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How frequently do you launder?

(21 posts)
  1. so unsettling

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 18:22:54
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    I am still quite new, and like most newbies I have become a full-time laundress over the past 2 weeks. Of course, most of the clothing that I washed for the first treatment is still bagged. I see no point in undoing what I did before the next one. But I have to keep some clothes available, and find that I am washing and drying them all the time--always just before I go to work, or out to the cars and homes of friends and family. Is this really necessary? How like am I to transfer these bugs or their eggs from one area to the next on my clothes?

    Also--this is probably a stupid question, but I have to ask. Why don't these creatures just drown in the wash? I mean, a human being submerged and swirling around in a load of water 100s of thousands times his size would be dead in a few minutes. Yet from what I have read, it is really the hot drying process that is necessary to kill them. Don't understand.

  2. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 19:03:37
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    i send laundry out at least once a week. This past week i sent out laundry twice...i'm being extra careful since my bb encounter almost 3 weeks ago.

    i feel better with fresh lounging clothes each day and i'm asking hubby to wear fresh pjs each night as well. And fresh house clothing also.

    Changed linens 2x this week...normally it's like every 5 days...this week was after 3 nights.

    everything that comes back from laundry goes staight into PackTite for a good long bake to make sure there are no stragglers in there.

  3. Callisto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 19:40:53
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    The simple answer as to why the bugs can occasionally survive the wash is that they are DEMON BUGS!!!! Washing alone can kill them, but I seem to remember that a couple of the forum-users did BB drowning experiments and that a some of them revived. Also, drying on hot will kill all stages, whereas the washing may kill live bugs, but it won't affect eggs.

    My linens I wash every time I do an all-out vacuum (once a week now), seeing as I need to strip the bed anyway. I've been a little slack with the vacuuming lately (after 4 weeks post-treatment) due to kamikaze work pile-up, and I've left the sheets as-is to see if I find any BB traces.

    For the clothes I wear regularly, I keep them in my dresser in XL ziplocs that they get sorted into as soon as I bring my clean laundry back. I only have 4 pairs of pants I can wear outside the apartment, so I can't wear once then wash. I've been taking my current pair off as soon as I get in the door and hanging them up in the closet. Some people prefer to bag them instantly though. I figure mine are safe enough on an isolated hanger that is only in contact with the cross-beam (which is polished metal). I've also got a couple outfits for just messing about in my apartment. This works out to doing laundry about once every two weeks for my clothes.

  4. controlfreak

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 19:52:30
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    In theory or in reality? In theory, i do it everyday, may be twice a day because i constantly think about it and plan it and dream about it. In reality, after seeing how my laundry room is and how my neighbors (including the one who is supposed to be dealing with bbs) do their laundry i am terrified of that room so i do it once a week. I don't use my outside clothes at home or vice versa.

  5. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 19:55:28
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    During treatment I washed the 3 beds 2x a week.
    Post treatment and in wait and see mode - 1 x a week when we search for evidence.

    I launder clothes everyday or every other day. It's a new habit that I can't break.

  6. BBQueen

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 20:21:32
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    I do laundry several times a week. Clothes that have only been worn outside and can bear another wearing go immediately in ziplock bags. Other stuff goes in a garbage bag that is my new laundry bag. Lately I've been washing my sheets every 2-3 days - or as soon as I see blood or anything on them, back in the wash they go.

  7. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 22:45:04
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    I've been neurotic. I change my sheets everyday, on a couple occasions when I was doing laundry I changed the sheets twice on a day. But after reading the responses here, is that too much to be able to detect if you have bbs? I figure if they're gonna poop or something, it would have been done already so no risk in washing the sheets so often.

    I haven't been confirmed, but since I got my first bld bite, it seems I've been getting bites consistently lately. I got about five hives on my face yesterday that haven't gone away yet. Then I remembered that they surfaced after I was on my hands and knees vacuuming the edges of my apt because I am trying to get rid of carpet beetles. So, I'm thinking that either I'm having an allergic reaction to the carpet beetle larvae hairs or just the dust alone. I used to always break out in hives from dust. Only thing is, they went away in a couple of hours. I still have the hives 36+ hours later. Don't want to even think that bbs bit my face.

