Got a Bedbug Bonanza?
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Reader Question of the Week

Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | No Comments »

Q: I already sleep on a futon mattress on the floor. I don’t have much stuff besides some sentimental boxes of photos and CDS/movies. Should I just throw out everything I own and start over from IKEA/Target?

A: So you are some kind of transient. Then you should just get used to bedbugs, along with cold beans from the can and fires lit from oil drums. I kid, I kid. Boxes of belongings that have sentimental value but do not come into everyday use can be placed in storage bins or bags, such as Ziploc Big Bags (Large, XL, XXL) or clear contractor bags for 18 months to ensure that any bedbugs hiding in their leaves expire. Or you could put them through a heat treatment device, making sure you follow the directions carefully so that you do not expose anything flammable to heat.

It does not follow that you should throw everything out and start over. This will not suffice to get rid of your bedbugs, if you have them. And any remaining bedbugs will happily reinfest your new furniture. Why they will just be thrilled to put up their multilegs on your brand new ikea sofa. Your exterminator should be able to make recommendations as to what should stay or what should go. A heavily infested item might be a lost cause for treatment and will have to be disposed of in the proper manner. Local ordinance may require you to wrap these items, such as mattresses, in plastic and clearly label them to prevent others from taking them.

Mattresses that do not fail on the basis of ICK factor can be salvaged with mattress covers, which prevent the bedbugs inside from creeping out and biting you.

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