In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of bed bugs using dryer sheets.
Having trouble sleeping at night? No, not from nightmares or insomnia, but bed bugs? If you are then there’s no other option but to get rid of the pests.
Dryer Sheets For Bed Bugs
There are different ways to get rid of bed bugs, one of which is using dryer sheets.
Although results are short-lived, this product is also widely used to deter mice.
If you’ve got no clue where to start from, then I suggest you keep reading.
About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small, brownish insects that love to suck on mammal blood. Their victims usually include dogs and cats, as well as humans.
They can’t fly or leap, but they can crawl fast across your mattress or wall.
Since they are very small, it will be hard to spot them at a glance. It would even be harder to spot the nymphs, which look just like the adults but are smaller in size.
The adult females love to lay their eggs in isolated areas and they lay as frequently as 1 to 2 eggs each day. In fact, during the lifespan of a female bed bug, she would’ve laid hundreds of eggs.
They are quiet creatures who love to hide in tiny spaces such as under your mattress or pull. They can also be found in cracks and crevices around the house.
These creatures have many means of finding their way into your home. The most common being through pets or humans. They can cling onto clothing or fur and follow the person or the pet into the house.
There are a few signs that will tell you that you have a bed bug infestation. One of which is a small splatter of bloodstains on your bed sheets or pillowcase.
Another sign of these bugs is dark spots of bed bug excrements on your sheets or walls. These spots are very unique so you can’t miss them. They also shed their skin around their hiding places.
One of the worst signs of a bed bug infestation is the offensive odor that oozes out of their scent glands. It is just awful.
If you notice any of these signs, then you have bed bugs in your home.
Dryer Sheets And Bed Bugs
Every homeowner dreads the thought of dealing with a bed bug problem as it isn’t a pretty situation at all.
These tiny creatures cause significant discomfort when they infest a home. At this point, most people will want to deploy all measures aimed at eliminating the problem.
One of several remedies talked about is the use of dryer sheets as a bed bug repellent.
Dryer sheets, also known as fabric conditioner sheets or fabric softener sheets are useful in preventing your laundry from hardening after going through the drying process.
Do Dryer Sheets Keep Bed Bugs Away?
Just so you don’t get the term confused, dryer sheets are also known as fabric softeners that help keep the texture of your clothing soft.
They are also used to give the fabric a nice and lovely smell. A soft texture and a sweet-smelling scent are the main functions of dryer sheets. However, there could be other important uses against bed bugs.
Many have testified that using dryer sheets against bed bugs worked for them. Some even claimed that dryer sheets also act as a repellent, just in case they want to return.
The big question is here is, are these claims true or false?
The answer is yes, dryer sheets can work against bed bugs, and you have a very strong scent to thank for it.
Let me explain how.
Bed bugs are capable of picking up the smell of carbon dioxide, and this is how they pick out their hosts. If they cannot pick up the smell, then they would not be able to find a host.
This is where the dryer sheets come in. The scent it produces is so overwhelming, that it will mask the smell of the carbon dioxide which the bed bugs use to track their hosts.
This is a very practical and logical means of keeping bed bugs away. The only downside is that it is just a temporary fix.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs With Dryer Sheets
Follow these steps to use dryer sheets to get rid of bed bugs.
Repelling the bugs is the major function of dryer sheets.
To use them, simply place as many as necessary around areas where you’re trying to protect from an infestation. These areas include your cabinets, wardrobes, curtains, and of course, beneath your mattress.
You can also place them by the four corners of your mattress and under the pillows.
If you have kids, then go to their rooms and do the same thing. Spread the dryer sheets across many spaces as you want to be protected from bed bug infestation.
Using Dryer Sheets Outdoors
Dryer Sheets aren’t just meant for indoor use. They can be used outdoors as well.
Imagine going camping or hiking, you may encounter some bugs during your time outside. Using dryer sheets can help make your night’s sleep a lot smoother.
For outdoor camping, you can wrap yourself around the dryer sheets and the powerful scent will keep the bed bugs from even knowing you are there.
If you’re going to be camping for a few days, then you should come with extra pairs of dryer sheets and change them as required.
You can also bring along a wet dryer sheet so you can use it to peel off the dead bed bugs from your car.
Dryer sheets can also be a useful repellant when you’re on a picnic. All you have to do is place them on the ground, then place the picnic basket on it. You can also spread the sheets under your picnic mat as a precaution.
The dryer sheets you bring along should be wide enough to cover the full length and width of the picnic mat.
Using Dryer Sheets Around Your Pet’s Sleeping Area
Let’s not forget the pets! Cats and dogs can also serve as a good source of a blood meal for bed bugs, especially when you’ve repelled them away from your direction with the dryer sheets.
The next best option would be to go for your pets.
Take some dryer sheets to where your pets sleep and spread the sheets around the area. If they sleep on something like a blanket or duvet, then place some sheets beneath it before they sleep.
Besides where the pets sleep, you should also target the areas where they spend a lot of time. It could be areas where they play the most.
As long as they spend a lot of time there, you can expect to find the bed bugs there.
The scent from the dryer sheets will keep the bed bugs away from the area so be sure to spread as many as required.
I have to warn you though, dryer sheets can be harmful to dogs if they chew or ingest them. This is why using them in your pet’s area can be considered a risk.
Make sure you get your dog out of the room where you spread the sheets, at least until all the bed bugs are gone.
If you must place it under their sleeping blanket, then you need to be sure that your dog is well trained on what to chew and what not to chew. This is best for a mature, well-trained dog.
Luckily, dogs have a very sharp sense of smell, so they would most likely shun the idea of chewing on a dryer sheet since the scent is really strong and might be too much for them to handle if they bring their noses close to it.
