Common Myths About Bed Bugs Hiding in Clothes
Your bed is not the only thing in your bedroom that bed bugs may hide in. Those insects may also hide in just about anything that can provide them with some peace and quiet. They prefer to hide in objects or items that are rarely moved or used, and this is why eliminating clutter in the bedroom is a definite must.
Bed bugs hide in clothes, especially those that are placed under or near the bed. It doesn’t matter, too, if clothes are clean or dirty, or neatly placed in the closet or drawer. Bed bugs also cling to your attire, which makes it possible for them to travel easily even if they cannot fly or jump.
Refrain from assuming that bed bugs will hide in dirty clothes only, and that keeping your clothes clean can fend off an infestation. Bed bugs do not care if your clothes are clean or not.
For as long as they have folds, seams, buttons and various design elements, they will hide in them if they want to.
It can be terrifying to imagine that the clothes you are wearing right now may have some bed bugs in them.
Make sure that you keep on reading to know some of the most important matters that you need to know about getting rid of bed bugs hiding in your clothes and keeping those creepy crawlers from hiding in them again.
Traveling on and Hiding in Clothes
Some people assume that bed bugs live on the skin because, just like ticks and fleas, they thrive on blood. However, this is impossible.
Bed bugs do not live on the skin because they can’t — they do not have legs capable of clinging to the skin. The moment that you move, bed bugs on your skin will simply fall off.
However, it’s a different story for bed bugs that have attached themselves to the clothes you are wearing. They may be able to accompany you wherever you go as they can cling to clothes quite securely.
Your room can end up with a bed bug infestation if you introduce bed bugs into it via your clothes. This can happen if you went to a party where there is an active bed bug infestation.
This can happen, too if you stayed in a hotel infested with those creepy crawlers, although the majority of those that you could bring home are likely to travel via your luggage.
Other than clinging to clothes, bed bugs may hide in clothes, too.
The good news is that bed bugs won’t damage your clothes. Unlike other insects, they do not have teeth or fangs that can bore holes in your clothes.
The worst thing that bed bugs can do to your clothes is to stain them with their poop or their blood, in case you happen to squish them accidentally or deliberately.
And also, your clothes may help them multiply uncontrollably as clothes provide them with a safe place not only to sleep in but also mate and lay eggs in.
Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you keep your clothes free of bed bugs, as well as kill any of those tiny blood-sucking insects hiding in your clothes.
Below you will come across some of the easiest and most effective tips on doing those, so don’t stop reading now if you want to end a bed bug infestation ASAP.
Related Post: Bed Bugs in Your Hair: Signs and Symptoms
Keeping Your Clothes Bed Bug-Free
Especially if you have no plans on sealing the deal with professional bed bug exterminators, it’s a good idea to keep the available hiding places for bed bugs to a minimum.
Doing so will make the DIY extermination process easier as you will no longer have to devote a lot of your time trying to locate where those bed bugs could be hiding.
Because your clothes can harbor bed bugs, it’s important that you keep them off-limits to those nighttime creatures. There are a handful of things that you may do to make sure that bed bugs won’t camp out in your clothes.
Get Them Off the Floor
Always, the first step to getting rid of a bed bug infestation with your own two hands is to eliminate as much clutter as you possibly can. The goal is to limit the places in which bed bugs may hide.
By making sure that there are not a lot of cracks, crevices, and undersides that they may hide in, hunting them down can be quicker.
This is why you should pick up clothes strewn across the floor, especially those under or near the bed. Bed bugs don’t care if your bedroom is clean or dirty, but they certainly love it if it’s cluttered.
Store Them in Plastic Containers
Just because your clothes are neatly folded in drawers and tidily hung in closets doesn’t necessarily mean that bed bugs won’t touch them.
If they are running out of places to hide in or around your bed, some of them may wind up inside drawers and closets and then hide in your clothes.
Again, when it comes to hiding in clothes, bed bugs don’t care if they are clean or not. All they want is a safe place for them to sleep and mate in.
This is why you should store your clothes in plastic containers while there’s a bed bug infestation going on.
Opt for plastic containers with gaskets as they can create a tight seal that bed bugs won’t be able to squeeze themselves into.
Place Your Clothes in Another Room
Another way to make sure that bed bugs won’t be able to hide in your clothes is to place your clothes in another room.
But don’t just place them in a different room — keep them in a room that isn’t affected by the infestation.
You can think of it as having a walk-in closet, except that you will have to walk outside your bedroom to get in it.
