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Ask the Orkin Man

Avoid bringing bed bugs when you move.

Question: I have questions about bed bugs. I am currently renting a room in a house, which, I did not know at the time, is infested with bed bugs. Since my landlord is not going to fix the problem, I am going to move out. I plan to move out, but I would like some information to make sure these bugs are not transported to my new place.

Bedbug on Mattress
Bedbug on Mattress

1) What should I do about my clothes?

2) What should I do about my luggage/suitcase and briefcase?

3) Is it safe to transport my television and laptop computer?

4) What should I do about my books?

5) What should I do about the moveable bookshelf?

 

 

ANSWER: I can understand your concern. Here are some tips that can help you:

  • Launder your clothing in at least 120 degree Fahrenheit water.
  • Clean laundry should be placed in the dryer for at least 20 minutes at the highest temperature.
  • Once the laundry is complete, bag it in plastic bags that can be sealed. Preferably take the laundry outside of the infested room.
  • Inspect your luggage and suitcases, as well as any boxes you may be using for your move. When you arrive at your new place empty the contents outside and discard the boxes.
  • Luggage, briefcases, backpacks and so on can be bagged in black plastic bags and left outside in full sunlight during hot months for at least a few hours.
  • In colder weather it becomes trickier; the exposure will need to be at least a couple of weeks.
  • As far as the television, laptop other electronics, etc. go, conduct a thorough inspection of these. Bed bugs can hitchhike in them, and these cannot be treated with products, as components may be damaged.
  • I would also recommend you inspect the bookcase before you introduce it to your new home. While there may not be an issue with it, inspecting the cracks and crevices of the case is an appropriate precaution.
  • Books should not be a problem, but inspection of the spines and covers can alleviate any doubts.

Bed bug treatments are extensive and complicated. When attempted by do-it-yourselfers, oftentimes they are not successful. Seeking the help of a trained professional equipped to scientifically resolve the issue is your best approach. Call your local Orkin branch and request an inspection of your items to ensure your peace of mind.

 

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