Can you Kill Bed Bugs By Putting Them in the Washing Machine?

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate once they have infiltrated your home. A common question asked is whether throwing infested clothes, linens or bedding in the washing machine will eliminate these pests. 

Fortunately, bed bugs should not be able to survive the high temperatures of the washing machine. By setting the water temperature to around 50°C (122°F) or higher and using a dryer on the highest heat setting, you should be able to effectively kill all bed bugs and their eggs. 

putting towel and cloths in a washing machine

It is important to note that washing alone may not be enough to fully eliminate an infestation and should be used in conjunction with other pest control methods. Ultimately, contacting a licensed exterminator for their recommendation is your best course of action. A professional may recommend throwing away items entirely.

How Do I Clean My Washing Machine After Bed Bugs?

To clean your washing machine after bed bugs, you should start by emptying the machine and vacuuming the inside to remove any lingering bugs or debris. 

Next, wipe down the inside of the machine with hot water and vinegar, making sure to clean all the crevices and corners.

Side view of African American man washing clothes in washing machine at home

Then, run a hot cycle with vinegar followed by a hot cycle with bleach to kill any remaining bed bugs and disinfect the machine. Clean the detergent dispenser and filter using hot water and vinegar, and wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and mild detergent. 

Following these steps will help you thoroughly clean your washing machine and prevent bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your home.

Do Bed Bugs Stay on Clothes After Washing?

It is possible for bed bugs to stay on your clothes after a wash cycle. This can happen if the temperature settings are not high enough, or if the wash cycle does not last for at least 30 minutes. 

How Do I Know Bed Bugs Are Gone?

To know if bed bugs are gone, you should conduct a thorough inspection of your living space, including your mattress, bed frame, and other furniture. 

Check for fecal stains, shed skins, or live bed bugs to detect bed bug activity. You can also use bed bug traps to monitor for any remaining bugs. 

If you hired a pest control professional, they can use monitoring tools and follow-up inspections to ensure that bed bugs have been completely eliminated. Remember that it’s important to continue monitoring even after treatment to ensure that any new infestations are caught early.

Will Bed Bugs Eventually Go Away on Their Own?

Bed bugs will not go away on their own. 

They can survive for several months without feeding and are resilient to a variety of common insecticides. The longer an infestation is left untreated, the more difficult it becomes to eliminate. Bed bugs reproduce quickly, so even a few bugs can turn into a large infestation in a short amount of time.

Professional treatment is the most effective way to eliminate a bed bug infestation, and it’s important to act quickly to prevent the problem from worsening.

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