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what creekland said, or leave the bags in a hot garage for a few days, even better, put the bags in clear plastic bags and tape shut, so you can see if anything crawls outs.  my dd just got back from Marine bootcamp and was bitten by something while on the crucible, so we put her two bags in the garage all week.  I think it was probably chiggers that she got, because they were outside, not bedbugs, but just in case...  :scared:

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Leave your bags in the hot car for a day. Bedbugs can't survive heat. We do this all the time for precaution.

I was just reading up on this because my people came home from a trip to India in some questionable hotels.

 

The hot car technique is disputed. There is concern that there could still be some cold pockets in the luggage.

 

If I knew for sure that we had been exposed to bed bugs, I would do some thorough internet research. Definitely don't let anything from the trip inside your house.

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If you messed up and didn't do that... we once had them while traveling abroad. We laundered stuff that had been out... but not even everything. We couldn't. And then we laundered things when we got home. But we didn't do all that. No bed bugs. Whew.

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I was just reading up on this because my people came home from a trip to India in some questionable hotels.

 

The hot car technique is disputed. There is concern that there could still be some cold pockets in the luggage.

 

If I knew for sure that we had been exposed to bed bugs, I would do some thorough internet research. Definitely don't let anything from the trip inside your house.

My guess would be these folks not leaving bags in for long enough, or the car not getting hot enough. It can't just be outdoor temp. It needs the greenhouse effect for some time increasing the temp a lot.

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I would strip down behind the bushes and everything would go straight to the dumpster. Around here it can cost $3000 or more for an infestation. There is no way I would risk it.

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I would strip down behind the bushes and everything would go straight to the dumpster. Around here it can cost $3000 or more for an infestation. There is no way I would risk it.

 

There's no way most of us can afford to replace our luggage, backpacks, and wardrobes after every trip we make!  There are oodles and oodles of motels with reported bedbugs - even fancy places that cost a pretty penny - even places around Disney:

 

http://bedbugregistry.com/hotel/FL/Lake-Buena-Vista/Disney's-Pop-Century-Resort

 

(That link can be used to check other places, but remember, there's also always a "first report."  This is why we always use precaution when we return home.  Unpack later.  Cook first.  So far, we've yet to have a problem even after having found a bedbug ourselves in a motel room in NC - Jameson in Wilson, NC - only mentioned by name because the management was awful when we showed the critter to them leading us to believe they didn't give a hoot.  We kept pics if needed to substantiate what we had in my mom's room.)

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what creekland said, or leave the bags in a hot garage for a few days, even better, put the bags in clear plastic bags and tape shut, so you can see if anything crawls outs. my dd just got back from Marine bootcamp and was bitten by something while on the crucible, so we put her two bags in the garage all week. I think it was probably chiggers that she got, because they were outside, not bedbugs, but just in case... :scared:

Congrats to your DD! What an accomplishment!

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There's no way most of us can afford to replace our luggage, backpacks, and wardrobes after every trip we make! There are oodles and oodles of motels with reported bedbugs - even fancy places that cost a pretty penny - even places around Disney:

 

http://bedbugregistry.com/hotel/FL/Lake-Buena-Vista/Disney's-Pop-Century-Resort

 

(That link can be used to check other places, but remember, there's also always a "first report." This is why we always use precaution when we return home. Unpack later. Cook first. So far, we've yet to have a problem even after having found a bedbug ourselves in a motel room in NC - Jameson in Wilson, NC - only mentioned by name because the management was awful when we showed the critter to them leading us to believe they didn't give a hoot. We kept pics if needed to substantiate what we had in my mom's room.)

She said that the place was known to have bedbugs. I assume that means the critters are there currently, not ever having been there in centuries past.

 

When we travel we do a couple of things to protect us:

 

1. Check for bedbugs on arrival. Easy to do. Look online.

2. Keep luggage sealed and zipped. We may even store it in the car if it is a one or two night trip.

3. If luggage stays in the room, keep it on tile floor in the bathroom.

4. For high risk, leisure trips, we buy disposable clothes. By this I mean we head to Walmart and buy the cheapest t-shirts, underwear, and shorts we can find. These all get left in the last hotel garbage.

