can washing clothes kill bed bugs

can washing clothes kill bed bugs

“Can Washing Clothes Kill Bed Bugs?”

Bed bugs are one of the most annoying and distressing pests we can encounter in our homes. These small parasitic insects feed on the blood of humans and animals. Even worse, they can spread easily and cause an infestation when not dealt with early. Knowing how to prevent, detect and treat a bed bug infestation is essential to avoid the stress and expense of dealing with them.

One method which is often discussed is whether washing clothes can actually kill bed bugs or whether it’s a waste of time. Let’s take a closer look at what washing your clothes can and can’t do when it comes to bedbugs.

Can Washing Clothes Kill Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Washing your clothes will not actually kill the bed bugs themselves, since the process of washing does not result in high enough temperatures for the bugs.

However, washing your clothes can still be incredibly useful in a bed bug infestation. Here’s what it can do:

  • Remove visible bugs: This can help to prevent them from spreading further.
  • Eliminate eggs: The high temperatures achieved in the wash can kill any existing eggs, helping to limit the spread of the infestation.
  • Clean up any waste: Bed bugs excrete fecal spots onto surfaces and into clothing. Washing the clothes can help to remove this waste.

So while washing clothes won’t get rid of bed bugs entirely, it can still be an incredibly useful tool in tackling an infestation.

Tips for Washing Clothes in Bed Bug Infestations

When washing your clothes during a bed bug infestation, make sure to follow these tips for the best results:

  • Wash the clothes with hot water (at least 48 degrees Celsius) for more thorough cleaning.
  • Dry the clothes on the highest possible temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • Vacuum the laundry basket thoroughly before and after putting the clothes in it to prevent transfer of bugs.
  • Double bag the clothes or laundry basket before taking it outside to prevent spreading bed bugs.

These tips will help you to get the best out of washing your clothes in a bed bug infestation.


To sum up, while washing clothes won’t kill bed bugs, it can still be an incredibly useful tool in tackling an infestation. The process of washing and drying can help to eliminate existing eggs, remove visible bugs, and clean up any waste.

When using the washing machine in a bed bug infestation, make sure to follow the tips outlined above for maximum efficiency.

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