How To Get Rid Of Bedbugs In Clothes

The name bed bug may imply this critter is exclusively going to show up in your bed and bed area but more often than not, they’ll end up in your dirty clothes and transition from there to nearby fabrics. If your dirty clothes bucket is in your closet for example, they can easily skitter right into your folded towels, sheets, blankets or even shirts and pants. If you don’t use a particular shelf set aside for winter clothing, it could quickly become a home base of sorts. Bed bugs don’t like to travel far to feed on humans so this will usually only be an issue in a small space like a studio apartment or a small bedroom.

A good thing about this particular infestation is that it’s relatively easy to get rid of, if you’ve cleared your bed and they’ve just run to your clothing, you could potentially wipe them out fully. There’s a few great methods you can use to get bed bugs out of clothing and they are quite effective.

Bag and Bake

The most common method to get rid of any insects that have started hanging out in your clothes closet or drawers is to bag all the clothes up in a thick black garbage bag and leave it in the sun for a few days. This works best for your off-season clothes and things you don’t really need on a daily basis. If it’s the middle of winter this may not be terribly effective because the temperature you really want to hit is at least 120 degrees F. Use your judgment and if you know even in the sun it won’t get this hot, try something else.

Dryer Treatment

Not sunny where you live? No chance of getting your clothes to 120 or higher somehow? The dryer is a super effective way to wipe out any type of insect that’s taken up residence in anything made of cloth. It’s too bad you can’t stuff your whole bed into a dryer while you’re at it though some bed bug companies have devices that basically do this. Bag up all your clothing and one by one dump bags into the dryer on high for an hour. This does have the potential to ruin certain types of material so pay attention. Wool and silk probably shouldn’t go in the dryer for an hour and synthetics may not survive so you might want to bag those and set them aside.

The Bath

A lot of people forget a good source of hot water. The shower. If your hot water heater allows it, crank it up to 120 to 140 degrees for a few hours and toss your items in the bathtub with the plug in. The shower allows the hot water to basically saturate your clothing but DO NOT stick your arm in there. Throw items in one at a time and let them sit for a while. If they are infested, the bugs will die and either float to the top or disappear down the drain. DO NOT forget to return your hot water heater to default settings to prevent burns later on.

These are just some simple ways that most people have access to and can do on their own. This is by no means 100% effective at clearing your entire house so make sure to consult a professional exterminator.

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