Bed bugs are sneaky and are always finding new ways to latch onto new, unsuspecting passersby. First it was hotel rooms, then they moved to department stores and thrift stores — what’s next? Judging by what we currently know about bed bug behavioral characteristics, I am forced to believe that with the winter quickly approaching, bed bugs are going to find a new vehicle in coat checks. Yes — coat checks at bars, restaurants, reception halls, etc.
Warm, fuzzy jackets are a perfect place for a bed bug to hide in an infested home. And with so many jackets from many different owners going in and out of coat checks, the likelihood of coat check becoming infested by bed bugs is rather high, in my opinion.
Now — what can you do about this? The best thing to do is to avoid checking your jacket when possible. Wear it, hold it under your arm, put it over the back of your chair, whatever. If you have no choice but to check your coat (coat checks are mandatory at some places), you should thoroughly shake your jacket and dust off the inside and outside upon getting it back, potentially dislodging any bed bugs that may have crawled on. Go the extra step by tossing your jacket into your dryer on high heat for 15-20 minutes when you get home, or throw it into a PackTite.
To some people, this could be considered being over-cautious. However, if everyone made a few basic adjustments to their daily routine to avoid bed bugs, infestations could be kept at a minimum.