Today, I am going to discuss about the most irritating and frustrating issue related to our daily life which is bed bugs infestation inside our shoes.
The 2015 research survey done by The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and The University of Kentucky revealed very important figures about bed bug infestations in American homes.
That survey specifically mentioned that about 99.6 percent home owners said that they had performed bed bug treatment in the past year. This figure is really higher as compared to the 25% of home owners who reported to be done this treatment 15 years ago.
So, this research study clearly emphasizes the fact that bed bug infestation ratio in average American families is astronomical in modern days. And this clearly underlines the importance of protecting our household items including our shoes from these bad guys.
Of course, many people have the doubt whether it affects our costly footwear items which leads to this question.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Your Shoes?
My answer is definitely Yes!
Besides backpacks and luggage; shoes are another personal items that are susceptible to bed bug infestation.
These little annoying parasites can inhabit every pair of shoes that you have in your wardrobe.
This could cause you a skin infection every time you wear your shoes. Yet eliminating them can prove to be quite a challenge, especially if you are using a trial and error method.
How to Check Shoes for Bed Bugs?
If you are unable to get rid of these nuisance causing, relentless insects from your footwear then you should not worry. I am going to show you my 7 most efficient ways to get rid of bed bugs from your shoes.
But before that, let me tell you first about few tips to check your shoes for bed bugs presence. So, here are some common symptoms that may suggest your shoes are infested by bed bugs.
A. Your feet get bed bug bitten whenever they are in the infested shoes. Itchiness and inflammation of the affected areas of the foot are the most common symptoms of bed bug bites. Additionally, those areas will turn red.
B. Your shoes produce an unpleasant, musty odor, which originates from the insect’s scent glands.
C. You notice bloodstains on your socks or in your shoes whenever you remove the shoes.
D. You notice bedbug-shed skins, eggshells and fecal spots in the hidden areas inside your shoes or this organic matter comes out of your shoes when you shake.
What do I do with My Shoes for Bed Bug Treatment?
Consider these 7 smart tricks below to get rid of bed bugs infestation from your expensive footwear items.
1. Freeze Your Shoes
One of the most efficient methods of getting rid of bed bugs is subjecting these organisms to extreme temperature conditions (cold in this case). That is because they will not be able to endure any freezing point temperatures beyond zero degree Celsius.
Simply put all of your shoes in a large polythene paper bag and let the package be in your freezer for one hour or more. Putting your shoes inside the freezer for full night will be the most efficient way to eradicate these micro-organisms from your footwear.
That will kill all the parasites plus their eggs so that new parasites will not hatch. After that, you can wash your shoes or sneakers to remove bed bug matter before drying and putting back in the wardrobe.
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2. Use Your Dryer
As said above, bed bugs are unable to withstand extreme temperatures. That said, blowing hot air inside your infested shoes is a good way to eliminate the parasites.
All you need is to set your dryer temperature to extreme hotness and these insects will be killed in just few seconds. We recommend temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius to get the best results.
3. Use Heat Box or Zappbug Heater
This method is almost similar to the previous one only that it entails the use of a heat box. Heat boxes, which are designed for killing bed bugs through heat treatment, are readily available online.
These boxes simply apply high amount of heat that will kill stubborn and nuisance causing insects like bugs. Simply buy this heat box online and place your shoes in the box for a couple of minutes to eliminate bed bugs.
If your shoe pairs are too many to fit into the box at once, repeat the process until you have subjected all your shoe pairs for this heat treatment.
You may also use a bed bug heater also known as a Zappbug heater instead of a heat box.
You do not have to buy a heat box if you already have a bed bug or a Zappbug heater as both heaters work through the same mechanism, which is to produce higher temperature and killing these parasites in the process.
I recommend you to watch the following video to understand how Zappbug works more efficiently in removing all types of bed bug infestations from your household items.
4. Use a Good Bed Bug Spray
There are many insecticides that can be used to kill bed bugs. Look for an effective bed bug spray and spray onto the inside of your shoes according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some sprays are so powerful that they will completely wipe out bugs inhabiting a shoe just by using the spray few times in a week. Whereas other sprays will work slowly hence need to be sprayed more times to completely eliminate the target.
Click Here to Get the Best Bed Bug Spray for Your Shoes.
5. Use Your Washing Machine
A washing machine is also a good way to wipe out bed bugs from your shoes.
Firstly, it should be noted that bed bugs thrive best in dirty, unhygienic conditions. Secondly, these parasites hate water and washing detergents, which are necessary to wash shoes in a washing machine.
Thirdly, they will be affected by the amount of heat a washing machine generates. Fourthly, bed bugs will die instantly if submerged in water and this job is best performed by your washing machine.
In other words, your house washer or washing machine offers the ideal conditions to eliminate the bugs. In fact, this is one of the best and the most efficient methods to deal with bed bugs that are living inside your shoes, boots and sneakers.
Not all shoes are machine washable though, especially leather and suede. As such, be sure to check what the label says before putting your shoes in a washing machine.
6. Use a Dichlorvos Strip
Pest strips, which feature a resin plastic with an insecticide such as Dichlorvos, can be a good way to rid your shoes of stubborn bugs.
These strips work by releasing the insecticide through vapor over durations of weeks or months. That said, you could buy and place one inside your shoe closet to wipe the nuisance causing parasites out of your footwear.
However, I also recommend to read this research article before you try this method. There are few precautions that you must take if you decide to use these types of strips to get rid of bed bugs from your home.
The most efficient Dichlorvos strip that I have found online is Nuvan Prostrips. It makes use of controlled release technology. When you place these strips inside your shoe closet or wardrobe, it works by gradually releasing deep penetrating vapor inside the closet or shoes.
This vapor is very strong and odorless which actually kills all types of visible and hidden insects and micro-organisms inside your wardrobe and closet.
Click Here to Get Nuvan Prostrips to Completely Eliminate The Bed Bugs.
7. Seek Help from a Professional Exterminator
Looking for help from a trustworthy exterminator is so far the easiest way to have your shoes freed from relentless bed bugs. A professional exterminator specializes in eliminating bothersome rodents and insects, including bed bugs.
These professionals make use of variety of proven methods and treatments. They usually are more experienced and well equipped to deal with all kinds of bed bug infestations.
With this method, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the results after you have paid one to do the job. It is also one of the most effective methods to have your shoes entirely get rid of bed bugs.
I have already found a useful website for US consumers where you can search and locate the best professional exterminators in your area.
Yes, bed bugs are very stubborn living organisms. But it is not impossible to completely annihilate their presence from your home and shoes.
If you think your footwear is infested by these annoying parasites based on the symptoms above, then I suggest trying out the above treatment options.
You can try freezing your shoes, using a drier, or applying a method among the various heat treatment methods described above. If none of the bed bug elimination methods seems to work, try using a good bed bug spray, Nuvan Prostrips or even your washing machine.
If the problem still persists, then seek the services of a professional exterminator and you can be confident the insects will be wiped out completely.
Using a washing machine is, however, the best method as it provides more unfavorable conditions necessary to eliminate the relentless creatures, ensuring close to 100 percent kill rate.
In the end, I just want to wish good luck to you and recommend to try any of the above mentioned bug treatments for your shoes.