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How Often You Should Wash Your Sheets To Avoid Bed Bugs As Infestation Hits The UK

After a recent infestation of bed bugs hitting the UK experts have spoken out and warned how often you should be washing your bedding.
Credit: Alamy

Experts have spoken out and shared an insight into how often you should be washing your sheets, especially in light of concerns about a potential increase in bed bug infestations in the UK.

Paris is presently experiencing a bed bug outbreak, with reports of one commuter spotting these pesky insects on a train.

Videos showing these blood-sucking insects have shocked TikTok users, prompting some to prefer standing in the infested Parisian metro rather than sitting on the fabric seats.

One expert has now spoken out and said that bed bugs are spreading extensively in the UK.

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In an interview with Sky News, David Cain, a microbiologist and the founder of Bed Bugs Ltd, stated: “I think there’s probably a similar level of issue in London as in Paris at present.

“They’re already on buses, trains, tubes, cinemas, doctor’s surgeries, public spaces, hospitals.”

The troublesome insects are known to be oval in shape, flat, brownish-red in colour, roughly the size of an apple seed, and rely on blood to survive.

Detecting the insects can be challenging, often going unnoticed until it’s too late and an infestation has firmly established itself. Once they’ve infiltrated your premises, they are notoriously tough to eliminate, typically necessitating the expertise of a specialist for eradication.

Bed bugs on Paris metro.
Bed bugs have been spotted on trains in Paris. Credit: @Germaarig/Twitter

It’s crucial to note that having dirty bedding doesn’t necessarily lead to a bed bug infestation.

Bed bugs typically find their way into people’s homes by hitching a ride in their luggage or clinging to their clothing.

Nevertheless, washing your sheets can effectively eliminate any bugs present in the bedding.

Additionally, relying solely on cleaning efforts is typically insufficient for bed bug eradication.

Professional intervention is often necessary because even if you wash and eliminate the bugs on your sheets, bed bugs may still be hiding in your mattress or in the vicinity of your bed.

Green bed
Social media users have shared videos of the pesky bugs online. Credit: Alamy

Nevertheless, consistent washing practices can assist in detecting infestations sooner rather than later, which is crucial for effective elimination.

But how frequently should you wash your bedding? It’s advisable to do so once a week at a high temperature, according to Additionally, you can use a high-temperature dryer for around 30 minutes to further ensure their removal.

Pest experts Bed Bug Specialist told Daily Express: “One of their weaknesses is high temperature.

“Washing laundry at 60 degrees for 30 minutes terminates all bed bugs and their eggs. Lowering the temperature to 40 degrees kills all adult bed bugs, but only 25 per cent of the eggs.”

Towels and bedding should be added to a ‘sealed bag or container’ to avoid spreading the bed bugs to other places on the way to the washing machine.

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The bed bug experts said: “It’s better to use disposable bags which have seals on top, or you can tie up. Then put the bags in the washing machine and open or rip them inside.”

Once washed add the laundry to the tumble dryer on the highest heat it can handle for ‘at least 30 minutes’.

Plunkett’s, a pest control company, has also explained how to inspect for bedbugs.

The website states: “When you strip your bed to wash the sheets, take the time to give your mattress a quick once-over.

“Flip it over once or twice while checking the corners, nooks, and zipper for bed bugs. Consider vacuuming the mattress to remove crumbs, dirt, or dead skin.

“Check the frame, headboard, and bed skirt, too. If you find bedbugs, strip the mattress bare and wash everything, sheets, pillowcases, and comforter.”

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Written by Ryan Wilks

Ryan is a former content editor at IGV who specialises in celebrity and entertainment news. He has a degree in Magazine Journalism and Production from the University of Gloucestershire. He previously worked as a social media editor for Reach PLC’s national brands including Daily Star, Daily Express, OK! and The Mirror.