Certainly, the thought of bugs can weird us out. We understand how bugs can add stress to a move. If you’re concerned, here are some ways to protect your belongings.
When Packing for the Move
First, find out how bad the bug situation in your area is. Check with your local public health department, and do some research online. Be sure that you’re looking at recent and reliable information.
Do not use recycled boxes for packing. Insects of all kinds can make their homes in cardboard boxes. If you use boxes someone else moved with, get boxes from stores, or pull them out of an alley or from the closet at work, you may bring some hitchhikers along with you, so purchase new moving boxes.
Use bed and sofa bags for mattresses and large upholstered furniture, and be sure to seal them tightly, with extra tape if need be. You can also tape over any seams to reinforce them and prevent splitting. When packing sheets, blankets, towels and clothing, use sealable space bags (added bonus: your items will take up less space) and then pack the bags inside boxes and other containers. Wrap large carpets in plastic, too.
Tape box seams and corners thoroughly. This will make it much harder for bedbugs to crawl inside your boxes and hang out until you unpack.
Request movers wrap items in plastic rather than blankets. This may add to your load time and make moving in more time consuming, but should help prevent hitchhikers from riding into your house on shelving, tables and other hard furniture items.
Unroll and vacuum rugs immediately, front and back. Or, send rugs to be professionally cleaned immediately after you move.
If possible, remove plastic wrappings from furniture, mattresses and upholstery outside. If that’s not possible, remove immediately and place the wrapping in a large garbage bag, rather than tossing it on the floor or in an empty box.
Do not set boxes on beds, sofas or upholstered chairs. If at all possible, keep them on flat, hard surfaces like counters, tables and wood or tile floors. Unpack quickly, and break down boxes outside.
If you have bedding, towels and clothing that were not packed in plastic bags, wash them in hot water or put them in the dryer on a hot cycle for twenty minutes before making beds or putting items in closets or drawers.
As you finish unpacking, take the time to vacuum thoroughly, using a crevice tool in corners and where the floor and baseboards meet.
While the extra precautions may be more time consuming, they’re fairly straightforward. You will greatly lessen the chance of unwanted critters moving in with you. Just remember that most people who deal with bedbugs do not get them from a moving van; movie theaters, gym locker rooms, hotels and public transit are all known places where bedbugs can spread.