Just because you live in one of the most up-scale neighborhoods, does not mean that you won’t have to deal with bed bugs ever. As you might have seen through the other resources presented on this website, there is not much one can do to stop bed bug infestations. Despite taking several precautions (especially while traveling etc); many homeowners all over the United States are encountering bed bugs from time to time. Bed bugs themselves are known as ‘world’s best travelers’ since they tend to hitchhike their way into our residences.
Continue reading to learn ways in which you can get rid of bed bugs from your clothes, and, ultimately, your homes.
Steps to launder clothes effectively to kill bed bugs
So you had a great vacation in Florida this winter, but have come home to find bed bugs in the clothes you took there? Then do follow these laundry tips to help you get rid of bed bugs in clothes:
- Spray your clothing with rubbing alcohol until you can get them to a laundry unit. Rubbing alcohol helps eliminate bed bugs on contact. Make sure you sort the clothing in infested and non-infested groups. Bag and separate the two sets into plastic bags to prevent bed bugs infesting the clean clothes.
- Next, you must bag and clean items which cannot be laundered, such as shoes, books, electronic goods, jewelry etc. Heat these bags to at least 120 F where possible. You can wrap the items in plastic bags and place them outside in sunny areas. Alternatively, you can freeze bed bugs by exposing them to below-freezing temperatures. This cold treatment, however, has to be done for at least a period of 2 weeks to ensure killing all the eggs and larvae of bed bugs.
- Once you are back home from your vacation, place your entire luggage outside in the garage/terrace if you have one. Carry the sealed and bagged infested clothing to the laundry unit or a Laundromat. Spray the empty luggage/travel bags using insecticides or bed bug sprays. Store the luggage away from your sleeping areas while the bed bug treatment is ongoing.
- Next, you could contact pest control specialists to treat the inside of your home.
- In the mean time, wash the bed bug infested clothing in hot water at a temperature the fabric can withstand. In case of delicate clothing, you could use steam treatment to get rid of bed bugs. Point the steamer on the infested clothing to target the eggs and larvae. You can even sort the delicate clothing to take to the professional dry cleaners. Make sure that you seal all bags with infested items so that the bed bugs are not able to escape and hide in other parts of your home.
- When you arrive at the Laundromat, tip each of the plastic bags containing the infected clothes into the washer. Seal and discard the empty bags using clean garbage bags to prevent bed bugs from escaping and infesting other users of the public Laundromat.
- You can use your regular detergent, bleach or fabric softener as you normally do when washing clothes.
- Dry the washed clothing in the dryer units on medium to high setting.
- Items like shoes etc which cannot be washed with hot water can also be put inside the dryer that is run on medium to high heat to kill bed bugs.
- Once your clothes are dry, fold them neatly and place them in new and clean plastic laundry bags.
- Now you must take necessary precautions to get rid of bed bugs in your home before you open and unload the washed clothes.
- You could take help of professional pest control companies or follow DIY measures given on this website to rid your home of bed bugs.
- Vacuuming is an essential part of bed bug control, and you must do this daily for ensuring a bed-bug-free home.
- Once you are sure there are no bed bugs in your apartment, you can unload the laundered clothes into your closets.
- If however, you still suspect bed bug activity, keep the clothes sealed in the laundry bags. This will ensure that the bed bugs do not re-infect your clean clothing.
Make sure you follow an integrated pest control management program which involves multiple strategies to prevent and control bed bugs on a daily basis. These include daily laundry to kill bed bug eggs from bed sheets, clothes and linen as well as regular sanitation and chemical applications on all infested sites.