There’s been a resurgence of bed bugs in the past couple years primarily because they’re so easily spread with peoples travel habits. It’s important when travelling that you take precautions so that your luggage isn’t transferring these disgusting little critters into your (hopefully) pest free home.
The first obvious step to avoid transferring bed bugs with your luggage is to avoid places that have them to begin with. I hate to sound like a broken record, but this really can’t be stressed enough. You never know where bed bugs will be living. They can be anywhere from your friends spare bedroom to a high end hotel, so do a quick search online to see if there are any reports of them online at your next stop-over.
Whether you find out that the place you’re staying has bed bugs or not, you may as well take a few easy steps to help avoid any risk of your luggage accidentally picking them up. Bed bugs like soft porous surfaces like bedspreads or carpet. So when you check into that hotel, NEVER put your luggage on your bed or the floor. Instead make it as difficult as you can for the little critters to access your luggage by elevating them on the folding luggage rack, and putting it on a hard surface (they hate them) like a tiled bathroom floor or entrance way.
If you’re a frequent traveller, there have been various new types of luggage developed to help you avoid transferring bed bugs. The best one to avoid transferring the bugs comes from Rise and Hang since the bag has a set of collapsible shelves which hangs from two metal hooks on any closet bar or back of a door. By doing this you not only keep your luggage off the ground, but make it almost inaccessible to bed bugs since they cannot easily climb smooth surfaces like a closet bar or door.
If for some reason you feel that your luggage was contaminated or you’re just extra cautious, there are a few things you can do. First, vacuum out your bag and do your best to get in every fold and nook since they will be hiding. Second, if your bag is washable then wash it in hot water at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Then if it’s able to go in the dryer (most are not) then put it in the dryer on hot. Finally if you want to be extra sure that your bag isn’t transferring bed bugs to your house then make sure you don’t leave it open in your house! Instead, store your suitcase or luggage in an airtight container until it’s next use.
Bed bugs are a real concern and with good reason. If you’ve ever experienced them then the last thing you want is to have an infestation on your hands so be smart and take the appropriate precautions.