5. We do not take expensive luggage on trips. It is disposable, too, if it is a high risk trip.

6. Check the body for bites. Know what they look like.

7. Anything that comes home stays in a hot car for a few days. We live in Florida, so that is not hard to do. I make sure the luggage is steaming when I open it in the car when it is ready. All clothes go straight to the hot dryer followed by washing.

 

Really, I can buy a lot of disposable clothes and luggage for the $3000 it costs on my 4000 sq. ft. home to de-bug. My neighbor recently had the honor and her bill was almost $4000. Crazy, right?

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I would strip down behind the bushes and everything would go straight to the dumpster. Around here it can cost $3000 or more for an infestation. There is no way I would risk it.

 

Gotta agree with this. Dh has to go to India this year. We're buying disposable luggage for the trip and I'm taking his clothes straight to the dry cleaner tied in a plastic bag. If he sees hide or hair of a bug bite while he's gone, I might just throw the clothes away while I'm at it and forget about the dry cleaner. No way on earth I would risk it. I freak out enough with the constant traveling in the US about this. What they have to do to a house to ensure they're gone.......no thanks. I'll save up for a luggage fund versus risk that. 

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We were at a church camp with wooden bunks (no mattresses or linens), and they had an infestation.  They contacted us 2-3 weeks after we had arrived home.

 

First thing?  I cried.

 

I knew we had something because the youngest had bites.  So, I washed bedding, took mattresses outside and left them in the sunshine, bagged stuffed animals, etc.  We left our sleeping bags in the hot garage and hoped for the best.  I checked for new bites.  I checked the mattresses regularly for months.

 

Same trip - my in-laws ended up with bed bugs in two of their bedrooms.  They sent their comforter to the dry cleaners and put everything else through the laundry/hot dryer.  I can't remember what else they did but I know it did not involve hiring anyone professionally.  

 

We have encountered bed bugs in a hotel even after we thought we had thoroughly checked the night before.  We were headed to FL and left our belongings in the trunk as long as possible.   Luckily we never found anymore.

 

We only take in a small bag with necessities into the hotel room and stow it on the metal rack above the hangars.  We never store anything on the bedding or floor.

 

Edited to add:  I think FIL may have bought a spray and used it on the mattresses.  One thing he did that freaked me out but I also appreciated was to bring me a bed bug so I would know what I was looking for.  I had never seen one.  It was in a sandwich bag and was immediately put into the freezer.  

Edited by PollyOR
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Every trip, no matter what class accommodations:  never put luggage on bed and don't use the dresser drawers.  On return home, unpack in laundry room or outside,  and  wash, dry clean everything immediately.  Make a mild bleach solutions (maybe a 1/4 cup to 1/2 gal water) and spray luggage inside out and inside  every cranny and  pocket of luggage.( never had luggage fade because of this).  Then rinse luggage. leave sprayed luggage outdoors in sun for a few days.   Even when I thought I might have encountered bed bugs because of weird marks on my legs, never brought them into home. 

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You can check the mattress by pulling up the fitted sheet and running a credit card or key card along the mattress seams - they congregate there -- and checking the mattress itself for tiny rust-colored drops of blood and pin-prick sized black dots of bedbug poop (yeah, gross).

 

Bedbugs are really, really hard to kill, compared to say lice.  They can survive dryer temp / ordinary garage heat in "cool pockets" and seams -- their own actual body heat has to be something like 120 degrees for a sustained period like two hours.  They can live without a host for several months.

 

The inlaws of my inlaws had to treat their apartment for an infestation they just could not take care of themselves.  First they had to throw out all bedding and mattresses. They had to pack up everything else soft -- clothes, stuffed animals, table linens, everything -- and put into enormous sealed bags.  Then the treatment guys literally sealed off each room in turn and set up these enormous tubes -- eight foot long blow dryers, basically -- and heated up each room to something absurd, like 200 degrees or something.  Ditto the soft-goods bags.  It cost $10K.  They have no idea where they first got them -- they only ever stay in rather ritzy places.

