Freezing Pillows to Eliminate a Worm Infestation: is it a Good Idea?

“Can you put decorative pillows in a bag and leave it outside in below 0 temperatures to hopefully kill the worms or larvae?” asks this reader in her short, but frank query. We assume our reader wants to know for the sake of real-life application and not simply for curiosity’s sake, so we will do our best to answer this question and provide some useful tips our reader can use for eliminating any worms or larvae that may be infesting her pillows.

Firstly, one can definitely put decorative pillows outside in freezing temperatures to “hopefully” kill any creatures that may be infesting said pillows, but it might not be the best way of achieving the desired result. Although extremely high and low temperatures will kill most worms and larvae, leaving a bag of pillows outside could potentially do more harm than good. This totally depends on the conditions in which our reader is leaving the bag, but generally speaking, if left outside the bag could be subject to severe weather changes, it could be poked around in by other animals, and, similarly other insects or worms might crawl into the bag and exacerbate the problem. The temperature may also fluctuate, and cause the pillow to thaw out before it fully freezes. Of course, we do not know where our reader is based and if this is the case there. Besides, usually when one freezes worms to kill them, one has to wait at least 24 hours to ensure the worms actually die. Our reader may not wish to leave her decorative pillows outside for that long, especially if they are delicate.

Secondly, a method that may be more effective in killing the worms is simply laundering the pillow case. Assuming these are some type of material-eating pest, such as a clothes moth larva or a carpet beetle larva, they will likely be eating on the outside of the pillow case, and laundering the pillow case at the highest temperature it can withstand will successfully eliminate the worms. Of course, if the pillow case is delicate, then it is possible it cannot be machine washed anyway, so we understand if the method our reader suggested is the only one she sees that is viable for these specific pillows. On another note, if the pillows are stuffed with real feathers, the critters would also be interested in the contents of the pillow itself. If this is the case, and our reader sees that there are holes going all the way into the pillow, then she may have to throw the entire pillow out, unless she is comfortable leaving the pillow outside for that long.

To conclude, if the pillows are left outside in temperatures below zero for a substantial amount of time (the best would be for at least 24 hours), it likely will kill the worms. Whether or not this is a good idea for the pillows themselves is up to our reader to determine. If possible, she could also launder the pillow cases, as this will also effectively eliminate the worms. We wish our reader the best of luck with her pillows and hope that this article helped in some way!

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Freezing Pillows to Eliminate a Worm Infestation: is it a Good Idea?
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"Can you put decorative pillows in a bag and leave it outside in below 0 temperatures to hopefully kill the worms or larvae?" asks this reader in her short, but frank query. We assume our reader wants to know for the sake of real-life application and not simply for curiosity's sake, so we will do our best to answer this question and provide some useful tips our reader can use for eliminating any worms or larvae that may be infesting her pillows.
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