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Do Dryers Kill Bed Bugs? Tumble Drier To The Rescue?

Are you worried about your bed being invaded by bed bugs? There is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding how to keep this common pest away from your bedroom.

Could the answer lie in your dryer? Do dryers kill bed bugs? Could your tumble drier help you, in your battle to get rid of a bed bug infestation? Keep reading to find out!

bed bug crawling over a pile of clothing on a bed

Signs You Have A Bed Bug Infestation In Your Home

Waking up with mysterious bites and itchy sensations is never a pleasant experience. If you’re going through this, you might be dealing with a bed bug infestation.

Pay attention to your bedding, especially the seams of your mattress. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that love residing in dark places.

If you notice tiny bugs, eggs, or shed skin, this could be an indication of an infestation. Using a stiff brush, scrub the mattress seams to reveal any hiding bed bugs and their eggs.

Another sign of bed bugs is the presence of small, dark spots on your sheets or mattress cover. These spots are bed bug feces and can be good indicators of their presence.

If you find these marks, thoroughly inspect your bedding, furniture, and any cracks or crevices around your bed.

You may also notice a musty odor coming from your bed or surrounding area. This smell is caused by bed bug alarm pheromones, which they release when disturbed.

If you notice such an odor, it’s essential to remain vigilant and continue inspecting your belongings.

Inspect other items in your room, such as stuffed animals, shoes, and clothing, for signs of bed bugs.

These items could harbor bed bugs as well, making it essential to wash or treat them as needed.

What Kills Bed Bugs And Gets Rid Of Bed Bug Eggs?

High Heat: One of the most effective ways to kill bed bugs is by subjecting them to high heat. Both the adult bugs and their eggs cannot withstand this extreme temperature. A popular method is to run infested items, such as bedding, towels, and clothing, through the dryer on the hottest setting. This method kills the bugs and their eggs, ensuring a thorough clean.

Pest Control: Sometimes, it’s best to call in the professionals. If your bed bug infestation is severe, hiring a pest control service can be a game-changer. These experts will identify the infested areas and recommend the most appropriate treatment to eliminate the bed bugs and nymphs (immature bugs) effectively. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a local expert if you’re struggling to handle the situation yourself.

Regularly vacuuming your mattress, carpets, and furniture can help reduce the chances of a bed bug infestation. 

Using mattress encasements can restrain bed bugs from entering your bed in the first place.

Woman putting her wet laundry into a tumble dryer to kill bed bugs

How Often Should You Wash And Dry Your Clothes With Bed Bug Problems?

When you discover a bed bug issue, you should wash all of your clothes once. After washing, make sure to dry them at their highest recommended temperature for at least 30 minutes.

This process will effectively kill the bugs and their eggs.

Since bed bugs can survive washer and dryer cycles if the temperature isn’t high enough, always use hot water above 60 degrees Celsius when laundering your clothes.

Along with your bed linens and clothes, you need to wash any fabric items that may have come into contact with bed bugs. This helps prevent any reinfestation.

When dealing with persistent bed bug problems, consider washing and drying your clothes every week until the issue subsides.

If your home has been treated by a professional pest control service, ensure that you continue to wash and dry your clothes at high temperatures to prevent any chance of re-infestation.

Do Dryers Kill Bed Bugs?

Dryers can indeed kill bed bugs, and using this method can be both effective and accessible.

When using your dryer to combat bed bugs, you have to set it on high heat. The minimum temperature required to effectively eradicate bed bugs (including their eggs) is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, make sure you select the highest heat setting available on your dryer. If you’re using a laundromat dryer, you should also choose the highest possible heat setting.

The drying time is equally important: run your dryer for at least 30 minutes. This duration ensures the dryer reaches the necessary temperature to kill the bed bugs.

The time required to achieve the right temperature might vary depending on your dryer’s model and specifications.

Before tossing your clothes into the dryer, it’s a good idea to wash them first on the highest heat setting.

This way, not only will you eliminate any bed bugs lingering on your clothes, but also clean them thoroughly.

As well as your clothing, make sure to wash and dry your linens, bedding, and any other infested fabrics.

bed bug inside a tumble drier

How To Use A Washer And Dryer To Kill Bed Bugs And Their Eggs

Gather all the infested clothes, bedding, and linens from your home.

Bed bugs can crawl through tiny crevices and holes, so leaving no stone unturned would be ideal. 

To avoid spreading them around your home, place these infested items in sealed, airtight plastic bags before taking them to your laundry room or the laundromat.

Next, take the sealed bags to your washing machine or the laundromat. Empty all the infested items directly into the washing machine, being careful not to contaminate other surfaces.

Dispose of the emptied bags in clean, sealed ones, and be sure to throw them away properly.

Now, set your washing machine to the hottest water setting. Bed bugs and their eggs are sensitive to high temperatures, so using hot water will help in getting rid of them.

Once you’ve set the right temperature, run your washing machine as you normally would.

After the washing cycle is complete, transfer the items to your dryer. Again, use the highest heat setting available to ensure any surviving bed bugs are killed.

Allow the items to dry for at least 30 minutes, as maintaining high temperatures for an extended period is essential, in eliminating the pests.

Other Heat Treatments To Try To Make Bed Bugs Die

While using your dryer to eliminate bed bugs can be effective, there are other heat treatments you can try.

Exposure to high temperatures is a proven way to get rid of these pests, so let’s explore some alternative methods to help you eradicate them for good.

Steam cleaning can be your ally in the fight against bed bugs. With temperatures above 212°F, steam can penetrate deep into fabrics and upholstery, reaching bed bugs and their eggs hiding in nooks and crannies.

Ensure that you use a professional-grade steamer, paying close attention to seams, folds, and edges of furniture, and always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use.

Portable heaters are another option for dealing with bed bug infestations. These devices generate high temperatures to heat the air in the room, ultimately causing the bugs and their eggs to die.

When using a portable heater, make sure to maintain a temperature of at least 113°F, and keep the room closed for a minimum of six hours to ensure success.

Avoid placing any flammable objects near the heater and monitor the process to prevent any incidents.

You could also consider heat chambers to eliminate bed bugs from your possessions. These chambers can heat items, such as clothing, bedding, or small furniture, at high temperatures and hold them there for a specified time.

Make sure you maintain a temperature of 120°F to 130°F for at least 90 minutes to kill bed bugs and their eggs effectively.

Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for loading and operating the chamber for maximizing its efficiency.

woman washing and drying her clothes after a bed bug infestation


Do dryers kill bedbugs? Yes! High heat from a dryer is an effective method for eliminating these annoying critters and their eggs.

Make sure to select the highest setting available on your device and run it for at least 30 minutes.

Washing clothes in hot water first also helps remove debris or other signs of infestation before putting them in the dryer.

Regularly washing and drying your items (preferably weekly) can help prevent bed bug problems from reoccurring as well.

Although using a dryer is a great way to deal with these pests, there are also alternatives such as steam cleaning, portable heaters, and heat chambers. 

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