When you come home from vacation, maintaining a bed bug-free home may take a little extra work, but it will be worth it. The only thing you want to bring home from vacation is memories — not bed bugs! If you know or suspect that you’ve been exposed to bed bugs during your vacation — or if you just want to be extra careful — follow these steps to prevent them from infesting your home.
How to Have a Bed Bug-Free Vacation
What to do when you return home
- Perimeter guard. Don’t take your luggage into your home. Unpack outdoors or in the garage.
- Battle stations. Place a supply of plastic bags and ties by your washing machine (and take one with you to the cleaners if you have a bag of dry cleaning). You’ll bring each bag in from outside one at a time, dump the contents directly into the washing machine, immediately put the plastic bag that held the dirty clothing into a clean plastic bag, seal it and immediately dispose of it in an outdoor trashcan. If you brought bed bugs home with you, this procedure gives you the best chance of keeping them from escaping during laundering.
- Into the fray. Launder all items on hot (140 degrees), then dry on hot for at least 30 minutes until thoroughly dry. Any items that cannot be laundered and dried in this manner should be dry cleaned. Make sure you tell the dry cleaner the items may have been exposed to bed bugs.
- Mopping up. Under good lighting, carefully inspect all items that cannot be laundered such as luggage, toiletries, etc. If sealed in clear plastic bags, it’s unlikely the items were exposed. Remove them from the bags, immediately disposing of the bags as noted above.
- Stand down. Store your luggage in an airtight plastic bag, ready for your next trip.
Following these precautions will not guarantee a bed bug-free vacation, but it will hugely increase the odds in your favor. If the worst happens and bed bugs do hitch a ride home with you, call the bed bug professionals at Stern Environmental Group. We will get rid of your bed bugs — guaranteed. Click the post title to find out more. You’ll sleep well tonight when you get “Stern” with your pests.