Bed-bugged storage (Part 2): How to protect your stuff

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
August 25, 2009 - 7:02AM

No matter which storage facility you use, there are only two ways to be reasonably sure you won’t bring any six-legged hitchhikers back to your apartment: Seal every last thing in plastic to keep bed bugs out, or have your belongings gassed before bringing them back home.

“Seal everything in an airtight manner,” advised us when we asked for tips. "The smallest bed bugs are 1/32 inch long. They can squeeze through a tiny gap." 

Because most plastic tubs are not airtight, warns Bedbugger, seal your stuff in plastic bags tied with an airtight knot (not a twist tie) and put them in the tubs for stacking.

To seal bigger items, moving companies and some storage facilities sell large bags or provide shrink-wrapping services.

If your things are already stored in an unprotected fashion—or you want to be really, really sure—you may want have them fumigated with Vikane gas.

Vikane is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that has no residue, according to  Bed Bugs and Beyond, a fumigation company in Queens. When administered under containment—in a vault or moving truck—vikane eliminates the bed bug's ability to absorb oxygen.

Bed Bugs and Beyond charges about $700 to fumigate a 300 cubic square foot vault—which is roughly big enough to hold the contents of a studio or one-bedroom apartment. You will spend another $700 or so to rent the container, have it delivered to your storage facility where you pack it up,  sent out to be fumigated and finally reunited with you at  home.

Gassing isn’t cheap. However, it works on everything including electronics (the bugs like to hide in computers), clothes and musical equipment—so it’s usually a bargain compared to the massive (and frequently irreponsible) sidewalk purge many bed bug victims wind up doing.

Related links:

Bed bugged storage:  Is your stuff safe?

NYC bed bug stats: A vast understatement?

$250,000 bed bugs online; another co-op goes to war

Brooklyn still #1 bed bug borough; Manhattan (UWS & North) next

Co-op hair-raiser: $250,000 bed bug bill

Your neighbor's bed bugs

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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