With warmer weather around the corner, many of your customers’ kids are probably begging their parents to take them shopping for new shorts, sneakers and hoodies. There’s a good chance your customers have new linens and sheets on their spring shopping list, too.
In other words, now is a good time to remind your customers of the possibility of bed bugs hitching a ride with their purchases. Offer this short checklist they can use to ensure they come home bed bug free, whether they’re heading toward a thrift store or a high-end mall. After all, bed bugs don’t know the difference:
- In the fitting room, make sure none of the items you’re trying on have odd-looking stains or marks — especially reddish or rusty stains.
- Before heading to the register, examine every item of clothing, as well as linens and/or bed sheets, towels, and other items made of cloth before you buy them. Bed bugs can find their way onto any item of clothing, and once you have them in your home, your problems escalate exponentially.
- When you inspect these items, make a point of looking at both the inside and outside seams for sticky white eggs or shed skins. You may even come upon an actual bed bug.
- Whatever happens, tell the store what you’ve discovered, even if it’s only suspicious stains.
- Make sure you keep all your purchased items sealed in the store bag you’re given — and keep it that way until you get home. Then, right before you enter your home, shake out all the items, just in case you have a “hitchhiker” you failed to spot earlier.
- If the care label permits it, launder all your purchased items in hot water and dry them on a high temperature. If the item requires dry or steam cleaning, drop it off at the cleaners immediately.