made of four pieces of white corrugated plastic measuring 31 inches long by 18 inches wide by 24 inches tall. The box units are composed of a base, a folding four-panel wall, a lid, and a temperature sensor that are held together by hook and loop fasteners. The walls of the units have a heating element made up of black heating film that connects to a white, flexible electrical conducting strip. The conducting strip is attached to a power cable that protrudes from the rear wall panel and is powered by being plugged into an electrical outlet. The units have the model name “ThermalStrike” and “Bed Bug Heat Treatment” printed on the front as well as on the heating element.

The units were manufactured in the United States under JAB Distributors dba PAB Two LLC, of Wheeling, Illinois where they were sold at Bedbug Central, Bedbug Supply, Protect-a-bed, Univar, pest control companies and pest control product distributors nationwide and online at from December 2011 through May 2014 for between $189 and $199.

The CPSC recommends that customers with recalled units stop using them immediately and unplug them from electrical outlets. Customers are asked to register their treatment system units online at www.thermalstrike.comto receive an ASC Diagnostic Unit free of charge. Customer with additional concerns may contact PAB Two LLC, at 866-470-1755.

Concerns Over Bed Bug Pesticide Use

Alternative ways to kill bed bugs may have become attractive to some after warnings that using pesticides carried hidden dangers.

In November 2012, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a health advisory to the public, warning about the risk and over use of outdoor pesticides in homes to prevent bed bugs. The agency warned that an over application of pesticide use increases exposure to occupants of the homes.

Children are particularly at risk because they breathe a greater volume of air per body weight. The report also detailed that misuse of pesticides can also be lethal to pets in the home.

According to a report by the National Pesticide Information Center, from January 2006 through December 2010, 169 calls were received by the NPIC concerning problems with pesticide exposure, spills and misapplications, specifically over exposure to bedbug pesticides. Of the 169 calls, 129 resulted in health problems, including one death.

Symptoms of pesticide poisoning may include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle tremors, visual disturbances, numbness in the face and limbs, abdominal pain, chest tightness, heart palpitations and chest pain.


  • DNovember 21, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Hi there, So I’ve had 1 of these units for years, was never notified of the recall, and had a fire is my home last week when it malfunctioned. I learned, by emailing the company, that it has since changed ownership and also about the recall. Do I have any recourse to recover damages to my property? I live in Ontario, Canada. Thank you.

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