Bed bugs feed on blood, living in your bedding and other dark areas where they can hide. The insects resemble wood ticks, and they are capable of traveling on clothing and luggage -- but rarely on the human body. Bed bugs hide in seams, cracks and other tiny places that can make them hard to eliminate. Use careful prevention to keep bed bugs away from your home and keep them from traveling with you after you leave an area with a bed bug infestation.
Things You'll Need
Large plastic bag
2 damp cloths
Remove your clothing upon returning from a trip or somewhere that is suspected of bed bug infestation. If possible, remove the clothing in a kitchen, garage or utility room without carpeting and do so prior to moving throughout your home.
Place all suspicious clothing in a plastic bag. A garbage bag will suffice.
Wipe the floor where you changed with a damp cloth or mop.
Wipe down your luggage with a clean, damp cloth. Pay special attention to all cracks and crevices.
Open your suitcases and put the clothing inside into the plastic bag.
Wash all clothing in hot water in the washing machine.
Wash luggage with very hot, soapy water inside and out.
Vacuum carpets thoroughly, particularly around cracks and dark areas. Remove the vacuum bag outside and dispose of it.
Wash carpets, linens, bedding and curtains if you believe you have bed bugs. Use hot water and a high-heat dryer setting to kill the bugs.
Hire a professional pest control company if you think you have bed bugs. Do not attempt to use foggers and other chemical treatments inside your home without professional help.
- University of Minnesota Extension; Traveler Q & A - Preventing Bed Bugs From Hitchhiking to Your Home; Dr. Stephen A. Kells, et al.
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Stop Bed Bugs Safely
- Public Health - Seattle & King County: Bed Bugs
- CBS News; Beware Bedbugs - How to Keep Them from Your Home; July 2070
- New York State IPM Program: FAQ List for Bed Bugs
- MSNBC: Your Bed Bug Questions Answered