How to Kill Bed Bugs in Luggage


“Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite” goes the popular rhyme. Yet in some hotels, bed bugs are inevitable. Bed bugs are small, flat, blood-sucking insects that enjoy dark places to rest during the day. Many of them even find the luggage of guests to be an ideal residence. If you have discovered some in your bags and suitcases, it's imperative to immediately contain and kill the pests in order to reduce the chances of a home infestation later.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bags
  • Hot area
  • Hot, soapy water
  • Large tub

Remove any items from your luggage and put these into plastic bags. Your clothing and other items will undoubtedly be harboring bed bugs as well. Clothing will need to be washed and/or dried later on medium to high heat. Scrub other washable items in hot, soapy water.

Put your luggage into plastic trash bags. Use more than one to completely cover larger suitcases.

Place your luggage into a hot, stuffy area and leave it there for a day or longer, if necessary. Bed bugs cannot tolerate high temperatures. Note that for this method to be effective, the heat must be continuous and relatively stable. If you cannot find a suitable place, or if the temperature is too cool or varies throughout the day, try Step 4.

Fill a large tub with hot, soapy water. Unwrap your luggage and place it into the tub. Scrub it very thoroughly, taking care to get into the luggage's crevices, seams, pockets and other places a bed bug may hide. Rinse the luggage and check for remaining bed bugs. Once you are certain your luggage is bed bug-free, allow it to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • On your next hotel stay, make it a point to check the room for bed bugs. If you find any, demand another room.
  • Keep all luggage off of the ground to prevent another infestation.

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