Very few situations are more frustrating or stressful than an infestation of bed bugs. They can be incredibly hard to remove from your home and possessions. They spread everywhere, but, one of the things people struggle with most is bed bugs on clothes. If you have ever faced this experience – or are worried that you might – you’ve come to the right place.
You need to take a very thorough approach to this particular problem. This involves working hard to remove not just the annoying creatures themselves, but, most crucially, their eggs too. In the following post, we will look at 10 steps you can take to deal with bed bugs when they get on your clothes.
Step 1. Identify That You Have Bed Bugs
Although bed bugs do like to hide in clothing, they are more likely to feed on you when you are in bed, so that’s where you are most likely to spot the signs. As well as on your own skin, of course.
- Have bite marks in lines of three
- Traces of faeces around and in your mattress bed
- Skin casings in your mattress and the area around it
- Blood marks on your pillow covers or bed sheets
If you have any of these symptoms, then you probably have bed bugs.
Step 2. Sort Your Clothes into Those with and Without Bed Bugs
You need to sort your clothes into piles of those with and without signs of infestation. Don’t take any chances, though, because if you mix one piece of clothing with bed bugs with others that don’t, they will just spread even more.
Step 3. Sort Your Clothes by Washing Instructions
You next need to sort your clothes by the washing instructions. Put everything into a pile that can be washed in hot water and everything that can’t into a separate pile. It’s the heat of the water that will kill the eggs.
Don’t worry though, because clothing that can’t be washed in hot water can be put in the freezer and within about a week, all the eggs will be killed.
Step 4. Bag Them Up
As it’s likely to take time to clean all infected clothing, you need to organise them in different bags.
Step 5. Put them Carefully into the Washing Machine
Once you’ve sorted all your clothes and they are bagged up accordingly, you need to be careful when transferring them from the bag they are into the washing machine.
Step 5. Wash Your Clothing
Ideally, if possible, you should use laundry liquid, gel or powder that contains bleach. Bleach has special chemicals that kill bed bugs. The heat from the water will usually do it, but when the hot water is combined with the bleach, it’s more effective.
You should also use the highest washing temperature you can.
Step 6. Dry Clean Any Clothing That Needs It
Got clothing that must be dry cleaned? That’s okay because dry cleaners can deal with bed bugs on clothes. Call them in advance and give them forewarning though, but they will still do it.
Step 7. Dry Your Clothing in the Tumble Dryer
It’s just your normal procedure for drying the clothing. Just set your dryer to the highest setting.
If all has gone according to plan, the heat from the washing machine will have solved the problem, but it is always worth taking extra measures.
Step 8. Keep Clean and Dry Clothes Separate from Infested Clothing
When you’ve finished washing and drying a load, you need to keep them separated from clothing still infested. Cross contamination will just restart the problem again.
Step 9. Make Sure Your Drawers, Cupboards and Beds are Cleaned
Before you tidy away your clothes, you need to make sure you clean your drawers and other furniture and bedding thoroughly. Use bleach where possible.
Step 10. Check for Signs of Bed Bugs on Clothes and Put Them Away
Before storing them away in your newly cleaned drawers and cupboards, give them a check over for any signs, fold them and put them away.
If you have further problems with bed bugs on clothes or anywhere else, speak to a professional.