Bed bugs are a common pest that can be extremely difficult to eradicate. You might have heard that the best way to kill bed bugs is by washing clothes and putting them in the dryer, but is this true?
While many argue that drying and cleaning can effectively eliminate bed bugs, others say that you may need additional equipment to get rid of the infestation. You can quickly kill bed bugs with the proper steps by using your dryer!
Let’s explore what you need to know about this method for effective bed bug management!
What Are Bed Bugs?
The University of Kentucky says that Bed bugs are tiny insects that live in the crevices of your mattress, box spring, and other furniture. They come out of hiding and feed on your blood when you’re asleep.
Bed bug bites can be itchy, but they aren’t known to transmit diseases. A single bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. So if you’ve seen one or more on your mattress, it’s likely there’s an entire colony living close to your sleeping area.
While experts say that getting rid of them is relatively easy compared to other pests like cockroaches or rats (and far less expensive), some people have trouble getting rid of them once they’ve moved in—what looks like a single insect might actually be several dozen working together as part of their colony!
How Long Do Bed Bugs Live on Clothes?
To answer this question, you should learn what bed bugs are and how they survive. Bed bugs are wingless parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals.
Bedbugs live on fabrics such as clothing, linen, blankets, and even stuffed animals but prefer warm areas like mattresses with lots of blood vessels close by for easy access when feeding occurs.
Bed Bugs can survive up to 18 months without feeding on a host. If you see one or more dead bed bugs lying around your home (or any other part of it), there could be many reasons why this happened:
- They couldn’t find food or water.
- Their eggs were killed by pesticides.
- You stepped on them!
Do Bed Bugs Die in a Dryer?
Bed bugs can die with basic drying, but since it takes a while for the machine to heat up, it is recommended to let them tumble dry for longer.
Typically, the dryer takes about 15 minutes to reach its highest temperature.
The reason why bed bugs die when placed in the dryer is because of the heat. Bed bugs have a hard time living under extreme heat, which is why they die when placed in a hot environment like a dryer.
What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?
Bed bug heat treatment should be done at 120 degrees or above. This will kill most insects in your clothing. For example, clothing exposed to extreme heat (200 degrees) for over an hour will effectively kill all life forms within the fibers.
So if you put your clothes into the washer and wash them at this temperature for about an hour, there won’t be anything left alive inside their fibers!
Even though once cycle is enough to get rid of the bed bugs, consider running your clothes through the dryer again before placing them in the closet.
If you are unsure about the temperature setting, just set your dryer at the highest temperature possible. Check the clothes tag beforehand to ensure they can withstand higher temperatures.
How Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes?
Cleaning bed bug-infested clothing is a two-step process: preparing your clothes and washing and drying. You can pay for a laundromat or you can do this at home.
Preparing Your Clothes
Treating your clothes for bed bug infestation is no different than treating your home. It requires some preparation beforehand to ensure the effectiveness in preventing bed bugs.
Instead of throwing your clothes immediately in the washer, consider sorting them beforehand. You can sort them by color, material, and if they are delicate fabrics.
Vacuum Infested Area and Items
If you own a handheld vacuum, now is the time to use it! By vacuuming the clothes before heat treating them, you will remove any visible bed bugs and their eggs.
Read also: How to keep spiders away from the bed.
Use TWO TRASH BAGS
It’s best to use a separate plastic bag for each load of laundry. It will help you keep track of clean clothes and infested items.
Empty the plastic bags straight into the dryer. Make sure to tie it and seal it in another plastic bag to prevent bed bugs from escaping.
Once you are done, place all the clothes in a separate bag.
Washing and Drying
Wash your clothes in hot water (130 degrees Fahrenheit) and then dry them in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes to an hour. This should kill any remaining bugs or eggs inside your clothes’ fabric.
If you have time, run another cycle with hot water before drying those items again on high heat—this will ensure that no bed bugs survive the washing machine cleaning power!
Read also: How to prevent ants in bed
The Best Way to Kill Bedbugs
Killing bed bugs is no easy task but using a clothes dryer is one of the most effective ways to do so.
Heating the bed bug infestation and its eggs with heat will kill them quickly, without having to use chemicals that can be harmful to both humans and pets.
However, it’s important not to use heat treatments that can harm clothing or other items that high temperatures may damage. Many synthetic fabrics can melt or become ruined if exposed to extreme heat for too long.
Instead, focus on treating mattresses, box springs, and other areas where bed bugs hide out during daylight hours when they are unable to feed.
Read also: How long can lice live on a mattress?
Conclusion: Can a Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are a serious problem, but they aren’t impossible to eliminate. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to kill these nasty critters. The dryer is an essential tool in your arsenal to control bed bugs from spreading!
However, you should remember that dry cleaning is only effective at managing the bed bug infestation temporarily. Consider using a bed bug steamer, heater, and even traps for better results.
When it comes to severe cases of infestation, it’s better to get in touch with pest control professionals!