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Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  How Do I Prevent Spreading Bed Bugs to Others?
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Bed Bugs

Prevent Spread

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​​​​Wear clothes that aren’t infested with bed bugs.

  • Put the clothes you plan to wear in the dryer on the hottest setting for 30 minutes. Don’t forget your socks, your coat, toque, scarf, and mittens.
  • When you take them out the dryer, give your clothes a shake to loosen any dead bed bugs that may be stuck on them. Put the clothes in a plastic bag right away and make sure the bag is tightly sealed.
  • The last thing you will do before you leave your home is get dressed, so make sure you remember to do everything else beforehand.
  • Put on the clothes that you heat treated and put into a plastic bag. A good place to put on your clothes is in the bathroom or even in the bathtub. Bed bugs are easier to see on light surfaces, like a white bathtub. Dress in a place that you know doesn’t have bed bugs.
  • Leave as soon as you are dressed. Don’t sit down. Be careful not to brush against anything where a bed bug could be hiding.

Check your bags, purse, backpack, or briefcase.

  • ​Take everything out of your bags, purse, backpack, or briefcase. Check everything for signs of bed bugs. Throw out anything that can’t be cleaned that a bed bug could hide in (like day timers or note books).
  • Vacuum or brush the bag well and/or put it in the dryer on the hottest setting for 30 minutes.
  • Store your bag wherever the bed bugs aren’t likely to be. Your bag should not touch anything that a bed bug could hide in or that could let it get into your bag.
  • A good idea is to store your bag in a sealed plastic bag. White plastic is best because bed bugs are easier to see against a white background. Don’t store it on a chair or on your bed, or you will have to vacuum or brush it every night.
  • You can also hang your bag in the closet, as long as the closet has enough room. Make sure the bag doesn’t touch anything except the closet rod.

Make sure the clothes for the next day are free of bed bugs.

  • Take the clothes straight from the dryer and seal them in a plastic bag.
  • When you come home, put your coat and other outerwear (like a hat and mittens) into a plastic bag right away, and seal it tightly. This way you won’t have to put them in the dryer again.

Current as of: March 15, 2018

Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services