Dryer Sheets for Bed Bugs: Do They Help?

A bed bug infestation is a nightmare. You won’t know where to sleep and feel vulnerable when you’re supposed to feel safe. And you’ll be worried you’ll spread the infestation just by visiting friends. The use of dryer sheets for bed bugs can be part of an effective way of controlling an infestation.

The reality, though, is that it’s your washer and dryer that will be your biggest asset, not your dryer sheets.

In this article, we’ll discuss dryer sheets’ impact on eradicating bed bugs and other pests.

The Use of Dryer Sheets for Bed Bugs

Do dryer sheets actually help eliminate a bed bug infestation? Not directly, really. But drying your clothes on high heat makes a big difference — doesn’t matter if a dryer sheet is involved or not!

There is really no good research that shows the scents of dryer sheets interrupt bed bug patterns. So just leaving dryer sheets out is unlikely to do anything to bed bugs.

Bed bugs are little vampires, and are attracted to the heat and CO2 we expel. They use those signals to find us and suck our blood while we sleep.

Your washed clothing will smell good thanks to the strong scent of these dryer sheets. Their primary function is to keep your clothing soft, shield it from heat, and give your laundry a pleasant scent.

However, there are persistent rumors floating across the internet of people having success using dryer sheets for bed bugs. You can try it, it won’t hurt, but we doubt it will do much on its own.

Among the chemical elements present in dryer sheets are:

  • Fatty acids such as quaternary ammonium compounds or stearic acid
  • Ammonyx, which is an anti-static substance found in home items like fabric softeners and hair conditioners as a detangling agent
  • Essential oils that are used in fragrances to perfume your laundry
  • Agglomerates of chemicals called bentonite clay. They aid in thinning out the viscosity of the fabric softener in dryer sheets

How Do Dryer Sheets Repel Bed Bugs?

As we mentioned above, there’s no real research that shows dryer sheets do anything to bed bugs.

Despite that, some websites have cited it as an efficient method for deterring pests indoors and outdoors, including bed bugs.

The claims that dryer sheets can get rid of bed bugs may result from their potent odor. The idea is that the odor of carbon dioxide, which bed bugs use to determine their host, can be obscured by the powerful fragrances of dryer sheets. 

We find that a bit hard to believe.

Carbon dioxide is a very different chemical compared to a lavender fragrance! And if people are in the room asleep, they’re going to be exhaling CO2 throughout the night, which the bed bugs will find.

So until some solid evidence is shown that dryer sheets deter bed bugs, we’re going to declare this one “speculative”.

So until some solid evidence is shown that dryer sheets deter bed bugs, we’re going to declare this one “speculative”.

How to Use Dryer Sheets to Eliminate Bed Bugs

The best way to use them is to put them in your dryer, along with all your bedding, sheets, clothing, TV, and chairs! Ok, maybe not the TV and chairs.

But the point, here, is that washing and drying any fabrics on high heat is an effective bed bug treatment. Bed bugs cannot handle high heat, whether it be from a blow dryer or washing machine. Throw some dryer sheets in there or not: the heat will do the trick!

Keep washing everything, over and over, every week, and you’ll start to reduce your bed bug infestation.

But you can’t stop there. Bed bugs can last for up to a year in vacuum-sealed bags. So you have to stay at this for a long time. And you need to make sure any eggs that hatch don’t start a new infestation.

What Else Can You Do to Eradicate Bed Bugs?

Vaccum Everything!

Vacuum every place you can find near the source of the infestation. It can be hard to find bed bugs during the day, but as you learn to notice the patterns, you’ll find the crevices and nooks where they hide and lay their eggs.

And you can wait for them to come out at night, and try to determine where they’re coming from. This will give you clues for additional nesting spots.

Remember to empty your vacuum outside when you dump bed bugs. And label the bag as “bed bugs” so that it doesn’t spread the infestation!

Natural Remedies

You can use natural remedies like diatomaceous earth, boric acid, baking soda, and vitamin B to prevent pest infestation in your home. You can use these organic remedies in the parts of your house where bed bugs live. To achieve the best results, apply them regularly to bed bug-prone areas.

Maintain a Tidy Home

Lastly, maintaining a tidy and well-ventilated room is the most important thing. If left unattended, a dirty room would draw a variety of insects and could become infested.

You wouldn’t think it true, but bed bugs are attracted to the smell of dirty laundry. Pick up your dirty laundry, don’t let it stay on the floor. Keep it organized, and wash it regularly. Dryer sheets or no, keeping on top of laundry will help eliminate bed bugs.


There are rumors that dryer sheets help control bed bug infestations. You can try it, but from what we can tell, it’s probably not going to do much.

Instead, focus your time on regularly washing and drying all your linens and clothing on high heat. and regularly vacuum and clean up.

Good luck!