I am having an issue of beetles and centipedes entering my apartment from under my baseboard (length of room) radiator via cracks in the foundation. Landlord is not able to send anyone out for a few days yet.

If I cover the vents with painter's tape and duct tape, and the heater accidentally kicks on (if temp drops too low, my thermostat does NOT have a switch, all I can do is turn the dial down to like 35 deg F), would it be dangerous? I.E., fumes?

Backstory is long but this is something I may need to do till an exterminator comes out later in the week and treats the patch of grass on the property.

My internet research has yielded ambiguous results.

Thanks all.

  • why don't you fill gaps with steel wool or stainless steel wool .... that should keep the bugs out ..... a side note: you are worried about fumes from duct tape, but you are not worried about fumes from the exterminator?
    – jsotola
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 4:57
  • @jsotola As far as fumes, there is a difference between expected temporary fumes from an exterminator (or from cleaning or other routine chemical usage) and fumes from melting plastic tape being used in a way that it was not designed to be used - a very valid concern. Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


In theory, any tape that is truly designed for HVAC use should be OK. That would not include painters tape, and very likely not include ordinary duct tape (despite the name "duct", it is not necessarily rated for heating duct temperatures).

But for installation right next to an actual heater, I would recommend metal tape designed for high temperatures. Something like 3M High Temperature Flue Tape. I have not used this particular tape, but I have used similar tapes. Check the temperature rating - this one is rated for up 600 degrees Fahrenheit - and if your baseboard heater gets hotter than 600 degrees then you have bigger problems than a few bugs (a few well-roasted bugs).

Now that I see (thank you @bib) that you are talking about taping over vents, that gets a bit trickier. I thought it was just holes NEAR the heater - in which case high-temperature tape would certainly be fine. Blocking actual vents in the heater is potentially more of a problem because heat could build up inside the heater beyond the design limits - i.e., once the heater turns on it wouldn't turn off (unless the room warms up for other reasons) because the tape would trap most of the heat inside the heater.

  • I think her question also asks about the possible danger of blocking air flow through the vents.
    – bib
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 21:39
  • @bib I hadn't noticed that key word. A lot would depend on the design. If it is forced air then I would be concerned. If it is a relatively low temperature heater without a fan then I'd be less concerned - but it could be an issue. Definitely another reason NOT to use "regular" tape. Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 21:43

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