If it is not feasible to decontaminate items then they MUST be disposed of in a responsible
manner to ensure that your infestation does not become the source for others. In
some countries you can be legally held responsible if your items are incorrectly
disposed of an infect others, even if they collected them from the curb side.
Unless carefully managed you run the risk of spreading the infestation through the
rest of your property making the removal of bed bugs a lot harder.
If you want to remove items from your property then you MUST take the following precautions:
Wrap and seal the items to be removed while they are still in the infected area.
Use either saran wrap / cling film or thick polythene sheeting to ensure that the
item is 100% contained and there is no risk of spreading the insects further.
If you are leaving the wrapped items in a publically accessible are use the images
below to ensure that others do not bring an infestation into their homes.
The image below can also be accessed in full resolution from:
Unless an item is heavily infected and marked to a point where it is unsightly it
does not need to be disposed of. This is particularly true with beds, mattresses
and items of furniture. To dispose of these often add significantly to the cost
of bedbug treatment and is a strong indication that the person treating is not an
experienced bedbug professional.
Many items such as clothes and fabric can be decontaminated through a hot wash cycle
as long as the temperature is above 60°C or 140°F or by placing in a tumble dryer
on high heat for at least 60 minutes.
In recent years have also seen the development of the PackTite personal decontamination
system which uses hot air to kill any bedbugs in items such as suitcases, clothes
and books. PackTite can provide an invaluable assistance to those dealing with bedbug
infestations and is often used by frequent travellers to ensure that they do not
bring unwanted guests home.
PackTite personal decontamination system, image used with kind permission of www.PackTite.com
Infected items of furniture can be decontaminated and these options should always
be investigated prior to any decision to dispose of items.
Some bedbug specialists are capable of working on infected items by hand to ensure
that they are clear, this can either be done in the treated location or at decontamination
Another method is the use of Vikane fumigation or thermal treatment where vehicles,
homes or sealed items can be processed. This approach may not be available in all
locations and is a decision that should be made in conjunction with your pest control
The image can be saved as a jpg and resized as needed. With out identifying infected items there is a risk that they will be collect and infestations spread. Please act responsibly in spreading the word and not the bedbugs.
Leaving things outside for hours/days/weeks/months due to cold or heat - although
these processes can work in controlled environments they will not reliably work.
Leaving things in the car for hours/days/weeks/months due to the cold or heat - again
this is not a controlled enough environment for this type of process to reliably
Dry cleaning - no dry cleaning process will reliably eradicate bedbugs and you could
be inadvertently spreading them to others.
Using your domestic oven - this is a fire risk and not advisable.
Using a microwave oven - this is EXTREMELY dangerous and does not kill bedbugs in
a safe time period.
Using a hairdryer - this is not reliable and can blow bedbugs around your room.
Sealing items in rooms with excesses of aerosol or fogger based insecticides - this
is a fire and explosion risk.
Please always be safe when seeking solutions for bedbugs the wrong mistakes can be
costly in terms of re infestation and damage to your home.
PackTite closet decontamination station (new for 2011), image used with kind permission