Gary Lum glum at
Sun Mar 23 06:21:22 EST 1997

cigolott at wrote:
> In message
> <Pine.OSF.3.93.970317225830.7416A-100000 at
> > - Richard.Speare at (Richard Speare) writes:
> >>> 3.  What's the minimum temperature for washing clothes, that will
> >> definitely kill the mite?
> snipped
> >_Sarcoptes scabiei_ is a very sensitive creature.  I'm sure any sort of
> >washing will kill it. I would expect one cycle in a washing machine in
> >cold water would kill all mites. However, no work has been done on this.
> >Any heat over 37C would increase the efficacy of this killing.
> >> 4.  How long can the mite survive away from the human body?  (for
> >> instance, on clothes that can only have a cool wash, or on upholstery
> >> etc. that can't be washed and would have to be "quarantined".)
> >
> >The mites are fragile.
> In the old days, this type of parasite eradication included
> boiling clothes. Most likely a hot enough temp would do them
> in.....there remains the question of the eggs.
> Could a hot steam bath have some effect on the corporeal
> variety?
> just a few reflections
> regards
> tom c.

I didn't think anybody advocated boiling clothes any more.


Dr Gary Lum
Director of Microbiology
Royal Darwin Hospital

Microbiologists do it with culture and sensitivity 
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E-mail me at glum at or gary.lum at

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