Wallet and keys and credit card in dryer?(8 posts)
I'm going to be meeting at my brother to bring him home after he has stayed in a shelter completely infested with bed bugs.
Well he brought one home with him already but I caught it. He went to the bathroom to shower and put his jacket on the hanger. When he left I saw the bed bug on the door where his jacket was hanging. I tried to catch it inside my Nalgene bottle but instead ended up crushing it with the lip of the bottle and it was very bloody.
Anyway, we have devised a plan whereby I am going to meet him at a locker room where I will bring him a complete change of clothes/underwear/shoes/socks etc. Basically I am going to have him shower and give me all his clothes/shoes/socks/underwear etc and put them in an air-tight bag and dump it, and give him all new clothes etc. Basically I don't want anything he is wearing or in his possessions to come into the house. It's going to be a completely clean slate?
But what about his wallet and keys and credit card/ID's? Is it alright to put these things into a dryer (will they hold up)?
I don't think I'd put credit cards into a dryer. Keys would probably be okay, but honestly, with keys, you could probably treat with 91% isopropyl alcohol and inspect for eggs. (see the FAQs here for pics of what the eggs look like.)
How the wallet will hold up will depend on what it's made out of and how well it's made.
And take it from me: 91% rubbing alcohol + some leather items=one ugly mess. (I tried spraying a few items of mine like shoes and wallet like containers with really unfortunate results.)
I would remove all the cards with magnetic strips from the wallet and inspect them carefully under bright light. Remember, you can store those items in ziplocks if you're meeting him at a time when it's late and you're too tired to do that inspection.
I would also NOT spray plastic cards with the alcohol. It has an unnerving tendency to make plastics melt.
Thanks for the reply. I'm actually just thinking of buying him a new wallet (his is cheap anyway) and tossing his current one. Maybe tossing all the contents of the wallet and his key as well, since all those things are replaceable.
It turns out there are some ID's and bus passes and bank cards in the wallet. Can I take, like, a paper towel and rub both sides of the cards extremely hard to make sure all eggs are off of them?
I don't think you need to ditch the key and/or any of the cards.
Do take a look at this photo, however:
Bed bug eggs look to me to be around the size of a small grain of sugar, but they're round and are cemented onto things pretty securely.
I understand your desire to make sure that you're not bringing any into your place; however, if you check that photo carefully and then look for things that look like eggs on the cards and keys, you're probably safe. A paper towel won't do much one way or the other, I don't think. And certainly throwing away a key seems a bit much. Just inspect them carefully for both eggs and the youngest nymphs.
How about putting the key and cards inside a pot and steaming them on the stove. Does steaming get hot enough? But not hot enough that it will damage the cards?
As someone who used a dry vapor steamer, steaming will likely get the cards hot enough to risk damage to the cards.
Steaming the keys would be totally fine, but so would boiling them. (Obviously don't touch them once you've gotten them back from the hot temps.)
I really do think that careful inspection is the best bet for anything with a magnetic stripe and/or lamination. And remember, you can quarantine those items in ziplock bags until you have a chance to do that kind of careful inspection.
I have never heard of bed bugs on a credit card or keys but who knows wash then with very hot water and inspect them , Should be fine ,
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