Washing bedding and clothes is a cheap method of getting rid of bed bugs. So, yes, the dryer will help kill bed bugs quite effectively, but you have to be careful with what settings you select on the dryer. Washing your clothes and other infested items will help kill some of the bed bugs. To ensure you have accomplished the task successfully, you will have to use heat treatment, and that is when you can utilize a dryer.
Go for the Highest Temperature Setting
You can kill bed bugs only by washing clothes at high temperatures or by soaking your infested clothes in cold water. In case you want to use a dryer, be sure to place your clothes in a large tumble dryer. You should be selecting a high temperature setting – anything around 40-50C would do a satisfactory job. You can achieve this by putting your clothes in a tumbler dryer for half an hour so – this usually works fine for a 7.7lb load. You are not going to get good results if you do not clean your clothes for long enough. For instance, research shows that you will be able to kill only 75% of nymphs and 85% of adult bed bugs by using the tumble dryer for only 10 minutes.
As mentioned already, you should go for the highest temperature setting when using the dryer. Wash water at 60C usually ensures you have killed nymphs, adults, and eggs too. If you wash at 40C, you would still be able to get rid of nymphs and adults, but 75% of eggs might survive.
Using a Cold-Water Soak
While cool cycle is not going to prove effective, soaking your clothes in cold water may help. You have to soak your clothes for no less than 24 hours. The problem is that a cold-water soak is going to kill nymphs and adults, but you will not be able to get rid of the eggs. Still, you can rely on this treatment for clothes that have been labeled for cool wash and dry. To ensure your clothes are perfectly clean, dry cleaning works great. Research shows that dry cleaning usually helps kill all life stages of bed bugs. This is also a much better treatment option for your temperature sensitive fabrics.
While the dryer really proves effective, you need to be very careful when you heat-treat your clothing all by yourself. For instance, you should put your infested clothes in a sealed bag and open it up carefully when putting clothes in the dryer. Not practicing enough care might allow some bed bugs to fall off those infested clothes and find new places to hide. Therefore, you should be opening up the bag carefully and then shake out clothes a bit. Be sure to dispose of the bag immediately after use.
The fact of the matter is that using the dryer is one of many effective ways to get rid of bed bugs. You just need to ensure that you have selected a right temperature setting. Moreover, you need to wash your clothes for long enough to ensure you get rid of bed bugs at all life stages.