How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes and Luggage

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes and Luggage

Nothing is as bad as realizing that you have bed bugs in your luggage; this gets worse when you realize how hard it can be to kill them. Whether you’ve noticed that there are some adult bed bugs in one of your suitcases, or you suspect that they got into your home through your luggage, you’ll need to take care of them fast before the infestation gets out of control.

Here a few different steps to follow, that’ll help you eliminate any bed bugs that might be in your luggage and/or clothes:

1.     Empty the Suitcase

First thing you will need to do is to try to empty your suitcase without spreading the bugs and their eggs inside your home. The most optimal way of doing this is to unpack your bag on a hard surface, away from any living area in your home. The garage or the laundry room, for example. 

You’ll also need to gently place all of the contents of your luggage inside plastic bags and to completely seal them in order to stop any bugs or nymphs from escaping. Just make sure to do any kind of laundry sorting in the infested area that you’re working with (preferably a garage), and not in the laundry room itself or inside your house!

2.     Wash and Dry the Clothes

The next step is to take all the bagged clothing directly to the laundry room and dump all of it in the washer. Make sure to use hot water, and then dry your clothing at the hottest possible setting (120°F at least). Such a temperature is high enough to kill adult bed bugs, nymphs, and their eggs.

If you suspect that some of the bed bugs have spread to your home already, it’s a great idea to keep all of your recently cleaned clothing in new, plastic bags, away from the suspected infested spots. Keep them there until you make sure that the infestation in your home is dealt with.

If some of the infested items can’t be washed, then put them through the dryer at medium/high heat for 30 minutes minimum. Whether your clothes are washable or not, the dryer is the most crucial step out of the two, when it comes to killing most of the bed bugs. If you don’t want to risk damaging some of your items, simply bag them and take them to a dry cleaner. Make sure to let the cleaner know that bugs are involved so that they keep the clothes away from other items.

3.     Scrub the Luggage

While your clothing is in the washer/dryer, it’s time to deal with the suitcase. Take it outside and get a stiff nylon brush to scrub every single part of both the interior and exterior of the bag. This will help dislodge any adult bed bugs and eggs, once this is done, vacuum the entire suitcase.

4.     Sanitize the Luggage

As we’ve shown before, the most effective way to deal with bed bugs is heat. There are a few ways to expose your luggage to heat. Small carry-on luggage, for example, might easily fit in your dryer. If this isn’t the case, then you can always get a steam cleaner, and carefully go over all the surfaces. Make sure to tackle every possible corner, slowly in order to allow to steam to kill any bed bugs or eggs.

And with that, you now know How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes and Luggage!


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