 

(This sufficiently frightened me that I forever after have done the credit-card on the mattress thing every time we stay away from home, even though I'm definitely not a germaphobe as a general thing, lol; and we've dealt with lice with inconvenience but no undue trauma.  

 

And if I *knew* we'd been exposed, yeah, I'd throw out the luggage and take the contents to a professional for treatment.  I can deal with all sorts of goofy, I got NO INTEREST in bedbugs TYVM....)  

 

(shudder)

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DH brought home bedbugs from a trip a few years ago. We had to have a professional come out and treat for it, but he was local and we live in a low cost of living area, and he didn't overtreat and charged us $1500.

 

It was pretty horrible though and it was a lot of work for us to bag up everything in our bedroom and on the adjoining walls. All our possessions had to stay in tightly sealed trashbags for weeks. Every single garment had to be washed and then dried in a drier that got to 120 and once there, they had to stay drying for 10-15 minutes. So, I took all the clothes to the laundromat and dried them for 30 minutes. My home dryer doesn't get that hot. That added a couple extra hundred to the treatment costs.

 

For the future:

 

1. We rarely use luggage anymore. We put things in black plastic bags. If we're traveling on a plane, we use luggage, but the second we get in the room, we put the luggage in the bathtub and then take out our plastic bags and put all the luggage in the bag. It's a PAIN to have to keep tying and untying the bags to get to our stuff, but we do it.

 

2. We put nothing out. We do not unpack.

 

3. All the clothes we wear go into their own plastic bags so that when we get home they'll be washed, then taken to the laundromat to be dried in the 120 degree heat for a half hour.

 

4. We wait to put on our final outfit before checkout at the last minute. That way, we won't be sitting there on bedbug eggs and bringing them home on our clothes. We wait in our robes and then dress in front of the door and put the robes into the dirty laundry bag.

 

5. At home, we launder the clothes and visually inspect the luggage. We will leave the luggage in the bags, sealed, until we need them again. Bedbugs can hibernate for a year, so they need to be bagged for a year, or they might just sleep until you open the bag again.

 

 

 

I personally wouldn't trust the hot car method. The bugs can burrow into areas in the clothes that aren't as hot as 120. I wouldn't trust that the car gets that hot. Maybe it does...I don't know. Maybe next time I will put a thermometer out there and leave the bags in the car in their plastic.

 

Some say that you can do the opposite: you can freeze them. But you'd need to research exactly how cold and for how long.

 

 

We are very careful not to take half measures. When you don't have them and have never gotten then, you're more likely to say, "Oh, this will be good enough, surely..." But once you've lain in a bed knowing that they're biting you, you will never take half measures again.

 

I had to lie in that bed, knowing they would bite me because my bug guy said that if I left the bed before he could treat the house, the bugs would wander around the house looking for food and then he'd have to treat other rooms. Better to lie there, knowing they'll be crawling on you in your sleep, to keep them contained. I whimpered myself to sleep for 3 nights in a row before the bug guy was scheduled to treat the house. Never again.

Edited by Garga
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The home we bought last summer had them. I got the breakfast - lunch - dinner bites. Luckily, we had not moved in and were demo-ing. A lot of steaming and putting down a powder similar to diatomaceous earth, then staying awhile at our other house which was for sale did the trick. What a pain, though.

 

So, maybe get a handheld steamer and steam everything thoroughly before you go in house. If you travel a lot, you can get a contraption you put them in that heats it up.

 

TAake note: Those little buggers will crawl up the wall and ceiling and drop down on you if you have bed bug traps under your bed legs that they can't climb up.

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So here's the plan. The family member is coming home by air. We have a beat up van in the driveway that's destined for the junkyard. Her stuff, suitcase and all will be unpacked and spread out in the van. We'll leave it there for 3 days. She'll be coming home in July and we're in the south so that should bake the suckers. Then it'll go to the laundry room, which is in the garage, so we don't even have to enter the house. I'll wash stuff and run it through the dryer. The suitcase can stay in the car longer.

 

She did leave some clothing here so she can get by on what she's not got packed in her bag.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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She knows, for sure, she's exposed?

 

You have the elements of a pretty good defense plan.  

