Having bed bugs infest your home is worrisome, mainly since they multiple at godspeed and lead to massive health risks. To add to the trouble, bed bugs can survive icy conditions and without food for three months.
However, there are a few innovative ways to get rid of them, and one such is by using dryer sheets.
Now, do dryer sheets repel bed bugs? does this technique work? Let’s find out.
Bed bugs vs. Dryer sheets
Dryer sheets have become a popular hack for repelling bed bugs. However, keeping bed bugs away is not the primary purpose of dryer sheets. They are primarily used to keep your laundry soft during the drying process. Since these are often scented, your laundry smells fresh.
Do dryer sheets repel bed bugs? (The Truth)
As mentioned earlier, many of those who have used this technique opine that dryer sheets effectively eliminate bed bugs. Though we don’t have any evidence to suggest that dryer sheets kill bed bugs, it indeed does repel them.
As known, bed bugs are often repelled by strong fragrances, like lavender and cinnamon oil. The same logic perhaps applies here. Dryer sheets have a strong smell, covering the CO2 smell that the bugs use to identify their host.
This process, however, can only repel the bugs, not eliminate them altogether. So, this option cannot replace any solutions to eradicate the pests.
Though many users have found this method effective in treating the bed bug issue, there isn’t any scientific research to determine the effectiveness of dryer sheets. Thus, if you are inclined to use this method, it’s advisable to pair it up with one or two other bed bug elimination methods.
Do dryer sheets work on other insects?
Though there is no scientific study to suggest that dryer sheets repel bed bugs, there is a study showing that it repels grants. A study conducted by Kansas State University in 2010 showed that dryer sheets repelled fungus grants in a laboratory setting.
By adding dryer sheets in the compartment, the researchers could control the fungus spread better than without dryer sheets.
The experiment went on to show that compounds like linalool and citronellol in the sheets stand quite effective against gnats. Linalool is a natural component and is ideal for fighting mites and insects. The component is also found in lavender, marjoram, and basil plants.
How to use dryer sheets to get rid of bed bugs?
Though repelling bed bugs using dryer sheets is simple, please remember it does not kill them.
However, if repelling bed bugs is your concern, you can use dryer sheets in three ways:
Dryer sheets indoors
While using dryer sheets indoors, first identify the areas that might be affected by bed bugs. Mostly it’s your bed, curtains, closet, cabinet, and around the corners of your furniture. But since these bugs (as the name suggests) are primarily attracted to the bed, spread some dryer sheets under your bed cover. You can have some under your pillow covers too.
Dryer sheets outdoor
Bed bugs mainly trail you home from outdoors. So, if you are a regular hiker or camper, it’s advisable to carry some dryer sheets with you on these trips. Use them to wrap your clothes and put some in your sleeping bag to keep the bed bugs away. Even if you are out on a picnic, have some dryer sheets placed at the bottom of your basket or have it spread out on the ground you are sitting on.
If it’s a long trip, replace the old sheets with new ones at frequent intervals. You can also use the wet dryer sheets to get rid of pest remains from your bag and clothes.
Fabric softener is another alternative to dryer sheets, and you can try it as a DIY bug repellent on your next outdoor trip.
Dryer sheets in your let’s sleeping area
Your pets can also play host to bed bugs, especially after you have deflected them from your direction using dryer sheets.
So don’t forget to keep your pets safe, too, using dryer sheets.
Take a few dryer sheets and spread them around the area your pet sleeps in. For example, if you have a dog bed or a duvet, have some dryer sheets spread under them. Additionally, use dryer sheets in the area they play or generally spend a lot of time. Bed bugs will surely target these places.
While dryer sheets can be effective for repelling bed bugs, they can be a health risk for dogs if they end up chewing on the sheets. Thus, it’s advisable to take the dog out when the sheets work in repelling the bugs. Also, if you are putting the sheet under their beds, make sure your dog is well trained so that it does not chew the sheet.
Pros and Cons of using dryer sheets
Indeed there are no scientific studies to show the effectiveness of dryer sheets in repelling bed bugs, but it has proved to be a practical option.
But this is not without pros and cons.
Dryer sheets are a quick solution to your bed bug issue. As soon as you notice one or two bed bugs, you can quickly grab some of the sheets and start treating the problem.
Besides repelling the bed bugs, the dryer sheets are going to keep your home smelling daisy fresh.
One of the biggest disadvantages of dryer sheets is that it’s a quick solution and does not kill bed bugs. It simply chases them away for a while.
After a while of repelling bed bugs, the sheets will become dirty, and thus you will have to replace them constantly.
The closest thing to dryer sheets
Besides dryer sheets, you can regularly wash your clothes and linen to get rid of a bed bug infestation. However, instead of the standard method, you will have to use your washing machine’s hot water cycle to wash your clothes. Hot water is ideal for killing bed bugs right away!
Plus, hot, dryer temperature kills any surviving bed bug eggs.
Bed bug infestation at your home may require some time to be managed; however, you can use multiple other techniques to handle this ordeal. Reducing clutter, frequent vacuuming, installing protective features on your furniture are just to name a few. However, if the situation does get worse and household methods don’t work, it’s advisable to seek professional help as soon as possible.