It’s easy to be apprehensive about visiting friends and family when you have a bed bug infestation. You don’t want to spread bed bugs around and in theory, bed bugs can tag along on clothing, inside a shoe, on the surface of a purse or bag. While the risks of this are lower than you would think it’s still best to work proactively to assure yourself and those you are visiting that you are not inadvertently bringing unwanted guests into their home. The following video shows a few fool-proof steps that you can take to leave bed bugs at home.
Protocol for Safely Visiting Friends and Family
Remember the Safe Zone in Step 1 that you established? You are going to be utilizing the same principles and procedures now. When you visit your friends or family you will only be wearing clothes or carrying items (such as purses, backpacks, suitcases) that have been heat treated and stored in sealed airtight containers. Remember, this step is for while you’re dealing with an active infestation – once you’ve safely eliminated bed bugs from your home you don’t need to continue following these procedures.
Step 1: Heat Treat and Seal
Have the clothing you plan to wear heat treated and sealed in plastic bags. This includes pants, shirt, jacket, socks and shoes—in other words, everything you will wear and anything you will carry with you.
Hint: We recommend giant Ziplock Bags for convenient storage of heat treated items. They are great for clothes, shoes, purses, bags—anything that you have heat treated and need to access.
Step 2: Strip Outside of the Safe Zone
Outside your Safe Zone, strip off all of the clothes that you are currently wearing, including socks and shoes. Remember to strip outside your Safe Zone so that you don’t inadvertently bring any bed bugs into your Safe Zone area.
Step 3: Change Inside the Safe Zone
Step into your Safe Zone and change into the clothes you will be wearing.
Remember to only change into clothes (including shoes) that have been heat treated and stored in sealed plastic bags.
Step 4: Don’t Linger Around Your Home
After you have changed immediately leave to visit your friends or family. In other words, don’t linger around your home and lie down on a carpet or sit on a sofa. This will ensure that you don’t pick up any new bed bugs.
Alternative Changing Area
If you don’t yet have a Safe Zone established, then you can instead change in your bathroom. Sit on the edge of the bathtub or closed toilet seat to change. Those smooth surfaces are highly unlikely to have any bed bugs.
Complete Assurance to Your Family and Friends
It’s very important to maintain your social life and not to become isolated. Getting rid of bed bugs is stressful and time consuming, and having a way to de-stress by keeping up with your social contacts is crucial for maintaining the energy and positive attitude you will need.
If you follow the above protocol then both you and your friends can be completely assured that you are not bringing along any unwanted guests when you visit them.
Disclaimer: Some of the procedures outlined in this guide may be dangerous and should be undertaken at the readers own risk. Readers should consult all material safety data sheets for any products they use in their own attempts at pest control and consult with the manufacturers of all products regarding best usage practices. This guide should be construed as theoretical advice. ZappBug and its employees will not be held responsible for any injury due to the advice offered herein. This guide cannot be construed as formal advice and ZappBug will not be held liable in any instance of an action resulting from this story. This disclaimer assigns the readers all responsibility for their own decisions.
We hope the information in the 8-Step Approach to Get Rid of Bed Bugs has been helpful. If you have any questions please contact us, we’re always glad to help you!
Also, please share this information with anyone you know who has bed bugs!