Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So, I'm currently a New Yorker looking forward to moving Amherst, Massachusetts. As a New Yorker, I've been bombarded over the past few years by news stories about bed bugs turning up everywhere and I've become paranoid.

 

I have to rent a moving van to bring my stuff from NYC to Amherst, but I'm worried about the potentiality of the van being infested with the horrible insects. Does anyone have any advice about how to ensure that I don't pick up the pests either on myself or my property in the van?

 
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's highly unlikely that there would be bed bugs living in the van, as there would be no, ahem, humans to feed off of. I would be more concerned about the apartment you're moving to. However, I really doubt the management would tell you even if your future apartment was infested right now. I speak from experience, unfortunately. <_<  Your best bet is to ask some current, honest residents in the complex if there have been exterminations in the past. Best of luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can probably check the seats in the van the way you would check a mattress or curtains in a hotel room- google for videos or tips.

 

If you look at an apartment while someone is still living there, there are a few quick checks you can do such as checking the mattress, curtains, etc. that could be weird to do if the resident was in the apartment, but if you just explained to a realtor what you are doing, they might be okay with it.

 

Helpful links:

http://www.bedbug.com/Page-Bedbug-tips-when-renting-an-apartment-or-home_207.aspx

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110410215446AACrIcr

 

You can also check the registry to see if any of the residents have logged bed bugs at a specific address: http://www.bedbugregistry.com/

 

Also, you can bed bug proof your apartment by buying pillows and mattress covers (about $50 each I believe) that use a fabric and a zipper that bed bugs can't penetrate, so if there is an infestation, at least your stuff is okay :-). Avoid moving in wicker, and more metal is better. Avoid long curtains that hang on the floor, and don't have anything from your bed touching the floor.

 

We had an issue with bed bugs in my house a few months ago (defeated quite quickly because my mom is a machine) and my mom bought a book called "Bed Bug Survival Guide" that she is obsessed with. You might want to see if you can buy it used on Amazon and read it, if bed bugs are a concern (and they should be!).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that the nasty creatures can go into a dormant stage if food (people) is not available...they'll just wake up when there's more blood to feast on. 

 

Also, if you DO have bedbugs, the only way to really get rid of them - and ensure the building remains clean - is to treat not only your own apartment, but also the ones directly above, below, and to either side. Obviously, landlords are loathe to shell out this type of money, so the bedbugs generally only get beaten back temporarily. 

 

You can clean your clothes for "free" by putting them outside in below-freezing temperatures for a few days. DIE, SQUISHIES! DIE!

 

Also, to add to the hazard list: used books. Especially bad news for grad students :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

i avoid bedbugs with a completely ridiculous system, but considering i've never had a single bite or infestation in all my college years of bouncing between boston, nyc, australia, and farms and dig sites in various locations... well, something has to be working, right?

 

i set aside everything i want to pack first. smaller items like books, socks and undies, little stuffed animals, laptop cases, bags, etc. get put in big ziploc bags, and left in the freezer for a while. medium sized things like stacks of clothes and bedding are put in a cold place like a garage or basement for a few days- if no cold place is available, i'll send it all through the wash 2 or 3 times, then leave it in the bag for a few days. large items are put in those zip-up bedbug mattress cover things; refer to medium sized stuff for treatment. everything stays in its bag until i've slept in my new place for two nights bug-free.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't.  You just choose a reputable moving company and go from there.  FWIW, I used a moving van in NYC and I have never had bed bugs.  The bugs are very unlikely to be living in a moving van, as they have no source of food.

Yes, technically bed bugs can go dormant for a year without feeding, but that's only under certain conditions.  Most bed bugs can only survive a few months without food.

I have traveled to a lot of places in the US and outside, and I've moved to several different locations in NYC.  I never did anything special (aside from never accepting used furniture, clothing, or mattresses), and I have never gotten bitten by a bed bug much less had an infestation.

Edited by juilletmercredi
Link to post
Share on other sites

Along with used books, you should avoid used furniture, especially if you know that the city you're moving to has a high rate of bed bug infestations.

Very good point. Aside from obvious things like upholstered couches, the little monsters can burrow into tiny cracks in wood furniture, as well. Nothing is safe! Burn it all with fire! *tiny screams of horror*

Then again, you can get MRSA from subway poles, so...at some point, you must accept the fact that germ/bug beasties might get you and just go about your life. Just don't pick up furniture/books from the street in bedbug cities like New York and Boston. As long as you're not actively inviting them in your home and take reasonable precautions, you should be safe.

Edited by biscuits
Link to post
Share on other sites

boblet: i always got my secondhand "big" items from housemates (read: closest friends) and other students at my school. if you get desks or chairs, make sure they don't have any fabric on them, and give them a good wipe down with bleach before you use them. you should be fine!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't buy anything at a Goodwill anymore. I used to do it years ago, but now that the bed bug epidemic has come to America, I'm scared to do so.

 

I generally take the precautions; I just don't want those to all be for naught because I put my stuff in a UHaul that is infested...

 
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the actual moving van is fine, and particularly something like a truck that has metal walls instead of foldable seats. I mean, think of all the other potential bedbug sites that haven't infected you so far: airplane seats, rental cars, hotel bedding, etc...I think the most common form of bedbug acquisition is when you physically bring something (furniture, clothing, etc) with a pre-established little bug colony into your house. 

 

If you're still paranoid, buy a tarp(s) from a home improvement store, line the truck, and put everything on top of the tarp. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 years later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.