Can Bed Bugs live in Your Clothes?

Worried that you might have bed bugs and wondering if they can live in your clothes? Having bed bugs in your home or being exposed to them is scary! These pesky bugs can leave bite marks all over your body and be nearly impossible to get rid of once they have got comfortable! While bed bugs typically live in your bed, shoes, and other dark places they can live and travel in your clothing.

Always be sure to check your entire wardrobe after finding bed bugs or you might start finding bites after sleeping!

How to get bed bugs out of clothes

There are a few different ways to get bed bugs out of clothes. The most popular methods are involve ziplock bags, the dry cleaners, a few cycles in the dryer on high heat and even special laundry additives!

Step One – Isolate your clothing

The first thing to do when you find bed bugs in your clothes is to isolate everything you are wearing in a large zip lock bags to prevent the pests from spreading. If you can catch the bugs before they spread it will be much easier to get rid of them. Make sure to be careful while changing and don’t throw any of your clothes on your bed, blankets or carpet floor! If you do not have any large zip lock bags on hand you can also leave your clothing in the bathtub or in sealed trash bags in the laundry room.

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Step Two – Decide how to clean

Soap for bed bugsOur favorite method of removing bed bugs from clothes at home is to first wash them on “Heavy” with a bed bug killing laundry additive that contains an active ingredient like cedar oil. Try to turn your washer on as hot water and as long a cycle as possible! Bed bugs can survive temperatures up to 130 degrees for 30 minutes or more. The hot water plus the cedar oil should kill the bed bugs in your clothing!

After washing with a combination of laundry additive and normal laundry soap immediately put the clothing into your dryer. To kill the remaining bed bugs in your dryer turn the heat up to at 130 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Bed bugs are resilient but can be easily killed with high temperatures.

Cleaning clothes with bed bugs

Another option to kill bed bugs in clothing is to take them to the dry cleaners or laundry mat. Professional washers and dryers get much hotter, for longer periods of time than the washer and dryer you have at home! 

Can bed bugs stay on your clothes all day?

Yes! Bed bugs prefer dark places but they can crawl into your clothing from beds, couches and carpet. Once they have grabbed hold of the threads they can hang on until you get home at night!

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