Bed bugs are tiny, brownish-red insects that feed on human blood. They are known to cause itchy and painful bites, sleep disturbances, and even psychological distress. The presence of bed bugs in your home can be a nightmare, and getting rid of them can be a daunting task.
One of the common methods people use to eliminate bed bugs is washing clothes. But does washing clothes kill bed bugs? That’s the question we’re going to answer in this article.
Can Bed Bugs Survive in Laundry?
Bed bugs are known to be resilient pests that can survive in extreme conditions. They can live for several months without feeding, and they can withstand temperatures as low as 0°F and as high as 122°F. So, can they survive in laundry?
The short answer is no. Bed bugs cannot survive in laundry, provided you wash your clothes with hot water and dry them on high heat. The high temperatures will kill bed bugs and their eggs, making your clothes bed bug-free.
What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?
As mentioned earlier, bed bugs can survive in extreme temperatures. However, they cannot withstand high heat. The temperature that kills bed bugs is 122°F. This temperature is lethal to bed bugs and their eggs, and it can eliminate them in just a few minutes.
When washing your clothes to get rid of bed bugs, you should use hot water that is at least 120°F. This will ensure that the temperature of the water and the clothes reaches the lethal temperature that kills bed bugs.
How to Wash Clothes to Kill Bed Bugs?
Now that you know that washing clothes can kill bed bugs, you might be wondering how to do it effectively. Here are the steps you should follow to wash your clothes and kill bed bugs:
- Sort your clothes: Sort your clothes by color and fabric type, just as you would when doing regular laundry.
- Put your clothes in a plastic bag: Place your clothes in a plastic bag as soon as you take them off. This will prevent bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your home.
- Wash with hot water: Use hot water that is at least 120°F to wash your clothes. You can add detergent to the water to help remove any bed bug residue.
- Dry on high heat: After washing, dry your clothes on high heat for at least 30 minutes. The heat will kill any remaining bed bugs and their eggs.
- Store your clothes: Once your clothes are dry, store them in a plastic bag or a sealed container to prevent bed bugs from getting back in.
What Else Can You Do to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
While washing your clothes can help eliminate bed bugs, it’s not enough to get rid of them completely. Here are some other things you can do to eliminate bed bugs from your home:
- Vacuum your home: Use a vacuum cleaner to clean your home thoroughly, paying close attention to bed frames, mattresses, and other furniture.
- Use bed bug sprays: Bed bug sprays can be effective in killing bed bugs. However, make sure you follow the instructions carefully and use them in well-ventilated areas.
- Hire a professional exterminator: If you’re unable to get rid of bed bugs on your own, it’s best to hire a professional exterminator who has experience in eliminating bed bugs.
In conclusion, washing clothes can kill bed bugs, provided you wash them with hot water and dry them on high heat. However, washing your clothes alone is not enough to get rid of bed bugs completely. You need to take other measures, such as vacuuming your home, using bed bug sprays, and hiring a professional exterminator, to eliminate bed bugs from your home.