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Please critique my bed bug prevention plan.

(11 posts)
  1. bedbughelp8271

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    Posted 5 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 3:18:22
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    My husband and I recently stayed in a hotel. When we woke up, we noticed a bed bug in the bed and one on the floor. We left immediately.

    When we arrived home from the trip, we parked on the street and only brought in our phones. We removed our clothing in the garage and put the clothing and shoes in garage bags. We immediately went inside and took a shower. We later went out and removed the rest of our valuables (wallets and road bikes). We put the bikes in the garage (with the bagged clothes from that day) and bagged our wallets. We removed the minimum (like credit cards and driver's licenses) and inspected them with a flashlight.

    I called a canine company who will be here tomorrow to inspect the car and house. They asked for pictures and confirmed they were bed bugs, which I already knew. I've left everything in the car (as is) and after reading more, perhaps we should have bagged everything and put it back in. I was afraid of getting bugs or eggs on ourselves and bringing them in the house. I didn't want to leave anything else other than the expensive bikes and clothes from the drive home in the garage. I would rather infect the car than the house, that's for sure!

    If the canine doesn't find anything in the car, we will still have it detailed. If they find something, we will have to think more about what to do. We are down to one car and I'm getting a bit stir crazy.

    I have a PackTite coming and will heat the things that can be heated, even if the dog doesn't alert.

    In hindsight, I wish I would have bagged the items in the car instead of just abandoning them. Perhaps that wasn't such a great idea.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions about what else I can do? At this point, will another day of not bagging the items really matter?

    Thank you!

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 5 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 11:14:46
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    The suitcases are the most at risk in my opinion. You can remove the clothing and run it through the dryer to kill any bed bugs or eggs, but I would leave the suitcases in the car for the dog inspection.

    Killer of bed bugs for Homeless Empowerment Program
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 13:39:32
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    Make sure the canine handler visually verifies dog alerts BEFORE you hire them or have them in. A dog’s alert on its own is not reliable. See our FAQ on bed bug dogs for more on this.

    Big Dummy has good advice on the suitcases.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. bedbughelp8271

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 14:48:06
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    Thank you for your replies! I've been very cautious and don't want to make a mistake so I've been hesitant to do anything until the canine comes out.

    Is it recommended that I go ahead and dry what I can on hot now (then wash) and leave everything else in the car for the dog to inspect? I was initially thinking I would just pull out each bag and the items that were loose (jacket, shoes, etc.) for the dog to inspect in the street. Then the dog could inspect the empty car. I see my dryer has a high heat setting. How do I know if this is hot enough? Am I overthinking it?

    I've seen it suggested to use a laundromat so my home isn't infested. What if the laundromat has bed bugs and I never did, thus making the situation worse?

    It was a short trip so we used backpacks and totes. I will be disposing of the totes since they were cheap. I will use the PackTite for the backpacks when I receive it.

    This company only handles canine inspections and the handler will visually inspect the alerts. If the dog alerts, I would have to call another company.

    Thank you!

  5. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 14:51:25
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    If your dryer dries clothes it's hot enough to kill bed bugs, even on a low heat setting. You're over-thinking this in regards to the laundromat.

  6. bedbughelp8271

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 15:24:57
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    Thank you so, so much. I think I will start shortly and get most of the car cleared before the canine comes.

    So 30 minutes on high heat should be enough to kill the bed bugs? Do you have a recommended dryer load size to ensure the process works so it isn't overloaded? Less is more?

    That's interesting about the low heat setting. We have some expensive cycling clothing that should be hanged to dry but may be able to be dried on low heat. You think 30 minutes of low heat will kill the bed bugs?

  7. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 15:49:04
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    If you have concerns you can always treat the items in the dryer for 45 minutes instead of 30. Load size would be similar to normal use. The idea is to increase the surface space that is exposed to heat while removing the insulating properties of a stationary pile of clothing. Rotate and tumble to speed the drying process as opposed to blowing dry heat onto a stable pile of clothing.

  8. Pattycake

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 17:11:22
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    It also helps to dry the clothes dry before you wash them. They will heat up better. I would also monitor. It will give you peace of mind and will alert you early.

  9. bedbughelp8271

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Thu Jun 14 2018 17:25:19
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    Thank you all so much again.

    I just removed all clothing items that can withstand heat from the car and put them into Ziploc bags. I removed the clothing I was wearing when I was cleaning out the car and it also went into a Ziploc. (Is this necessary every time I access items from the car? I've read they aren't likely to be on your person but is it better safe than sorry?) I put the clothes in the dryer on high and discarded the Ziploc bags outside in the trash. I will have to leave the cycling clothing, shoes, and backpacks for another time. Afterward, I will wash the clothing as all of it is dirty anyway.

  10. bedbughelp8271

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    Posted 3 days ago
    Fri Jun 15 2018 23:20:55
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    The canine didn't detect any bed bugs in our car, garage, or house. The inspector suggested treating the items for peace of mind.

    I put 91% isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel and wiped down the soles of our shoes (as suggested by the handler/inspector), toiletries, and other such items I wanted to keep that can't go in the dryer.

    I forgot that the isopropyl alcohol is flammable and wiped down my phone charger and phone case. The garage smells of isopropyl alcohol (from the paper towels in the garbage can). Should I get rid of my phone charger and case? Any other concerns? I didn't soak any of the items, by the way.

    Thank you!

  11. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Sat Jun 16 2018 18:53:15
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    Yes it is flammable but doesn't it evaporates fairly quickly?


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