Cleaning Up When Bed Bugs Follow You Home

Photos and sandy shoes aren’t the only things you might bring home from Spring Break. Bed bugs may hitch a ride on your luggage. Today we continue our March 19 post on how to get rid of the pesky little buggers.

Anything that can be cleaned in a washing machine or tumbled in a dryer — clothes, backpacks, tennis shoes, etc. — should be washed and dried on the hottest settings possible. For other items, follow these tips:

  • Hand wash items in hot (100-120 degrees), soapy water. Use a scrub brush on seams and folds.
  • Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic and treated with extreme heat or cold. A minimum of two hours at 120 degrees or 2 weeks in a typical home freezer at 20 to 30 degrees is recommended.
  • Vacuum suitcases and store away from the bedroom.
  • Tightly seal and dispose of plastic bags used to hold buggy items in outdoor trash.
  • To make sure you didn’t miss any, check bed sheets daily for signs of bed bugs.
  • Cover mattresses and box springs with encasements.
  • Call a professional bed bug exterminator if you find signs of bed bug activity.