- 1 What Are Bed Bugs?
When people discover bed bugs in their homes, they often want to know where they came from. They can suddenly appear as if out of thin air. However, they always come from an outside source. They can jump on your clothing while you are in a hotel or somewhere that has an infestation, and they can travel into your home in luggage or on furniture that you purchase used. If this happens to you, you will want to learn how to get rid of bed bugs in clothes and luggage. You will be able to eliminate these pests and protect yourself in the future.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are little flat insects that spend most of the day hiding in dark nooks and crannies in your home. They emerge to feed on your blood while you are sleeping. They creep up onto your bed and bite you as they crawl along your exposed skin. Once they are finished, they crawl back to their hiding spots and rest while the food digests.
They are hard to see because they fit into cracks in the floor, behind the baseboards, or under your furniture. However, you might notice a row of itchy bites on parts of your body that are exposed while you sleep. You might see red or rusty spots on your bed, or you might see the egg casings. Once you discover them, you need to come up with a plan to eliminate them.
How Do Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home?
Bed bugs come into your home from other places. There are several ways they can enter your home which we covered in this linked article Where do Bed Bugs come from and how to get rid of them? They might jump on your clothing if you are in a hotel or at a friend’s house where they live. They can also get into your luggage when you are traveling or visiting someone. They will emerge once you arrive home, and then you will have a problem.
If you have any concerns, it is important to take precautions to get rid of the bed bugs on your clothing and in your luggage. For example, you should keep your clothing and your suitcase off the floor and away from the floor and walls in hotel rooms. You should also be aware that bed bugs can travel into your home on used furniture that you might purchase or used clothing that you bring into the home.
Can Bed Bugs Get Into a Zipped Suitcase?
Bed bugs are small, but they are still around the size of an apple seed. As small as they are, they cannot get into a suitcase if it is zipped closed. When you aren’t actively using your suitcase, you should keep it zipped and up on a luggage rack. You should keep it away from the floor, the walls, and the furniture. You can also cover the outside of the suitcase protected with a bed bug repellent. You can buy one or make one with apple cider vinegar or some other homemade repellent. This will help to keep them away from your suitcase.
Bed bugs do not normally come out of hiding except to feed at night unless they are females looking to lay eggs. They look for a safe spot to lay them, which might be in your luggage if it is accessible. This is why your zipper is so important. If you keep your suitcase zipped, the bed bugs can’t get in.
However, if you put clothing in the suitcase with bed bugs on it, they can stay inside. You can keep your clothing in sealable plastic bags to make sure that this doesn’t happen. If you have any concerns that there are bed bugs in your hotel room, keep your suitcase zipped and make sure that you keep your clothing in sealable plastic bags until you get home.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide in Your Luggage?
Bed bugs like dark places and luggage provides ideal conditions for them. Your luggage provides them with a lot of cracks and crevices, including the pockets, the spaces between your clothing, and the lining. They are drawn to the scent of people, and your clothing provides this. If you leave your luggage on the floor, on the bed, or near a spot where the bed bugs live, they will find your luggage and hide in there.
Do Bed Bugs Live in Your Clothing?
Bed bugs are also drawn to your clothing. Your clothing smells of people, which is their food source. Once they reach your clothing, they hide in folds in the fabric. The fabric helps to hold their eggs and keep them safe. They also love discarded clothing that is in the laundry hamper or on the floor so you need to be careful. If you have any concerns about bed bugs being present, do not leave your clothing in a spot where they can get to it.
How Do Bed Bugs Travel on Luggage That Is Closed?
If your luggage is closed, bed bugs can still travel back to your home. They can get into the pockets on the outside of your luggage and they can fit into the crevices in the piping on the luggage. They can get into the wheel or handle wells and they can stay still until you get home. Once you get home, they will move away from the luggage and find a safe spot to live. It is easy for bed bugs to hitch a ride home with you.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Luggage and Clothing
You can take steps to get rid of bed bugs in your luggage when you get home. The first thing to do is quarantine your luggage when you get home. You should immediately place your laundry in the washing machine. This will kill any bed bugs that are on your clothing. Make sure that you use hot water and then place the clothing in the dryer on high heat for about 20 minutes.
If you aren’t able to put your clothing directly into the washing machine, you can place them in a plastic container that you can seal. This will prevent the bed bugs from spreading out in your home.
For items that you can’t put into the washing machine, you can use bed bug spray to kill them. You can use essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender, or peppermint, which will kill the bed bugs when it comes into contact with it. You should spray your entire suitcase and any items that you can’t place in the washing machine.
After you spray your luggage, you need to vacuum it to get any dead or hidden bed bugs. Make sure that you use an attachment that allows you to get into the crevices of your suitcase, including all of the pockets and folds. There are some bed bugs that are more difficult to get and you can use heat to eliminate them.
You can also rent a steam cleaner as long as it reaches temperatures above 160 degrees. You can very carefully steam your entire suitcase, including the pockets. Let the suitcase get damp without soaking it. This will effectively kill any bed bugs left in your luggage.
If you have come into contact with bed bugs while you are traveling, it is important to get rid of them before you bring your luggage and clothing into your home. You can avoid an infestation by taking these precautions.