If you have recently begun feeling itchy or noticed tiny raisins scurrying in your clothing, you may be experiencing one of two things:
1) a meth addiction
2) a bed bug invasion.
Killing Bed Bugs DIY: The Basics
This article will not be helpful if you are experiencing the first option, and if you think this may be the case, it might be beneficial to seek out a better resource than an online blog post.
However, if you think the second option describes your situation, consider your problem solved. In order to carry out the process of eliminating those tiny, evil bastards from clothing and sheets, you will need a few materials:
-a washing machine
Killing Bed Bugs: Basic Steps
Here’s what we’re going to do:
1) Bag and seal everything*
*You will need to pretend you’re a member of the FBI Hazardous Materials Unit. It is of utmost importance that you take anything that could have come in contact with bed bugs and then keep that stuff separate from uncontaminated materials throughout the whole process. If even one bed bug gets away from the contaminated group and back into your house, you’ll be back into bed bug reproductive hell before long.
– Collect the hazardous materials to be washed (aka the infested clothing, bed sheets, etc.) and place them into trash bags.
*Sort everything by color if you’re into that. I stopped color sorting when I decided that 75 cents per load was starting to make me broke, and that having all my clothes turn the same pink-brown-grey color was A-OK with me.
-Tie the trash bags immediately after placing the clothes in them.
– Untie them when they are at the entrance of the washer, then dump the clothes in.
2) Wash it now!
You need to drown and boil as many bugs as possible before placing them into the dryer, because dry heat does not kill every bed bug in a batch.
In order kill 100% of the bugs, the wash cycle must be at least 30 minutes long at 140°F (the average temperature of a hot wash cycle).
As you wait, daydream about the bodies of the tiny hell monsters shriveling up in an ocean of scalding soap water.
3) Dry it-if you for 100% bed bug kills
Hopefully, the hot wash cycle killed all of the bugs. Drying the clothes for 10 minutes on the highest heat that the materials can withstand will also be effective at killing some of the bugs, but not all. This is why the wash cycle will function as the main murder mechanism.
Alternative Bed Bug Elimination Methods
-Dry cleaning is effective in killing 100% of bed bugs. You can rest easy about the time you hooked up with that sexy homeless guy in your hand-stitched silk gown.
-Putting clothes into a freezer is also an effective massacre option. A 5ish lb. batch of infested clothes in the freezer for 8 hours will be clear of living bugs. However, if you choose this option, you’ll need to excavate all the frozen dead bodies out of the clothes. Or not. That one’s up to you.
-Lighting infested clothing on fire with a blowtorch is another effective way to kill 100% of the bugs. Unfortunately, it’s also 100% effective at incinerating your clothes.
You are now armed with the premier level of bed bug homicide knowledge out there.