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Visited friend's house with bed bugs, now what?

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  1. patmc3853

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon May 20 2019 5:19:37
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    I went to a friends house and sat at their table for a few hours. As I was leaving, I was told they have bed bugs (on a side note, I am beyond mad they didn't tell me before I got there). Luckily, I at least found out before I got home, so on the drive I did some googling and took the following precautions when I got home:

    • Completely stripped in the garage before going inside
    • Took everything out of my wallet (which sat on friends table), put the wallet in a plastic trash bag and threw it away in the outside trash can (I did all of this in the garage)
    • Washed and dried clothes and shoes on highest heat setting
    • Took my phone out of the case and washed the case with hot water
    • Immediately took a shower and bathed twice in as hot of water as I could tolerate

    While I was at my friend's house, I only stayed in the dining room and sat in a wooden chair at a wooden table. I was there from around 11PM to 2AM, which has me worried since bed bugs are active at night. I am paranoid that I have introduced them into my house, and I am considering calling a pest control company today, but thought I would get some input on here first:

      1. Is it likely they ended up in my clothes, or my wallet and phone which sat on the table?
      2. If they did end up on me, could they have stayed in my car? It's a long drive, so I was in the car for almost two hours on the way home. I'm worried that even if I prevented them from getting in my house, if they are in my car they could later get in the house.
      3. From what I've read, a few stragglers could be very hard to detect. Is there anything I can do to determine if I they are in my house before I bring out a pest control company?
      4. I stupidly brought my leather belt back inside later without washing or drying it. Have they been known to travel in belts?
      5. What are general / overall recommendations for what I should do now.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. mobert

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon May 20 2019 15:26:32
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    1. It's always possible for them to have hitched a ride. Whether or not one did really depends on how many bugs your friend has and simply on chance. It sounds though like you didn't have any particularly attractive items. From what I've read, bed bugs aren't inclined to climb on people who are awake and moving unless desperate, and wallets and phones, especially ones that were sitting on a table in the light, aren't gonna be a prime spot for a bed bug to hang out.

    2. If one did hitch a ride, yes it could hang out in your car, and yes it could possibly hitch a ride into the house later.

    3. Finding one or two possible bugs is definitely difficult to the point of being near impossible. The only method I could think of would be to have a trained dog check the area.

    4. You shouldn't need to be concerned about the belt. There's no appealing place for a bed bug to hide on it.

    5. I'm no professional, but I think with all of the precautions you took, the likelihood of you having bed bugs seems extremely low. Yes, you were there at night, but since the lights were on and people were still moving, the bed bugs likely wouldn't have come out yet. And most bed bugs are concentrated in areas where people sleep or spend a lot of time not moving, ie couches and armchairs. A table without hiding spots isn't good real estate for a bed bug.

    If you wanted, you could call a bed bug company that offers free or very low cost consultations and see what they think and maybe get a quote on the cost. But I think that spending a bunch of money on preemptive treatment when the chances are so slim is likely not worth it. Best approach in my opinion would be to wait and see. Regularly check popular areas of infestation. If you don't find anything over time, you're probably fine. If you do, then at least you will have caught it sooner than if you weren't monitoring at all. You could also do some general preventative things, like putting a cover around your mattress, de-cluttering to limit hiding spots, and wash your bedding regularly.

  3. patmc3853

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Tue May 21 2019 18:57:23
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    Thanks for the information, this has helped me feel a bit better. I've held off on calling anyone out yet, and have yet to see any evidence.

    I came across passive detectors / interceptors while googling, and I'm thinking I'll place some in my bedroom just to be safe. They seem like a good thing to always have anyway. Are there any suggestions or recommendations for specific ones to use?


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