If you are in the process of moving your son or daughter back from college, the last thing that you want are any extra hitchhikers in the form of bedbugs. Unfortunately, if your child's dorm has suffered an infestation, there is a good chance that you could move them back into your home. Taking a few extra precautions prior to the move may help to keep your home bedbug-free.
Inspect Your Child's Room Prior To Packing It Up
Look for physical signs of bedbug infestations in your child's living space. Inspect the area in and around their beds, couches, chairs, as well as any throw rugs and other furnishings they may have. You may see:
- Small reddish-brown stains on the bedding, mattresses, or bed springs
- Small, dark, pencil sized, dots of excrement that may bleed into the surrounding fabrics
- Eggs or eggshells
- Live bed bugs
If you see any of these signs in a college dormitory or college controlled apartment property, immediately report it to the college officials so that the property can be professionally treated. Consider discarding any bedding that has an active infestation.
Ask your child have they suffered from any bites or rashes. Pay close attention to anything that is recent, or that primarily occurs at night.
Wash Everything Before Packing Up
Although you may be tempted to pack up everything and wash it once you get home, if you suspect you have a bedbug infestation, you will be risking moving the bugs to your home. Pack up everything that can be washed into heavy duty plastic bags and seal them if possible. Take these items to the launder-mat and wash them in the hottest water that the fabric will allow. Discard the bags you have brought the items in.
Place the items in dryers on high heat until they are dry. Once you remove them from the dryers, place them in new plastic bags and the items should then be ready for the trip home.
Unpack Everything Outside
Anything that cannot be washed including furniture needs to be wrapped in heavy black plastic and taped with heavy duty tape. Place these items outside in direct sunlight for several hours even prior to placing them in your home or in your storage unit.
Unpack any boxes, suitcases, or other containers outside in the yard or in the garage. Although your neighbors may look at you funny, if this will help keep you from having to deal with a bed bug infestation, it is worth the looks.
Discard the boxes and do not bring them into the house. Thoroughly inspect every piece prior to allowing it into your home. Place the suitcases, backpacks, and other items in heavy plastic bags, seal them and place them in the sunlight as well. Consider leaving them wrapped until they are needed again.
While these steps will not guarantee that you will not move bed bugs, taking them will reduce your chances. Be vigilant and look for any signs in your home. If you see or suspect that one has managed to sneak through, call a professional exterminator immediately. Companies like Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control may be able to help.