How to Protect Luggage From Bedbugs

How to Protect Luggage From Bedbugs
The last thing you want hitching a ride home with you after vacation is a pack of blood-thirsty bedbugs. These notorious stowaways can travel undetected in luggage, clothing and even hard items such as laptop computers and ski equipment. You best defense against avoiding these insidious beasts is inspection. Give a thorough visual inspection to every room before unpacking and spending the night. Even an eagle-eye examination can sometimes miss these tiny marauders, so follow strict precautions when traveling to keep hungry bedbugs out of your luggage.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hard-shelled luggage Large plastic bags Flashlight Rubber gloves Large zip-top baggies Washing machine Dryer
  • Hard-shelled luggage
  • Large plastic bags
  • Flashlight
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large zip-top baggies
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
Step 1
Keep large plastic bags in the trunk of your car for the return trip home. Nip bedbug infestations in the bud by immediately placing luggage inside the bags after your trip and before storing them in the vehicle.
Step 2
Never place luggage on bedding, under bed frames, carpeting or on furniture in the hotel room whenever possible. Pull the luggage rack away from the wall and carefully inspect the rack straps, metal and underneath the rack before placing your suitcases down to inspect the rest of the room. Inspect the closet before placing items on shelves.
Step 3
Use a flashlight and put on rubber gloves to examine the bedding. Check for bedbugs at the headboard, underneath the mattress and nightstand drawers and examine the sheets for bloodstains. Check the piping on the mattress and box spring. Bedbugs resemble flat, reddish ticks, 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, and leave behind shells and dots of blood that look like pen marks.
Step 4
Seal up all items that cannot be laundered on your trip home such as electronics and toiletries in plastic zip-top baggies. Protect your laptop computer with a heavy duty bag you can seal during the night. Avoid unpacking your clothing inside drawers or hanging them in the closet when possible.
Step 5
Perform a thorough inspection of both the bed and your luggage before leaving. Bed bugs excrete blood after feasting, and you might see signs on the sheets and pillowcases.
Step 6
Inspect each item of clothing before returning it to the suitcase. Place used clothing inside sealed plastic bags if you encounter signs of infestation. Laundering items in hot water and detergent and drying on low heat for a minimum of 20 minutes can kill bedbugs. Seal clean clothing in zipped plastic to keep it protected from subsequent infestations on your trip.
Step 7
Place luggage inside the garbage bags stored in your trunk before placing them back in your car for the trip home.
Step 8
Unpack suitcases outside the home on light-colored hard flooring, not carpeting. Put clothing directly into plastic bags and head straight for the washing machine. Vacuum suitcases thoroughly and freeze them, if possible, to kill any remaining critters.

Tips & Warnings

 
Freeze any items you cannot launder (except for damageable items) for two weeks to kill bedbugs. Hard-shelled luggage works better against bedbugs than fabric cases; consider investing in some durable luggage before your trip.
 
Freeze any items you cannot launder (except for damageable items) for two weeks to kill bedbugs.
 
Hard-shelled luggage works better against bedbugs than fabric cases; consider investing in some durable luggage before your trip.

Article Written By Abaigeal Quinn

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.

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