So, bed bugs huh! Being bitten by bed bugs is nasty business. Suppose you are not bit but simply found one crawling on your bedroom carpet a week after you got back from your road trip lodging at different hostels and hotels-scarier! This is because you know by now that even finding a single bed bug means you need to take action. Failure to do so would aggravate the situation leading to thousands of bed bugs in a short period. In this guide, we will discuss how dry cleaning can effectively kill bed bugs.
There are several proven ways to get rid of bedbugs in an apartment and bed bugs dry cleaning is a major step of integrated bed bug management. Dry cleaning infested clothing and bed sheets etc can ensure killing all of their eggs and larvae. Apart from bed bugs dry cleaning to kill bugs on your personal items, you must also perform the following steps:
- Vacuum all floors in every room especially all carpets and mattresses to remove bedbugs. No amount of bed bugs dry cleaning will help if you do not perform this first step.
- Remember that Bedbugs prefer moist and warm atmosphere. They can’t stand cold. If you live in cold areas, you could kill bedbugs by freezing furniture. Just cover furniture or bed covers, pillows etc., in plastic wrap and move them to the colder areas of the apartment.
- Bed bugs can’t stand high temperatures either. Wash all cloths and dry them for several minutes at as high a temperature as the fabric can stand. This is specifically recommended for cotton clothes. For silk and other delicate items, you can opt for dry cleaning. Many people use silk pillow cases, sheets and night clothing. If these are infested, dry cleaning to kill bed bugs is an important and essential step of the extermination process.
- As heat is effective in destroying bed bugs, try to expose infested furniture to hot temperatures through steam cleaning. This can help quickly kill bedbugs clinging to the furniture.
- Use chemical spray in the apartment after ascertaining it is safe for the household.
- An exterminator can help clean up the apartment off bedbugs.
- Use bedbug powder all over the floor. Bedbug powder is available at the chemist.
Having done all that, there will still be some bedbugs around clinging to clothes that are too delicate to be thrown into the dryer. You could hand wash those clothes but the amount of sun you expose them to for drying may not be enough to kill the bedbugs. Such clothes must be dry-cleaned.
What is dry cleaning and how does it help get rid of bedbugs
Dry cleaning is a process used at laundries where a chemical is used instead of water. Clothes that are too delicate to be dried in a dryer are cleaned and dried at laundries using this method. A chemical called perchloroethylene is used either manually or in a dry cleaning machine to clean the clothes and then the clothes are either hung dry or dried at a low temperature on a delicate setting in a dryer. Neither the dry cleaning machine nor the driers generate enough heat to kill the bedbugs. However, the chemical used in the process does kill bedbugs. So, the answer to the question, “does dry cleaning kill bedbugs?” is “yes”. Some laundries, however, do not use the chemical perchloroethylene for dry cleaning. In such cases, dry cleaning will not kill bedbugs.
Some guidelines for getting rid of bedbugs using dry cleaning
- Ensure the chemical used by your laundry is perchloroethylene (also called PERC in short).
- Let the laundry store know that you suspect the clothes given for dry cleaning are bedbug infested so that they make a separate load.
- Carry your bedbug-infested clothes in a separate bag and destroy the bag once you deliver the clothes. Use a different bag to get your clean clothes.
- Dry cleaning machine runs only for a few minutes. The dryer used for drying these clothes is also set to run at a low temperature for a short period of time. So, there is no need to worry that the process will damage the delicate fabric.
Some Laundromats do not accept bedbug-infested clothes for dry cleaning. In that case, find one that does. If there is no such facility in the area you live, iron the clothes at as high temperatures as the fabric can withstand after home washing them. Bed bugs dry cleaning is an effective method of cleaning infested clothing provided you follow the necessary instructions and precautions.