How to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs with You When You Move

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing a fully-fledged bed bug invasion than you know just how intrusive these blood-sucking little creatures can be. They will, quite literally, get into everything you own. Not just the beds and carpets, but your furniture, clothing and other personal belongings as well. It’s one of the main reasons bed bugs are so blasted difficult to eliminate. It’s also one of the chief causes of trouble when families decide to move into a new house or apartment.

Remember, bed bugs are resourceful little creatures, and they’re perfectly happy to hitch a ride with you and your family wherever you may go. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself bringing a colony of these parasites into your new home. So, whether you’re moving to escape an infestation or it’s simply time to make a change, you need to take some simple precautions where bed bugs are concerned. To that end we’ve put together a simple moving guide to help you avoid the risk of bringing bed bugs with you when you make your next move.

Packing Tips

The first step in leaving bed bugs behind when you move is to focus on your packing. Due diligence here will pay off in a big way, so it’s important to take your time with your packing and follow a few simple tips.

  • Purchase a strong LED flashlight so you can inspect your belongings as you pack them in new shipping boxes or crates.
  • Use only NEW packing materials. This applies to boxes, shipping crates, plastic containers and bubble wrap. Don’t reuse materials. Bed bugs could easily be hiding in old boxes or packing material.
  • Purchase mattress encasements for each mattress and box spring you intend to take with your on your move. Inspect your mattresses and box springs carefully, and if they are free of bed bugs install the encasements on the day of your move.
  • Wash and dry all of the clothing you will be taking with you and pack the items in resealable clear plastic tubs. Be sure to wash and dry everything on the hottest possible settings.
  • Wash all of your linens, pillows, curtains and other fabric items and store them in resealable tubs. Again, use the hottest possible settings to ensure that the heat kills any stray bed bugs.

How to Handle Items that Can’t be Laundered

Any items that cannot be laundered should be carefully inspected for signs of bed bugs. If there are no signs of infestation only then should they be packed into resealable plastic tubs or bags. This includes picture frames, small appliances, books, decorations and general knick-knacks.

If you have recently experienced a bed bug invasion it may be wise to take extra precautions here. Any items that were close to the heart of the infestation can be treated with Nuvon strips. Pack these items in a plastic bag with the strip inside. Seal the bag and leave for a minimum of two weeks. When the time comes to unpack the items make sure to do so outside just in case there are any living bed bug stragglers. This will help reduce the risk of them getting into your new home.

Clearing Your Furniture Before You Move

Despite their name, bed bugs do not confine themselves to mattresses and bed linen. They can also infest couches and other upholstered furnishings. If you are intent on bringing your old furniture with you, you will need to carefully inspect each piece before you move.

When it comes to larger pieces of furniture, particularly couches and recliners, it is always a good idea to consult a licensed bed bug inspector before you move. They can more effectively inspect, and if necessary treat, your furniture than you can on your own.

Moving Day To Do List

When moving day finally comes around there are few more things to take care of to help ensure that you won’t be bringing any stray bed bugs into your new home. These last minute steps are crucial and should not be ignored.

  • If you have pets they should all be bathed before you head off to your new house or apartment. Once they’ve been bathed do not let them back into your old home.
  • Everyone in your family should shower and put on clean clothes before leaving for your new home. Gather up the family’s dirty clothes and put them in a resealable plastic bag label ‘DIRTY’ and wash them later.
  • Carefully inspect all furniture, particularly dressers and cabinets, inside and out before loading onto the truck. Remove any cushions or coverings from couches and chairs and store them in plastic bags for the duration of the move.
  • Install your new mattress and box spring encasements as instructed.

Last Minute Tips

Finally, there are a few more last minute things to take care of before you can bid farewell to your old homestead. These last few tips are less about safeguarding your new home than they are about helping to prevent bed bug problems for other people down the line. Think of these as simple ways to “pay it forward”.

  • Notify your former landlord or property manager of any bed bug problems you encountered at your old home. They can then contact a licensed exterminator to treat the problem.
  • If you are leaving any furniture behind don’t simply put it out on the curb. Destroy it and take the remains to a local dump. This will prevent others from potentially bringing bed bugs into their homes if they scavenge your old furnishings.

Moving Into Your New Bed Bug Free Home

Moving into a new home should be exciting, and the last thing anyone wants to do is bring a colony of bed bugs along for the ride. When the time comes to move into a new house or apartment take the necessary precautions to protect your new home from a future bed bug invasion. These simple tips will help to reduce the risk of bring bed bugs with you during your big move, so that you and your family can sleep easy in your new home.

Published by Scott Palatnik

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