Do dryer sheets and fabric softeners kill bed bugs?
Can you get rid of bed bugs with alcohol?
Are there ways to keep bed bugs away naturally?
Talk to any pest control agent and he will probably have hilarious stories to tell you about how his clients have tried literally everything possible to get rid of bed bus or at least to keep them from biting. A company I recently spoke to went on to joke about how people erroneously believe everything they read on the Internet. One such suggestion was: use dryer sheets between your mattresses, headboards and your sheets t repel bed bugs.
The question is: do dryer sheets really get rid of bed bugs?
Dryer sheets have a wonderful fragrance and that is it. They do nothing to repel bugs of any kind, leave alone bed bugs. All they will do is make your bedroom smell better. This might, to an extent mask the carbon dioxide which bed bugs use to identify their hosts. However, this is not a foolproof method of keeping bed bugs from biting you. You can try keeping dryer sheets attached to your bedroom cabinets, drawers, in between the pillowcases and so on but you must also use other bed bug treatment options to eradicate them completely.
Here are some more myths about bed bug treatment which people use without any results.
Bed bug treatments that rarely work
- Does clove repel bed bugs? The answer is that clove oil can repel bed bugs but only to an extent. You will also need to use a lot of clove oil which can be expensive and could also be a messy option of getting rid of bed bugs.
- Can cinnamon repel bed bugs-Again cinnamon will only make your house smell good-like you have been baking. But it won’t do much for bed bugs.
- Rubbing alcohol for bed bugs: Read my detailed post on bed bugs and alcohol here.
- Essential oils- Spraying tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus essential oils near the bed can repel bed bugs but these are temporary remedies and you will need to use copious amounts of these expensive oils to see results. You can try applying diluted lavender oil to your face and skin to keep bed bugs from biting you. But using these oils in a room diffuser or spraying the oils near the bedding is not a fool proof way of repelling bed bugs.
- Vinegar for bed bugs– Vinegar can be a great remedy for killing bed bugs but you have to spray the bug directly to see results. The thing is: bed bugs are very clever at hiding in cracks and crevices. This makes it nearly impossible to get each and every bug. Also, a single female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. Therefore, the vinegar bed bug treatment is not a feasible option.
How to keep bed bugs away naturally?
There are a few ‘natural’ steps you can take to get rid of bed bugs:
- Vacuum– Vacuuming will help you get rid of adult bed bugs, their eggs as well as the larvae. It is a great method of reducing hiding places for bugs.
- Diatomaceous Earth– DE powder is readily available in health food stores and home improvement stores. Buy a huge packet as you will need to use a lot of it. Make sure you treat all the rooms n your home. Sprinkle the DE powder all over your house-under the beds, furniture, in the box springs etc. Let it remain for 3 days. Then vacuum again. Diatomaceous earth rips the bed bugs’ exoskeletons and kills them instantly. Make sure the bugs come in contact with the powder – so apply it near the bed’s legs, in the headboards etc. Avoid sleeping in the treated rooms since this powder can be harmful for human lungs.
- Seal up all cracks and crevices– Caulk the cracks and crevices to prevent new bed bugs from entering your premises from neighboring houses.
- Wash all bedding in hottest settings of washer and dryers- Heat kills bed bugs instantly so wash all the bedding/ linen in hot water and bleach where applicable.
- Pull out all carpets right down to the hardwood floor. Spray natural bed bug sprays like Eco-Defense or lavender/tea tree oil. Continue using the DE earth powder. You must also continue this regime for the rest of your life!
And that is pretty much everything to it.
Conclusion: Do dryer sheets work on bed bugs?
Dryer sheets can repel bed bugs but they won’t kill them. You will only cause the bugs to spread to other areas if you rely only on these ‘so called’ methods which show no permanent results. The only way to get rid of bed bugs is to clean, vacuum and identify the sources from where they are coming into your home. If these ways to keep bed bugs away naturally do not work, seek professional help. That is the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs.