Bed bugs are a serious problem, and it can be difficult to figure out how to get rid of them. For starters, you need to know what bed bugs actually look like in order to identify your infestation.
They’re tiny little insects that feed on blood from humans and animals. So if you’ve been bitten by something in your house, but don’t know where it came from, think about the places you sleep at night when going over possible culprits.
You’ll see these pests most often around beds or couches since they find their food source there. If you do have an infestation of bed bugs in your home and this is a very common occurrence-you might not notice the signs immediately because they move so quickly and hide themselves
What a Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped insects that are about the size of an apple seed. They have flat bodies and often go unnoticed until you begin to notice itchy welts on your skin when they bite.
Early detection is important when trying to get rid of these pests; however, getting rid of any eggs that might be in your home can be difficult.
Here are some tips to help you avoid an infestation in the first place, as well as rid your home of these bugs if you already have them.
How do bed bugs get into my house?
Bed bugs find their food source by crawling up through cracks and crevices or climbing onto objects like luggage, furniture, clothing, or bedding.
They tend to be most prevalent around beds, so if you’ve been bitten by something but don’t know where it came from, think about the places you sleep at night.
Bed bugs are often transported on luggage, furniture, and clothing because they tend to roam around in bedrooms and living areas.
How Long Do Bed Bugs Live on Clothes?
Bed bugs can live for more than a year without feeding. However, the way they live and how long they live varies depending on different factors. One of these factors is environment temperature.
Typically, bed bugs die shortly after a blood meal because they need to feed periodically to survive this long.
Bedbugs have been found to have a lower survivability rate in colder climates. In colder climates, they tend to take on more of a hibernation state and become less active, while in warmer climates they are more likely to be found roaming around more often.
Bedbugs can survive a wide range of environments. They can withstand temperatures above freezing or below it if they have a suitable environment to keep them warm. If they are exposed to too much cold, they will simply die.
Bedbugs can survive in humid conditions since their eggs do not desiccate (drier) until the relative humidity is below 47 percent for at least 30 minutes. At lower humidities, eggs hatch in about two weeks. The newly hatched bugs need a blood meal before they will develop to the next stage of development.
If they are exposed to dry conditions, the bugs can be dormant for 30-365 days, but when humidity is even as low as 40 percent or less, their death rate increases.
Humidity plays a role in bedbug survival rates because it ensures that their eggs won’t dry up. Humans can typically survive without water anywhere from a week to a month and a half, while bedbugs will die much sooner.
How to tell if bedbugs are in your clothes
If you’ve been noticing bite marks on yourself, then it’s possible that there are some lurking nearby. But even before they become visible signs on the skin, bed bugs can be detected by their characteristic smell. If you can smell a musty odor, then it could indicate the presence of bed bugs.
Clothes and fabrics affected by this pest tend to retain that unpleasant smell even after washing and other attempts at cleaning. This is because they exude a chemical called isopropyl methoxy pyrazine, which serves as a warning sign to other blood-sucking insects to stay away.
Bed bugs can also be detected through visual inspection – their feces will contain a red or dark rusty color, which is a good indicator that there’s a colony nearby.
Where Do Bedbugs Commonly Hide?
Bed bugs typically hide in the cracks and crevices of a home, or in bed frames, headboards, dressers, closets, and upholstered furniture.
They are known to be found close to where they feed. In addition to these places, bed bugs can be found living in the fur of cats and dogs.
What You’ll Need
- Washing machine
- Laundry detergent
- Trash bags
- Rubbing alcohol
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes and Luggage
Sorting Your Clothes
The first step is to split clothes by color and type of material.
Separate the clothes by putting them into different plastic bags and seal them. This will help you not to spread bedbugs in the house.
Spray Clothes With Rubbing Alcohol
If you want to get rid of bed bugs on clothes, use rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will get rid of the bugs on your clothes and deter any new ones from coming near. However, rubbing alcohol might not kill the eggs of bed bugs.
Set the Washing Machine
The next step is to set the washing machine. Put it on the hottest temperature recommended for the garment and the correct cycle for the fabric types.
Select the Best Dryer Cycle
Your dryer may have cycles specifically designed for certain types of fabrics. The clothes should be dried on the highest heat setting, which will kill the bugs.
Get the clothes from the washing machine and then transfer them to the dryer. Let it run for about 30 to 50 minutes on the highest possible heat cycle recommended that won’t damage the fabric but will kill the bedbugs.
Inspect the Clothes
Inspect the clothes to ensure that they are free from bedbugs and properly store laundry.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs From Infesting Clothes and Bags:
Three Tips Work great for Travellers
1. Keep clothes and suitcases away from the floor.
When you’re staying in a hotel, don’t place sweaters over the back of chairs or clothes on top of drawers or dressers. Bed bugs can live for months without feeding and are likely to crawl into these spots when they aren’t feeding on humans. While bed bugs would have to reach adulthood twice before they could reproduce, it only takes one.
2. Keep your suitcase off the floor or bed when you stay at a hotel or motel room.
Bed bugs are transported on luggage and clothing so they have easier access to beds and couches where people sleep. If you can’t keep your clothes in drawers, try hanging them in the closet. It’s even better to keep clothing, suitcases and shoes in the bathroom while you’re staying there.
3. Don’t put dirty clothes back into the suitcase!
It goes without saying but will be said anyway – Don’t place soiled or used clothing or other articles back into suitcases if you are traveling home. If possible, place them in a protective plastic bag to keep them from contaminating the contents of your suitcase.
Laundry soap that kills bed bugs
You can combat bed bugs in your laundry by using a laundry soap that kills them. Bed bugs can live in clothing for months without feeding, which means they need only to reach adulthood twice before they can reproduce.
The best way to prevent their spread is to use a laundry soap that kills bed bugs. These soaps are designed to kill bed bugs in clothes and even on fabrics like sheets, pet beds or couches.
Does hot water kill bed bugs
Bed bugs can be killed by hot water. You may want to wash your clothes in hot water and then put them into a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce the humidity level in your home to keep bed bugs from being able to survive.
Fill cracks and crevices with caulk and use a pest control spray around your home’s foundation, windows, etc.
Can bed bugs survive the dryer
Bed bugs can survive the dryers at temperatures below that of tumble dryers. The average dryer reaches about 120°F. Bed bugs also do not have to be attached to clothing in order to travel with it during the laundering process.
They are very small and can crawl on clothing without being noticed.
Can bed bugs survive in the washing machine?
Yes, Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals. They are very resilient and can survive in temperatures below that of tumble dryers.
The average dryer reaches about 120°F. Bed bugs also do not have to be attached to clothing in order to travel with it during the laundering process.