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February 19, 2021

Your Guide to Checking for Bed Bugs in Luggage

As a homeowner, having to deal with bed bug concerns can be an unnerving task. Just as their name illustrates, these pesky insects are often found in beds. Other places you are likely to come across bed bugs include your luggage.

Since bed bugs spread quickly, suitcases could play a significant role in spreading an infestation. Before heading out for a vacation, be sure to check your luggage, as this action may help curb the concern of ferrying bed bugs on your trip.

So how do you check for bed bugs in luggage?

How Do Bed Bugs Travel?

Bed bugs are typically linked to traveling, but why? How do these little creatures travel in the first place? Here is an interesting insight about these wingless insects—they get around by hitchhiking and crawling.

Yes! Bed bugs can hitch a ride in your belongings, including backpacks, purses, clothing, and luggage. People often believe bed bugs only camp in dirty and untidy places. Well, that is where they go wrong.

The truth is, no matter how clean your house is, bed bugs can still infest it. In fact, warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide are the main aspects that attract bed bugs. In that context, they can even camp in the cleanest luxurious hotels.

Do not fret! There is a way you can check for bed bugs in luggage.

Inspect Your Room First

Before you start inspecting your room, it is wise to wrap your bag in a plastic bag. You can also place your luggage in a spot where bed bugs cannot crawl—perhaps, inside the bathtub. Now, everything is covered.

Pull back the beddings and thoroughly inspect the bed frame along with the bedpost for either dark or reddish-brown marks. Look out for bed bugs or their eggs. Primarily, bugs are brown and oval-shaped—though they transform into reddish-brown after feeding.

Inspecting Bed Bugs in Luggage

Even if bedding and furniture in the room passes the test, be sure to inspect your luggage before leaving. Here, you can use your phone’s flashlight to check every compartment in your bag meticulously. Just as they work their way into bed crannies and nooks, these pests can easily crawl into pockets, zippers, and hidden sections in the bag. Having light-colored luggage makes your work relatively easier.

How to Root Out Bed Bugs in Luggage

In the unfortunate event you happen to bring bed bugs into your home, you will need to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Bear in mind that these insects are quite challenging to deal with, so DIY remedies are not the best way out. You cannot just use a dryer or store-bought pesticide to get rid of bed bugs.

Instead, seek the help of professional bed bug control providers. Successfully rooting out these pests’ hinges on early detection, preparedness, and proper treatment methods. Heat treatment is the most effective form of bed bug control.

So, how does this method effectively terminate bed bugs? Heat treatment is a chemical-free way of controlling pests by raising the temperature of the affected room.

By placing your luggage inside a hot box, the sustained inner heat effectively kills bed bugs. As standard practice, you can use a dryer for linens and clothing alongside a heat chamber for considerably larger items that cannot fit inside a dryer.

For each instance, heat penetrates small cracks that can give you a hard time inspecting. Basically, the lethal temperature for bugs ranges between 1180F (480C) to 1220F (500C). Because hot boxes sustain temperatures higher than this range, they can kill all bed bugs regardless of their life cycle stage.

DIY Steps to Follow

If you decide to go the DIY way, there are specific steps you need to follow. First, empty your luggage and put all the clothing inside plastic bags. Remember to wash them later with hot water and dry them at high temperatures not less than 120 degrees.

Secondly, take your luggage outside and use a stiff scrub brush to scrub every cranny and nook inside the bag. This helps in dislodging the eggs and dead bed bugs. After cleaning the bag, vacuum it thoroughly.

Purchase a pesticide specifically meant for bed bugs and spray your luggage to kill any remaining bugs. You can also use a steam cleaner to clean your luggage if you do not want the pesticide smell to linger in the bag. Finally, leave your bag outside to dry.

Contact McDonald Pest Control for Bed Bug Control Services

McDonald Pest Control takes great pride in offering comprehensive pest control services. Our well-trained and experienced team always strives to keep your home bug free. Although some DIY methods may eliminate bed bugs, you are better off leaving this task to the experts. Aside from providing pest control in Clearwater, we also offer bed bug heat treatment. Contact us today at (727) 734-0963 to learn more about our exceptional pest control special offers coupons or to request a quote now!