Bed bugs are small, brownish, flat-bodied insects that feed on human and animal blood. These small insects can be as flat as a credit card, which is why they can fit into the tiniest spaces in your home.
If you have never had a bed bug infestation before, these hitchhikers can stick to your travel bag or clothes as they move quickly without being noticed. A female bed bug can start an infestation in your area, especially on mattresses, bed frames, headboards, sofas, or wardrobes. Their flattened bodies make it easier for them to hide and stay unnoticed throughout the day while they bite at night.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Some bed bug bites can be mistaken for mosquito or other insect bites. Bed bug bites are seen on areas of your skin that are exposed when you sleep. If you wake up with itchy welts on your skin that were not present before you slept, chances are you already have a bed bug infestation in your home. Other signs include blood stains on your mattress, bed sheets or pillows, faecal spots on your bedding, or noticeable bug smells.
Do Bed Bugs Stay in Dirty Areas?
Does having bed bugs mean that you have a dirty home? The answer is no. Bed bugs feed solely on blood, not dirt or other elements. In fact, bed bugs are also found in hotel rooms where regular cleaning is done.
Can I Kill Bed Bugs by Machine Washing My Bedding Items?
It can be challenging and overwhelming to deal with a bed bug infestation. Laundering clothes and bedding accessories with a washer and dryer can be the easiest way to get rid of bed bugs on fabric. Ultimately, washing your bedding alone will not suffice to kill bed bugs. This is because bed bugs do not easily drown in water, no matter how many wash cycles are used. However, cleaning the fabrics with a washer and dryer may help you get rid of the nuisance.
The secret is to reach a certain dryer temperature to kill the bed bugs. The increased temperature from the dryer will kill the bed bugs more effectively than a regular machine wash. You can also submerge the fabrics in hot water during the washing machine cycle.
How to Kill Bed Bugs Using a Washing Machine
Segregate Clothes and Bedding Items
Before tossing your clothes or bedding accessories into the washing machine, it’s important to separate infested fabrics from non-infested items. Infested fabrics will show signs like blood stains or shed bed bug skin.
Read the Wash Instructions
Although many clothes, bed sheets, and blankets are washing machine safe, it’s vital to check the wash instructions to identify the best way to clean your fabrics, including the required temperature.
Use the washing Machine Efficiently
If safe for the fabric, you may wash your clothes or bedding with hot water to tackle bed bugs. A regular laundry detergent and a regular wash cycle may suffice. The washing machine’s agitation may increase the likelihood of bed bugs drowning. In terms of drying, choose the highest heat cycle possible that can tackle bed bugs in the least amount of time without damaging your fabric.
Can machine washing kill bed bugs? The answer is yes, but only to a certain extent. If you machine wash your clothes and bedding using hot water and use the hottest dryer mode possible, you may remove the infestations attached to the fabric. However, using the right washing machine with a dryer should be done in conjunction with cleaning other places like your mattress, bed frame, wardrobe, or sofa. A mattress protector can also keep the bed bugs in a controlled area while preventing them from being fed. This is an effective way to kill bed bugs on a mattress.