Dryer Temperature (At Least 120 F, At Least 75 Minutes)

It’s important that ones dryer actually gets hot enough to kill all life stages (live bed bugs and eggs) of bed bugs. The heat of dryers in homes and even apartment buildings generally doesn’t get hot enough to do this.

A commercial laundromat facility works if the dryers are hot enough, as in, one hundred and seventy (170) degrees Fahrenheit, or more, for two (2) cycles, which totals ninety (90) minutes. Some clothing cannot take high levels of heat without damage, so check the label first. Also, to avoid clothes shrinking, one can dry the clothes on low or medium heat until the clothing is dry, and then put the dry clothes on high heat.

According to http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/2/3/412

“The lethal temperature (LTemp99) for adults was 48.3 °C (118.94 °F), while LTemp99 for eggs was 54.8 °C (130.64 °F). Adult bed bugs exposed to 45 °C (113 °F) had a LTime99 of 94.8 min, while eggs survived 7 h at 45 °C (113 °F) and only 71.5 min at 48 °C. (118.4 °F)

How can one tell how hot a dryer is?

One can use an oven or candy thermometer (generally costs $ 6) bought at a grocery store or online.
1. Let the dryer run with some clothes in it for three (3) minutes or so.
2. Stop the dryer by opening the door or with the stop button. Be careful clothes don’t fall out in the process
3. Wrap the end of the thermometer in some clothing and position the numbers so you can read them when the dryer door is shut
4. Shut the dryer door and wait a few minutes (about 3), to see what the highest temperature is.

You can test the heat every time you run a commercial dryer at a laundromat – it is possible that the owner lowers the gas sometimes to save money, which lowers the amount of heat the dryers produce.

I believe part of the reason bed bugs can spread more is because apartment buildings and single-family homes have dryers that are not hot enough to kill all the life stages of bed bugs. And then, when people read online to put their clothes in the dryer on hot for twenty (20) minutes or so, that they are just being fooled into believing their clothes have been decontaminated. As shown in publication http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/2/3/412, just drying clothes at one hundred and twenty (120) degrees Fahrenheit, which is a typical temperature for a home dryer, for one (1) cycle (45 minutes) WILL NOT KILL ALL STAGES OF BED BUGS.


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