Flea infestations are one of the most common issues that pet owners face during the warmer months. And if your pet or carpet is plagued with fleas, your clothing may become infested with these insects as well.
Since washing clothes kill fleas, thanks to the detergent chemicals, heat, and turbulence that occur during the process, will the same happen when using the dryer?
In this article, we’ll uncover the answer to this question, and we’ll walk you through how to use the dryer to eliminate these annoying creatures. So, let’s dive in!
Can Your Dryer Get Rid of Fleas?
Yes, your dryer can rid you of these fleas and their eggs. It’s an effective way to free your clothing, bedding, stuffed animals, and other fabric-containing objects from fleas.
However, large-scale flea infestations can’t be eradicated by simply washing and drying your clothes. In that case, you’ll need to spray your home and give flea treatment to your pets.
How Quickly Does the Dryer Kill Fleas?
People frequently inquire how long they should run the dryer to kill fleas. However, eradicating fleas in the dryer is more about temperature than it’s about time. They can’t tolerate temperatures beyond 95°F (35°C) for any period; therefore, your dryer must reach that temperature to kill them.
The issue is that you don’t know how long it’ll take your dryer to reach that temperature. As a result, we recommend running your dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes or more to kill fleas. But, of course, washing the products first is the best option. Many fleas die when they’re washed in hot water.
But, if any fleas make it through the wash cycle, a full cycle in the dryer on high heat should take care of them.
Guide to Using the Washing Machine and Dryer to Remove Fleas
It’s important to know how to carry out the washing and drying process to destroy these bugs and remove them from your clothes successfully. Now, let’s see the steps.
- Starting with a 10-minute cycle at 140°F, wash your flea-infested items. Just keep in mind that some of your belongings are delicate, so don’t leave them for a long time.
- Before putting your beddings and pet’s bed in the dryer, repeat the washing cycle 2 to 3 times. Because they contain flea eggs, larvae, and practically indestructible pupas, they require the most thorough cleaning.
- Use bleach if you have the ability to do so. When fleas come into direct contact with bleach, they’re killed. So, you can pretreat your clothes and bedding by soaking them in the mixture for several hours before washing.
- When drying your clothes, only use the highest setting possible. This is because you intend to use heat to murder the remaining survivors. Also, run the drying cycle for at least 30 minutes.
- Fleas breed quickly; therefore, it’s important to wash your personal belongings and your pet’s bed at least once a week to keep them free of them.
- Don’t just spray flea remedies; instead, make sure to wash and dry your items to remove all signs of flea eggs and larvae.
Is It Necessary to Wash the Clothes First?
The dryer’s high heat should destroy fleas and flea eggs without first requiring you to wash your garments. However, we strongly advise washing items first unless you’re working with fabrics that can’t be washed.
This is because cleaning the garments first ensures that the fleas die in the dryer. When you wash and spin your clothes in a washer and then put them in a dryer, you expose them to both high temperatures. That’s a double punch for fleas, and it ensures that they’ll die in the dryer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that even if your dryer does kill all the fleas on your clothes and bedding, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the items are well cleaned. So, if you find fleas in your clothes, the better choice is to wash them first to make sure that they’re both clean and flea-free.
Using Dryer Sheets as an Alternative to the Dryer
Dryer sheets are popularly believed to diminish the flea problem, and some pet owners have even gone so far as to wipe their dogs and cats down with dryer sheets in a bid to keep fleas at bay.
However, this is a myth that’s both incorrect and dangerous. Dryer sheets contain a wide range of chemicals, which is why they smell so good and perform the functions they do for our garments.
Although dryer sheets have been demonstrated to have insect repellent effects, particularly against fungus gnats, there are no data supporting claims that they kill fleas. In addition, as mentioned, they contain chemicals that can be irritating and even dangerous to pets, so avoid using them on your furry friends at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Items Can I Put in the Dryer?
The following items can be put in the dryer for flea eradication:
- Pet comforters
- Stuffed animals
- Rugs for dogs and cats
Is It Possible to Kill Flea Eggs in the Dryer?
The dryer can kill both fleas and their eggs; however, some eggs can survive the 95°F (35°C) temperatures that kill the adults. So, to kill eggs, experts recommend exposing them to temperatures more than 103°F (39.44°C).
Does the Dryer Kill All Life Stages of a Flea?
Yes, as long as you use high heat and let your dryer run a full cycle, the adults, larvae, pupae, and eggs should be killed.
Can Fleas Drown in the Washer?
No. These pesky insects are extremely resilient, and they may survive in water for up to a week at a time without a blood meal. And when entirely submerged, fleas drown after 24 hours; thus, they can survive the duration of a spin-cycle or a dryer cycle. In fact, fleas die as a result of the lethal mix of heat and washing detergent.
How Many Clothes Should I Wash in One Cycle?
Overloading the washing machine with a large number of laundry items in one cycle isn’t recommended. This might prevent the hot water and detergent from being uniformly distributed throughout the washing machine tub. Hence, the fleas won’t be effectively killed.
Why Is It Important to Remove Flea Eggs During Eradication?
Adult fleas can lay up to 50 eggs every day during their mating season. With those kinds of numbers, it’s easy to understand how a flea infestation may spiral out of control. That’s why it’s critical to remove not just the adult fleas and flea larvae but also any eggs that may be present in your home.
What Is Flea Dirt?
It’s a sign that fleas are around. They’re small, round, and black particles that appear wherever fleas are present.
Fleas and their eggs should be dealt with as soon as possible. Pets can be treated with medications, and fleas can be killed with flea sprays that can be used in and around the home. But, when it comes to clothing and pet beddings, killing fleas is as simple as tossing everything into the washer and dryer and then letting the machines deal with them for you!
The highest heat setting will destroy both adult fleas and their eggs. Also, no additional treatment is required as long as your items don’t come into contact with other flea-infested items. It’s a straightforward and effective solution that’ll make sure you only have dead fleas at the end of the washing and drying cycles.
We hope this article helps you save yourself and your pet from those nasty flea bites!