    I do laundry 3 times a week. I do it myself because I don't trust anyone else to make sure they're using hot water or drying for the sufficient amount of time. I am washing and/or drying all my clothes, especially since I think the carpet beetles have gotten into my drawers. Haven't seen any in there, but some socks feel prickly when I wear them, so I'm trying to wash the larvae hairs out of them and if it does turn out I have bbs, I'll be ahead of the game with the prep work. Although, after six weeks of this, I still haven't made a dent. I guess my shopping disease is evident while trying to do this task. Sigh...

  8. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 5:52:51
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    Someone mentioned here about using a plastic bag as a hamper. I have still been using the hamper in my bathroom which is built into the wall. It's so convenient ...but...i think it is a chink in my armour in the sense that if there are any bbs on my dirty clothing, they have a chance to escape from the hamper. I wiped down the inside of the hamper the other day with alcohol...but from now on i'm going to put a plastic bag inside that hamper and when i toss dirty clothing in there, i'll close up that bag until it's time to take it to the laundy!

    Thanks for the idea...

  9. BBQueen

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 6:00:16
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    Yes, Deedle, plastic bags are the way to go for laundry. It's kind of funny, given how we're supposed to be cutting down on the use of plastic bags - I think I've used more in the last month than in my entire life up to now what with double bagging stuff to go out, etc. I threw out my laundry tub and all the clothespins I kept in it. It's not like I'm putting stuff out on the line now anyway - stuff that had *never* been dried is now being dried a couple of times a week.

    Hmmm ... maybe that was the place that one recent bedbug came from, Deedle.

  10. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 7:28:08
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    you think bb came from clothes pins?

    hmmm...they could be anywhere...and those little bebe bbs could be on a clothes pin and you'd never see it!!!

    Aaarrrrghhh!

  11. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 8:38:02
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    I don't like the whole hamper idea at all. Can you completely remove it and heat treat? What about the mechanism, and what's behind the hamper? And even if you can sanitize the whole thing, you will still have to seal and re-seal the plastic bag every time you put in some new laundry. If I remember correctly, it was in the bathroom where you found your last bed bug? The hamper could be the source although your neighbor also seems very plausible. Have you done any caulking of cracks, pipes, etc? Did your PCO put dust into the wall voids, perhaps even drill some holes? You really want to build a Maginot line between you and your neighbor.

    Richard

  12. BBQueen

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 9:03:28
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    Deedle- I'm with Richard. I meant that maybe your bathroom marauder was from your bathroom hamper- it was my disconnected thought that made it seem like there was a clothes pins connection. I just threw mine out because they were in a plastic hamper and they were in the room next to the infected one.

  13. controlfreak

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 9:16:44
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    I had one of those ikea hampers with wheels that i used to drag to the laundry room. It is gone after the second treatment. I have white trash bags i collect dirty laundry and take things down and clean ones to bring things back. People give me that side look thinking i am crazy when they see me trying to get my stuff out of dryers while making sure that the bags don't touch the floor or the dryers...

  14. BBQueen

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 9:45:27
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    controlfreak - 27 minutes ago  » 
    I had one of those ikea hampers with wheels that i used to drag to the laundry room. It is gone after the second treatment. I have white trash bags i collect dirty laundry and take things down and clean ones to bring things back. People give me that side look thinking i am crazy when they see me trying to get my stuff out of dryers while making sure that the bags don't touch the floor or the dryers...

    Heh. While prepping for treatment, I had to go out to laundromats, and I was being careful with what I brought in and what I took out, and I thought people probably thought I was either OCD or a clean freak.

    I think OCD will be the new 'black'. We're on the leading edge!

  15. controlfreak

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 9:53:33
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    We should get that written on a shirt :-)... Last week i was trying to get out my towels and sheets out and they were stuck and i am at this weird situation not knowing where to put the bags to empty my hands. One neighbour asked me if i need a hand and started pushing her dirty laundry cart towards my clean laundry bag. I yelped and jumped back started telling her "no no no thank you, just stay there, i will be done in a minute"... I bet that looked sane and all...

  16. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 10:09:24
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    When I was in prep mode, everything I wore went into the dryer before I left the house (unless already treated and bagged) and again back in the dryer after I returned from the outside. Sheets , pillowcases, all bedding, went into dryer every day. Fortunately, the dryer was conveniently located in my home.

