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How To Get Bed Bugs Out Of Hiking Boots? | 7 Practical Methods

You’d agree that one thing that could make you give up your hiking boots is bed bugs. You may not be able to track when they enter your boots, but they can be a pain in your ass.

You probably think that they’re bed bugs; they should infest beds. So, what do they have to do with your boots?

You may be intrigued to know that they can infest and hide anywhere they find convenient, like your clothes, boots, or furniture. As long as the place is hidden and cozy for them to survive, they’re good to go.

How do you stop them from getting into your boots? Or how can you get them out if they’re a pain in your ass already?

Well, you don’t have to worry. We have helped you gather all information on how you can deal with the bed bugs hiding in your hiking boots.

Let’s show you how!

How Do Bed Bugs Get into Your Hiking Boot?

Bed bugs can get a ride with you back home from a day out in the field. They may not immediately cozy up in your boots; instead, they may stay in other places before they find your hiking boots.

Also, they may have been in your house for a while, like your bed, and found their ways into your hiking boots, especially when you don’t wear them often.

In addition, you could pick up bed bugs from anywhere. For example, you could pick them up from your hiking trip. That is, they could hang on your clothes or your backpack from your hiking trip.

They don’t fly; however, they can crawl up your boots, clothes, coats, and anything you could be carrying. Also, they may come with furniture, especially if you buy a used one.

You could also pick these bugs from different public places, like hospitals, theatres, hotels, or airports. The thing is that you won’t be able to tell that you’ve brought some bed bugs home.

a bed bug

Ways to Stop Bed Bugs from Entering Your Hiking Boots

So, how can you prevent bed bugs from infesting your hiking boots? Here are the things you can do:

1. Don’t keep your hiking boots close to your bed

Bed bugs are most likely to breed on your bed. Therefore, you need to keep them away as much as possible. Try not to keep them under your bed or anywhere near it.

2. Wear your hiking boots often

If you wear your boots often, bed bugs are less likely to breed in them.

Also, bed bugs don’t really like moving constantly; consistent movement can make them uncomfortable. Instead, they like staying in immobile places, like your bed or furniture.

Additionally, if your hiking boots hardly lie around, then their chances of getting in them are slimmer. So, you may have to go hiking a little bit often or wear them around.

wear hiking boots more often to prevent bed bugs

3. Keep your hiking boots in boxes or bags

When you keep your hiking boots in boxes or bags, it’s harder for bed bugs to find them where they are. Also, when they’re in an enclosed area with no opening, bed bugs can hardly crawl into them.

If they, by chance, get into the box or bag, they will starve or suffocate to death. However, this may take time because they can survive without food for a long time.

4. Have a bed bug spray close to you

You can also keep bed bugs away from your hiking boots by spraying them with a repellant spray. Spray the areas where you keep your hiking boots.

You can get good bed bug sprays that won’t leave stains on your hiking boots, like this one:

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Use essential oils

Bed bugs can stay away from your hiking boots if you spray them with essential oils.

Essential oils keep bed bugs from infesting your boots. At the time, they also help deodorize your hiking boots, so your feet don’t smell.

Meanwhile, some good essential oils you can spray on your hiking boots are lemongrass, lavender, cinnamon, or eucalyptus essential oils.

essential oils to spray on hiking boots

6. Be on the lookout for bed bugs

Whenever you are out, you can watch out for bed bugs that may be hanging around. Whether you are out hiking, hanging out with friends, or at the theatre, ensure none is stuck on your belongings.

This may seem a little ridiculous because you’re supposed to be having fun while you’re out. However, you don’t want bed bugs infesting your home, nor do you want them to invade your hiking boots.

bed bug

7. Keep your stuff off the ground

This is for when you are out by yourself or with friends. Keep your backpack and belongings off the floor because bed bugs could crawl in them while you’re not watching.

Also, only unpack the things you need and not empty everything on the ground. We advise that you keep every other thing you’re not using in sealed plastic bags.

8. Unpack before storing 

It would be best if you do this before placing your hiking boot in their storage compartments so you can get rid of any bed bugs that might follow you to the storage.

Then, check for any bed bugs in your belongings. Afterward, wash the clothes you wore.

Additionally, you can heat them in the dryer using the highest heat setting.

How to Know If There Are Bed Bugs in Your Hiking Boots

You probably never thought bed bugs would infest your hiking boots, so you haven’t been taking preventive methods to keep them away. So, let’s discuss how you can know if there are bed bugs in your boots.

