If I visit a bed bug infested apartment, how can I help protect myself from getting bed bug hitchhikers?


Remember that bed bugs are most active at night, so daytime may be best for your visit. Take as few items as possible with you into an infested apartment. Bed bugs are most likely to bite you or perhaps climb into your clothing if you are sitting, sleeping, or lounging on infested furniture. Remember that the bugs also may crawl into your belongings if you have placed them on an infested item. In particular, avoid sitting on upholstered furniture or beds, and don’t place any of your belongings there. Consider standing or sitting at a kitchen table since bed bugs often are less numerous in areas where people don’t rest for long periods of time. Otherwise, you are not very likely to get bed bug hitchhikers unless there is a very heavy bed bug infestation. If the apartment is very heavily infested and bed bugs are in the carpet, then the bugs may hide on your shoes, especially the underside, where they can crawl into gaps created by the shoe tread. It is especially important to inspect your shoes after exiting. A good practice is to change into fresh clothes and shoes; be sure to immediately place any potentially infested items into a bag and seal it until you can launder the items. Put any potentially infested clothing through the dryer on medium to high heat (120°F is needed) for 30 minutes to kill any bed bugs.

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