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Will the Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?



Yes, the dryer will kill bed bugs.

More Info: Washing your clothes in hot water and drying them on the highest setting will kill bed bugs.

Bed bugs will be killed in the clothes dryer as long as the setting is on 120°F or above.  Dryers have a variety of temperature settings ranging from 90-170°F so be sure you know how hot your dryer gets before adding infested clothing.

Cold Alternative

Temperatures below 25°F will kill bedbugs.  You can use this to your advantage to kill bed bugs by placing small, infested items in a freezer bag and placing them in the freezer.  In the winter if the temperature drops below 25°F you can pull your mattress out of doors to kill the bed bugs.

If you have a bed bug infestation, you should consult a professional exterminator in conjunction with your in-home efforts to ensure that he eradicates the infestation and not just a few of the population.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. The most common type, the species Cimex lectularius, consumes human blood when it is available. The mouthparts of the insect are used to pierce the skin. The name “bed bug” was coined due to the insect’s tendency to infest beds where a sleeping host becomes an easy meal. Human symptoms of bed bug exposure may include skin irritation, and some psychological side effects.

How Do You Prevent Bed Bugs?

You can prevent bed bugs by taking precautions to keep bedding and bedroom areas clean and taking measures to reduce the risk of introducing the bugs into the home or on the clothing. First, clean bedding and clothing frequently.  Next, if coming home from a trip, all clothing should be washed immediately and luggage cleaned out as well. Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride and infest a home. You can also apply insecticide sprays around the home to prevent these bugs from getting in.


Expert Opinion

Quote: “Items which cannot be put in a washer or dryer can sometimes be de-infested by wrapping in plastic and placing them outdoors in a hot, sunny location, closed vehicle, etc. for at least a day. If this method is attempted, packing fewer items per bag makes it harder for the bugs to find cooler places to hide. Monitoring with a thermometer is prudent, with a target internal temperature of at least 120°F.”

Source:   Controlling Bedbug Infestations
University of Kentucky Etymology Dept.



“Bedbug Response FAQ.” University of Nebraska-Lincoln Facilities Management & Planning. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <>.

“Bed Bug Fact Sheet.” New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Consumer and Environmental Health Services Public Health, Sanitation and Safety Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2011. <

Potter, Michael F., and Extension Entomologist. “Bed Bugs | University of Kentucky Entomology.” Learning, Discovery, Service | in the College of Agriculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2011.


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