How to leave bed bugs when you move

Believe it or not, bed bug infestation was a sign of wealth in Victorian England.

After all, bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) often stayed in the heated homes of the wealthy.

That said, after decades of relative absence in America, they are back to normal in hotels, offices, schools, homes, and apartments.

However, unlike their historical British brethren, they have a well-deserved stigma and do not discriminate based on wealth or social status.

In other words, they are a nuisance to equal opportunities.

Fortunately, bringing bed bugs into your new home isn’t a given … if you catch them early.

Before we get into the details of moving furniture, here are a few articles that might help you with your move:

  • Best Interstate Movers: The remote moving industry is full of fraudulent moving companies, and when all your belongings are at stake, take no chances. These are the top professionals for your long-distance move.
  • How much does your move cost ?: This cost calculator offers you a free moving offer and a calculation of the costs for your move. Simply enter your move details, the size of your move, the location of your move and let the calculator do the rest.
  • Consider moving containers: need a more budget-friendly option? With these companies you charge and they drive! These are the best moving container companies.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small wingless insects that resemble apple seeds.

They hunt sleeping birds and mammals at night by stabbing a sharp, straw-like proboscis through their victim’s skin and drawing their blood.

Yeah, it’s awesome.

And worse, most people don’t immediately realize they have bed bugs, which means they can be covered by dozens of these nocturnal parasites while they sleep.

Although one might think that they are easy to spot, families who move often unknowingly transport bed bugs from their old home to their new one.

However, it’s important to note that bed bugs don’t actually live on their host’s body.

Instead, they spend the daylight hours in hidden places like the folds and folds in mattresses, box spring beds, and duvets.

The good news is that you can stop these crafty looters with a few simple steps.

What are the signs of bed bugs?

If you’re enjoying a poppy seed bagel while reading this article, it should be set aside for now.

Better yet, stick it in the refrigerator, as the signs of a bed bug infestation can trigger your gag reflex.

One way to spot bed bugs is by the bumpy red rashes they leave behind.

They are often small and localized and can be mistaken for allergic reactions that often occur after consuming certain foods.

Other even more disgusting indications are –

  • Brown, amber, or reddish stains on bed linen caused by bed bug droppings or the bed bugs themselves being crushed and expelling the blood in them
  • Yellow or ocher colored eggs and eggshell fragments that resemble brown rice husks
  • Adult skins are lost when bed bugs molt, which they do five times in their life.
  • Live bed bugs on comforters, sheets, pillows, mattresses, and box spring beds (and other places we’ll cover shortly)

Did you know already?

Bed bugs can double their weight after a large “meal”.

Where do bed bugs hide and live?

After a nightly feast, bed bugs retreat to remote locations that can make detection difficult.

They generally hide near their feeding grounds, mainly on and around beds.

In addition, they can also be found in –

  • Cracks, crevices and seams in head and foot sections
  • Furniture such as chests of drawers, bedside tables, sofas and upholstered chairs
  • Indoor units and sockets in walls
  • Behind pictures, mirrors and other wall hangings
  • Interior floorboards
  • In small cracks and skirting boards between floors, walls and ceilings
  • Wrinkles in comforters, sheets, clothes and luggage
  • Bed frame

Did you know already?

Bed bugs can squeeze through openings no thicker than a credit card.

Should You Move If You Have Bed Bugs?

We’ve already discovered that bed bugs are dirty, embarrassing, and very annoying.

That’s bad enough, but when moving to a new home or apartment, they can make the moving process an absolute nightmare.

On the plus side, finding bed bugs doesn’t necessarily have to affect your plans.

But there is a catch: early detection is key.

For this purpose, we recommend doing a detailed bed bug check at least two weeks before the day of the move.

Insider tip

Hoping your crew doesn’t notice your bed bugs on moving day is a really bad idea. Instead, notify your moving company as soon as you discover them, then call an exterminator.

How do you deal with bed bugs when you move?

Hopefully your pre-move inspection will reveal a critters and bed bug free home.

If not, the following DIY bed bug treatments are available for you –

  • Wash bedding, clothes, and curtains in hot water and detergent
  • Dry them on the highest setting of your dryer for at least 30 minutes (read the labels first).
  • Clean the mattress and box spring seams with a stiff brush to remove bed bugs and eggs
  • Vacuum the seams with a high suction attachment
  • Vacuum up, under and around beds, bedside tables, chests of drawers and in the spaces between floors and walls
  • When you’re done, carefully remove the vacuum bag, place it in another plastic bag, and toss it in a trash can.

You can also purchase mattress and box spring bags made of tightly woven fabrics with high-quality zippers.

Just keep in mind that no matter how thoroughly you clean them, there are still likely some eggs and bed bugs in there.

Good mattress bags prevent new bed bugs from entering and those trapped in them from escaping.

The latter eventually die from starvation, but bed bugs can survive without food for almost a year.

Are you also wondering if I really want to sleep on a mattress with dead bed bugs and eggs trapped in it?

If not, it may be time to cut back on your losses and purchase a new bed.

Bed bug control

DIY solutions can limit the spread of bed bugs, but they rarely get rid of them completely.

Relatively inexpensive chemical treatments and pesticides for bed bugs are available at hardware stores and home improvement centers.

However, they’re also highly toxic and can be especially dangerous to children and pets – and you may need to seal treated areas for a day or two.

Usually, it’s best to call in professional exterminators to get the job done right.

How likely is it to transmit bed bugs?

Studies have shown that –

  • Adult bed bugs can survive temperatures as high as 120 degrees Celsius
  • Your heat-resistant eggs can withstand temperatures of up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bed bugs can survive for more than three days in temperatures up to 3 degrees Fahrenheit

The takeaway here is that they are hearty bugs.

In direct sunlight, the car interior can heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or more, even in moderate temperatures.

Now think of a moving van.

June can get much hotter on a 53-foot steel-aluminum trailer in a truck parking lot in Tucson, Arizona.

In such cases, bed bugs and their eggs do not survive.

On the other hand, if you’re moving from New York to Lincoln, Nebraska, the temperature inside won’t kill you in October.

Insider tip

To be on the safe side, plan for the worst and deal with bed bugs before your belongings get into a moving van.

Will moving companies move a mattress with bed bugs?

If moving companies discover bed bugs, they’re probably not loading your belongings on the truck.

And if they have already started, they can unload the material already on board as bed bugs can easily spread to other shipments and the truck itself.

Talk about an avoidable nightmare.

Don’t let this happen to you and your family on moving day.

Instead, opt for peace of mind by –

  • Thorough inspection of your items weeks before the move date
  • Call a pest fighter when you find them

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do you prepare to move if you have bed bugs?

Here, too, early detection and proactive eradication solutions are the key. If you spot bed bugs, clean your house and household items thoroughly and call a professional exterminator to make sure they are eradicated once and for all.

Do moving companies treat trucks and trailers for bed bugs?

Most professional moving companies regularly treat their equipment for pests such as bed bugs and cockroaches. Don’t hesitate to ask about each company’s policies during the pre-move verification process.

Last minute tips for a bed bug problem

  • Check new homes and apartments for signs of bed bugs before signing rental and sales contracts.
  • Before buying, check out used furniture from thrift stores and flea markets
  • Read the labels on mattresses and box springs before treating them with insecticides
  • If you suspect you may have a bed bug problem, pack clothes and bedding in plastic bags before putting them in moving boxes
  • Thoroughly clean infected laundry items by hand and wash fabric items in the washing machine and dryer

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