Can eggs be killed in laundry?(3 posts)
Before I spend my whole paycheck at the laundromat, can someone tell me more about this washing & drying? If I have a white sheet and I can see no bugs on it after careful inspection, I need to wash it in very hot water & then dry it for 2 hours anyway? Is this because I didn't see the bugs, or because eggs can be eliminated? Also, must I wash ALL the clothes in the house, e.g. the winter clothes packed away in boxes, too-tight clothes up on a shelf, etc.?
I think heat does kill the eggs??
I've read it only needs to be in the dryer for half an hour so you don't need to put it in for two hours...unless you like your BBs cajun style
Heat does kill eggs. The question is how hot and in what form.
Take a look at this FAQ more closely:
Part of the problem is that we're not sure, and when it comes to BB, plenty of us want to be sure that we don't feel safe unless we go a little overboard. The study linked to there suggests that a wash in HOT water (sometimes hotter than the water at your local laundromat or home washer may actually be) will kill the bugs on its own. It also suggests that five minutes in a hot dryer will kill bed bugs in DRY socks.
The general suggestion, then, is wash in HOT and dry in a dryer on HOT for 20 minutes past the item being bone dry. Those guidelines seem safe for most items.
The reason that they're more intense than the lab test is that socks are small and easily penetrated by heat. Getting socks up to X temperature is easier than getting queen sized sheets, big fluffy towels, or God forbid pillows and shoes.
I washed all my delicates in hot once, dried them on high for like 14 minutes, and then dried them on low the rest of the way. I then ziplocked them and didn't wear them inside the house until I thought I was clear, since I generally wash them in cold and air dry them.
I just didn't wear most of them for the duration.
I would still wash linens on hot and dry on hot because it's that heat that kills eggs, and those can be awfully hard to find. It only takes missing one to continue to have a problem.
Unfortunately, yes, I think you need to wash all the clothes, linens, and other fabric items in the house, even the ones in boxes and in storage. I had some clean sheets sitting on my bed, and found plenty of bed bug traces in them. You can't be sure that a bug didn't leave the main infestation site and migrate into the box with your stored clothes and put eggs there.
If money is tight (and when is it not), you could double bag or ziplock the stuff that's been in storage and not open it up until you have the cash to wash it later as a stop gap measure until you can afford to do it.
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