Eliminating Bed Bugs With Hot Water

does hot water kill bed bugs

Understanding Bed Bugs and Hot Water Treatment

Bed bugs are tiny, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood, often leaving itchy bites. While they don’t spread diseases, their presence can cause discomfort and distress. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, it’s crucial to act fast to prevent it from spreading.

One effective method for eradicating bed bugs is using hot water. Bed bugs are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and exposure to high heat can disrupt their cellular structure, leading to their demise.

Implementing Hot Water Treatment for Bed Bugs

Washing Bedding and Clothing

Washing bedding and clothing in hot water is a practical way to kill bed bugs. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Water Temperature: Set your washing machine to the hottest water setting, ideally at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). This temperature ensures the elimination of both adult bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Detergent Choice: Opt for a laundry detergent specifically designed to target bed bugs. These detergents often contain insecticides like pyrethroids or neonicotinoids that enhance the killing effect of the hot water.
  • Drying Process: After washing, transfer the items to a dryer and use the highest heat setting for at least 30 minutes. The combination of hot water and high heat drying provides a comprehensive approach to eliminate bed bugs.

Using Steam

Steam cleaning is another effective method to target bed bugs hiding in mattresses, furniture, and carpets. The high temperature of the steam penetrates fabrics and crevices, effectively killing bed bugs on contact.

Safety Precautions with Hot Water and Steam:

  • Prevent Burns: Exercise caution when handling hot water and steam to avoid burns. Wear protective gloves and be mindful of splashing.
  • Protect Fabrics: Be aware that certain delicate fabrics may not withstand high heat. Check care labels before using hot water or steam on specific items.

Additional Bed Bug Control Methods

While hot water treatment is effective, it’s often beneficial to combine it with other methods for comprehensive bed bug control:

  • Vacuuming: Regularly vacuuming mattresses, furniture, floors, and carpets helps remove bed bugs and their eggs. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after use to prevent re-infestation.
  • Mattress Encasements: Consider using bed bug-proof mattress encasements to trap any remaining bed bugs and prevent them from escaping or biting.
  • Professional Pest Control: For severe infestations, seeking professional pest control services may be necessary. They have access to specialized tools and treatments to effectively eliminate bed bugs.


Hot water treatment, when used correctly, can be a powerful tool in the fight against bed bugs. By combining hot water with other pest control methods, you can effectively eliminate these unwanted guests and reclaim your home. Remember to prioritize safety when using hot water and steam, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

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