Bed bugs are the last thing you want to bring home from your travels. Minimise the risk of bed bugs riding home in your luggage by baking your luggage in a hot car before taking it inside.
Photo by Supermac1961.
If you haven't seen a local story about bed bug infestation, it's only a matter of time. The once nearly-eradicated pest has resurfaced in force across Western Europe and the United States. Tips and tricks blog Jammer(six) shares a simple trick for keeping bed bugs from surviving the trip home.
Given that bedbugs can't withstand high temperatures, a quick and easy way to make sure you don't bring them home from a trip is to simply leave your luggage in the car when you get back home. If you leave your car parked in the sun, any unwanted hitchhikers should be dead within a day or so.
We checked out the science behind it and as long as it's summer time and your car interior reaches a temperature of 50C, it should do the trick. The University of Kentucky Extension Office elaborates:
Items which cannot be put in a washer or dryer can sometimes be de-infested by wrapping in plastic and placing them outdoors in a hot, sunny location, closed vehicle, etc. for at least a day. If this method is attempted, packing fewer items per bag makes it harder for the bugs to find cooler places to hide. Monitoring with a thermometer is prudent, with a target internal temperature of at least 120°F. Bed bugs also will succumb to cold temperatures below 32°F, but the freezing temperatures must be maintained for several days. Consequently, throughout much of the country, heating tends to be a faster, more reliable option than chilling. Attempts to rid an entire dwelling of bed bugs by raising or lowering the thermostat will be unsuccessful, although some companies are having success using supplemental heaters.
We'd suggest placing an oven thermometer in a visible area of the car so you can check the internal temperature without opening the door and letting the heat escape. Also, just because the air has risen to 50C doesn't mean the centre of your carry-on has. Leave it in there for as long as possible, preferably in direct sunlight, to raise the internal temperature of the luggage.
Have your own tips or tricks for dealing with pests, specifically bed bugs? Let's hear about it in the comments. Thanks somedumbguy!
How to Prevent Bed Bugs From Invading Your House [Jammer(six)]