What To Do With Your Luggage When You Return From A Trip
June 28, 2017
In a recent blog, we told you all about what you should do to avoid picking up bed bugs when you’re in a hotel room. After all, it stinks to be bitten by bed bugs when you’re staying overnight, but that’s a short-term problem that can be alleviated with bed bug bite relief and a little time. While it might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually much more important to protect your luggage and your clothing when you’re in a hotel room, because that’s going to be the way they end up back at your home...and that’s when the real problem starts.
In that link above we told you all about how to check the hotel room in the first place, how to protect your luggage with anti-bed bug covers, and why you shouldn’t use the bureau's drawers. (It’s also a good idea to use a human-friendly and all-natural bed bug insecticide to take care of them before they can reach your luggage.)
Whether you implement any or all of those precautions, bed bugs are one of the sneakiest pests out there. If they don’t get into your suitcase because you’re using our covers, maybe they climbed into the tag of a shirt and couldn’t be shaken out.
Their nefarious habit of moving from place to place is one reason we hate them so much and why we carry so many products to wipe them out!
So what should you do once you get home? The trip might be over, but there are still precautions to take to ensure that your home doesn’t become infested. While it might seem a little over the top, anyone who’s ever had bed bugs in their home before knows how worthwhile the entire process is.
Keep It In The Garage
First of all, everything that we’re suggesting doing here should be done in the garage. If you do happen to dislodge any bed bugs, they’ll crawl off and die (even though it might take a year for that to happen). It’s better to take care of this process in the garage to keep them away from the interior of your home.
Wash Your Clothes
And the minute’s up! Take all of the clothing out that can take high heat and toss them in the garbage bag as well. In most cases, even cold wash clothes will be fine for a single wash in such a manner (they’re often cold wash because that will make them last longer). After you toss all of those clothes in the wash, throw away the garbage bag. You’ll probably want to wash the clothes you’re wearing and spray your shoes with some all-natural bed bug insecticide.
If you have any clothes that simply cannot survive a high heat-wash and high-heat dry, dry cleaning is probably the answer. Just make sure to leave them in the garage until you can get to the dry cleaner. Even better, wrap them up in a garbage bag, tie it tight, and set them aside.
Deal With Your Luggage
Now that everything else you took with you is getting the high heat or spray treatment, it’s time to think about your luggage. At the very least you should give it a thorough vacuuming with an attachment that can get down in the seams of the luggage. After you’ve done this, check any spots where bed bugs could be hiding, including pockets or even under the rollers or handle.
After the vacuuming, be really thorough with a steamer. A handheld steamer raises the temperature so high that the bed bugs can’t survive. The steamer aspect of it also ensures that it’s getting into crevices and hidden spaces better. (Just to be safe, spray the luggage with some bed bug-killing spray.) After you’re done with the steamer, put your luggage out in the sun to dry, because you don’t want the moisture created by the steamer to cause mold or mildew to grow in the luggage.
When it’s all dry, think about a place to keep your luggage other than a bedroom. Keeping your luggage in a furnace room or basement will ensure any bed bugs that might have survived the process, however unlikely that might be, will be regulated to a non-sleeping floor of the house.
Look, when you take the previous two blogs into account, it seems like a huge process to go through in order to avoid bed bugs. But customers who stop by to purchase bed bug-killing products for their home often come back for the prevention items because they just can’t stand to have bed bugs in their home a second time!
Prevent those bed bugs from ever getting in in the first place!
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