How Do Bed Bugs Hide In Clothes

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

They can fit almost anywhere. So where do bed bugs hide? Here are the TOP 8 bed bug hiding places, plus other spots that will surprise you. Learn where to look for them here.

What good is knowing where to look if you don’t know what you’re looking for?If you don’t already know what bed bugs look like and aren’t aware of the other signs you have bed bugs, take a quick look now. I’ll wait right here.

To understand where bed bugs hide, you need to know a little about their behavior. They are stealthy creatures that feed on human blood in a “hit and run” pattern. They come out (usually while you’re sleeping) only to feed. As soon as they’ve had their meal, they scurry back to their hiding places until it’s time for them to make another food run.

Typically, they hide near the food source, soyou will usually find them within 5 feet or so of the places you spend prolonged periods of time.As an infestation grows, they do tend to spread further away from the main feeding area, though.

NOTE:The lists below only account for bed bug hiding places in areas where people are living. They don’t account for how the hitchhike their way into your life in the first place.

So without further ado, here are the.

Top 8 Bed Bug Hiding Places

According to a study of infested living environments conducted by the University of Kentucky, this was the breakdown of the most frequent places where bed bugs were found to be hiding:

  1. Box Spring (34.6%)
  2. Couch and/or Chair (22.6%)
  3. Mattress (22.4%)
  4. Bed Frame and/or Head Board (13.4%)
  5. Other (3.1%)
  6. Walls and/or Ceilings (2.3%)
  7. Baseboard (1.4%)
  8. Dresser and/or Night Stand (0.2%)

What about that "Other" 3.1% in the number 5 position? The study didn’t break it down. It was a combination locations that individually did not make the list.

Where Else Do Bed Bugs Hide?

This is a "usual suspects" kind of list of typical hiding places:

  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Curtains
  • Luggage, handbags, gym bags and backpacks
  • Luggage racks (in hotel rooms)
  • In/around clutter (particularly on the floor)
  • Closets (mostly near the sleeping area)
  • Coffee tables and end tables (especially if bedbugs are found in a nearby sofa or chair)
  • Under rugs and at carpet edges

Surprising Places Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bed bugs have been found in all kinds of places, so this is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Behind/Inside electrical outlets and switch plates
  • Behind pictures and in/around picture frames (same goes for mirrors)
  • In wallpaper seams
  • Door and window moldings
  • Door hinges
  • Electronic devices (Cell Phones,Computers, TVs, Stereos,etc.)
  • Books
  • Toy boxes
  • Dog beds and dog/Cat cages
  • Laundry rooms (from infested clothing lying around)
  • Cars

You might be thinking, “This doesn’t help me a bit – they could be anywhere!” So, keep this in mind.

The reality is (nearly all the time) bed bugs hide in and very near the location where they feed.That means places that you rest for long periods of time – namely your bed – and wherever you “lounge” when you’re not sleeping. (Sofa, computer desk, gaming chair – whatever your seat of choice might be).

Finally, lest you feel totally defeated and overwhelmed, I give you. (big sigh of relief!).

5 Places Bed Bugs Do NOT Hide (usually)

If you do find them in these places, you may have a very advanced infestation on your hands.(In that case, jump on over to the Bed Bug Pest Control section, because you need to take action as soon as possible.) Just don’t do anything until you at least read the bed bug control ‘no-no’s.

  • Kitchens (unless this is your “lounging area”)
  • Bathrooms – especially not the bathtub
  • Garages
  • Unfinished Basements
  • Any rooms that are not often in use

Now that you know some answers to the question "where do bed bugs hide", it’s time to learn how to find bed bugs in their hideouts and how to do it without helping them spread.

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I Need Tips for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes

N ight time bug bites and stains on your bedding reveal that you’ve been invaded by bed bugs. Now you’re finding them everywhere, including your dresser drawers and clothes closet. You’re taking steps to get rid of nasty little pests, but now they’re in all your clothes. Your priority now is learning how to get rid of bed bugs in clothes. Is there a special detergent that will help? Is it better to pay a dry cleaner? Or do you just have to toss everything in the trash? Keep reading. We’ve collected the tips and information you need.

