New Year, New You….but Can You Get Bed Bugs from the Gym?

It’s a new year. If you’re like millions of other Americans, the change in calendar means it’s time to make a resolution to work out, lose weight, and finally get in shape. Exercising more frequently is never a bad thing. However, considering all the dirty clothes, towels, and gym bags you’ll encounter at the gym, it begs the question – can you get bed bugs from the gym?

The simple answer is yes, you certainly can. A gym is no different than a school, hospital, hotel, or any of the other public places where bed bugs have been found. You have people changing clothes in the locker rooms and using towels to wipe down equipment. You also have a lot of people carrying their belongings in duffel bags and backpacks. Bed bugs could latch onto any of those materials.

In fact, bed bugs were found a few years ago at one of New York City’s nicest gyms, the Reebok Sports Club. It’s a high-end fitness facility whose membership includes celebrities like Chris Rock and Taye Diggs. If an expensive gym with celebrity clients can have bed bugs, any gym can have an infestation.

Does this mean you should avoid the gym? Not at all! But you can protect yourself with a few basic preventative steps. Here are a few things you can do to prevent bed bugs from travelling home with you after your workout:

Keep everything in a locker.

No matter how safe and secure you feel in your gym locker room, it’s always best practice to keep your things in a locker. Most lockers don’t have openings big enough for bed bugs to crawl through. And clearly the bugs can’t burrow through a metal door.

When you open the locker, do a quick scan for any bugs walking around. If there aren’t any bugs in the locker and you keep everything in the locker, you’ll probably avoid any bed bug risks.

Choose a high locker and use the hooks.

Bed bugs hate to climb. The higher you can keep your things, the less likely it is that you’ll bring home any bed bugs. If you can choose a higher level locker, do so.

Also, most gym lockers have hooks inside. Hang whatever you can from the hooks rather than setting your stuff on the bottom of the locker. Bed bugs will have a difficult time landing on clothes or towels that are hanging up high.

Use a bed bug proof laundry bag.

A quick search online can help you find special laundry bags that are made of bed bug resistant fabric. After you change clothes, put your dirty clothes and towel in the bed bug proof bag.

Then, when you get home, immediately put the bag’s belongings into the washing machine and set the water temperature as high as possible. If you did bring home any bugs, the hot water will almost certainly kill them.

Check your own bags before you go to the gym.

You can also do your part to keep the gym bed bug-free. Check your clothes and bags for any bugs. Even if you don’t have bed bugs in your home, it’s very easy to pick them up at school, work, or almost anywhere you visit.

If you do find a bug, put all of the infested materials into the wash immediately. Also, check your bed sheets, towels, linens, and clothing for other bugs. Whatever you do, don’t take a gym bag that might have a bed bug with you to the gym. You’ll put all your fellow gym members at risk.

If you fear you have a bed bug problem, contact Scherzinger Pest Control today. Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.