Bed Bugs on Clothes – How to Get Rid of Them
The only thing worse than finding bed bugs in your mattress is finding them in your clothes! These tiny pests like to hide in the creases of cushions and wood paneling, and this includes your drawers and closets.
Luckily, getting rid of bed bugs on clothes is relatively simple, and can be done without the use of pesticides or poisons.
Bed Bug on Clothes
Bed bugs are hard to spot. At their largest, they are only ¼ of an inch long. They have flat bodies that can easily squeeze into tight spaces, making them difficult to catch. They can crawl into your chest of drawers, your closet, and nearly any hiding spot they can fit into.
If you rummage through your clothing and find small, brownish, oval-like insects scurrying toward the cracks and crevices, you may be dealing with bed bugs. They are other tell-tale markers as well, such as black dust-like particles and reddish stains.
However, getting rid of bed bugs that have made their home in clothing is far easier than getting rid of ones inside of furniture or electrical appliances. You can isolate your clothes by sealing them in a plastic bag and kill any remaining bed bugs on your body with a hot shower.
But before you can eliminate these tiny blood-suckers, you must first be able to identify them accurately. More difficult, is finding and identifying their eggs.
What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look like on Clothes?
Bed bug eggs look like white droplets, barely bigger than the head of a pin. They can easily be misidentified as crumbs, dust, dirt, or pollen.
Black or dark clothing will show bed bug eggs far better than light-colored clothing. White dots with a blackish center may be bed bug eggs that were laid more than five days ago. Be especially wary of these, as they are closer to hatching than solid white eggs.
Getting Rid of Bed Bug Eggs on Clothes
Destroying the bed bug eggs on your clothes is a simple three-step process. Firstly, you need to:
- Identify. You need to be sure that you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, and not a cockroach or carpet beetle issue.
Secondly, you need to:
- Isolate. Put all your affected clothing into airtight containers or large trash bags. Be sure that they are sealed tightly.
And lastly, you need to:
- Eliminate. High-heat environments are toxic for both bed bugs and bed bug eggs. Placing your clothing into a clothes dryer on high heat for 90 minutes or more is sufficient to kill all eggs and adults.
Getting Rid of Bed Bug Stains on Clothes
Once you’ve gotten rid of the bed bugs and their eggs, you may be facing several stains on your clothing. Reddish stains occur when adult bed bugs are crushed to death. Black stains result from bed bug excrement.
Erasing these stains from your clothing is a mixed bag, at best. You see, applying heat will only cause these stains to settle into the fabric of your clothing, making them difficult if not impossible to repair.
Cold water, primarily when used with small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, can help to make stains vanish. But this trick is best applied early-on, and most bed bug infestations aren’t even noticed until they’ve gotten rather large, which takes time.
In addition to using heat to kill bed bugs and their eggs, you can also choose to freeze your clothing for several days up to two weeks. While this is an inconvenient option in terms of time, it is a far-more clothing friendly option if you’re dealing with stains.
Using the freeze-and-cold-water approach is the safest way to get rid of bed bugs and their stains!
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