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Do Dryer Sheets Repel or Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

dryer sheets repel or get rif of bed bugs
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    Finding bed bugs in your home requires you to take on some deep cleaning, but have you ever heard the myth of dry sheets for getting rid of bed bugs? Some people believe that using this product around the home will have a big effect in the presence of bed bugs. While you may use dryer sheets when you’re laundering your bedding during an infestation, there’s still a debate on whether or not this will help reduce bed bug numbers.

    Do Dryer Sheets Repel or Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

    As much as we try to prevent bed bugs from coming into our home, there is always the risk that they might find a way in. By the time that we notice them, there may be a whole colony of them established. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch on early. If you’re wondering the best method for getting rid of bed bugs, you may have come across the idea of putting dryer sheets around your home.

    The theory is that placing dryer sheets under your mattress, under your couch cushions, and in dresser drawers will repel bed bugs due to the strong scent of dryer sheets. Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies available to prove the effectiveness of using dryer sheets to repel or kill bed bugs. Baby powder is another pest control myth that homeowners often attempt to use to get rid of bed bugs.

    Whether you’re drying your sheets with them or placing them around the home as a deterrent, dryer sheets will do far more to soften your sheets than they will to control bed bugs. You’re better off using some alternative methods for controlling a bed bug problem.

    Dryer Sheets May Repel Other Insects

    While there is no scientific study proving that dryer sheets can repel bed bugs, there are studies that show they may repel gnats. In 2010, Kansas State University conducted an experiment to determine the efficacy of Bounce dryer sheets in repelling fungus gnats in the laboratory setting.

    The experiment showed that the addition of dryer sheets in compartments with fungus gnats can reduce their population significantly, whereas, without the dryer sheets, the population is significantly higher.

    Dryer sheets were so effective against these fungus gnats due to the sheets containing compounds linalool and citronellol. Linalool is a natural compound that is toxic to a number of different mites and insects. It can also be found in plants such as lavender, marjoram, and basil.

    Some studies have shown that many essential oils containing linalool will kill bed bugs on contact. There is no data showing linalool works as an effective repellent so we can not recommend dryer sheets as an effective repellent.

    Dealing With Bed Bugs in Your Clothing & Bedding

    Store your freshly laundered items in a sealed plastic bag until you need to use them and you have removed all the bed bugs from your home. This prevents the items from getting contaminated with a new set of bed bugs.

    In addition to keeping up with laundry, you should keep your home extremely clean. It’s important to vacuum in all the little cracks and crevices that exist around your bed. You should also clean out the inside of your dresser or closet if you feel the bed bugs are prevalent on your clothing.



    Don’t forget, bed bugs can live without a meal for up to three months. If temperatures and conditions are optimal, they can go into a dormant-like state that allows them to live for one full year without feeding off a host. When they’re at their most active, you’ll find that bed bugs eat once every five to ten days.

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