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Does Washing Bedding and Clothing in High Heat Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, you can kill off bed bugs by washing linens and clothing in high heat in the washing machine. Bed bugs can’t survive high temperatures. While this won’t get rid of your entire bed bug problem, it can lessen the severity.

Be careful, though. Make sure you wash using high heat, and check for bed bugs afterward. If the bed bugs haven’t been killed, you run the risk of spreading the infestation through other parts of your house when transferring linens.

a person takes bed bug-free bedding out of the washer

How to get rid of bed bugs in the washing machine

Your washing machine can be a great tool for lessening the severity of a bed bug infestation. Here’s how we recommend washing clothes and linens to get rid of bed bugs:

  1. Strip your bed of all linens
  2. Place the linens into plastic bags. Transport the bag and tip linens into the washing machine
  3. Use your normal detergent as needed.
  4. Wash the bedding on HIGH heat (at least 140°F) for 90 minutes or more
  5. Dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes
  6. Repeat the process multiple times per week for best results

Can Bed Bugs Survive in the Washing Machine?

Extreme temperatures – hot and cold – are one of the most effective ways to deal with bed bugs. This is because bed bugs are sensitive to temperature. Washing clothing and bedding in a washing machine on high heat should kill off bed bugs and any eggs they’ve laid.

Be careful though when transporting linens to the washing machine. Bed bugs can easily get off and begin infesting other rooms in the house.

Can I get rid of bed bugs myself by washing my sheets?

Washing and drying linens in high temperatures can certainly help reduce the bed bug population of your house, but it’s not a catch-all solution. Obviously, some items can’t go in the washing machine, and bed bugs are apt to hide in other places too, like inside the walls or upholstered furniture.

Eliminating a bed bug infestation requires that you treat the entire infested area. This is best done with the assistance of a professional bed bug control expert.

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