Interestingly enough, the article is nested within the Personal Finance section of the Seattle PI. I noticed a few flaws within the article and I really hope that recent home owners or potential buyers don’t act on the author’s advice. Still, I’m glad to see that bed bugs are getting more coverage in the news.
1. Wash Your Sheets in Hot Water.
I do this regularly anyway to battle dust mites. Wash your sheets on the hot setting once a week, and then dry on moderate heat.
2. Watch Your Purse.
I always thought it was weird how my grandma would scream when I would throw a gym bag or a purse on the bed–but she knew that that bag had been in all sorts of places–in my office, in a restaurant, on the subway. So, when I come inside the house, there’s a place right by the door where my purse can sit, a little purse jail, before it goes into the closet to be switched for a different one. Modern anti-bed bug guides are firm on this point: Never put your bag on the bed, ever. Also, if you are really paranoid and you think you’ve been somewhere infested (like a suspect movie theater) take a blow dryer and aim hot air at your purse for a couple of minutes before putting it back in the closet. The heat will kill the critters.
Interesting point in this article. The author believes the same tactics to battle dust mites can also be used against bed bugs. There is a strong misconception that bed bugs share the same characteristics as dust mites (and some are under the impression they look exactly alike in shape and size) so I can’t say I’m surprised the author would advocate taking these exact measures and precautions.
But on a serious note, the water cycle for your laundry load is not nearly as important as the drying cycle. In fact, putting dry clothes in the dryer (as opposed to clothes coming right out of the washer) and putting it on your hottest setting is most effective in killing bed bugs.
Secondly, please don’t use a hair dryer as your first step in sterilizing your belongings (and certainly not for only 2 minutes if you used this method). You can put your purse in the dryer or alternatively, steam cleaning also works well – the hot steam will kill. As always, I would recommend using PackTite for goods like purses, wallets, clothes, books, etc.