Patient residence in Ottawa refuses clothing donations due to bed bugs: why?

by nobugsonme on February 24, 2013 · 2 comments

in bed bugs, Canada, clothing, dryer, how to kill bed bugs, kill bed bugs, Nunavut, ottawa, prevention

Nunatsiaq Online reports that a residence in Ottawa for Nunavut residents seeking medical treatment is infested with bed bugs thought to have come from clothing donations:

Larga Baffin is making sure that the patient residence is clean, following the discovery of three bedbugs in a room.

Bedbugs have been found at the Larga Baffin patient residence in Ottawa, says its manager Trudy Metcalfe-Coe.

Three bedbugs appear to have ended up in the residence on donated items of clothing, where they were noticed early Feb. 22.

Although Larga Baffin has in the past solicited used clothing, the boarding home will no longer be accepting donations.

That’s just one of the measures immediately put into effect to prevent any spread of the critters. Other measures — in addition to the regular cleanings and inspections — include a room-by-room cleaning and inspection of the residence located at 1071 Richmond Road in Ottawa.

What a shame that clothing donations will no longer be accepted at Larga Baffin, since the problem is very easily solved.

Bed bugs can come in with clothing or other materials, but the good news is, it’s very simple to prevent this with clothing, at least — if the residence has a dryer.  (A Packtite Closet would be another option if a dryer was not available.)

Running the already clean, dried items through a hot dryer for 1/2 hour should do the trick.  (Since the residence might want to wash items first, drying time will take longer and the clothing should be thoroughly dried on hot.)

This is an example where more education about bed bugs and their prevention can really help people. Why not kill bed bugs in the clothing, instead of cutting off supplies?

Consideration should also be given to other possible routes by which bed bugs could have come in.

See our FAQs on getting bed bugs out of your clothing and other stuff for more.

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1 Mark April 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Apparently it doesn’t even have to be 30 minutes. Sorry I don’t have the link, but the University of Kentucky did a study (bugs and eggs put into a nylon pouch, the pouch put into a sock and the sock added to a dry load of clothing) ran the dryer on high for 5 minutes and found that all the bugs and eggs were killed. (of course I play it safe and do at least 15 for a light load and much longer for thicker items)

2 nobugsonme April 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Mark,
It’s true that Michael Potter found an already-dry sock could be treated in a hot dryer in five minutes. It’s covered in our FAQs.
We recommend 1/2 hour because items vary in weight and thickness, and just to be on the safe side.
Remember, wet items will likely take much longer.
Thanks for commenting!

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