Table of Contents

Bed Bugs Can Infest Your Clothes

Bed bugs thrive wherever people are. They are travelers and can hitch a ride on about anything. That includes your luggage if you set it anywhere near a bed bug.

You may not have bed bugs in your home, but you can carry them home from anywhere you visit, including five-star hotels or your best friend’s house. You can learn here how to prevent bed bugs from invading your living quarters.

Bed bugs love dark spaces. That includes the folds of your clothes. When they don’t have better places to hide, bed bugs crawl into your clothes.

Washing and Drying Has a Surprising Benefit

Bed bugs have infested your clothes. Does that mean you have to spray them with the same insecticide you’re using on the carpet and mattress? It’s supposed to be safe for fabrics. How will you get any of the poisonous residue out of your lingerie?

Actually, getting rid of bed bugs in your clothes isn’t as complicated as getting rid of them elsewhere.

Two goals to consider:

  1. Keeping the bugs already in the clothes from infesting other areas.
  2. Keeping bugs from other areas from re-infesting your clothes.

Plastic bags that seal tightly are your best friend for both these goals.

The Process Is Effective If Done Correctly

Follow these three basic steps to wash and dry clothes infested with bed bugs:

  • Seal the clothes in plastic bags.
  • Wash and dry the clothes.
  • Seal the cleaned clothes in plastic bags.

Don’t place the bags where there might be a bed bug infestation. If all the bed bugs in your home have been eradicated, then you can put your clothes in drawers and closets after cleaning. If not, take what you need each time from a sealed bag, and reseal the bag.

Hot Water

Heat kills bed bugs. Use the hottest water that safe for your clothes when you wash them. You can add cleaning products to the wash water, but the hot water is what kills them. It’s best that the clothes are in hot water for at least 30 minutes, so you may need to use two wash cycles.

Avoid placing the plastic bag on the floor or tossing your clothes in one at a time. Carefully unseal the plastic bag so that the opening is inside the washer. Then push in the clothes from the bag without touching them.

Keep Your Clothes Sealed in Plastic. Once the bag is empty, quickly reseal it, then place it another bag and seal it. Dispose of both bags outside in an appropriate trash container. The bed bugs in the inside bag will eventually die from lack of food.

When you transfer the washed clothes to the dryer, avoid allowing them to touch anything. If you’re at a commercial laundromat or other shared facility, place your clothes in a sealed bag directly from the dryer. If you’re using your home washer and dryer, you can fold or hang your clothes as you usually would, if you’re sure there are no bed bugs in the area. Putting bed-bug infested clothes on the floor allows the bugs to spread and infest the laundry area.

Laundry Soap

Bedbugs have become resistant to the chemicals traditionally used to exterminate them. Effective chemicals, such as those in modern insecticide sprays, aren’t suitable for use in your laundry.

Laundry soap is meant to clean your clothes. It doesn’t contain insecticides or other ingredients that are toxic to bedbugs. When you’re getting rid of bedbugs in your clothes, washing and drying at high temperatures is all that you need to do.

Some people add dishwashing detergent, such as Dawn to the wash water. Dishwashing detergents can kill bed bugs on contact. They’re effective when sprayed directly on bugs, rather than put in laundry wash water. For more tips on how to get rid of bed bugs naturally, read this article.

Bleach

Harsh chemicals like bleach will kill bedbugs. Even if you use products that promise they won’t fade fabrics, bleach is still a risky way to try to get rid bed bugs in your clothes. Internet advice recommends adding the bleach to hot water when you do your laundry. Then use high heat in the dryer to dry them. The bleach may kill a bed bug or two, but it’s the high temperatures that destroy them.

Making a spray of half bleach and half water and using that on your mattress is fatal to bed bugs hiding there. That can help keep your clothes from being re-infested. You’ll find instructions here on how to get rid of bed bugs in furniture to keep them from getting into your clothes.

Special Laundry Detergents

You will find products online or in retail outlets that are meant to be added to your laundry to kill bedbugs.

