A few years ago the bed bug epidemic broke out, causing my dad to teach me everything he knew about those creepy little bugs. Having bed bugs can be traumatizing and expensive to take care of, so here are a couple of helpful tips to keep in mind this summer.
To the Compulsive shopper (or any shopper for that matter), when you buy any clothing or towels or anything that a bug could be on, you should throw it in the dryer as soon as you get home. The heat from the dryer will kill any eggs or living bed bugs on the clothing. If whatever you bought is too big for the dryer, or you don’t want to risk shrinking it, throw it in a black trash bag and let it sit in direct sun for a few hours.
A common mistake that people make is thinking that because something is new, it’s safe from bed bugs. Let me give you a scenario. Let’s say, for example, that I have bed bugs at my house. One day I go shopping at my favorite store to buy a shirt and towels. When I got home, I laid my new stuff out on my bed only to realize that I don’t like them, so I return them. However, during that time, the bed bugs from my house were able to crawl onto the shirt and towels and are now living happily back at the store. And just like that, the store gets bed bugs and everybody who buys something from that store runs the high risk of buying something that has living bed bugs or bed bug eggs on it. This happens more often than you might think, back in 2010 both Niketown and Hollister in NYC shut down temporarily due to a bed bug problem.
To the traveler, if you’re staying in a hotel/motel/hostel, the first thing you should when going into your room is put all of your bags into the bath tub (it’s one of the only places in a hotel room where you won’t find any bed bugs). Pull back the corners of the sheets and check to see if you can see any visible signs of bed bugs in the seams and corners of the mattress (look for tiny black dots). If you find anything, speak to the manager immediately. You don’t want to risk bringing those little bugs home with you.
If you have plans to go to an overnight camp, or sleep at a friend’s house, the best thing that you can do is to throw all of your stuff in the dryer (or the black trash bag that we talked about earlier) when you get home to kill off any bed bugs or eggs. Remember, there is no such thing as being too safe when it comes to protecting yourself from bed bugs.