Does Ironing Clothes Kill Bed Bugs?

Hiring a pest control expert to kill bed bugs can be expensive. Therefore, everyone searches for a cheap solution to eradicate this stingy animal. By the way, does ironing kill bed bugs?

Does ironing kill bed bugs? Extreme change in temperatures can kill bed bugs. To kill them effectively, iron clothes at high temperatures. In addition, you can apply steam on clothes too to protect your clothes from these stingy insects.

Moreover, there are other ways besides ironing to kill bed bugs. To learn more, stay with me.

Temperature to kill bed bugs

a person is ironing to kill bed bugs
Steam iron can kill bed bugs

High temperature is the biggest enemy of bed bugs. To kill the adult bed bugs, keep temperature of iron at around 119 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you have to utilize slightly higher temperatures, approximately 125 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill its eggs. 

How to Use Iron to kill Bed Bugs

You can use your dry or steam iron to kill bed bugs. If you have a steam iron, use it without any doubt as it performs better. Moreover, it has steaming option too that works excellent in killing bed bugs. To kill them-

  • First of all, separate the bed bugs-infested clothes from other items.
  • Toss them to your washer and select cycle that can apply around 140 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures on fabrics.
  • After washing, lay clothes on an ironing board.
  • Plugin your iron into the nearest power source.
  • Use the thermostat knob to set a higher temperature. 
  • As high temperature can permanently damage fabrics, lay a pressing cloth on item.
  • Now, iron the whole garment in proper order.

By the way, high heat can be detrimental to your garments. Many users, especially newbies, can accidentally place iron on items. Hence, you should be careful while ironing garments. To ensure more safety, follow ironing safety rules

However, you can also pick a burn-proof iron to solve this problem. I prefer to use Eurosteam 1000W steam iron for such risky jobs. This iron never puts scorch marks on fabrics. Moreover, it comes with a powerful boiler to heat up quickly. 

But, does ironing kill bed bugs effectively? 

Does ironing effectively kill bedbugs?

Controlling bed bugs using a clothes iron can be difficult. You can’t expect that bed bugs will always stay on bed sheets or mattresses. Instead, it’ll sneak into mattresses or cracks on walls.

In such moments, you can’t expect better results applying steam iron on clothes. When you iron items, high heat can’t access deep into items like bedsheets, cushions, and mattresses. 

Similarly, when it hides into crevices of walls, your iron will be worthless. Therefore, you must seek other ways to kill bed bugs. 

In this article, I’ll cover some techniques that can destroy bed bugs. But, what exactly is bed bug? 

What is bed bug?

Bed bugs
bed bugs are tiny insects

Bed bugs live on animals or human blood. They are small, reddish-brown, flat, and oval-shaped. They are nocturnal animals, meaning they suck blood when humans or animals are asleep.

They can be 1 to 7 millimeters long in size. As they don’t have wings, they must depend on living objects to move from one place to another. Furthermore, bugs prefer to live on beds, clothing, carpet, mattress, furniture, and wall. 

Bed bugs can bite. But, that’s not very dangerous. However, biting places may itch sometimes and trigger allergic reactions. Besides, one can suffer from

  • Severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. But, such occurrences may be rare.
  • Skin infections like lymphangitis, impetigo, and ecthyma.
  • People might suffer from Anxiety, insomnia, and systemic reactions.

Thus, adopt appropriate measures when you notice them in your residing place. Otherwise, they may expand their numbers in incredible amounts.

Causes of Bed Bugs

bed bugs on a white surface
Causes of bed bugs infestation

Bed bugs may be present in places that hold a lot of people. Therefore, bed bugs may be expected in places like-

  • College or university dorms
  • Hospital
  • Apartment buildings
  • Hotel
  • Trains
  • Buses
  • Ships
  • Business office
  • Office spaces
  • Refugee centers
  • Homeless shelter
  • Military barrack

If you travel a lot, your belongings can be infested with bed bugs. Therefore, you need to choose suitcase correctly. Always try to pick hard-sided luggage instead of picking those covers made from soft fabrics. After traveling, don’t mix items used during traveling with clean ones. Clean those dirty objects as soon as possible.

