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How to get rid of bedbugs in hiking clothes and gear

Hi,

  I recently stayed in a motel and discovered the hard way that it it had bedbugs 😞  Anyhow, I want to make sure I didn't bring any of them home with me. I double bagged all my clothing until I decide how to deal with it. The standard treatment is to wash and dry clothes at a high temp, which is fine for the cotton but not for my synthetics (Patagonia R1 pullover, Goretex Windstopper beanie, fleece vest, etc). Would simply running them in the dryer on high without washing first damage the fabric? The other alternative is to put them in a bag in the freezer for 3 days, as that is supposed to work somewhat well, as long as the freezer gets down to 0 degrees.  I also ought to treat my daypacks somehow, which also say on their care tags to wash in cold water.

  Thanks!

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How to get rid of bedbugs in hiking clothes and gear

@bobito9 Thanks for reaching out and I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation!

Unfortunately we are not bedbug experts, however we do recommend against running your synthetic clothes in the dryer on high heat. Persistent heat at those temperatures can damage the fabric, cause it to pill, as well as having the potential to affect any DWR treatments and glues used to bond fabrics together. It sounds like the freezer method is an option and would be less likely to cause damage to a technical fabric in the same way high heat would. A chest freezer would likely be the easiest and could even have enough room to put your daypack in there as well. It seems that the key is keeping the temperature as low as possible and leaving the items in there for a minimum of three days. If you can avoid opening and closing the freezer, that would be best as well.

I hope this helps, best of luck!

John

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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How to get rid of bedbugs in hiking clothes and gear

@bobito9 Sorry for your experience with bedbugs. I've had my experience with them and they're a pain. Just remember to get your gear as exposed as possible. Don't just set it in the freezer but try and actually hang it up, if you can. But I'm sure you already figured that out.

Good luck with getting rid of them!

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