Over the past few weeks, Paris has been plagued with a bed bug infestation, which has provoked widespread concern, and the outbreak is now said to have reached the UK’s capital, London, after commuters spotted and filmed footage of the insects on underground seats.
Unfortunately, bed bugs can get everywhere and are incredibly hard to remove from our possessions, including the clothing we wear daily.
Following the widespread worry, John Johnston, Head of E-Commerce at the UK’s leading workwear provider, Workwear Express has shared some tips on how you can successfully rid your work clothes and wardrobe of bed bugs.
“While waking up with a row of red bite marks is extremely unpleasant and worrying for anyone, dealing with a bed bug outbreak doesn’t mean having to dispose of everything in your wardrobe.
“Though some people might be concerned about carrying bed bugs into their workplace via staff uniform for office wear that they dress in daily, there are a few key things you can do to ensure your clothes are bed bug-free before heading back into the office, if you are dealing with an infestation. Here are some general steps to follow to get rid of bed bugs in your laundry.
Seal your infested clothes in plastic bags
“If you cannot wash your bed bug-infested clothes immediately, first and foremost, make sure to seal them in a plastic bag separate from your other clothes, until you can get around to doing it. This will ensure that they don’t have a chance of taking up residence in other clean clothes that you can still wear for work while you deal with the problem.
Separate clothing by washing instructions
“When it comes to actually washing your clothes, make sure that you separate out anything that can be washed on a high heat and everything that can’t. Once you’ve done this, transfer the new piles of clothing back into plastic bags, as it’s likely that you won’t be able to wash all your infested clothes in one go, and you don’t want to risk having to start the process over again.
Wash and dry on a high temperature
“Once you’ve separated your clothes, transfer them into the washing machine and wash your clothes on a hot water setting, before tumble drying – the hot temperature from both cycles will be what kills the bugs and their eggs. Make sure to take care when transferring your invested clothes from your plastic bags into the washer, so you don’t risk the bed bugs becoming airborne.
Clean your drawers and wardrobes before putting clothes back
“Now your clothing or work uniform is clear of bed bugs, ensure before tidying them away that you clean your drawers and wardrobe thoroughly, to ensure the infestation cycle doesn’t start again. Where possible, use a product that contains bleach, as the chemicals in it will kill any bed bugs that remain on your furniture.
Check for any remaining signs of bed bugs and keep separate from any clothing still infested
“Once you’ve given your drawers and wardrobe a good clean make sure to double-check for any remaining signs of bed bugs before stowing away your clean clothes. It is also key that if you still have any remaining items that are still infested with bed bugs, you keep these separate from your newly cleaned clothes until the infestation has been dealt with.”