Should Bed Bug-Infested Clothing be put in the Washer and Dryer?

To put it simply, bed bug infestations cannot be eradicated from homes by means of over-the-counter insecticides, baits or sticky traps, no matter what a product’s advertisements may claim. Unfortunately, there also does not exist any do-it-yourself methods of eliminating bed bug infestations, as only the most cutting-edge pest control methods used by professionals have a proven track record of eradicating all bed bugs from infested homes. Considering the amount of media coverage bed bugs have received for the past 20 plus years concerning their immunity to traditional forms of pest control, most people are not surprised to hear that a pest control service is necessary for eliminating bed bug infestations from homes, but what about eliminating bed bugs from infested household items, like clothing? Should clothing remain within an infested home so as to not risk spreading the bugs to new areas? Will putting infested clothing through the wash and dryer cycle kill all bed bugs?

There is nothing wrong with washing and drying bed bug infested clothes, but precautions must be taken when handling infested clothes, especially in a laundromat or any other shared laundry area. Putting infested clothes through a wash cycle will kill many bed bugs, but the dryer should kill all bed bug pests present within a load of laundry. Those who are living within bed bug infested conditions should divide their laundry at home before placing each sorted load within a well-sealed plastic bag. The clothes should be emptied directly into a dryer, and the empty bag should be placed within a new well-sealed plastic bag before being discarded. Bed bug infested clothes do not have to be put through the wash cycle, but they must be put through the dryer at the hottest temperature allowable for at least 30 minutes in order to be sure that all bed bug pests are killed. Obviously, infested clothes that are meant for dry-cleaning only should not be put through a wash cycle, but they can be put through the dryer in order to kill bed bugs.

Have you ever washed bed bug infested clothing?

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