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HELP! My dh may have brought home bedbugs!!!

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Now what???


He has these bites on his upper left shoulder/chest/back... he brought his own pillow to sleep on (it's the foam-type, if that matters), and he had his suitcase with all of the clothes on the other bed!


He didn't tell me about it until tonight. He came home from his overnight yesterday...


I'm freaking out a bit.

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On this page, the last 4 threads are ones I wrote about my bedbug saga. Having lived through it, I've thought about what I would do if I were you:


ETA: at the top here: DO NOT SLEEP AWAY FROM THE BED. If you think they're in your bedroom, then someone has to stay in the bedroom. If you sleep on the couch they WILL follow you to the couch and then you'll have a harder time getting rid of them, because you'll have to exterminate more rooms.


First, clothes:

Are his clothes already put away? If not, put them into a plastic bag and tightly seal it. Then, at your leisure, take the bag to the laundromat and wash and dry the clothes on high. You need to dry the clothes for at least 20 minutes at 120 degrees. The old dryers at my laundromat had a thermostat and they got up to 140, so yours probably will, too. Home dryers don't usually get hot enough to kill the bugs. Don't trust your home dryer.


If the clothes have already been put away....well. You can look at them and try to find the bugs, but I'm doubtful you will. Bedbugs are about the size of a watermelon or apple seed, so you'll see them if you can find where they're hiding. The problem is that they're very good at hiding. So, they might be there, but you might not find them. If it were me, I'd wash/dry them on high anyway, in case there is an egg somewhere stuck to the clothes that I didn't see.


Second, non-clothes items:

Visually inspect his luggage as well. If it's small enough, put it in the plastic bags and seal it tightly. Bedbugs can take up to a year to die (because sometimes they go into a hibernation mode), so you might want to keep the luggage in those bags for a year. If the luggage is big and won't fit in a bag, is there a shed away from the house you could put it in? Do you live in the desert? If it's hot where you are, and if your car gets above 120 degrees, you might be able to put it in the car and kill the bugs that way...but you'd want to leave it in the car for days and well...if they don't die, then they're in your car. So, it's up to you on that one.



If you have a headboard that has any nooks or crannies, remove it. If it's just a flat piece of wood, you're ok. You don't want the bugs to find a place to nest in your headboard. You'd rather have them in your boxspring...you'll see why later...



Start looking for evidence beyond the bugs themselves. That would include new bites and black spots on your bedding. My dh and I didn't have any reaction to the bites, but our exterminator did find the black dots. (I originally knew I had bedbugs because when I went to bed one night, I turned over my pillow to fluff it and THERE WAS A BUG waiting for it's dinner. Me.) I didn't see any other evidence until my Ninja Bug Guy flipped up my mattress and found the black dots between the mattress and box spring. You will need to flip the mattress and box spring and examine every square inch of each. Do this every couple of days. (Google bedbugs and you'll find pictures of the black dots.)



If there are no more bites and no black spots that you can find....you're probably ok.



If you DO get more bites and black dots, I wouldn't call an exterminator right away. Instead, I'd get two mattress bags, one for the mattress and one for the box spring. If they are nesting in there, then once you put the bags on, they'll be stuck in there and die (after a year or less.) You can get breathable mattress bags at mattress stores for just under $100 each, or you can get cheaper ones at Walmart, but they don't breathe (so you'll be sweaty at night). Maybe get a cheap one for the box spring and a pricier one for the mattress. The $200 for the bags is cheaper than the exterminator, so you want to do this--seriously.



If you still get bit and find black dots after the mattress bags (which exterminators require anyway, so don't bother skipping that step), then you'll have to call an exterminator. Hopefully you won't get to that step because it costs about $1500 for the exterminator (depending on your area, c/b more or less), plus you'll have to strip the rooms that need the treatment and that is an INCREDIBLE amount of work.



Keep checking every day or two for evidence. If you find it, you want to start taking care of it ASAP before they start multiplying.


There's a good chance that your dh left the bugs in the hotel. They probably came out, bit him, and then went back to their nest and didn't bother his clothes.

Edited by Garga
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