In the end I think more bugs will fall off a couch into the hallway with a plastic bag approach than with no bag. If there is no bag at least the couch is not dropped as often. Mattresses wrapped in bags are marginally better because they are less cumbersome. A much better solution is shrink-wrapping the furniture and mattresses.
Instead of washing delicate clothing or pillows in a washer, use a clothes steamer. The steamer temperature must reach between 160 and 180-degrees F. Follow the instructions for the machine and cover every surface of the fabric to kill the bugs and the eggs. After steaming, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture any dead bugs.
In my readings I've found out that the shinking of wool garments is not really so much shrinking as felting. The garment gets beaten in the machine and scales along the wool fibers interlock. The fibers of merino wool are different from the other types of wool though and this doesn't (or at least shouldn't) happen.
The best way to eliminate bed bugs is early detection, regular cleaning and inspecting, and targeted pesticide use by a pest management professional. This includes regular cleaning and vacuuming, steaming to kill bed bugs, laundering and drying clothes on high heat, and precisely applied pesticides directly on bed bugs.
This means checking seams, cuffs, collars, pockets and anything else not in full-frontal-view to make sure that the piece is damage, stain and of course, bed-bug free. Cuffs and pockets are a particularly sought after hiding place for bed bugs in clothing. Unfold cuffs and turn pockets inside out before trying on or taking anything home.
Bed bugs are wingless, oval-shaped insects. Their bodies are small and flat and can be very hard to detect in your home. The bites usually look red and swollen with a dark red center, or there may