How to Check New Clothes for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can get into the smallest cracks and crevices in your furniture, so it should come as no surprise that they can hide inside your clothes as well. In fact, they’re quite good at using clothes as a Trojan horse to sneak inside your home and start a bed bug infestation.
Many people understand that you should check used clothes for bed bugs when you take them home, but it’s also a good idea to check new clothes, just to be extra cautious. Let’s discuss how to check clothes for bed bugs and what to do if any are found.
How to Check Your Clothes for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs love to use clothing to get inside your home by hiding in small folds and other areas that are difficult to notice. Knowing how to check clothes for bed bugs will help prevent an infestation.
Here are a few basic rules that you should follow:
Gather Up the Right Tools
Before you start checking your clothes for bed bugs, you need to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. To protect your hands from bed bugs and their feces, you should put on a pair of latex or vinyl gloves. Flashlights are good for furniture, but you probably won’t need them to check your clothes. Bed bugs are only the size of an apple seed and often smaller, so you might also want to come equipped with a magnifying glass.
Leave No Fold Unchecked
As you’re probably already aware, bed bugs are very small and flat. They can easily hide in the folds of clothes. If bed bugs get into your new clothes, this is often where you’ll find them. You must be very thorough in checking each and every fold.
But whether you find any bed bugs or not, make sure you keep the clothes separate until you can get them washed.
Separate Them from Other Clothes
Too many people purchase new clothes and then just throw them into their closet or drawer. This can be a problem if these new clothes have bed bugs because they will spread to your other clothes and be even more difficult to eliminate. Your best plan of action is to bag and seal them until you can get them washed.
What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs in Clothes
Finding bed bugs in your clothes can be a harrowing ordeal. The good news is that even though bed bugs feed on human blood like mosquitoes do, they don’t carry disease. They are gross and annoying, however, so you should get rid of them ASAP. If you find any in your clothes, here are a few things you should do:
Wash Clothes in Hot Water
You should always wash new clothes when you get them home because you don’t know who handled them before you bought them. If you examine the clothes and find bed bugs, you should wash them in hot water. The high temperature (above 120 degrees) will kill bed bugs and their eggs.
Look for Other Warning Signs
You should definitely check for other warning signs of bed bugs, like red or brown marks on your sheets and itchy spots on your skin. Unless you kept hold of the clothes the entire time from when you purchased them to when you threw them into the washing machine, it’s possible that the bugs were able to get out of the clothes and into furniture and other areas.
Call a Bed Bug Exterminator
Getting rid of bed bugs can be very difficult. There are some do-it-yourself methods that you can find online, but they don’t really work very well. You might see fewer bed bugs for a while, but then they come back because you missed the eggs. An experienced exterminator will eliminate every single bed bug and egg in your home.
Contact ProHealth to Learn How to Check Clothes for Bed Bugs
ProHealth Pest Control knows how to remove bed bugs and prevent these nasty creatures from entering your home. If you need help removing bed bugs or any other pest, reach out to us at (727) 472-9420 today.