The key is to contain all items suspected of carrying bed bugs in plastic bags until the items can be laundered, washed by hand, heated, or frozen.
Before leaving the infested site, anything that can be laundered should be sorted and placed in plastic bags. Separate the laundry as you would if you were normally laundering items, specifically: light colored clothes from dark items; delicate items from items that can be laundered on wash / dry regular cycles; and finally, dry cleanable items. Separating the clothing permits easy loading of the washing machine and you can avoid escaping bed bugs as you try to sort the laundry at home.
When washing, set the washer and dryer for the hottest setting that the fabric can withstand. If you need to use a dry cleaning service, mention to them that the items may have bed bugs and they can keep the articles in the plastic bags until just before loading into the machines.
Suitcases and other items that cannot be placed into a washing machine should be carefully inspected, and if bed bugs are found (or you are not sure) place them into plastic bags, as well. Suitcases may be hand-washed. If hand-washing any items, use soapy water and make sure that the hottest water possible is used. Test the item to make sure it will not be affected by the hot water. A target temperature of 100°Fto 120°F should be sufficient. Use a scrub brush along the seams and folds.
- Large red bumps and welts
- Multiple red marks in line formation
- Extreme irritation and itch
- Slight burning sensation
- Dramatic swelling
- Blistered inflammations
Identifying bed bugs can be extremely tricky due to the fact that they are nocturnal and very tiny. A few tips will help you determine whether or not your infestation is clearly bed bugs.
- Check bedding, mattresses, and other fabrics in the home for small brownish bugs
- Tiny bloodstains may appear and can be spotted on sheets and clothing
- Dark spots of excrement will be found in dark corners and crevices
- What appears to be a severe allergic reaction takes affect on your persons