 

I would personally chuck the luggage directly into a sealed enormous trash bag immediately upon her arrival and dispose of it.  If the luggage is sitting in the van, the buggers can crawl out and chill in the seats, and whoever drives it to its junkyard disposition can get them, and you might start it all over again (that someone in the family got them from an upholstered plane or restaurant seat is my in-laws' in-laws best hypothesis of how their infestation first began).

 

Also, she'll have buggers on the clothes she's wearing the instant she arrives, so add in a strip-down-upon-arrival-and-proceed-naked-directly-into-a-very-hot-very-long-shower plan.

 

Also, have a plan specifically for the shoes -- so many cooler crevices to hide out in, easy to overlook with the laundry cycle.  

 

In general, if you're going to go with the Hot Car defense, think through where the Cool Spots are likely to be.  When you do a roast in the oven, the air temperature is 400 degrees, but the center of the meat where the thermometer is only gets to 180 even after 90 minutes.  The Hot Car is obviously not nearly as extreme or as dense but the general idea still applies.

 

 

May the force be with you.  

 

 

(I feel compelled to add, I really am not, generally, the least bit manic about germs or bugs or hygiene practices.  Just scared straight on bedbugs, lol...)

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I think that if I knew I had been exposed, I'd get rid of the clothes and luggage. 

If someone was picking me up at the airport, I'd have them bring me new clothes. I'd change in the restroom there, throwing away what I had been traveling in. Anything that absolutely had to come home with me would get the hot car treatment. Anything fabric would also get washed and dried. 

And I'd go straight from the car to the shower. The clothes I'd changed into would also be disposed of (as they could have been on me and then moved to the clothes.

Of course, I am not that particular about clothes. I'd much rather have to buy new (used, as that's what I tend to do) ones than deal with an infestation. And our luggage is...not fancy and so I wouldn't have to budget a lot to get new stuff.

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She knows, for sure, she's exposed?

 

You have the elements of a pretty good defense plan.  

 

I would personally chuck the luggage directly into a sealed enormous trash bag immediately upon her arrival and dispose of it.  If the luggage is sitting in the van, the buggers can crawl out and chill in the seats, and whoever drives it to its junkyard disposition can get them, and you might start it all over again (that someone in the family got them from an upholstered plane or restaurant seat is my in-laws' in-laws best hypothesis of how their infestation first began).

 

Also, she'll have buggers on the clothes she's wearing the instant she arrives, so add in a strip-down-upon-arrival-and-proceed-naked-directly-into-a-very-hot-very-long-shower plan.

 

Also, have a plan specifically for the shoes -- so many cooler crevices to hide out in, easy to overlook with the laundry cycle.  

 

In general, if you're going to go with the Hot Car defense, think through where the Cool Spots are likely to be.  When you do a roast in the oven, the air temperature is 400 degrees, but the center of the meat where the thermometer is only gets to 180 even after 90 minutes.  The Hot Car is obviously not nearly as extreme or as dense but the general idea still applies.

 

 

May the force be with you.  

 

 

(I feel compelled to add, I really am not, generally, the least bit manic about germs or bugs or hygiene practices.  Just scared straight on bedbugs, lol...)

This is why we're opening up all the luggage and spreading it all out in the van. And shutting up the doors for a solid three days. I'm putting a thermometer in there to track the temperature to make sure it stays at 120 for as long as possible. 

 

And yes, I forgot to say she's going to immediately head to the shower with clean from home clothes to put on, while the clothing that comes off goes into the van.

 

And thanks for the reminder about shoes! I hadn't thought of that. I may run out and pick up a cheap pair to get her through the first few days while her others are baking.

Edited by fairfarmhand
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Is someone bringing her home, or are you picking her up? Because I'd make sure there's a bathroom/changing room at the pickup point and bring along all your plastic bags. You don't want bed bugs crawling off her stuff into your personal vehicle.

Edited by Seasider
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Is someone bringing her home, or are you picking her up? Because I'd make sure there's a bathroom/changing room at the pickup point and bring along all your plastic bags. You don't want bed bugs crawling off her stuff into your personal vehicle.

 

That is a good idea!

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