As bed bugs continue to make a resurgence, they are showing up in more places, including clothing stores. Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride into a store with shoppers. Follow these tips to avoid bed bugs in stores, and reduce your chances of bringing the pest home with you:
- When trying on clothing, be aware of any stains that seem unusual. These could be telltale blood spots left by feeding bed bugs.
- Inspect clothing carefully for bed bugs before purchasing. Even if you choose an item from an undisturbed pile, bed bugs could still find their way onto clothing. Pay particular attention to the inside seams, looking for any signs of sticky white eggs, shed skins and the bugs themselves. Notify the store manager immediately if you suspect the clothing displays signs of bed bugs.
- Check behind dressing room mirrors and any other crevices where bed bugs could hide – even wall sockets – before trying on clothing.
- Avoid bed bugs in clothes by hanging your items on hooks, rather than lay them across cushioned seats in dressing rooms or on the carpeted floor. These are safe and popular havens for bed bugs.
- Keep clothing in the store bag, tied and sealed if possible for the trip home. Shake articles out outside before bringing them into the house/apartment.
- Immediately launder the clothing in hot water or steam/dry clean delicate items.
- If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional for an immediate inspection.