These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Bed Bug 911 Exterminator Laundry Treatment.
  • Formula 4 Bed Bug Detergent.
  • SayByeBugs Laundry Treatment.

The products claim to be non-toxic and safe for fabrics.

Searching for a list of ingredients in bed bug laundry detergents yields information such as:

  • All-Natural,
  • Proprietary formula,
  • Special formula.

You can use any of the products that you care to try, but note that most of the directions advise you to use hot water in the wash.

If the instructions include washing in cold water, then you are to use high temperature in the dryer. It’s the heat that kills the bed bugs, not the detergent ingredients. It’s also worthwhile noting that some states don’t allow the use of some of the products. Those products may not be as harmless as advertised.

How Do I Kill Them With Heat?

As has been established, high temperatures are fatal to bed bugs. High temperatures can also be harmful to certain fabrics. Items that require dry cleaning can’t be washed. Some of these can be placed in a dryer, but you must use the highest temperature and leave the items in for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then you can take them to a dry-cleaning establishment.

It’s a matter of courtesy that you inform the dry cleaner that the garments were infested with bed bugs. You should also take them in a sealed bag, in case the dryer heat didn’t kill them all.

Ranger Heat Bed Bug Treatment Bag

Put The Sun To Use

Another option for using heat to get rid of bed bugs in clothes is to make use of the sun. Put your clothes in a sealed plastic bag. Place the bag in the sunshine for a few hours. You can use an infrared thermometer or similar instrument to monitor the temperature. Keep in mind that the clothes in the center won’t get hot as quickly as the outer layer.

What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?

How hot does hot have to be to kill bed bugs? Research and experiments have shown that temperatures of at least 50 degrees C or 122 degrees F are fatal to bed bugs. That temperature must be maintained for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Bed bugs have 3 major stages of growth.

These are:

  • Egg,
  • Nymph,
  • Adult.

If you don’t eliminate all three stages, your items will soon be re-infected.

A 24-hour soak in cold water, then drying on high temperature can kill adults and nymphs. This can be an option for delicates that hot water would damage. It won’t destroy eggs, so you may have to repeat the process several times.

Using temperatures that are at least 60 degrees C or 140 degrees F will kill eggs, nymphs, and adults. Maintain the temperature for at least 30 minutes. Regardless of the temperature, the nymphs won’t die in less than 30 minutes.

What Are the Steps to Kill Bed Bugs in The Dryer?

When transferring wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, place them in plastic bags and avoid letting them touch anything. If you’re placing items in the dryer without washing them first, they must go directly to the dryer from a sealed bag. Place the opening of the bag in the dryer and push the garment in. If you pick up clothes and place them individually in the dryer, the bed bugs can infest the laundry area.

If clothes ball up in the dryer, the inside garments will be cooler. In that case, leave the clothes in longer. Skip the cool down cycle in all cases.

To avoid potentially re-infesting the next load of clothes, thoroughly clean the lint trap. Place the lint in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it away from the laundry area.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets smell nice to humans. Bed bugs don’t care for the smell and will avoid it. That’s led to the belief that dryer sheets are an effective way to repel bed bugs. Dryer sheets do not kill bed bugs or get rid of them.

If you put dryer sheets in one location, the bed bugs simply move to a nearby location. A dryer sheet under your mattress won’t keep bugs out of other parts of your bed. A dryer sheet in the pocket of a garment won’t keep pests away from the rest of your clothing.

Bed bugs emit a musky odor. Dryer sheets can mask that odor, leading you to think that your pest problem has been solved. It hasn’t. The infestation will worsen, potentially making eradication a much harder job than it would have been otherwise.

A bed bug infestation takes a lot of work and time to eradicate. Getting rid of bedbugs in clothing isn’t as difficult as getting rid of them in furniture, carpets, and mattresses. Plastic bags that seal tightly, hot water, and a clothes dryer are all you need to make your clothes bed-bug free. You can also treat your bedding, except for pillows, the same way. Pillows are too thick for the heat to effectively penetrate to the center. Toss them, but wash and dry everything else.

You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

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Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs in Clothes?

