What to Do If You Get Bed Bugs on Spring Break

It’s your worst nightmare. Your collegiate returns home from spring break and brings home more than dirty clothes and sand in his pockets. If you’re worried that bed bugs might have hitched a ride home in his luggage, follow these steps to keep the little buggers out of your home:

  • Don’t unpack suitcases on the bed or in the bedroom. Unpack in the garage, laundry room or over the bathtub so you can see and kill any bugs. Look for signs of bed bugs (live bugs, cast skins and dark fecal spots) on luggage and backpack seams and zippers. Check each item as you unpack it. 
  • If you suspect bed bugs, place items in tightly closed plastic trash bags.
  • Sort clothes into washer loads and bag as you unpack. Wash clothes immediately in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to kill bed bugs and eggs. Soft-sided luggage and tennis shoes can be tumbled in a hot dryer.
  • Send your kid to the showers immediately. Have him undress in a non-carpeted area and place all clothing in a sealed plastic bag for washing. Wipe a wet cloth over the floor to pick up stray bugs.
  • Keep drycleanables in plastic bags and inform the cleaners so items stay bagged until they’re put into the machines.

More tips on Friday.