Halloween is a time for children and adults alike to dress up, have fun and indulge in the supernatural. Costumes, however, can be expensive, and with many families trying to be conservative when it comes to their budget, there may not be much money available for Halloween this year. One solution to this problem is to either rent a costume or to find one at a second-hand store. While this is a great way to save money, it is also important to be aware of the potential problems that come along with such purchases.
The Threat of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are most often associated with hotels, but the truth is, there are many ways they can end up in your home. During the Halloween season, it is possible for them to hitch a ride on rented or previously owned costumes, putting a serious damper on your holiday fun. There are a few things you can do, though, to lessen the possibility of an infestation.
Buying From Local Businesses
If you are shopping at a brick and mortar store, pay attention to how crowded it is. The more people that frequent the shop, the more likely it is that there could be bed bugs, particularly if there has been an infestation in a nearby neighborhood or school. Always look over a costume carefully to see if you notice anything that concerns you, paying particular attention to the seams. If something doesn’t seem right, follow your intuition and move on to another store.
Take a trash bag with you.After you find the costume that you want, pay for it and immediately place it inside the bag, sealing it up quickly. Once you get the costume home, bring it straight to the washing machine. Put it in the hottest rinse cycle possible and then transfer it over to the dryer. Since bed bugs can’t survive in extreme temperatures, this should take care of anything that might be on the clothing.
If you are purchasing or renting a costume online, make sure you do your research. Look for online reviews, written by previous customers of the company, and closely examine their comments to see if anyone mentions bed bugs. Since this is such a serious problem, it makes sense that disgruntled individuals would take to the Internet to make their complaints known.
Once you settle on a costume, have it shipped to your home, and immediately put it in the washing machine upon arrival. Avoid storing the costume in your closet with the rest of your clothing; instead, seal it up in a plastic bag when you aren’t using it.
It is possible to find a great Halloween costume at a great price. By taking a few precautions when renting or purchasing a second-hand outfit, however, you will also ensure that you don’t run into any pest problems.
Image credit: Some rights reserved by Vicki & Chuck Rogers
- License: Creative Commons image source
About the author: Jim blogs on a variety of topics for a Danbury Pest Control company.