Public Health

Pest Management

Bed Bugs
How to Move Without Bringing Bed Bugs With You

Indiana University discourages moving individuals during a bed bug infestation. However, there may be good reason to move them to a different area or residence while the infested one is treated. Bed bugs may be transferred with personal belongings, causing more trouble in the new living space. Some suggestions for moving to a new location without bringing bed bugs are as follows:

  • Place all belongings in clear plastic bags that are sealed tightly. Sort items by type (clothes, towels, sheets and blankets) and keep things that are known to be infested away from clean items.
  • Have each individual shower and change into clean clothing and shoes and bag up the current (possibly infested) clothes for laundering.
  • Educate the resident about protecting themselves from bed bugs and what to look for using fact sheets from this guidance.
  • Before personal belongings can be accessed in the new home, they MUST be bed bug free, or the process will be repeated.
  • Provide or obtain access to laundry.
  • Follow all laundering and cleaning steps for personal belongings.
  • Keep items that cannot be sanitized inside clear plastic bags (electronics, appliances, books, etc.) and ask a professional pest manager how these items should be treated.
  • Provide vinyl or bed bug proof covered mattresses for the beds of each member of the residence. Also cover box springs if they are present.
  • Provide contact information for a person who will respond to bed bug complaints, in case bed bugs show up again.
  • Whether you move permanently or temporarily, leave furniture behind if possible to allow it to be treated. Treat furniture before moving it. Take with you as few items as possible at first.