When taking your clothes to a different room, make sure that there are no bed bugs hiding in them. Otherwise, the room may end up with an infestation, too, especially if someone sleeps in it.
If there’s none, bed bugs will evacuate the room and return to your bedroom where there’s food available for them.
Making sure that your clothes are off-limits to bed bugs can help make it easier to put a bed bug infestation under control, especially if you prefer to do the extermination yourself via some home remedies.
This is also something that you should do as a preventive measure, especially if bed bugs are not uncommon in the neighborhood.
Related Post: Bed Bugs in Your Shoes
How to Get Rid Off Bed Bugs in Clothes
Again, bed bugs don’t care if clothes are clean or dirty. For as long as bed bugs need to hide and there are clothes within their easy reach, they will hide in them whether you have worn them already or not.
Other than hiding in them, bed bugs may also lay their eggs in your clothes.
It only takes six to ten days before bed bug eggs hatch, which means that if you do not pick up clothes from the floor or wash them right away, the eggs in them may hatch, causing an increase in the population of bed bugs in your bedroom.
To kill adult bed bugs and destroy their eggs in your clothes before they get the chance to hatch, try these.
Wash Them in Hot Water
Upon contact with hot water, bed bugs will die and bed bug eggs will get destroyed. This is why you should wash in hot water clothes that you suspect are harboring bed bugs. Do this for not less than 30 minutes.
However, don’t just take your clothes from your bedroom to the washing machine — stash them in a garbage bag and seal tightly before taking them out of your room.
Otherwise, you are risking spreading bed bugs to other areas of the home.
Unfortunately, this particular tip does not apply to clothes that should not be washed in hot water, such as those that are out of cotton and wool.
Place Your Clothes in the Dryer
If your clothes are clean and you don’t want to wash them to conserve water and detergent, all you have to do is toss them in the dryer for at least 30 minutes.
Some people don’t want to risk it, and that is why they wash their clothes in hot water first before stashing them in the dryer.
Head to the Dry Cleaner
Some homeowners who do not have the time to use the washing machine and dryer but have plenty of money for professional cleaning simply take their bed bug-infested clothes to dry cleaners. The liquid solvent used to dry clean clothes can kill bed bugs.
Sadly, not all clothes can be sent to the dry cleaner. Some examples are those that are out of synthetic fabrics such as PVC and polyurethane.
Keep Them in Garbage Bags
If you are not in a hurry to rid your clothes of bed bugs, you can kill them slowly by depriving them the opportunity to feed and breathe.
This can be done by placing infested clothes in garbage bags, sealing them tightly, and waiting until all the bed bugs in your clothes die.
It can take several months for that to happen — bed bugs can live for up to a year without food, although they won’t survive for long without air.
To speed up the process considerably, sprinkle generous amounts of diatomaceous earth in the plastic bags before sealing them.
This product works by dehydrating bed bugs, killing them in the process. Silica gel can also help kill bed bugs trapped inside plastic bags as it works just like diatomaceous earth.
Leave Them Under the Sun
Earlier, we mentioned the use of the dryer on clothes that you don’t want to or cannot wash in hot water. Just in case you don’t have a dryer, worry not because you can simply count on the blistering heat of the sun.
Hanging your clothes under the sun in the middle of the day won’t work — the minute that bed bugs start to feel the heat, they will simply flee and try to find their way back into your bedroom.
What you need to do instead is seal bed bug-infested clothes in garbage bags and leave them under the sun for several days.
And, just like what’s suggested earlier, you may toss diatomaceous earth or silica gel in plastic bags.
You can kill bed bugs hiding in your clothes in different ways. While all of them are proven effective, some deliver results faster, such as washing your clothes in hot water or tossing them in the dryer.
Others do not provide instant results, such as placing bed bug-infested clothes in garbage bags. The choice is completely yours.
In dealing with bed bugs on your own, it’s not enough that you kill bed bugs residing in your room. It’s also important to keep bed bugs from coming back after you have eradicated all of them.
Whether you are still in the process of carrying out DIY solutions or have already killed all bed bugs around, keeping your bedroom clutter-free is important.
It’s also a must that you take the steps necessary to prevent bed bugs from camping out in your clothes, especially if you have had multiple bed bug infestations in the past.
And, the minute that you suspect that your clothes could be harboring bed bugs, immediately follow some or all of the tips on killing bed bugs in your clothes mentioned above.
Pro-tip: Exposing bed bugs to high temperatures (over 120°F) kills them in a matter of minutes. If you want to get rid of bed bugs without calling an exterminator check the best steam cleaners that produce over 300°F on Amazon now.
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