Question about washing/drying clothes(6 posts)
Just a question:
Am I supposed to wash/dry my clothes BEFORE the PCO comes to treat?
If I did that, would it be okay to just throw clean clothes in the dryer, without washing them? I would then bag the hot clothes immediately and seal them tight. Would I then bring the bags back to my apartment? Or should I keep them somewhere else, like in a car (until the apartment's been treated)? When the PCO comes to treat, the insecticides or whatever wouldn't get through the bags, right?
Do I wash/dry everything AFTER the PCO treats my apartment?
Could anyone help?
It's best to wash and dry everything before the PCO comes, and possible even after if you didn't put all of your washed clothes in Zip Lock bags after washing. You got to also find where the bed bugs are hiding, since they usually hide in clusters you got to also check, before and after PCO comes your room with a flash light. Leave your lights out, go into your room with all the lights out between 1-3 am and start inspecting, I guarantee you find some running or many running.
The moron losers that live across from me who have bed bugs, told me this line
"Oh everyone has bed bugs"
and I'll never forget it, I tell people who never even had bed bugs that line to which most reply with "real idiot".
As with most things, the answer to your question will really depend on your PCO. Every PCO has a slightly different set of preparation instructions, largely based on how he or she is going to treat your particular residence.
I would give your PCO a call to find out specifically what he or she wants you to do to prep. I say that because if you haven't been inspected, some PCOs don't want you to disturb anything in the bedroom area before they come over for the inspection. Many PCOs believe that moving things around to clean up only disturbs the bugs and sends them deeper into hiding.
However, generally speaking, it's important to remember that the washing, drying, and sealing of clothes is pretty much a process of using heat to kill bed bugs and their eggs, not anything related to the pesticides that are used.
That is to say, you could (theoretically) put all your fabric items into dryer and heat the ever living daylights out of them. The thermal death point for bed bugs is, if I recall, between 113 and 120 degrees. (I think it's actually right around 113, but I think we usually say 120 to be safe.) The problem, as you know if you've ever just tried to dry a comforter, is that with insulated materials, pockets of an insulated item will generally be cooler than other places. So with any thermal-based treatment, whether it's thermal remediation of a whole structure or heating your washable items, people usually take the overall temperature up much higher to make sure that even cooler pockets get past the threshold. (For example, when thermal remediation is used on a structure, the whole place being treated is heated to 140 F so that no cool pockets remain. Part of the trick of thermal on a structure is to raise the temp in such a way that the bugs don't just run out the door when it starts getting toasty.)
You're washing your items before drying them largely to give yourself a back up. If the temperature of the water isn't quite 120, then leaving items in the dryer until they are dry and hot and then leaving them in another 20 minutes is a pretty good guideline for making sure that you're baking the daylights out of the items.
In addition, as a basic laundry practice, you don't want to dry dirty items because the heat of the dryer will set in stains and odors that you don't really want to set in. If items are really clean, and you put them in the dryer long enough to reach the appropriate temperatures, there's no need to wash them first, really.
Sealing the items up means that you won't have to retreat those items. I don't know what your clothing selection looks like, but I'll tell you what. Bed bugs sure made me aware of how few of my clothes are supposed to be washed or dried on high. Yeesh. So sealing items in air tight bags just means that once they've been washed (boiled) and dried (baked) within an inch of their lives, you don't have to do that again, and by keeping them in plastic you deny the bed bugs additional places to harbor.
Where you store the bags is up to you, as long as they are out of the way of your PCO for any treatments.
Which is why I said it's best to give your PCO a call. When I had thermal treatment done, they told me not to wash everything before I went since thermal would take care of it, and moving the stuff that needed to be washed around might just disturb where the bugs were hiding. Other people--even other people who've had thermal done--have had PCOs tell them to wash everything.
Your PCO is the best source of advice for what to do in your specific situation because he or she knows what protocols will be used when your place is treated.
Ask your PCO what he recommends.
Are you going to keep your clothes in your car until you're bedbug-free? Treatment usually isn't a one-spray thing.
This is what my PCO said:
When he comes to treat (on Monday), he says he's doing a thermal fog, which will just get in all the cracks and crevices and everywhere (and in my dresser and closet).
He said I will need to wash/dry my clothes after the thermal treatment. So is that because the chemicals will be on my clothes after that, so I would need to get rid of the chemicals/smell? Or is it just an extra precaution to get rid of any remaining bugs/eggs?
Oh, you're the person with the thermal fog PCO.
I have to say, I have no idea what he means by a thermal fog. I'm curious to find out.
I expect it's best to ask your PCO about that they--doubly so since it's a procedure I'm not sure anyone here is familiar with. I can tell you that Vikane cannot penetrate plastic bags, but I'm not sure about other chemicals in general, and certainly not sure about whatever is in this thermal fog.
I would follow his instructions, although depending on how long it's going to take and how tired you'll be by the time treatment is over, I would probably personally pull out a set of fabric items you'd need for a few days: three outfits, one set of bath linens, one set of kitchen linens, one set of bed linens. Those I would wash in advance and seal up tightly so that you won't have to do a ton of laundry after treatment and before you can sleep. I was so emotionally keyed up on treatment day, there's no way I would have been up to that afterwards. (But also, my treatment because it was thermal took the better part of a day. Your mileage, of course, may vary.)
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