How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Clothes and Luggage

  • Even a little bed bug in your clothes or luggage can create a lot of discomforts, especially if you are on a trip;
  • It’s easy to get bed bugs – sometimes it’s enough just to leave your luggage or bag on the floor for some time and you got it!;
  • In the article below, we will share some really simple methods on how to get rid of bed bugs in luggage and clothes, and how to prevent them from future bed bug infestation!

If you’re here, you’re probably got a problem with bugs, don’t you? In any case, you might have had one definitely at least once in your lifetime because it is really easy to get bugs inside your suitcase or even clean clothes. And you don’t even have to travel a lot! It might happen to anyone at any time.

Right, bed bugs are like that – they act inevitably and can get super annoying! That’s exactly why you need to kill bed bugs as soon as you notice them.

In the article below we will show you how to prevent bed bugs in luggage and clothes – fast, easy, and without hard feelings.

Bed Bug Infestations: How Do You Notice One?

The very first sign you should notice when you get bugs is a physical one – you simply feel that you’ve got bit by some kind of insect (or bed bugs). If you feel itchy at some parts of your body or similar – don’t wait any longer and go check yourself thoroughly. Pay attention to the most narrow places of your body, clothes, suitcase, and bed.

Disgusting as it may sound, bugs might have placed some eggs already in the most hidden places of your clothing or bag.

If you notice these signs before getting home – it’s even better. There is a big chance that they will not be brought home! However, if you notice them right at your place – calm down and go get rid of them!

Get rid of bugs from your clothes and luggage

1. Seal your clothes tightly in sealed plastic bags.

  • The idea is logical – if you notice the bugs or fleas – you gotta isolate them from spreading anywhere else. After you isolate the main source of bugs – go around your room and empty your suitcase, bag, and simply shake everything off – clothes, towels, bedsheets, etc. It’s important to find all the bugs and their eggs and isolate them.
  • If you are on a vacation – it would be wise to inform hotel personnel or your apartment owner about this problem too because you might not be able to get rid of all the bugs and there is a chance that you will leave this problem to other people.
  • If you don’t have a sealed plastic bag (which would be totally normal, why would you, right?), then simply go to the nearest local store and buy some regular plastic bags (or trash bags) with some tape. 
  • Honestly, if you are on a trip, it would be better if you would keep those sealed clothes separated from you or any other of your clothes for the rest of your vacation to protect your luggage and room from the bed bugs infestation in other places.

2. Wash the clothing or bed sheets

  • If you are home already – simply drop all your laundry that might have been affected by bugs in the washing machine and turn it on. Also, it would be best if you’d take a shower to make sure that bugs have not reached your hair, for example.
  • If you are on a trip, when you get home, unseal the plastic bags (or any other bags where you isolated your stuff) and drop them in the washing machine instantly. Set the hottest possible temperature that your clothes can tolerate. Also, go straight to the shower to make sure you are not gonna spread some of the bugs at your home.
  • After washing your clothes or bed sheets – put them in the dryer. Although most of them by this time will be killed – there is still a chance that some of them have survived. 
  • Run the dryer for no less than 30 minutes. Bed bugs are sensitive to high temperatures.

TIP: When you take the sealed bags with your clothes out of your luggage – leave the luggage outside, to not bring bed bugs home.

3. Get rid of bugs infestation in your luggage

  • Now that your clothes or bed sheets are washed, and you yourself took a hot shower – it’s time to get rid of bed bugs in the luggage you left outside.
  • For this, a vacuum cleaner would be the fastest and the easiest option.
  • Simply vacuum the suitcase in and out – don’t leave any small pockets untouched because bed bugs love hiding in dark places of your suitcase. Make sure you do this super thoroughly!
  • After vacuum cleaning your luggage – find any kind of insect pesticide to spray your suitcase with to kill bed bugs and their tiny eggs. You can find such pest spraying treatments at any local store. 
  • Finally, take the vacuum cleaner again and run a second round all over your luggage. You might have killed some more of them while spraying them with chemicals. 

Important: After vacuuming – empty the bag of vacuum cleaner immediately and drop it in the trash can (outside) – do not bring the vacuum cleaner with this bag home. 

Tips to prevent yourself from getting the bugs in the future

  1. Don’t keep your luggage on the ground (especially outside or in unknown places). Bugs are things mostly found in the bed or simply on the floor. Therefore, by keeping your luggage elevated on some kind of shelf or closet – you’d prevent it from getting bugs.
  2. Cover your luggage with a plastic or vacuum bag. Believe it or not – it is very effective advice! No special requirements needed. When you travel, simply take everything out of your luggage and put it inside a plastic bag or a large garbage bag – just like that! This way you will minimize the possibility for the bugs to get through into your luggage easily.
  3. Dirty clothes in the bag! I’m sure you already do this, but in case you don’t – we highly advise you to take this tip seriously. Any dirty clothes should be separated from the clean clothes and even better – sealed in plastic or vacuum bags. Bugs love dirt! Therefore, always keep them isolated away from your stuff.

Here it is –  simple as it may seem – getting rid of bugs in your clothes or luggage is really not that difficult! The most important thing to remember is to act fast and very thoroughly. Also, taking some preventive means into consideration is very much recommended! 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, these little fellas can stay even up to 4 months in your luggage if you don't take any measures to get rid of them.
Oh yes... Being really tiny, bed bugs can squeeze even through the zipper into your bag or luggage. Anyway, leaving your bag unzipped would make it even easier for them to get inside, so the zipper creates at least some kind of barrier.
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