    Today, back to my pre bed bug days. Clothes and sheets go into dryer only after being laundered, around once per week. The exception is I did use the dryer for some new clothes I bought last week. This week I didn't bother with some new jeans, just hung them up. Only nod to my prep days is that I sometimes spray the soles of my shoes with alcohol when returning from outside. Not sure if I will continue doing so when my sprayer runs out. Am I getting overly complacent, or just back to normal? Not sure.

    Richard

  17. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 10:54:16
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    hmmmm...spraying shoes with alcohol coming in....i like it....it's a plan.

    the hamper...just pulled it out...i don't think anything has been behind it since the building was built. So since it had screws and stuff to take it out, i put hubby to work and he unscrewed it and pulled it out...nothing back there at all but we sprayed 91% alcohol all behind the thing and i cleaned the sides of it and put alcohol there also. Hubby is screwing it back in now and he was able to make it even more flush with the walls. I feel better just having done that.

    i think i'll do what i used to do when i first got my PT...i used to PT my dirty clothing and i think i'll do that again. That way, i can put them in the hamper after PTing them until hubby takes them to the laundromat.

    Ohhh brother....

    But thanks for the ideas and suggestions!

  18. PANewBugger

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 20:29:07
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    In the beginning, I would try to wash my sheets each morning, blankets probably 2-3 times / week. Now, I wash sheets every other day, and blankets are washed 1 time / week (however, I now throw blankets into the dryer for 2 hours every other day). I wash pajamas each morning. Clothes that are worn once are put into a sealed plastic bag at the end of each day, and I usually do our clothes laundry every other day. I'm so sick of laundry!!!

    When we come home, we spray the sole of our shoes with 91% isopropyl alcohol, too. Then, they go into a sealed bag.

  19. Jenn28

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 18 2010 10:53:01
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    Deedle,

    What bb encounter 3 weeks ago? In your home?

  20. bugnut

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 18 2010 13:45:42
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    I don't use a hamper anymore - we all put our clothes in a plastic trash can in the middle of the bathtub. We get undressed in the tub and the clothes go right in. Then straight into the wash then I wipe out the can with 91% alcohol. I do laundry every day, but I do have a washer and dryer at my disposal. If a pillow or blanket falls on the floor it goes in a plastic trash can or tubtrug (they are great) and into to dryer on high.

    Sheets are back to once a week, but examined every day.

  21. PattiCakes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 18 2010 21:39:40
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    When I first discovered I had bed bugs I washed and dryed my clothes for 60 minutes then bagged them in black garbage bags and placed those bags in my garage. I was only able to do 1/2 of my laundry at home while prepping for the treatment and then I did the other 1/2 at the laundromat and placed those bags in the garage.

    I stayed at my daughter's house with my other 2 (still at home) children and every time I walked into my daughter's house I would strip throw my clothes in the dryer on high for an hour and shower and change into "safe clothes"

    When I returned home after a week (because I couldn't bring myself to return) I rewashed and dried all the clothing that had been washed and dried and bagged previous.

    I discovered I still had bed bugs the day before the PC guy was to come back for his follow up inspection. He had not steamed my sofa or living room but had sprayed it. I purchased a cloths steamer and vacuumed and steamed my sofa, chair and all the carpet and drapes in the living room. I did not tell the PC guy this and made him do it as well. I was out of my house and back at my daughter's again for another week.

    Now I'm back in my house. I took all my linen from my linen closet and have washed and dried it for 120 minutes on high then sealed them in plastic vacuum sealed bags. I sit in my kitchen most of the day and evening. I have been home for over a week and have ventured for an hour or two into my living room.

    When I arrived home I re-steamed and vacuumed my bedroom as I don't know how good of a job this guy did but I know I did it thorough and I have been sleeping in my bed that is about a foot and a half from any wall. I have a mattress and box spring covers now and new white sheets so that I can see evidence immediately.

    I know my friends think I'm neurotic but I'd rather be neurotic than to relive this. I feel exhausted and at my wits end. If washing and drying everything stitch of clothing and bedding is making me feel safe and steaming every inch of my house over and over keeps me sane then I'm going to do it.

    I have found I'm starting to settle down a bit. When I get really tired I start to think I feel bugs crawling on me but that is because I'm tired and my paranoia starts to get out of control.

    Oh and I vacuumed and cleaned my car. I do plan to steam it as well then spray it that evening before I go to bed to be safe.


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