Recommended Bins & Technique

When you go through the process of sealing all of your personal belongings, you are probably going to need large plastic bins for organization and storage.  There are a few points you need to be aware of when selecting bins.

Selecting the Proper Storage Bin

First of all, it is important that your personal belongings are always sealed air-tight with no exceptions.  Since most storage bins do not have an air-tight seal (bins without gaskets), you are going to need to encase the entire bin in a sealed plastic bag.  This is a best practice.  If you don’t follow this extra precaution, it is possible that bed bugs could find a way into your unsealed bin.  Remember, bed bugs are extremely small.

Another option is to use storage bins with gaskets.  These built-in gaskets ensure an air-tight seal and eliminate the need for the extra precaution of a sealed plastic bag.  The main problem with this solution is that these bins are difficult to find in large sizes.  The one we recommend is a 20-quart bin made by Sterilite.  We highly recommend these for situations in which you will need frequent access to the bin.  For example, you could use these bins to store your toiletries, fresh clothes, or books.

Recommended Bins & Storage Technique Video

**Video Transcript** – Recommended Bins & Storage Technique

“We are going to look at several options for bed bug proof storage. After you heat treat your items you’re going to want to store them in bed bug proof bags or containers until you finish treating the rest of your belonging. If you have any items you can’t heat treat storing them in bed bug proof container for a year and a half will kill any bed bugs in them and prevent them from escaping and re-infesting your home. We highly recommend giant Ziploc. They come in an assortment of sizes and are great to store your heat treated clothing. You can easily unseal them, access your clothing and re-seal them for an impermeable bed bug barrier.

Plastic garbage bags are also bed bug proof. They are a great inexpensive option. We suggest getting clear bags because you will be able to see the contents from the outside. They’ll be much less likely to tare and let the bed bugs escape. Simply tie off the bag or use a metal binder clip. They are available at any office supply store and are easy to remove to access your stuff.

Plastic storage bins are also a good option.  This bin has a gasket, a rubber seal that goes around the edges of the lid. When you put the lid down and clamp it shut the seal forms a barrier and makes this bin bed bug proof.

No bed bugs will be able to get through that barrier. Clear bins are great because you can easily see the contents inside. It is possible to use to use plastic bins without gaskets although these bins are prone to letting bed bugs escaped when bumped or moved.

Avoid using cardboard. Cardboard is porous. Making it is easy for bed bugs to crawl out and work their way into the corrugations. These void are ideal hiding places. Our advice is to get rid of all the cardboard in your home.”

26 replies
  1. Bart
    Bart says:

    I recently moved out of state and had to put many items in storage and lucky me received the gift of bed bugs.
    I have never had a bed bug or any bug issue in my life.

    So, Here is the solution I used if your looking for an effective & fairly inexpensive way to seal your containers from bed bugs.
    Estimated $95 to keep closing in but purchased additional for other belongings.

    1. Centrex Tough Box 27gal storage tote.
    Dims: 31″L x 21″W x 15″ deep.
    You can buy at Menards for $9.00
    I started with 8 = $72

    2. Duck Brand Foam Weatherstrip Seal, 2pk 3/8″ W x 3/16″T x 30’L
    Walmart sells for $3.26 1 pack will do!

    3. HDX 50 gal. Extra Large Clear Trash Bags (50-Count) Amazon $18.25

    Granted the bins or not clear but the bags are and you can remove the bag to see the contents.
    But just simply labeling the outside of the bins works
    I felt this is was the most capacity, low buck alternative, and it works effectively.

    Reply
    • ZappBug
      ZappBug says:

      Hello Chele,

      We would suggest using duct tape around the edges of the bin. The goal is to make sure the bed bugs can’t get through the gap between the lid and the bin. If you have any other questions please let us know.

      -The ZappBug Team

      Reply
  2. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    Hi there!
    I recently brought stuff home from my storage unit and now it appears I have the beginning of an infestation. I am mortified, have already dealt with these things once and trust me when I say the items I brought home were in storage for close to 2 years. Do you think this is possible????? Or more likely from a new source?

    Reply
  3. Jolene
    Jolene says:

    I live in PA I put my belongings like a ps2 and some controllers in a tote and duck taped the tote back September of 2016 is it safe to take those items out of the tote?

    Reply
    • ZappBug
      ZappBug says:

      Hello Jolene,

      Bed bugs can live up to 1 year to 18 months without feeding. Since it has been 18 months, it should be safe to remove those items.

      The ZappBug Teaam

      Reply
    • ZappBug
      ZappBug says:

      Hello Lisa,

      We recommend making sure all zippers are fully closed and there are no openings where the bed bugs can crawl in or out. If there are gaps just cover and seal with heavy duty tape.

      The ZappBug Team

      Reply
  4. Ellie Davis
    Ellie Davis says:

    I was unaware you should store all of your belongings sealed in air tight containers. My husband and I just moved and are trying to organize our new master bedroom. I’ve heard there were bed bugs in our new apartment building. Maybe I should look into getting air tight containers just in case.

    Reply
  5. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Once i have put clothes through the dryer, and treated my home, how long do i have everything in bins, or do we just live out of plastic forever? My home looks like a storage unit

    Reply
    • ZappBug
      ZappBug says:

      Hello Michelle,

      Bed bugs live up to 1 year to 18 months without feeding. If you are unable to heat treat the items in the bins we would suggest waiting 1 year to 18 months before removing.

      Kind Regards,
      The ZappBug Team

      Reply
  6. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    I keep reading different things everyday about bedb…-and before I commit to my plan, I need to know for sure; I ABSOLUTELY MUST MOVE the majority of my posessions into a storage space- if I put something that does have a bb into one of those gasket boxes, how many days can the insect really survive? A lot of things I can store long term (as long as necessary). I don’t want to infest the storage facility, nor the next place I move to. Some sites say they live 200 days. Some say longer. But what is the longest IRL? (I will only be using gasket style boxes)

    Reply
    • ZappBug
      ZappBug says:

      Hello Tracy,

      Different scientific journals do say different times. Through the information we have read we have come to the conclusion it is roughly a year that bed bugs can live without feeding. We tell our customers that are unable to heat treat their items to store them for at least a year. Let us know if you have any other questions.

      The ZappBug Team

      Reply
    • ZappBug
      ZappBug says:

      Hello Denise,

      The Ziplock Weather Shield looks to be bed bug proof. They have seal that goes around the edges of the lid that should block entry into the containers. If you visit our bed bug in clothes page there is a video that shows how the seal works. Let us know if you have any other questions.

      The ZappBug Team

      Reply
        • ZappBug
          ZappBug says:

          Hello Nicole,

          If they are weather shield then they will work against bed bugs. If you have any more questions feel free to reach out again.

          The ZappBug Team

          Reply
          • ZappBug
            ZappBug says:

            Hello Brittany,

            Yes, as long as it seals completely and there are no cracks or air pockets for the bed bugs to crawl out through.

            -The ZappBug Team

  7. John Mahoney
    John Mahoney says:

    I didn’t realize that the best way to store thing is by making sure they are air tight. I can see how this can help you get the most out of your bins and make sure you get as many items as you ca in them. It’s important to remember that when filling storage bins with items that you don’t exceed the limit and keep within a reasonable weight so as to avoid breaking them.

    Reply

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