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Tips for Moving with Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are opportunists. It doesn't take much for them to crawl into a suitcase or onto your clothing and go with you. Moving with bed bugs may sound like a nightmare, but follow this checklist and you can make sure their travel plans are canceled.

Did you inspect your new home for bed bugs?

Before bringing anything into your new home, check for signs of a bed bug infestation. If you see any red flags, call a pest management professional before moving into your new space.

Have you hired a reputable moving service?

Unfortunately, it is possible to pick up bed bugs in transit. When looking for moving help, make sure you hire a company with good reviews, and look for signs of bed bugs in the truck before loading your items.

Are you using the right packing materials?

Bed bugs like fabrics. Packing your furniture in plastic instead of moving blankets can reduce the risk of any bed bugs moving in with you.

Are you packing only clean items?

Washing and drying clothing and other textile items on the hottest setting recommended should kill bed bugs. Ensuring you only take cleaned items with you decreases your chances of moving with bed bugs.

Have you sealed your belongings inside airtight bags?

If you suspect an infestation, it is recommended that you pack all of your items in clear plastic bags. Care should be taken to keep any infested items separated from the rest of your belongings. Because fabric items are a particular draw for bed bugs, they should also be packed separately.

Did you check your boxes and packing materials first?

If you must use boxes for packing, check them over carefully to make sure there are no bed bugs. Pay special attention to the corners and seams, as this is where bed bugs like to hide. Blankets used for packing should be washed and dried on the highest recommended setting prior to their use.

Have all mattresses and upholstered items been vacuumed thoroughly?

While vacuuming is not always able to remove 100 percent of a bed bug infestation, it does help. All mattresses, rugs, couches and upholstered chairs should be vacuumed prior to packing. Special attention should be paid to the edges, seams and corners to ensure that no bed bugs are hiding there.

Is your bed properly sealed?

Mattresses and box springs can be sealed in special encasements. These trap any bed bugs present in the bedding, as well as prevent future contamination, as bed bugs cannot enter through the materials.

Did you remember to check your pet?

It may surprise you to find out that bed bugs bite dogs. Additionally, they can be transported from point A to point B on your pet or its bedding. Prior to a move, you should clean your pet's cage or crate and bedding thoroughly to kill any bed bugs present. You should also wash your pet to remove any bed bugs they may have picked up.

Is there a safe place to unpack?

Once you have arrived at your destination, check again for bed bugs. Moving in any items you suspect may be infested should be unpacked on a flat, hard surface, such as tile, wood or laminate. On these surfaces, bed bugs will be visible, and will not be able to hide as they would in carpeted surfaces. Any bed bugs you find can be vacuumed up and disposed of in a sealed plastic bag outside, or drowned in hot, soapy water.

Following these tips should have you moving – with bed bugs staying behind. But, if you want a little extra peace of mind, call Terminix® for a free bed bug inspection. They'll make sure the only bed bugs moving are on their way out.