How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Moving with You - Moving with Bed Bugs

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Moving with You

how to stop bed bugs moving with you
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Tips For Moving without Bed Bugs

Common anxiety for bed bug victims is the fear of moving with bed bugs. For homeowners or any persons occupying a free-standing dwelling, the best method is clearly eradicating the bugs from the dwelling. 

For persons occupying apartments, condos or any multi-family complex–it is sometimes a good idea to relocate if a building has become infested and treatment has been inadequate. Nobody wants to live with bed bugs, and sometimes a cyclical pattern can follow people who decide to relocate if they didn’t take extreme measures to keep the bugs out of their belongings. 

There are several tips that can keep the bugs from following you.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers and transfer from one place to another through latching onto clothing, the transfer of infested items, and through luggage in airports and bus terminals. When deciding to move to escape bed bugs, there is a high possibility of transferring the bugs to a new residence through previously infested items that were not cleared to be bedbug-free. 

To escape having bed bugs move with you, a comprehensive examination of all items must be performed and clothing must be laundered and isolated from any bugs in the current dwelling. As soon as possible, clothing, shoes, and accessories that were worn during the move should be changed and laundered to safeguard against hitchhiking bed bugs.

Comprehensive measures must be taken to ensure that bed bugs do not spread from one dwelling to another. When people discover that they have bed bugs, they usually only allow treatment professionals or do-it-yourself tactics to handle killing the bugs. This is usually isolated to the bed and the contents of the bedroom. 

Bed bugs are an incredibly complex species and due to their ability to hide perfectly, measures must be taken to inspect and isolate all of the contents within the home when moving with bed bugs–especially if moving to a new residence is an option.

Will Bed Bugs Move with Me?

To better understand if bed bugs will move with you to your next location, it is important to understand the behavior of the insect when moving with bed bugs. Bed bugs all start out at one specific location and are then transferred to homes via hitchhiking. They achieve this by latching onto clothing and shoes when you visit public places, through luggage and bags at transportation terminals, and through infested items within the home that get moved from room to room – including the clothes you may be currently wearing.
In general circumstances, bed bugs will remain in one location such as the bed if they have remained undiscovered and treatment procedures have not begun. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing for absolutely sure if the bugs are concentrated in one place unless comprehensive inspection procedures are undertaken. Your entire home is at risk and no corner can be left unturned, especially when moving with bed bugs.

If you plan on moving, a thorough inspection of every item you are taking with you – including the clothing and shoes you wear upon leaving, must be inspected for bugs and/or treated. Bed bugs can and will move right along with you unless you follow the proper procedures to clear every item in the dwelling. There are multiple options and procedures you can take to ensure they are left behind.

moving without bed bugs

Tips to Prevent Bed Bugs from Following You

If you are currently in the midst of a bed bug invasion and have actively seen live bugs, fecal spots, or casings, you will need to take steps to eliminate the possibility of bugs remaining in your items you are taking in your move.

Here are some tips on how to prevent bed bugs from moving with you.
  • You will need to isolate your packing materials outside of the unit. This will ensure that no bugs can crawl into the containers while you are packing.
  • If you are using luggage such as suitcases, you must thoroughly inspect every crack and seam of the luggage to ensure no bugs are inside. Alternatively, you can buy new luggage and keep it outside of the home until you are ready to pack.
  • For clothing, wash and dry every piece in high heat and keep the clothing outside of the unit until you are ready to pack.
  • For large items such as furniture and electronics, you may want to enclose these items inside of a large bag or container and treat them with Nuvan ProStrips for 14 days prior to the move to ensure all life cycles of bed bugs that may be in the item are killed.
  • For miscellaneous items such as books, you can either treat these items with Nuvan ProStrips or comb through the item piece by piece, page by page, crack by crack and check for bugs. If no bugs are found--you can pack these items.
  • Any large furniture will need to be professionally treated either by a professional or with a powerful contact and residual insecticide. If you go it alone, no crack, corner, or seam can be left unchecked.
  • You may also want to check your vehicle for bed bugs as well. They are easy to transfer.
  • If you so choose, you can also consider heat treating your vehicle with all of your contents inside. 120 degrees for at least two hours to ensure every bug and egg is dead.
  • You could also consider renting a storage unit if you do not need your items for at least 400 days. Be sure and enclose the items so no bugs will roam to other units. At 400 days, the bugs will be starved to death.
  • Lastly, the clothing you wear outside of the unit must be changed and isolated upon living the unit until it can be laundered. Always check your shoes and accessories as well.

This is exhausting and time-consuming, but these measures will ensure no bugs travel to your new home. Unless you are absolutely sure no bugs remain in your unit, you must treat your move as if you still have bed bugs. Bed bug-sniffing dogs can be hired to clear your recently treated home or you can hire a professional to inspect your home and clear it. If not, you must make sure no bugs travel in your items or on your person.

Related Questions

Can You Transfer Bed Bugs from one Place to Another?

You can absolutely transfer bed bugs from one place to another. This is how bed bugs infest homes in the first place and unless you safeguard your items in a move – the bugs will follow you and infest your new home. Every item you are taking with you when moving with bed bugs must be inspected and treated to prevent bed bugs from following you.

Do Bed Bugs Travel on People’s Clothes?

Bed bugs can travel on clothing. One possible reason that a home gets bed bugs is from public places where the bugs latch onto clothing and shoes and hitch a ride to your home. Additionally, if you are moving, you must launder all clothing on high heat to kill bed bugs that could possibly be in the clothing. Shoes need to be inspected as well as purses and wallets.

Do Bed Bugs Move from Room to Room?

This depends on how large an infestation is and if treatment procedures have begun. If undisturbed, bed bugs will typically remain confined to your bed or your couch depending on where you sleep. They want to access you where you sleep as this provides them the best opportunity to feed. If the infestation becomes massive, the bugs will start branching out into the rest of the home, they can also move room to room looking for carbon dioxide.

In Summary

Bed bugs base their lives on traveling to get from host to host. Traveling is the most work they will ever do in their lifetimes. If you decide to move to get away from bed bugs, it is not a win-win situation. You will have to address the problem at one point or another, otherwise, you will never escape them. Bed bugs can live in and region and any climate, so the only way to escape them is to destroy them. Additionally, you will be leaving them behind for another person to deal with if you do not address the problem.
Preventative measures can be taken to ensure moving with bed bugs don’t occur. Treatment of all the items you are taking with you is crucial to ensuring the bugs do not hitch a ride to your new home. Isolation of your packing materials outside of the home will keep any bugs from crawling into the packing material. Thorough inspection and treatment of all items will make sure that the bugs are nowhere to be found in your items.
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Mike Henderson
Mike Henderson

Mike (AKA 'Pest Control Mike') is a pest control operator from New York with over 15 years experience dealing with a wide range of pests. He shares his knowledge on this blog and provides useful information to help you combat pests on your own.

For severe infestations and professional advice you can also request a free pest control quote here.

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