How to Avoid Picking up Bed Bugs at Work
Workers involved in housekeeping, facilities maintenance, medical and social work will be at
risk for picking up bed bugs from an infested room or home or their contents. However, there
are steps that can be taken to reduce these risks and workers must be prepared to follow these
steps to protect themselves.
Follow these recommendations to reduce the risk:
- Know or ask ahead of time whether the room or space has bed bugs.
- Do not bring bags or personal belongings inside the room, carry as little as possible with you.
- For cleaning and maintenance crews, wear a Tyvek brand suit or similar protective coveralls that will prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride on the clothes or shoes. Discard the coveralls by changing immediately and by sealing the suit in plastic bag.
- Dissolving plastic bags are available that allow the user to isolate infested clothing until it can be placed in the wash. These bags dissolve in the laundry.
- For social and medical service providers, bring a portable stool to sit on and remain in the middle of the room. If this is not possible, be sure to sit on a hard chair, not on plush furniture or beds.
- Carefully shake out your clothes while standing outside before returning to your car or office.
- Bring a change of clothes and shoes for working in the field, change clothes at work and keep the field clothes and shoes in a sealed bag for laundering.
- Be vigilant about what to look for. Bed bugs are visible, but the youngest ones are very small. Inspect your own living and work space on a regular basis.
- There are currently no insect repellents that are labeled for bed bugs.