One of the grossest and most uncomfortable parts of a bed bug infestation is when they get into your clothes. This puts them right up against your skin for feating purposes and is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. If you have an infestation there is a very simple thing you can do to get rid of bed bugs in clothes.
You see, bed bugs are very heat sensitive. In order to kill bed bugs on clothes, it can be a simple matter of putting said clothes in the dryer for about 20 minutes. This will kill both living insects and their eggs. Whether or not you want to wear said clothes after this heat induced death is up to you, but it sure beats wearing beg infested clothing.
There is a simple three step process that can both kill bed bugs and get rid of traces of them. It’s kind of common sense, but here goes:
- Run the clothes for a 20-30 minute drying cycle
- Wash your clothes
- Dry them again as you would any other time you wash them
Pretty simple, eh? You’re probably wondering why you would dry, then wash, then dry again. The reason is that while bed bugs may die from drowning during the wash cycle, they may still be clinging to your clothes for dear life. Drying them first ensures they’ve lost the will to live so that when you go to wash them it should remove all or most traces of the bugs from your clothing. The clothes dryer is a necessary ingredient in this whole thing as washing won’t kill eggs, and line drying won’t kill anything.
What If Clothing Is Dry Clean Only?
Well this actually involves only a very simple 4 step process:
- Place in metal garbage can
- Dowse with a flammable liquid
- Light a match and toss it in
- Just walk away
Just kidding. According to this University of Kentucky study, textile experts agree that drying for a short period of time (20-30 minutes) shouldn’t harm dry clean only clothing. This might seem dangerous to you, and leave you asking “Does dry cleaning kill bed bugs?” because maybe you’re thinking about just bringing them on in without drying first. Well, it’s kind of a jerk move to bring infested clothing into a place where others’ clothing might come in contact with it. Dry them first, or find a dry cleaning place that specializes in bed bug dry cleaning. This will usually require you to go to their establishment to pick up special bags to place your clothing in it so they can properly quartine and process it.
Killing bed bugs in your clothing won’t eliminate the over-arching problem of your infestation, but it will prevent you from wearing biting mites around all day, and spreading them around the world like a bug-infested Johnny Beetleseed (yes, I know they’re not beetles, but it’s catchier than “Bedbugseed”).