Disadvantages & Advantages Of Using Dryer Sheets To Control Bed Bugs
Dryer Sheets are not the most popular means of controlling bed bugs, however, they can be a quick and practical solution.
Just like every extermination method, this also has its advantages and disadvantages.
One of its biggest disadvantages is that it’s just a temporary solution. It doesn’t kill the bed bugs or chase them away for good. This is unlike using chemical-based pesticides that will not only kill the bugs but repel them as well.
Another disadvantage of using dryer sheets is that you need to constantly replace them. Since they will be used as many times as required to repel bed bugs, you should expect them to get dirty as often as they are used, therefore need to be replaced.
Lastly, dryer sheets could be poisonous to dogs if ingested, so it’s not even close to being the best option for removing bed bugs from your pet area.
Yes, it will repel the bed bugs, but your dog might be at risk of chewing it out of curiosity.
One of its main advantages is that it is a quick fix. If you notice a bed bug on your bed, you can quickly get some from your laundry area and place them around your bed.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s just a temporary fix so you will need a more permanent solution to the bed bugs the following morning.
The Only thing Remotely close to Dryer Sheets that Works
Laundry is a routine action you can exploit to get rid of bed bug infestations.
Here, you’ll need to make the laundry conditions a little different from the usual. We’re talking about the use of hot water for laundry. You’ll need to use your washing machine’s hot cycle to launder your fabrics.
With the introduction of hot water, bed bugs are unable to survive the ordeal.
Also, hot dryer temperatures ensure that any surviving bed bugs and eggs are killed. For any real results, washing of affected items should be done daily.
This is done while using other reliable extermination measures for bed bugs.
Eliminating these pests effectively usually involves a multi-pronged approach. However, we must state that DIY bed bug treatment isn’t the best approach as it hardly gives sustained results.
Adopt A Preventive Approach As Alternative To Dryer Sheets
The best possible way to deal with bed bugs is to have them completely shut out or prevented from gaining access to your home.
However, this can be quite challenging because most people are oblivious of bed bug presence in luggage when bringing such indoors.
Of course, bed bug issues hardly start from within but always find their way in by hopping a ride on luggage or clinging onto clothing, etc. With this understanding, it’s best to put preventive measures in place.
Luckily, there are several such measures as you’ll find out shortly.
Some precautionary measures that have proven to be reliable include inspecting secondhand furniture, reducing clutter, using protective encasements for mattress and box spring covers, and frequent vacuuming.
Other measures include using a portable heating chamber for treating infested items, applying more caution when using shared laundry facilities, and installing protective features to keep these bugs out.
Let’s further discuss each of these preventive steps.
Inspecting Secondhand Furniture
If you’ve visited a flea market to purchase secondhand goods including furniture, you should be careful as these could be laden with bed bugs. You’ll need to have such furniture well inspected before bringing them in.
Useful tools for such inspection include a flashlight, a pair of rubber gloves, magnifying glass, an old credit card, and a double-sided tape.
Things to look out for include live adult bed bugs, their excrement, bed bug eggs, shed skin as well as dried blood.
Apart from food (blood), one other condition bed bugs are known to love is ample hiding spots.
Clutter provides enough of such hiding places. Now, the aim is to eliminate all forms of clutter that bed bugs find conducive. The effect of this action also extends beyond bed bug control.
Generally speaking, reducing clutter helps reduce pest issues. Consider taking out cardboards, pick scattered clothing on the floor, get rid of old newspapers and magazines, and donate items you don’t need.
Of course, such items must be free of these bugs.
Using a Protective Covering for Mattresses & Box Spring Encasements
Your bed area is the potential hotspot for bed bug activity. This is understandable because they need to stay close to a food source which in this case is you!
By covering your mattresses and box springs with encasements, you’re making it impossible for these bugs to lie in wait within your mattress.
Frequent vacuuming of your home is an effective way to repel bed bugs. It not only picks up adult bugs but also their eggs. As a preventive measure, you may want to vacuum 3 times a week or more.
With this action, bed bug issues are resolved before they worsen.
Use of a Portable Heating Chamber for Treatment of Infested Items
For a better treatment of certain infested items, consider getting a portable heating chamber. With an understanding of its use, you can easily expose these bugs to unbearable temperatures they cannot survive.
It’s important to note that not all items are suitable for use with such heating chambers. You’ll need to read through its user manual to identify infested items that can be treated.
Applying More Caution when Using Shared Laundry Facilities
Extra care is needed when using shared laundry facilities. One of the ways to prevent spread is by having your laundry placed in a plastic bag. This action is necessary when dealing with an active infestation.
You don’t want other people affected.
With laundry completed, use a different plastic bag to transport the laundry home. Items should be removed from the dryer and placed immediately in the bag.
Installing Protective Features in Homes
This is for persons living within a multi-unit family structure.
Because multiple households are present, it’s easy for bed bug infestations to spread within such areas. Effective preventive measures to adopt include sealing up all cracks no matter how tiny.
Also, have a door sweep installed at the bottom of all doors especially the main access door(s).
It helps to either contain an infestation within an apartment as treatment is being provided and also keeps out bed bugs migrating to new locations.
Bed bugs are among the most annoying pests to have in the home. Mainly because they suck human and pet blood, but also because they can leave nasty stains and smells around the home.
Dryer sheets are not the best solution to a bed bug infestation, but if that’s the only option you have at the moment, then go ahead and try it.
Understand that dryer sheets have no proven scientific repellent effect on bed bugs. With this being ineffective, your best bet is to adopt the preventive approach as discussed above.
With an active infestation, contact a reputable pest management service for treatment.
I hope this article on bed bugs and dryer sheets has been helpful.