Renters on the Move Keep Bed Bug Companies in Business–
You complain to your landlord about bed bugs, get tired of waiting for action, so you pack your bags and move. Those in the pest control business thank you! You’ve just spread your bed bug problem to a new residence. Moving (without proper preparation) is the number one bad idea for getting rid of bed bugs. One of the reasons that the bed bug problem in the U.S. is so bad is that people move around a lot. The other reason is that bed bugs are such good hitchhikers. Accidentally pack a single bed bug with your belongings and you are guaranteed to have a bed bug problem at your new residence. It may take a while for that bed bug to lay eggs and for those eggs to hatch. You may think you’ve out run the bed bugs, but like the Terminator, “They’ll be back.”
Your best option for getting rid of bed bugs is to stay put and get control at your current residence BEFORE you move. If that’s not possible, then make sure you do everything possible to leave bed bugs behind, including following this advice from Thrasher Termite & Pest Control:
Pack Thoughtfully–Fumigate Thoroughly
Bag Clothing and Soft Goods. Clothing and soft goods (pillows, stuffed toys, blankets) that can be hot laundered should be sealed in plastic garbage bags, or dissolvable laundry bags. When bagging clothing it is a good idea to separate the clothing into single laundry loads. Clothing that requires dry cleaning should be placed in a plastic garbage bag, sealed and placed aside. All bagged items should remain sealed in the bags until they can either be hot laundered, dry cleaned or dealt with using one of the heat methods discussed below.
Pack Everything Else. Loosely fill a moving van or truck with everything else and have it fumigated. Yes, fumigated. Pest control professionals no longer view fumigating a moving van or truck as unusual. Just like a small house, a moving van can be sealed in a tent and fumigated, contents and all. Follow the instructions about packing the moving van or truck that are provided by your pest control operator.
Launder Your Clothes. Clothing and soft goods that have been separated into dissolvable bags can be placed directly into a washing machine. According to Dini M. Miller, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, a loosely filled dryer set on “high” is capable of killing all bed bug life-stages and their eggs in 30 minutes. The word “loosely” is important. A packed dryer may not get hot enough for long enough to kill bed bugs.
Launder washable items on hot and then dry on high in a loosely packed dryer for 30 minutes.
Either send items labeled dry-clean only to the dry cleaner, or place in a clothes dryer on high (160°F) for 30 minutes. When the dry cycle is finished, carefully bag the dryer’s lint trap and take it outside to empty.
If you send items to the dry cleaner, inform the dry cleaner that the items have been exposed to bed bugs so that the cleaner can keep your items from infesting others.
Install Bed Bug Prevention Measures. After all your possessions have been “de-bugged,” install Certified Bed-Bug-Proof Mattress Encasements, Box Springs Encasements, and Pillow Encasements. Install furniture leg insect interceptors on the legs of your bed.
Inspect Your Bed in 7 and 14 Days. Inspect your bed from time to time after moving in. If any evidence of bed bugs is detected or you begin to experience itchy welts you should immediately call Thrasher Termite & Pest Control to investigate the possibility of bed bugs.