Laundry Direction for Treatment of Bed Bugs

It is necessary that all garments be laundered in hot water (>60°C or >140°F) or placed into a dryer on the highest setting for a minimum of 30 minutes (>40°C or >104°F). The dryer must be capable of reaching a temperature of >40°C to kill all stages and not be loaded to more than 50% capacity.

All laundered items must remain out of the treatment area during service. Clothing and fabrics associated with beds/sofas cannot be treated with pesticides due to the prolonged contact with skin. It is for this reason that this step is crucial and necessary to ensure the treatment program does not fail with the re-introduction of bedbugs from infested clothing.

Dry cleaning will kill all life stages of bed bugs, and would be appropriate treatment for delicate and temperature sensitive fabrics.

Soaking clothes in cold water for 24 hours (without detergent) killed all adults and nymphs, but killed no eggs. This alternative treatment might be useful, especially for cleaning clothes that are labeled for cool wash and dry only.

When washing clothes, wash water at 60°C (140°F) on 30-minute wash cycles killed 100 percent of all life stages. Washing at 40°C (100°F) killed all adults and nymphs, but only 25 percent of eggs. So clearly, washing clothes for bed bug disinfestation should be done at the hottest temperatures (about 140°F).

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