1. Itch and inflammation

Bed bugs have probably infested your hiking boots if you notice that your feet itch or any inflammation after a hike. That is, the bed bugs in your boots have probably bitten your feet.

itchy feet due to bed bugs in hiking boots

2. Visible bloodstains

Other times, you could notice bloodstains on your socks or your hiking boots after you pull them off.

Sometimes, these stains may not be from blisters or injuries from hiking. Otherwise, there may be bed bugs living happily in your boots because they also get to suck your blood.

3. Unpleasant smell

Hiking boots smell from sapping sweat throughout your hike. However, your hiking boots could be oozing some musty, unpleasant smell that is not hike-gotten.

This smell is from the bed bugs’ scent glands. So, if you perceive any unusual and musty odor from your hiking boots, it’s time you get those bugs out of your boots.

stinking hiking boots

4. Bed bug excreta

Another way you can tell there are bed bugs in your hiking boots is when you see feces or fecal spots on or in your boots.

Also, if you notice some shed skins or insect-like eggshells in your boots, that’s a warning bell. You shouldn’t wait till someone tells you that you have to get those pests out of your boots.

5. Foot Bites

Here’s the truth, foot bites are probably one of the most common signs that you have bed bugs in your hiking boots. Unlike other signs, you get painful bite sensations on your feet whenever you put on your hiking boots.

If for any reason you don’t feel the bites, your feet and lower legs would often have red spots or blemishes from the bites. And this will alert you of possible bed bug infestation in your hiking boot.

beg bug bites on a leg

How Can You Get Bed Bugs Out of Your Hiking Boots?

First, you should know that bed bugs come from outside the house to infest your boots. They don’t just spring out of nowhere.

They are winter pests, and they cannot stand the cold. So, when the temperature begins to drop, these bugs try to look for where they can find warmth, shelter, and food.

When they get into your boots, they can stay there for a long time if you don’t do anything about them. Why? Because, your feet are probably acting as a snack.

Usually, bed bugs tend to feed on blood, so they pierce your skin via their tiny parts. Also, you may not be able to tell when they’re feeding on your blood because they numb the area with their saliva.

Furthermore, their saliva contains anesthetic and anti-clotting chemicals, so you don’t bleed out or feel the pain. Not only would you be their host, they’ll multiply all over.

So, it would be better if you didn’t let them get into your hiking boots or their storage compartment at all.

However, you’re probably worried you would have to get new boots since you can’t wear the ones that bed bugs have taken over. Now’s not the time for you to fret.

Instead, you need to get the bed bugs out of your hiking boots. We have easy solutions you can try to get bed bugs out of your hiking boots.

1. Freeze your hiking boots

One of the effective methods to get rid of bed bugs from your boots is by freezing them. Exposing them to freezing temperatures can kill them.

This is because they can’t survive freezing temperatures, like 0°C, for too long. Therefore, put your hiking boots in a plastic bag and freeze them for a couple of hours or days.

Lucky for you, your hiking boots can fit in your freezer. The essence of keeping your boots in a plastic bag before putting them in your freezer is so they don’t mess it up.

Freezing them will kill them and the eggs they probably laid in your boots. After that, you can then wash them to get rid of the bed bug matter left.

However, ensure you dry them properly and keep them safe, away from bed bugs, probably in a shoebox or bag.

freeze hiking boots to kill bed bugs

2. Wash your hiking boots

If you can wash your hiking boots, then do so to get rid of the bed bugs. However, cleaning them alone may not work and it might cause damage to your hiking boot, so you might want to consider hand washing.

One tip you should try is to apply soda to your hiking boots the night before washing them. Then on the next day, you should pour out the soda from your boots.

After that, scrub your hiking boots with a brush thoroughly, but gently, and ensure you get every hidden and vivid spot. Then, remove the boots’ laces, if there are any.

Plus, you can also remove the boots’ insoles for a more thorough wash, so the bed bugs have nowhere to hide. However, if your hiking boot has a full-grain or faux leather upper, you might want to reconsider washing them, to avoid damaging the material.

3. Heat them up

Heat can help kill bed bugs in your hiking boots. When you subject your boots to heat, you’re exposing the bed bugs to their death.

However, before trying this solution, you need to determine if your hiking boots’ material can withstand extreme heat.

For instance, it might not be best to heat up hiking boots made of faux, leather, and ones having plastic components. Nevertheless, bed bugs can hardly survive more than 45°C temperature, so be sure your boots’ texture can take it.

