Bed Bugs and my gear

9:01 a.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Ok guys, the neighbors in my apt building have had bed bugs several times and I think my apt may be infested.  I know you are supposed to wash your clothes in really hot water and but it in the dryer for a long time.  If I do this with my hardshells (gore-tex jackets) would it melt?  Should I just toss them? has anyone else gone through this and have any advice for me?

9:08 a.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Nothing personal, but I ain't ever again sharing a tent with you! 

Store you gear in no-see-em mesh bags; the mesh is too small for bed bugs, but still allows store item to breathe.  Have no idea how to gaurantee your goretex items are bug free, however.


9:53 a.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Malathion, aka. moth balls in the pockets. 

3:55 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Put your gear outside (in the sun) with a plastic sheet over them. The temp will kill them.

4:45 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi iamgrumpy and welcome to Trailspace,


I bet you are grumpy living w/ bedbugs.  Move (now, if you can), fast, do not pass go nor collect $200.  If you get bed bugs in your apartment it will be one of the suckyiest times of your life.  Bed bugs are very easy to kill in (on) small items either with temps of over 120 deg (which I don't think will hurt Gortex, better check jsut to make sure), but better yet they will die at temps below 32 deg.  Freeze your gortex.  The reason bedbugs are so bad is you can't put everything you own, your couch, mattress, furniture, etc. in the drier or the freezer making it very difficult and expensive to get rid of them.  If you live in an apt and manage to get rid of them they will head straight for you (and suck your blood!, vampires in bug form) as others are trying to get rid of them.  Here is a link that will give you all the info you might need.

Good luck, and please let us know how everything turns out.


6:51 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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mikemorrow has a good suggestion. i would put stuff in black plastic bags tie them shut and then put them in the sun. used to work when the kids got head lice at school. i don't know wether those temps will hurt gore-tex or not. freezing might be a better option if you can make that work.

gore-tex is teflon so your bugs shouldn't stick to your hardshells if you do bake em. best of luck

7:14 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Ok I have to ask, did you realy put your kids heads in a plastic bag and tie it off? Out in the sun? LOL

7:50 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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lol, no just their clothes, but with images of attaching black plastic bags to the back of their heads... that might have worked too.

2:36 a.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey mike,   that's too funny!!!!!!!

8:57 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I think I'd consider calling an exterminator. It can be really hard to get rid of bedbugs if they're in an entire apartment and you'll want to be sure you've gotten rid of all of them.

Can you have the landlord do something about this, since they're coming from other apartments?

Good luck.

3:00 p.m. on June 15, 2011 (EDT)
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FYI,  If you have bedbugs now a short term solution to living with them is to have a bed roll, sleeping bag, bivy type bag that closes that you can sleep in that can be put in airtight storge every day when done sleeping until you need it at night.  It then can be washed, cleaned even daily if necessary to make sure no bugs were picked up at night.  Like alot of things people do, we almost got rid of bedbugs using a number of differnt pestisides.  With that being said we didn't finish the job (if it was possible in the first place) and many are now  resistant to alot of the pestisides nomally being used on them so that they are quite often very difficult to get rid of.  

9:00 p.m. on June 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi guys.  Thanks for all your responses.  We were meticulous with prep work of bagging everything up before the exterminator came.  He sprayed chemicals and will come again in a couple of weeks to make sure they are all gone.  This is really a nightmare. 


So it would be ok to put both gore-tex and event (sorry forgot I had one event shell) in clear plastic bags outside?  Will this not melt the jacket?


How about the freezing option?  Can I throw my jacket in plastic bags and throw them in the freezer?  Will that really be effective.


Thanks again for all responses.


9:29 p.m. on June 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes freezing will work.  Go to this link below and they will tell you all you ever want to know about bed bugs.  As your frezeer is constant you will know that you killed them.  If you put them outside in a bag you may think you have killed them but if any part of the stuff in the bags does not reach critical temp you will get to start the whole project again, if even one survives.  I would turn your frezzer to the coolest setting and follow the instruction at this site.  I've been reading about the reinfestation of bedbegs in America for a couple of years now and it's a real problem that people are not paying attention to until it hit's them.  I don't know how everyone in you apt complex is going to be able do everything to keep them at bay.  Even an exterminator can miss some depending upon the methods use.  The thing that really sucks is even if you get them all, the very next person to move in may bring them with them.  There kinda like cockroaches only bedbugs eat you.

1:43 a.m. on June 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Two weeks after the second rounds of treatment, after we know we are in the clear, we will try to move out. 

This freezing idea is interesting.  Can I have some details please?  can I put multiple pieces of clothing in one bag and throw it in the freezer?  How long do I have to keep the clothing in the freezer?



4:30 p.m. on June 18, 2011 (EDT)
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This is some info I pulled of of the link I left above.  This info seems to jive with other bedbug sites that I've viewed and the info I had heard before checking this out in depth.  What methods are they using to treat the the apts your living in?  Being that you reside in an apt building it may be hard to do the frezzing thing.  I have a chest freezer that I normaly keep at -6 deg for long term storage of meat as I raise my own meat.


"Treatment Procedures. Infested and infestation-prone       bedding and garments will need to be bagged and laundered (120°F minimum)       since these items cannot be treated with insecticides. Another effective       and efficient option is to place clothing, toys, shoes, backpacks, etc.,       in a clothes dryer set at medium to high heat for 10 to 20 minutes. This       will kill all bed bug life stages and can be done alone or in conjunction       with laundering. According to textile experts at the Drycleaning & Laundry       Institute (Laurel, MD), most garments designated as ‘dry-clean only’       (e.g., cotton, wool, silk, linen, rayon, nylon, poly blends) will not be       harmed provided they are dry before being placed in a clothes dryer at moderate       (less than 160?F) settings. While dry cleaning procedures also kill bed       bugs, there is risk of infesting the establishment when buggy items are       de-bagged, tagged and sorted.

Items which cannot be put in a washer or dryer can sometimes be de-infested       by wrapping in plastic and placing them outdoors in a hot, sunny location,       closed vehicle, etc. for at least a day. If this method is attempted, packing       fewer items per bag makes it harder for the bugs to find cooler places to       hide. Monitoring with a thermometer is prudent, with a target internal temperature       of at least 120°F. Bed bugs also will succumb to cold temperatures below       32°F, but the freezing temperatures must be maintained for several days.       Consequently, throughout much of the country, heating tends to be a faster,       more reliable option than chilling. Attempts to rid an entire dwelling of       bed bugs by raising or lowering the thermostat will be unsuccessful, although       some companies are having success using supplemental heaters."

Taken from


Being that I live in the GNW, we have rairly seen the sun this spring so I would say the bagging it up and putting out in the sun would not have been an option for me or anyone in my area.  With that being said I guess most of the rest of the country is rather hot so this might be the best treatment.  If it were me and I had the room I would go out and buy a good cheast freezer that goes below 0 for use to freeze the bugs out as well as using the bagging/heating meathod.  If you can get one used at a good price you can then resell it at the same price or at least take a very small lost.  It will get expensive really quick if you throw out any gear as we all know the high price of gear.  You may in the end want/need to get rid of things like mattereses, boxsprings, couches and things like that.   I know all of this seems like over kill but you really don't want to get this thing wrong.  Female bedbugs lay eggs daily.  If you have a single one left, the place where you  live will become reinfested long before you know their back.  By that time you will have to start over, and if you have already moved to a new apt, that whole complex will have to be treated as well.

2:33 p.m. on June 19, 2011 (EDT)
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burn the lot and start again

2:57 p.m. on July 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Good info, apeman, thanks for sharing it.


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