The most common way bed bugs travel from an infested place to a bed bug-free home is by hitchhiking.
Bed bugs will get inside your luggage and can even latch onto your clothes to reach your home.
And if you’re worried that you brought bed bugs home, then you know that you’ve been to a place with a bed bug infestation.
In this guide, you’ll find the three steps to eliminate bed bugs spreading from your infected items to your home.
These three steps will avert a massive bed bug infestation in your home.
What To Do If You’ve Brought Bed Bugs Home?
It all depends on when it strikes your mind that you might have brought bed bugs home.
If you’ve just entered your home from a vacation, and you know for sure that the hotel room where you stayed had bed bugs, or you’ve visited a friend’s home that has bed bug infestation, then you can take steps to ensure that you don’t bring bed bugs home.
But if it strikes your head after a few days, sadly, it’s too late. A bed bug or bed bugs might have gone hiding inside your home.
The worst part is bed bug infestation takes many days to show up. The signs of bed bugs are not instantly visible.
When you start getting bed bug bites and notice other signs of bed bugs, you realize that you’ve got a bed bug infestation.
It takes 2-3 months for the bed bugs to show their presence in a standard 2–3-bedroom apartment or house.
If you’re in a one-bedroom or studio apartment, the bed bug infestation can manifest within 2-3 weeks.
We recommend hiring a pest controller when you notice the signs of bed bugs.
However, you can also get rid of bed bugs on your own if you’re under a tight budget. But that will take meticulous follow-up treatments from you after the primary treatment.
So, what to do if you just figured out after returning that you might have brought bed bugs home?
Congratulations! Then you’re in an advantageous position. And you can take the following steps to ensure that bed bugs don’t spread in your home.
To ensure that bed bugs don’t spread inside your home from the infected items, follow the following three steps.
Quarantine Your Luggage And Belonging
Quarantining your luggage bags, clothing (including the clothes you’re wearing), books, and whatever you took during the travel is essential to prevent bed bugs in your home.
Keep your luggage and the things in it in your garage or basement. Do not take them inside your home.
Open the luggage bags and take everything out. Keep aside the items you took out from the bags.
Then take a bed bug spray and spray it on the luggage bag. Spray it on the seams of the luggage, luggage wheels, tags, and even inside the bags and suitcases.
Many bed bugs have developed immunity against pesticides that contain pyrethrin. So, either use bed bug spray that kills pyrethroid resistant bed bugs or a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.
Take equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water and mix them well. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on your bags.
Leave the bags in the basement or garage where they’re now, and let’s move on to treating your clothes.
Treat Clothes And Fabrics In Heat To Kill Any Bed Bugs In Them
Now it’s time to kill any bed bugs that might have latched onto your clothes and the stuff inside the luggage bag.
The way to kill them is by keeping them in a bed bug heater.
Bed bug heaters are box ovens you can use in your fabric. These boxes produce 120℉ or 50℃, which kills bed bugs at all life stages.
Put the fabric and clothes inside the box and turn the box on for 10-15 minutes. Once the temperature reaches 120℉, the bed bugs in the fabric will die.
Do not keep plastic and leather items, perfume bottles, and cosmetics inside the bed bug heater. The heat will damage them.
Keep those items in a sealed plastic bag. You’ll find out what to do with them in a minute.
If you don’t want a bed bug heater, you can use a steam cleaner on the clothes.
Steam cleaners also produce heat. The heat will kill any bed bugs hiding in your clothes.
Then put the treated clothes in a sealed plastic bag.
Take the plastic bags inside your home and leave the luggage bags in your basement or garage.
Wash Your Clothes In Hot Water To Kill Any Bed Bugs That Are Still Alive
Open the plastic bags that have clothes. Put the clothes inside the washing machine and wash them at a high temperature.
Washing them in hot water will kill any bed bugs that might be alive from the last step.
Put the plastic bags that have small items in them inside the freezer. Bed bugs can’t survive freezing sub-zero temperatures.
Keep them for 24 hours. The freezing temperature will kill any bed bugs hiding in them.
However, one piece of warning. Do not put cosmetics or perfume bottles inside the freezer. It can be dangerous.
Either discard them to leave no chances for bed bugs sneaking inside your home or use a bed bug spray. We’ll leave it up to you to decide.
So, there you go. You’ve just eliminated any chances of bringing bed bugs home.
These three steps will eliminate any bed bug latched onto your clothing, luggage, and other belongings.
Can You Bring Bed Bugs Home On Your Clothes?
If you’ve been in a bed bug-infested place like a hotel room with bed bugs, a car with bed bugs, or your friend’s home with bed bug infestation, then bed bugs can latch onto your clothes to reach your home.
It’s not only clothing bed bugs can latch onto. They can latch onto things like bags, electronics, furniture, and even books and cardboard boxes.
The worst part is that you might not even realize that bed bugs are there in the clothes that you’re wearing. It’s because bed bugs can’t bite through clothing.
So, the best thing to do to avert a bed bug infestation is to quickly wash your clothes in hot water without keeping the clothes anywhere in your home, not even inside your closet or dresser drawers.
Bed bug infestation can also start in dresser drawers, wardrobes, and closets.
We are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.