How Do Dry Cleaning Bed Bugs Happen?
If you use Laundromats and dry cleaners, you need to be aware that there is a risk other people’s clothes could bring bed bugs that could infect your personal items. Some people would knowingly bring their clothes to these facilities in the hope of disinfecting their personal items, while most people are not even aware that their clothes are infested with bed bugs. This is a risk that you need to be aware of the next time you wash your clothes in a Laundromat or bring them to a dry cleaner.
It’s not impossible to take bed bugs from Laundromats back home given the sheer volume of people who use these facilities. In most cases, Laundromats and dry cleaners are not as diligent in cleaning their equipment, so it allows bed bugs to thrive and get into other people’s clothes.
Therefore, it is important to know this so you can take precautionary measures to protect against dry cleaning bed bugs.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs When Using the Laundromat
It is possible to get bed bugs when using the Laundromat because some people might be less cautious. It’s your responsibility to prevent bed bugs by taking extra precautions. You have to keep in mind that bed bugs are miniscule, so it is easy for them to hide in tiny nooks and crevices.
A Laundromat is designed to be a self-service facility, so there are plenty of ways that you can prevent infestation. Avoid using drop-off services and do the laundry yourself so you can keep an eye on your items.
Heat is your friend when you want to prevent bed bugs. Use medium to high heat when washing, if possible. Bed bugs can’t survive heat of 113 degrees F. Even their eggs die after an exposure of at least a minute at this temperature.
While most bed bugs die at this temperature, some can find cooler pockets of temperature. To make sure that those that survived the wash cycle are killed too, you need to crank up the heat on the dry cycle. You must run your clothes in the dryer for at least 15 minutes (light colored clothes) or up to 90 minutes. This will help make sure that no bed bugs could survive.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs When Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning is a great step in order to kill bed bugs that might infest your clothes. But not all dry cleaners are the same. Make sure you choose one that has specialized tools to effectively clean your clothes by using high temperatures of up to 122 degrees F.
When taking your clothes to the dry cleaner, make sure you bring your own laundry bag. This will prevent your clothes from being exposed to tools that other patrons may have used, thus allowing the transfer of bed bugs (and possibly, their eggs) to your clothes.
It is also a good practice to call up a local dry cleaner and ask them about their protocols in terms of protecting against bed bugs. Knowing what they do to ensure that you are protected from bed bugs will give you peace of mind that you can’t bring them home with you.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
When using the dry cleaners or Laundromat, you need to always be cautious. It is an important step towards preventing the possibility of bringing these pests home. If you are not ready to handle a bed bug infestation at home, make sure to avoid these mistakes at all costs.
1. Using cold or room temperature water to wash your clothes.
Most people use cold or room temperature water when washing because it prevents damage to clothes. However, you need hot water or high temperature to kill bed bugs. You need to at least soak your clothes in hot water for 7 minutes to ensure that you kill the pests. This should be done for both wash and dry cycles.
2. Using common areas to fold your clothes.
This is a major no-no that a lot of people are guilty of doing. It is easy to commit this mistake because there are designated areas in the Laundromat for folding clothes. But you don’t need to use them just because many other people are also using them, and you can’t be sure if any of their bed bug infested items had been laid on those folding tables.
The best solution for this is to take your washed and dried clothes home. You can fold your clothes at home instead. Even when you fold at home, start folding the light colored items first. This will help you check the clothes for the presence of bed bugs. And while you are at the Laundromat, take time to inspect the common seating areas for any signs of bed bugs.
3. Leaving your personal items unattended.
Always look after your clothes and personal items. Do not let the attendant or anyone else take your clothes out of the dryer as they could place it on the common folding area or the laundry baskets provided, which could lead to a bed bug infestation. Keep a close eye on the washer and dryer so you know when they are done.
If you’ve already brought home bed bugs from the Laundromat or dry cleaner, the next step is to control it. Bed bug inspection is always required as there might be more hiding somewhere. You can use the traditional approach of using bed bug heaters, bed bug fumigation or hot steam to kill the pests and stop them from spreading. Another usefull and bio approach to kill the bed bugs in your flat or house is the use of diatomaceous earth. But if the infestation is already affecting a significant part of your home, it is best to call in pest control experts. They have the tools and expertise needed to handle a full-scale pest infestation, including dry cleaning bed bugs.
Maybe you are interested in the cost of a professional heat treatment?
Or maybe you wonder where the beg bugs live and do they hide in wood furniture, can you fumigate bedroom or maybe use bed bug traps. You can contact us directly through our website or call a member of our staff and ask for advice . Don’t let bed bugs control your life, let us handle it and get rid of the infestation. We stand behind our work offering you a professional service as well as a warranty after each treatment.