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Do I really need to clean hanging clothes as well?

(13 posts)
  1. dab

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Jul 1 2010 23:34:36
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    Hi. New to this site as I discovered bed bugs in my unit this week.

    My condo association's expert (what does PCO stand for?) told me I didn't need to worry about the clothes hanging in my closet. My unit became infested from my upstairs neighbor, but I caught it pretty early and he tells me it's not that bad. I'm super paranoid about everything and want them to go away, but I am also sick of doing laundry and the money it will cost since some of my things will have to be dry cleaned.

    Any advice?

    Thanks,

  2. bushbugg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jul 2 2010 1:09:49
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    Not completely true. I found signs of a bed bug nest near the top of a closet door frame. Definitely higher than my hanging clothes. Granted, it may be MORE unlikely to find them on hanging clothes than drawered clothes, but impossible? no.

    In general, I think the infestation can be centered around where you breathe while not moving for long periods. A bed, a couch, a desk, etc. It spreads outward.

    I would read the FAQs. You may want to do some bed isolation and preemptive clothes/ mattress bagging...

  3. Bite me

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 16:08:38
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    My "nest" was on my pillows, not even my mattress. PCO's said I had caught it very early, and he saw no signs anywhere (I'd removed my pillows and bedding by the time he came. He also said my closet was fine, and had me remove everything from the floor and top shelf before he sprayed it, but told me to leave the clothes hanging....I'm now worried. I was sprayed twice, the second time 6 weeks ago, but I haven't been home (traveling and staying elsewhere). I'm about to move home and I'm terrified.

  4. BBQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 16:11:16
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    My PCO made an offhand comment about my clothes hanging (it was in the context of what I'm doing), but in fact they're all in ziplocked bags in rubbermaid tubs. His comment implied that clothes hanging up would be okay. It would make my life a LOT easier if this were so, but I'm too freaked out to take a chance.

  5. scaredsilly

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 21:04:15
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    I had one guy tell me its ok to leave the hanging clothes too. I treated all my clothes either pactight or in a hot dryer, except a few bags in still in storage. Personally, I found two small bugs in my daughter's clothes so I err on the side of caution.

  6. kannon_bosatsu

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 21:32:53
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    Our hanging clothes weren't even in the same room as the bugs. I dried everything that could be dried and put all the dry cleaning into secured plastic bags for future treatment. I know for a fact that none of those clothes were infected since we haven't touched them in months -- I no longer wear suits to work -- but we didn't want to take any chances.

  7. Jenn28

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 21:55:22
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    If you're crazy paranoid like me, then I think rule of thumb, do all your clothes. It's a major pain, but it's worth the effort in getting rid of the buggers.

  8. WestSide22

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 12:29:12
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    Our bugs moved from the bed to INSIDE the closet rods between the 2nd and 3rd treatments. My 2 cents: If it's in the bedroom, it gets cleaned. Better safe than sorry.
    Good luck with your treatments.

  9. flatline

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 14:27:59
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    And then how do you store them after cleaning them?

  10. WestSide22

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 14:36:20
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    Ziploc XL bags are the way to go. We were using clear garbage bags, but during our 3rd treatment, the PCO said she saw "activity" inside one of the bags. And so everything had to go back into the dryer. The Ziplocs are pricier and a pain in the butt to keep zipping and unzipping, but ultimately are a better move.

  11. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 14:44:00
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    As far as I remember, Jeff White of Bed Bug TV does not recommend the cleaning/bagging of clothes hanging in closets unless there are signs of infestation in the closet such as actual bugs, fecal stains, etc. At some point you have to decide the risk/reward of what can be a ton of work against how it might effect treatment. This is not to say that prep isn't important, but that over prep can be a strain both to time and budget, not to mention nerves. And from personal experience, I'd recommend before anyone begins the often arduous prep process they confirm the infestation by either a physical inspection by a PCO or by having a specimen sent away (or a photo posted) for identification. From my readings here, including posts by PCO's, it's clear that a lot of people think they have bed bugs but do not actually have them -- and invariably almost every photo that gets posted here of a "bed bug" turns out not to be a bed bug. A LOT of time and energy has (and is) being wasted by these folks and I include myself in that group.

    Richard

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 16:12:27
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    You can't generalize.

    Clothing in closets is probably less likely to be infested. In some cases it will be, however.

    It will depend on your situation.

    Keep in mind some PCOs manage to eliminate bed bugs with no washing/drying/bagging whatsoever. But more seem to require it.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. Bite me

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 11 2010 11:22:41
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    I have read here time and again to do what your PCO says. Mine told me to empty all of my drawers, clear off the shelves and floor of my closet, but to leave the clothes hanging. He did treat the closet around the clothes. I had a minor infestation, and they couldn't have been in my place for longer than 2 weeks. The only signs I or the PCO saw were on my pillows. No signs on the mattress. I have had no signs since my second treatment.


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