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How Pests Can Infiltrate Your Laundry and How to Stop Them

Nobody wants pests in their house or near their laundry. But, laundry rooms can be targets for ants, cockroaches, and fleas. Keep your laundry room clean and pest-free with these tips.

You made it home and threw your clothes in a pile on the laundry room floor, but you forgot that you soda on your pants earlier in the day. During the night, one tiny little ant found the treasure, and when you wake up, your laundry is covered in ants! What do you do now?

Don’t panic! There are many ways pests can infiltrate your laundry, and also many ways to stop them.

How Pests Infiltrate Your Laundry

Most pests love moisture and warmth, so laundry rooms provide ideal conditions. Not to mention the dirt and food crumbs that accumulate in the piles of soiled clothes and towels. Where do bed bugs hide? Laundry rooms. Your clothes, hampers, and the crevices of washing machines are also welcome hiding places for ticks, fleas, lice, cockroaches, and, of course, ants.

Hitchhike on Clothing

For many pests, the easiest way into your laundry is via your clothing. Any bug you may encounter in the world, like fleas at a pet shelter, a spider at the park, or lice at a kids’ party, can find its way back to your home on your clothes. These little hitchhikers can then find ideal breeding locations inside your home.

Breed in Laundry Baskets

Laundry bags and baskets are another item most of us forget to clean. For this reason, the crevices and seams can accidentally become home to various pests. Those bugs can then travel from your clothes into your machines, or from the basket into the laundry room at large.

Shared Laundry Facilities

If you use shared laundry, whether regularly or occasionally, you’re even more likely to encounter pests. When you share a room and machine with someone else’s clothes, it’s impossible to know exactly what issues may arise. Bugs can come in on another person’s clothing or find room to breed if things aren’t being cleaned adequately.

When choosing a laundromat to use, it is particularly important to choose one that is cleaned regularly – like LaundroLab.

How to Stop Pests in Their Tracks

The simplest way to keep pests at bay is to wash clothing and clean machines frequently, and avoid allowing anything dirty to sit too long in the laundry room. Once you have an issue, there are a few other things you can do to stop a major problem.

Sanitize Your Clothes

If you have the misfortune of pests inside your clothes, you want to wash them on the highest heat setting using a specialized detergent. Laundry detergent isn’t enough to kill germs or bugs, so you need to identify a specially formulated product that targets your specific concern. You may also want to consider dry cleaning if possible, as the dry cleaning process will effectively eliminate pests.

Keep the Machine Clean

Thoroughly and regularly cleaning your washer and dryer is an important step in preventing and eliminating pests. Washing machines can be cleaned by running the sanitizing cycle and using bleach or vinegar in an empty machine. Dryers can be cleaned using a vacuum both in the lint trap and inside the drum, and by wiping down the drum with vinegar and water.

Consider the Pros

If you find yourself in a tough situation, you may want to bring in some professional help. If you didn’t notice the bugs soon enough, a pest control expert is probably a good move. If the laundry room hasn’t been cleaned in a while, professional cleaning may be called for. And if you have a serious problem that’s embedded itself into your fabrics, professional laundry services will make quick work of the issue.

As with most problems, the best thing you can do is try to prevent it in the first place. If you’ve been hiking and possibly come in contact with ticks, or traveling and think bed bugs may have been present, start by immediately washing and drying all of your clothes and gear with a specialized detergent.

Following this, clean the washing machines and the room to prevent any stowaways from establishing themselves. Just like the rest of your home, frequent cleaning will make short work of potentially big issues.

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