STEP #2: KILL BED BUGS IN YOUR CLOTHES AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS
Bed bugs are so small they can hide in just about anything. In this step you’ll go through the process of ensuring that everything in your home his bed bug free.
We are going to look at several options for bed bug proof storage. After you heat treat your items you’re going to want to store them in bed bug proof bags or containers until you finish treating the rest of your belonging. If you have any items you can’t heat treat storing them in bed bug proof container for a year and a half will kill any bed bugs in them and prevent them from escaping and re-infesting your home. We highly recommend giant Ziploc. They come in an assortment of sizes and are great to store your heat treated clothing. You can easily unseal them, access your clothing and re-seal them for an impermeable bed bug barrier.
Plastic garbage bags are also bed bug proof. They are a great inexpensive option. We suggest getting clear bags because you will be able to see the contents from the outside. They’ll be much less likely to tare and let the bed bugs escape. Simply tie off the bag or use a metal binder clip. They are available at any office supply store and are easy to remove to access your stuff.
Plastic storage bins are also a good option. This bin has a gasket, a rubber seal that goes around the edges of the lid. When you put the lid down and clamp it shut the seal forms a barrier and makes this bin bed bug proof.
No bed bugs will be able to get through that barrier. Clear bins are great because you can easily see the contents inside. It is possible to use to use plastic bins without gaskets although these bins are prone to letting bed bugs escaped when bumped or moved.
Avoid using cardboard. Cardboard is porous. Making it is easy for bed bugs to crawl out and work their way into the corrugations. These void are ideal hiding places. Our advice is to get rid of all the cardboard in your home.
BAG ALL YOUR PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Be careful when bagging up objects that have sharp edges or corners that can easily poke through. You may want to be double bag these items, you don’t want any bed bugs to escape. Also, remember to seal the bag shut tightly. Tying the bag shut works just fine or you can twist the top of the bag closed and clamp on a large binder clip or zip ties.
3 OPTIONS FOR YOUR BELONGINGS
OPTION 1: HEAT TREATMENT
OPTION 1: HEAT TREATMENT
Heat treatment is what you will likely do with most of your belongings. Heat treatment is extremely effective and properly done will kill bed bugs in all life stages (including eggs, nymphs and adults.) Home dryers on high heat reach bed bug killing temperatures so this is a great option for clothes, pillows, cushions, towels and any other items that you can put in a dryer. Make sure to run your dryer on high heat for at least 45 minutes. We highly recommend using the dryer when possible as it is usually faster than heat treating them another way, although the dryer does have limitations in what you can put inside.
- ▘For belongings that you don't put in the dryer, like dry-clean only clothing, suitcases, books, shoes, etc. you can heat treat in the ZappBug. We offer three sizes of units so take a look and see what best suits your needs: ZappBug Heater, ZappBug Oven 2, ZappBug Room.
- ▘Check out this video showing how to heat treat with your dryer (be careful because not all dryers reach high enough temperatures to kill bed bugs).
- ▘Debagging Your Items For Heat Treatment
- ▘When you are removing your belongings from bags to heat treat them, it is very important to remember to follow proper protocol. We talked about this in Step 1 Establish a Bed Bug Free Zone, but it is so important we repeat it here.
- ▘The wrong method of debagging is to place your bagged belongings on the floor and then lift out the items for placement in ZappBug or the dryer. As you are lifting items out of the bag, bed bugs can fall off and spread.
- ▘If you are using ZappBug, place the entire bag in ZappBug, before removing any items from it. This way if any bed bugs fall off your items as you are lifting them out of the bag, they will fall into ZappBug and be killed when you start the heat treatment.
- ▘If you are using a dryer, be sure to upend the entire bag, into the dryer.
- ▘After Heat Treatment: Storing Your Belongings
- ▘Remember that after you heat treat your items you will want to store most of them in a sealed bed bug proof bag or container to prevent bed bugs from re-infesting them. This is especially true for your clothes, but it is also a good idea for other belongings.
- ▘For this purpose, we love Ziploc Jumbo Big Bags. These are not the Ziploc bags used for food storage. These are much larger and are designed for storing personal items. They work extremely well because you can easily seal and unseal them to quickly access your belongings.
- ▘You can also store your items in plastic bins, provided you take into account several factors. We explain everything you need to know about plastic storage bins in Bed Bug Proof Storage video above.