How to Kill Bed Bugs: Expert Reveals the Ideal Washing Temperature

Bed bugs are notoriously resilient, making them a persistent nuisance in many homes. These tiny insects thrive in warm temperatures and are especially prevalent during the summer months, often making their way back from vacations. Dr. Jonathan Kirby, a pest expert at NOPE!, warns that bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate and emphasizes the importance of proactive measures to prevent infestations.

According to Dr. Kirby, 60% of Britons fail to wash all their clothes after returning from holidays, and 75% neglect to clean their luggage, making these items potential breeding grounds for bed bugs. The peak activity for bed bugs falls in August and September, due to the warmer temperatures, so regular checks are essential.

Bed bugs prefer dark, hidden spaces, making thorough cleaning and regular inspections crucial. Dr. Kirby advises checking for signs of bed bugs at night when they are most active, looking for red bite marks in lines or clusters, blisters, red rashes, and small bleeding areas on the skin. They also leave behind dark, dotted stains on mattresses and bedding.

To effectively eliminate bed bugs, Dr. Kirby recommends shaking all bedding and clothing outside to dislodge eggs, casings, and dead bugs. Then, wash all affected items at a temperature exceeding 60°C to ensure the demise of any remaining bed bugs. Vacuuming mattresses, under and around beds, and kitchen bins is equally important, ensuring that the vacuum cleaner and its contents are removed from the home.

Following the cleaning process, apply a bed bug killer to mattresses, furnishings, and furniture to eliminate living bugs and prevent re-infestation for up to three months. Dr. Kirby emphasizes prevention as the best defense against infestations. Regular vacuuming of mattresses and bedding, focusing on seams and corners, and repairing cracks in walls, skirting boards, and other potential hiding places are crucial steps. Before bringing secondhand furniture or holiday clothing into your home, inspect them carefully for any signs of bed bugs.

By following these simple yet effective steps, you can keep your home bed bug-free and enjoy a peaceful, pest-free living environment.

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