Depending on the heat level, leather can bear the temperature, but other materials may be incapable of handling that much heat. You don’t need special equipment to heat your hiking boots since you probably have regular household equipment you can use.

For example, you can keep your hiking boots in a warm drawer or heat them with a hair straightener or air heater. However, ensure your boots stay between 45°C to 75°C temperature range or above for at least an hour so that this method can be more effective.

fan heater

4. Heat boxes

Using heat boxes is almost similar to heating them since they involve high temperatures. However, the difference is that this method involves you putting them in heat boxes specifically to kill bed bugs.

These boxes use the right amount of heat you need to get rid of bed bugs from your hiking boots. However, due to the size, you may not fit too many hiking boots in it if you have more than one.

A type of heat box you can use is the ThermalStrike Ranger Beg Bug Heater (below) specifically for killing stubborn bugs. Not only will heat boxes kill the bed bugs in your boot, but you can also remove them from other items.

ThermalStrike Ranger Bed Bug Heater | 100% to Reach Lethal Temperature | Used by Professionals and Homeowners | Effective Against Moths, Carpet Beetles and Lice.
  • [Lethal Heating System] ThermalStrike uses a patented six-sided heating system that surrounds and...
  • [Commercial Grade Construction] A fully sealed inner liner constructed of hospital grade heating pad...
  • [Easy to Load and Operate] Place luggage directly into the unit or load the Ranger like a laundry...

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

That is, they don’t work for your hiking boots only, but for other items as well, as long as they can fit in the box.

5. Use pest strips

Pest strips are resin plastics with insecticide in them. And you can use them to remove stubborn bed bugs from your hiking boots.

How? All you have to do is place them in your boots for a few weeks or months.

When these pest strips are in your boots, they release pesticides via vapor, which kills off the bed bugs. We recommend that you get pest strips with Dichlorvos insecticide in them because they are very effective.

Also, the pest strips release an odorless vapor which is super effective in getting rid of bed bugs. More so, you can use them to kill bed bugs hanging in other places in your home.

Hot Shot No-Pest Strip, Pack of 1
  • KILLS: Kills flies, moths, cockroaches, silverfish, spiders and other insects as listed.
  • HANGING STRIP: Just hang up in garages, sheds, storage units, attics and crawl spaces occupied by...
  • CONTROLLED-RELEASE TECHNOLOGY: Simply remove from package to begin controlling action – keeps...

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Use bed bug spray

Another effective way you can try is spraying your hiking boots with bed bug spray. This method is extremely powerful in ridding your boots of bed bugs.

Some bed bug sprays are more powerful than others, and you can get rid of bed bugs with just a few sprays.

On the other hand, some insecticide brands will require that you spray your hiking boots more often because they work slowly.

Bed Bug Killer 16 oz EcoVenger by EcoRaider, 100% Kill Efficacy, Bedbugs & Mites, Kills Eggs & the Resistant, Lasting Protection, USDA BIO-certified, Plant Extract Based & Non-Toxic, Child & Pet Safe
  • PROVEN THROUGH USDA IR4 PHP PROGRAM — field tested by research entomologists for eradicating bed...
  • KILL ALL STAGES INCLUSIVE & EVEN RESISTANT BED BUGS — Kills bed bug adults and nymphs fast on...
  • EXTENDED DRY RESIDUAL PROTECTION — University study shows EcoRaider residual provides extended...

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Get help from a professional exterminator

a professional exterminator rids your home of bed bugs

Hiring an exterminator to get bed bugs out of your hiking boots can be a little extra. However, you should get help from an exterminator when the bed bugs are out of control.

That is, if they are everywhere in your home and they’ve become a nuisance you can’t handle. Then, professional exterminators know the suitable method to employ to rid your home of bed bugs.

After successfully removing the bed bugs from your home and hiking boots, you have to be extra careful so they don’t come back into your home.


Bed bugs can be annoying, especially when you realize they are in your boots and you need to wear them to hike. So you may have one way or the other brought them into your home, and eventually, your hiking boots.

In this article, we discussed ways to ensure you keep bed bugs away from your home and stop them from entering your hiking boots. Then, we talked about signs that show that you have bed bugs breeding in your boots.

We capped our discussion with how you can rid your hiking boots and storage of bed bugs. You can try out any of the methods we listed to get your desired results.

More importantly, when you finally kill the bed bugs, ensure you don’t bring new ones in.

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