Bed bugs are creative hitchhikers. While most people assume that the only place to get bed bugs is on vacation, it’s possible to take bed bugs home with you from work, from a movie theater – even from a taxi. You may also get bed bugs when other people with infestations visit your property, carrying them on their clothes.
But there is no denying that the most likely place to get bed bugs is traveling, as they best spread by infecting hotels and motels and the grabbing a ride back with you to your home. Often times, you may have no idea you took a bed bug home with you. But there are situations – such as when you wake up with bites at the hotel, or when you spot signs of bed bugs at the property – that you may suspect that you were in contact with these parasitic pests. When that happens, it’s important to take action fast.
Before Going Inside
Because bed bugs are hitchhikers – and because they are so small and so good at hiding – it’s easily possible to take bed bugs home with you without realizing it. That is why if you suspect that you may have come into contact with bed bugs, there are several things you need to do to make sure you’re bed bug free. These include:
- Take Off and Heat Clothes – Take off all your clothes, along with the clothes in your luggage, and put all of it immediately into the clothes dryer. No need to wash them first. Dry your clothes at full heat for 30 minutes. This is hot enough to kill any bed bugs and eggs that may have been hiding in or on your clothing.
- Inspect Your Luggage Outdoors – With all your clothes out of your luggage, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect every inch of your suitcases and laptop bags to see if you can spot any signs of bed bugs inside. If that process is too difficult (because the luggage has holes or too many pockets), you can also consider leaving the luggage outside for a few days to increase the chances that the bed bug ventures off on its own before bringing it inside of the property.
These should be completed right away, before you do any other tasks in your house, as bed bugs will quickly escape and start hiding if they notice they’re in a new space.
After Going Inside
Because bed bugs are small and fast, you’ll also want to monitor your skin for bites over the next few weeks. If you see any unexplained or unexpected bites, contact pest control company right away. The sooner we know about your contact with bed bugs, the easier and more successful the treatment may be. Contact 24 Hour Pest Control NYC for bed bug control in NYC, or for more information on our treatment options.