Man sets house on fire trying to kill bedbugs

WOODBURY, N.J. — A New Jersey house fire is being blamed on a homeowner’s battle against bedbugs.

A county spokeswoman says the homeowner in the southern town of Woodbury was using a space heater, a hair dryer and a heat gun Tuesday to try to eradicate the pests in a second-floor bedroom. The combination sparked a fire.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency says very high, sustained heat can kill bedbugs, but raising the temperature with the thermostat or space heaters won’t do the job. It says special equipment is needed.

Woodbury Fire Marshal Joseph Buono tells WPVI-TV in nearby Philadelphia that quick Internet remedies for killing bedbugs are a “catastrophe in the making.” He says the afflicted should “call the professionals.”

The homeowner was hospitalized with unspecified injuries. He wasn’t identified.

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