Need advice on bed bugs prevention?

in Bedbug Questions

Question by Ava G:
Need advice on bed bugs prevention?

I have often bought used flannel sheets from Thrift Stores but now am concerned with the bed bug issue. They have arrived in the city in which I live. I want to know if anyone can advise me about how to prevent them. Do I stop buying clothing and bedding from thrift stores? Or can I keep the merchandise in bags in the cold night air overnight killing any? Does heat (from a clothes dryer) or freezing cold kill bed bugs that maybe present? I don’t know if heat or cold kills them.

Best answer:

Answer by Nicole
Of course, if you can afford it, I would hold off on buying clothes or sheets from the thrift stores for awhile. If not, then the heat from the dryer (highest setting) will kill them. Cold does NOT kill them. Their bodies can shut down in cold temperatures until they warm up again. And in the case that you end up getting them, never, ever, under any circumstance, use a regular bug bomb. It won’t kill them, it will only make them scatter. There are special pesticides that need to be used to kill bed bugs.

Add your own answer below.

More posts like this one in Bedbug Questions.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Emmanuel March 15, 2011 at 7:11 am

Bed bugs are like lice, you can not run away from them and sooner or later they can happen. Something you can do is to keep your sheets clean and also your mattress. My best advice is to keep everything clean, It doesn’t really matter if you bought the item from a thrift store as long as it’s clean. And also make sure that no animals, such as your dog or cat, get on the items, they could have something on them like a tick or a bed bug that can get on your items.


MissWong March 15, 2011 at 7:26 am

You can’t prevent bed bugs unfortunately. Once they are around sooner or later we’ll probably all have them. There are some things you can do to prevent them from taking over the place but they’re rather onerous. Like checking the mattress once a week and placing paper under the bed while you bang on it to knock them lose so you can kill them. However they can go dormant for a year and you’ll think they’re dead and gone then they come back. Heating in the highest dryer setting for one hour then packing the bedding up for 18 months is the only way to make sure they aren’t in the bedding and who the hell can leave their bedding packed up for a year and half to make sure they’re all dead!? In the meantime new ones can take over anyway. It’s a no win situation. We’re going to have to learn to love with them. 🙁


Shan March 15, 2011 at 8:01 am

If the temperature outside is below freezing, just leave the sheets outside in the bag they are in. Let them sit a full month. This will kill any bedbugs.

In the Summertime, you can place the bag in a sunny spot. Make sure the bag is tied shut. Let the bag sit for at least 2 weeks. This will bake any bedbugs, and kill them.

When the weather is “in between”, you can use chemical means to kill any possible bedbugs. Fill a plastic bucket or tub with water and stir in a large quantity of any of these:

1. Salt
2. Borax
3. Oxy Clean
4. Dishwashing liquid

Any one of the above will kill bedbugs, but make sure the solution is strong. Be careful of the Borax…it sometimes will lighten dark colors. I would allow the item to soak OUTSIDE for at least 5 days.

No reason to quit shopping at the thrift store if you’re careful. 🙂


Forgot to mention…if you use a chemical means to kill possible bedbugs, a stray bedbug might be inside the bag. Make sure you throw the bag in a trash can that is outside of your home. Don’t bring it inside.


Julie March 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

Here is something I received from a friend:

Hi All:

the following is a bit of information .

>We have friends here in our community whose son
>is an entomologist
>(insect expert). He has been telling them
> that there is an epidemic of bed
>Bugs now occurring in America. Recently I have heard
>on the news that several
>Stores in NYC have had to close due to bed bug problems,
>as well as a complete
>Mall in New Jersey.
>He says that since much of our clothing, sheets,
> towels, etc now
>Comes from companies outside of America, (sad but true),
>even the most
>Expensive stores sell foreign clothing from China,
>Indonesia, etc. The
>Bed bugs are coming in on the clothing as these countries
>do not consider
>Them a problem.

He recommends that if you buy any
> new clothing, even underwear and
>Socks, sheets, towels, etc; that you bring them into
>the house and put them
>In your clothes dryer for at least 20 minutes.

The heat will kill the bugs – and their eggs.

>It does not matter what the price range is of the clothing,
>or if the outfit comes from
>The most expensive store known in
> the U.S. They still get shipments from these
>Countries and the bugs can come in a box of scarves
>or anything else
>For that matter. That is the reason why so many stores
>(many of them
>Clothing stores) have had to shut down in NYC and other


>All you need is to bring one item into the
>house that has bugs or eggs and
>You will have a ‘dickens of a time’ trying
>to get rid of them.

This Entomologist travels all over the country
>as an Advisor to many of these stores,

Advocating ‘prevention’ and also to offer
>’counseling’ after they experience
> this problem.

>Send this information on to those on your e-mail list
>so that this good
>Preventive Information gets around
> quickly.


michael a March 15, 2011 at 9:01 am
Ms Elaine Eouse March 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

To prevent bedbugs you need to basically inspect anything and everything you come across. Sheets, pillows, clothes, curtains, beds, theater chairs, everything can hide and carry them. They like to squeeze into small places such as cracks in your luggage bag or train case or even your purse or current clothing. If you see them, you need to isolate them and kill them. A very good inexpensive product would be the Bed Bug Shredder. You can get it at


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: