A bit of information I received from a friendly Spiromaniac about preventing bed bugs, which, you may have heard, have become a significant problem lately.  One of their friends is an entomologist (insect expert), and here is what he has to say:
 
Since much of our clothing, sheets, towels, etc. now comes from companies outside of  America, even the most expensive stores sell foreign clothing from China, Indonesia, etc.  The bed bugs are coming in on the clothing as these countries do not consider them a problem.  He recommends that if you buy any new clothing, even underwear and socks, sheets, towels, etc. that you bring them into the house and put them in your clothes dryer for at least 20 minutes.  The heat will kill them and their eggs.  DO NOT PURCHASE CLOTHES AND HANG THEM IN THE CLOSET FIRST.  It does not matter what the price range is of the clothing, or if the outfit comes from the most expensive store known in the U.S.   They still get shipments from these countries and the bugs can come in a box of scarves or anything else for that matter.  That is the reason why so many stores, many of them clothing stores have had to shut down in NYC and other places.   All you need is to bring one item into the house that has bugs or eggs and you will go to hell and back trying to get rid of them.  He travels all over the country as an adviser to many of these stores, as prevention and after they have the problem.

I would like to add that that this would be a good idea if you are coming home from a trip to anywhere — unpack your clothing into the washing machine and/or dryer directly.  Also, check beds in hotel rooms by stripping the sheets and looking in the crevices of the mattress and head board.  If you find any evidence of bed begs, go to a different hotel.  One source I read said to keep your suitcases in the bathroom, away from carpets, bedding and drapes.

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