Bed bug prevention: Ziploc Big Bags or a sealed plastic storage box

Amazon: Ziploc Big Bags As a follow-up to our discussion about avoiding bed bugs in used clothing, one of the suggestions was to seal second-hand purchases in a Ziploc bag before putting them directly into the wash. It occured to me that keeping a stash of Ziploc Big Bags in the trunk would be a good idea.

Another option, suggested by Adrienne of Baby Toolkit, is a sealable plastic storage box.

That way, when you find yourself stopping at a garage sale (or your favorite thrift store or resale shop), you'll have a place to quarantine your goodies until they can be sterilized.

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  1. Gabrielle says

    Great suggestion. My hubby travels and I am always scared he is bringing some uninvited guests.

  2. scout says

    Of course, the gigantic ziploc bags probably cost more than the bag of clothes I just bought. (We don’t generally spend more than $2 per stuffed paper grocery bagful.)

  3. Daye Gardenia says

    I have bought second hand clothes for years for my family and me. No problem with bed bugs. I always washed them before anyone wore them. But I always wash any new-from-the-retail-stores item before being worn, also.
    You are more apt to get bed bugs from chairs at the public library than someone else’s used clothes. I speak with some authority on this. Within a day or two of my DH’s long visit to a public library, we had an invasion of bed bugs. I had not bought any used clothing during that time. It is also more possible to get head lice from upholstered sofas or chairs at the public library than bed bugs from used clothing.

  4. Daye Gardenia says

    I wish to add that the publicity about bedbugs all begins to sound a bit too hyper. Why stop at putting used clothing into plastic bags? (I may start carrying the zip lock bags with me.) But hey, why stop at this? Why have parties, potlucks or meetings at your home, let alone invite anyone over, ever! Don’t they wear used clothing that might have bed bugs?
    I have had to cope with head lice and bed bugs — the head lice came from, I think, sitting on a used sofa at a secondhand store and the bed bugs from DH’s long visit to the public library.
    Bed bugs were simply a short-lived nuisance, the head lice was a horror. Was I going to become bald? Since I could not stay home until they were gone, could I keep from scratching my head in public? And would other people be able to see the critters? I had chose to use the more natural treatments such as olive oil and a green, over the counter product as my solution. It took a bit longer to kill them but worked.

  5. Asha Dornfest says

    I agree one could go into freak-out mode about bedbugs, and there’s no way to protect yourself 100%. But this seems like a reasonable way to cut some of the risk. We all get to decide where on the “scale of risk” we feel comfortable.