# Does the Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are one of the most dreaded household pests, and getting rid of them can be a costly and time-consuming process. One of the most common methods of killing bed bugs is by using heat. But does the dryer kill bed bugs? In this article, we’ll explore the effectiveness of using a dryer to kill bed bugs and how to use it properly.
## How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Before we dive into the topic, it’s essential to understand how bed bugs spread. Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are excellent hitchhikers and can easily travel from one place to another by attaching themselves to clothing, luggage, or other personal belongings.
Once they enter your home, they can quickly spread from one room to another, hiding in cracks and crevices in your walls, furniture, and bedding. They are most active at night and can leave behind itchy red bites on your skin.
## Can the Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?
The short answer is yes, the dryer can kill bed bugs. Bed bugs are sensitive to temperature, and exposing them to high heat can kill them. The recommended temperature for killing bed bugs is between 120°F and 140°F. A dryer on high heat can reach temperatures of up to 180°F, which is more than enough to kill bed bugs.
However, it’s essential to note that not all dryers are created equal. Some older dryers may not get hot enough to kill bed bugs, so it’s important to check the temperature settings before using it to kill bed bugs. It’s also essential to make sure that the dryer is functioning correctly and that there are no blockages in the vent that can prevent the heat from reaching the inside of the dryer.
## How to Use the Dryer to Kill Bed Bugs?
If you’re planning to use the dryer to kill bed bugs, here are the steps you should follow:
1. Remove all bedding, clothing, and other washable items from the infested area.
2. Place the items in a plastic bag and seal it tightly.
3. Place the bag in the dryer and set it to the highest heat setting.
4. Run the dryer for at least 30 minutes. If possible, run it for 45 minutes to ensure that the heat reaches all parts of the items.
5. Remove the items from the dryer and place them in a clean plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly.
6. Store the items in a safe place away from the infested area.
It’s important to note that not all items can be placed in the dryer. Items such as shoes, stuffed animals, and electronic devices should not be placed in the dryer as they can be damaged by the high heat. Instead, these items should be placed in a plastic bag and left in the sun for several hours to kill the bed bugs.
## Other Methods for Killing Bed Bugs
While using the dryer is an effective way to kill bed bugs, it’s not the only method. Here are some other methods you can use:
1. Steam cleaning: Steam cleaning can kill bed bugs by exposing them to high temperatures. This is an effective method for killing bed bugs on furniture, carpets, and other infested areas.
2. Freezing: Bed bugs can be killed by exposing them to freezing temperatures. This method is most effective for small items such as clothing and bedding.
3. Pesticides: Pesticides can be used to kill bed bugs, but they should be used with caution. Some pesticides can be harmful to humans and pets, so it’s important to follow the instructions carefully.
In conclusion, the dryer can be an effective way to kill bed bugs, but it’s important to use it correctly. Make sure the dryer is functioning correctly and that it can reach the recommended temperature for killing bed bugs. If in doubt, hire a professional pest control company to help you get rid of bed bugs. Remember that prevention is the best way to avoid bed bugs, so make sure to inspect your luggage and clothing after traveling and avoid purchasing used furniture or bedding.