Removing Bed Bugs: Plastic Bags May Not Help
If you’ve encountered bed bugs at home, during your travels or in public, you’re probably trying to figure out what to do next. If you’ve already searched for ways to safeguard yourself and your property against bed bugs, plastic bags and bins have likely come up as an option. But how should they be used? Is it safe to try killing bed bugs in plastic bags? Moreover, is it effective, or can bed bugs live in plastic? Whether you’re looking to transport clothing and belongings or treat an infestation, it’s vital that you have all the facts.
Turning Up the Heat
When considering ways to get rid of bed bugs, plastic bags coupled with heat may sound like an ideal elimination tool. Washing and drying items at the highest heat as allowed by manufacturer instructions can help remove bed bugs from individual items, so some believe the same theory applies here. But does heat alone really kill them and if not, how long do bed bugs live in a plastic bag? Sometimes people attempt to wrap belongings that can’t be laundered in plastic and leave them in sunny, hot areas. The thought is that bed bugs won’t be able to find a cool place to hide and will ultimately succumb to high temperatures and a lack of food. However, this course of action hasn’t proven effective.
No other method produces the kind of results that professional pest control can. Bug bugs live in plastic and considering adults can survive approximately five months without feeding, this removal method is not effective. Not to mention that by simply placing bed bugs in plastic bags haphazardly, you risk spreading the infestation from one location to another.
Transporting and Storing
Though putting items that are infested with bed bugs in plastic bags may not kill them, it can be beneficial when preparing for professional treatment. And when done right, it can help prevent their relocation in your home. For example, if you’re worried about or already battling them in your bedroom, you can use the bags to transport your laundry to your washer and dryer. Just be sure to seal the bags tightly before moving, tip the bag directly into the washing machine, and then immediately dispose of it in an outdoor bin. For newly cleaned clothing and belongings that haven’t yet been exposed to bed bugs, plastic bins and bags can offer great storage until after treatment.
In rare cases of severe infestation, it can sometimes be recommended that you throw a few things away. Or, you may choose to get rid of some specific items on your own. If you intend to discard things such as stuffed animals, linens or articles of clothing you believe to have been infested with bed bugs, plastic bags can come in handy. But, make sure to follow the proper steps to avoid spreading the problem. Place any items infested with bed bugs in plastic trash bags and seal tightly. When full, carry the bags to an outdoor bin and dispose of as quickly as possible.