Generally, bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects. It generally bites the warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, rodents and birds. While there are some thing you can do at home to deter bed bugs, it’s best to get the help of a professional. It’s also important to be aware of the habits of bed bugs, and how they reproduce. So, do bed bugs lay eggs in clothes?

The General Facts About Bed Bugs:

The common bed bugs are known as Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. They have a very close and strong connection with human beddings. They are very close to the beds and often lay eggs on the clothes. It has many other names such as red coat, gray backs, house bugs, wall louse and all.

Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs in Clothes?

Bed bugs cannot jump and fly. They are not at all a moving host and for that they often attack on the beds when you are unaware. If you have a bad practice to leave your clothes on the floor and the bed, then there is a very good chance to pick up the bed bugs easily. These are some hiding places:

  1. Behind the wall sockets.
  2. Behind the wallpaper.
  3. Inside books and paper.
  4. Mattresses .
  5. Behind and under beds.
  6. Inside covers.
  7. Behind the pictures.
  8. In the corner side of the floors and walls.
  9. Inside the old furniture.
  10. In clothing wardrobe.

Infections From Bed Bugs:

Commonly, bed bugs feeds at night, but if it finds a dim light during the daytime, then it may also feed during the day hours. At the time of piercing the skin, it injects fluid into the human skin. This fluid can cause irritation in the human skin, as it becomes inflamed and itchy. Bed bugs are generally small and agile. Bed bugs can also live in clothing and shoes. In case of huge problem, you will have to hire a professional.

Prevent the Bed Bugs:

It is a very challenging job to terminate the bed bugs from your house. They can easily hide in many places. In order to find them, you will need a thorough elimination process.

  1. You will have to call a professional in order to get rid of them.
  2. You will have to wash and dry your bedding and towels routinely.
  3. You will have to check the drawer and clothing wardrobe.
  4. Professional and expert treatment will be needed in order to eliminate them.
  5. Dry cleaning process will kill the bed bugs.
  6. Heat treatments will be needed for bed bugs.

To Summarize

Bed bugs are really very irritant species. Are you inquiring do bed bugs lay eggs in clothes? If you do not keep your room clean, and your clothes put away, then the bed bugs will consider your clothing to be a great nest for their eggs. Whether you are dealing with a few bed bugs, or a full-blown infestation, Preventive Pest Control can help eliminate all bed bugs in your home.

Bedbugs

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

Continued

Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

Continued

Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

Sources

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

Can you wash bed bugs out of clothes?

Bed bug infestations are on the rise in the U.S., and coming up with effective ways to deal with these nocturnal pests has become a big topic around the water cooler. Although bed bugs can hitch a ride on just about anything, including shoes, handbags and luggage, clothing is a common target. It’s possible to eradicate bed bugs from laundered clothing, bedding and household textiles like drapes and area rugs, but it takes heat to do it.

A sustained temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill all stages of the bed bug’s lifecycle. Some experts suggest maintaining the heat for at least 20 minutes while others recommend continuing high temperatures for an hour. That’s good news if you’re trying to get bed bugs out of your clothes: Washing your clothes in hot water will probably kill them, and spinning your clothes in a hot dryer will certainly kill them. In fact, just stuffing your bug infested clothes in a trash bag, sealing it and putting it out in the sun on a hot day will kill any critters inside. Just make sure the interior of the bag reaches a sustained 120 degrees Fahrenheit by checking the temperature with an instant read thermometer.

If you’re dealing with dry-clean-only garments, the dry-cleaning process kills bed bugs, too, but it’s probably a good idea to let the dry cleaner know there may be bed bugs in the clothing you’re leaving at his facility. He may want to quarantine your clothes before treating them.

If there will be a delay in cleaning your garments or dropping them off at the dry cleaner, keep them in a sealed trash bag in your garage to make sure you don’t spread them to multiple areas in your home.

These tips don’t just work for clothing, either. Washing and drying with hot water, dry cleaning and heat treating will kill bed bugs in bedding, draperies, pillows, cushions, area rugs and other household textiles, too. Just make sure that the heat penetrates all the layers of the items you’re cleaning.

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