Apart from that, they can be found –

  • In second-hand furniture.
  • In dirty and messy residing places.
  • Under carpeted areas.
  • Under electrical board or outlet.

How to kill bed bugs

Steaming items

A garment steamer is polishing clothes
Steaming is the best way to kill bed bugs

Steaming is probably the best method to control bed bugs. You may know that temperature of steam can be as high as 200°F. 

Therefore, regularly steam your beddings, cushions, carpets, sofa, furniture, and wall to kill bugs. For such purposes, use a powerful garment steamer or steam iron with powerful steam feature. 

Use essential oil

Essential oils can be a better solution for controlling bed bugs. Because of the harmful effects of chemicals, people don’t prefer to use them on household items. 

Therefore, essential oils are becoming more popular among mass people. A study conducted by academicians of Department of Entomology, Purdue University, found that essential oils like carvacrol and thymol are effective against bugs. They tested the effectiveness of 15 different essential oil compounds.

Utilize vacuum cleaner

Another easy solution for bed bugs is vacuum cleaning. However, it may not satisfy you with 100% perfect results. But, it may assist you in controlling their numbers.

Thus, vacuum cleans your carpets, mattresses, and beddings regularly. While vacuuming, maintain the following instructions

  • Use a stronger suction.
  • Never press too hard on fabrics.
  • After cleaning, clear the vacuum bag far from your home. Otherwise, they will affect your home again.
  • If the cleaner doesn’t come with a bag, remove the contents in a sealed plastic bag.
  • To ensure better protection against bugs, vacuum clean your home regularly.

Utilize Hairdryer

There are many alternatives to your favorite iron. Hairdryer is such an item that can process garments efficiently. The highest temperature of a standard hairdryer can be around 150°F. 

Therefore, you can easily apply it to your clothes. But, it may not be suitable for all garments type. For example, you can’t use it on your mattress. 

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Spraying items with rubbing alcohol can control bed bugs. But, it isn’t an effective method to do so. Even high concentration of rubbing alcohol can’t kill more than 50% of total bed bugs at your home.

Moreover, it’s a flammable object. Therefore, you should stay away from it. Otherwise, it may break fire. Several years ago, The Washington Post reported news where a woman lit fire while trying to kill bed bugs using alcohol.

Ultrasound devices

Manufacturers claim that bed bugs can be repelled by ultrasound devices. However, a study conducted by North Arizona University didn’t find any effect of it. Therefore, using such a device is nothing but a wastage of money. 

Dryer sheets

Some claim that dryer sheets can repel bed bugs. According to them, bugs can’t endure the smell of sheets. However, there isn’t any scientific proof of such claim. 

Double-sided tape

Like rubbing alcohol and dryer sheets, double-sided tape doesn’t work better against bed bugs. They may trap some bugs, not the most. 

Frequently asked questions

What chemicals kill bed bugs?

According to the United States Environment Protection Agency, there are around 300 chemicals that work against bed bugs. Users can use most of these chemicals independently, while some need to be administered by professionals only. 

These 300 chemicals can be classified into seven classes. These are-

  • Biochemical
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Insect growth regulators
  • Desiccants
  • Pyrethrins
  • Pyrethroids
  • Pyrroles

Does glass cleaner kill bed bugs?

Glass cleaner can kill bed bugs from a close range. But, that’s not an effective method. According to Coby Schal, Entomologist of North Carolina State University, bed bugs can easily pass over this spray. Moreover, such sprays may encourage them to explore other unsprayed areas.

Like glass cleaner, other items like spearmint and hair spray aren’t that fruitful against bugs too. 

Kill bed bugs

Taking protection against bed bugs is necessary. Regularly clean your home and clothes to ensure bug-free lives. Sometimes, this tiny insect can bite your kids. 

Therefore, iron, steam, vacuum clean your beddings, cushions, carpets, and other infested clothes. Furthermore, you can apply essential oils and chemicals like Boric acid and Diatomaceous earth.







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