How to check for bed bugs in used furniture
Should you check for bed bugs in used furniture? Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, so you might wonder about possible places they might hide. This article will talk about bed bugs and their ability to move through diverse materials, including furniture.
We all know that bed bugs would likely be found closest to humans in box springs, bed frames, sheets, and mattresses. But what if you were told that bed bugs also love furniture and not just bedroom furniture.
When a house is infested, these bugs spread quickly, sampling all kinds of hiding spots, and most furniture provides just the right spot for them. This is why some people do not recommend buying used furniture, as the risks of bringing bed bugs into your home are higher with them.
So what’s next – is there a way to bring pest-free furniture into your home? How do you check for bed bugs in used furniture?
Know the kind of used furniture you wish to buy
All furniture can easily be hot spot for bed bugs. However, some are more plausible areas. Box springs and mattresses are popular hot spot. Getting rid of them might require multiple cycles of vacuuming, steam treatment, chemical treatment, and lots more. Therefore, it’s better to buy brand-new items for these sections than go through this cycle.
Bed bugs also love upholstered furnishings more than any other furniture because they provide multiple hiding spots. Bed bugs can burrow into the seams, pleats, and fabric. If you can, go for furniture made from hardwood, vinyl, and composite pieces instead. These pieces of furniture do not provide a lot of easy spots for bed bugs to hide. Yet, if you want to go for furniture with textures, you should carry out a methodical search for bed bugs.
In the end, always check all kinds of used furniture, including desks, wardrobes, bookcases, shelving units, chest of drawers, nightstands, and lots more.
How to look for bed bugs in used furniture
Naturally, you might consider asking the seller where the furniture has been stored. Furniture that has been stored in storage units is prone to bed bug infestation. Some used furniture may even cycle through different storage units and multiple pieces of furniture, which means there is an increased chance of bed bugs spreading from one piece of furniture to the next. Don’t forget that bed bugs can live as much as a year without feeding, so even if the furniture has been stored for a long time, you shouldn’t assume that the bed bugs may have died off. Still, no matter what the seller says, it’s also important to look for signs of bed bugs yourself. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1 – Gear up
Get a pair of gloves, flashlight, magnifying glass, and old credit card. These tools will help you look beyond the surface to find bed bugs in hard-to-reach spots.
Step 2 – Know what to look for
Bed bugs are small oval brown insects and can hide in cracks and crevices. Usually, it’s hard to spot one. You might more possibly find other signs such as:
- Bed bugs skins look like the actual bed bugs but are translucent and empty
- Bed bugs eggs which are whitish and just like tiny rice grains
- Bed bug feces are usually brown, black, or dark smears (might sometimes look like ground pepper).
Treat all used furniture
Even when you don’t find signs of bed bugs in the used furniture you wish to purchase, it’s best to treat that furniture for bed bugs. Consider steam cleaning and vacuuming, especially when you are dealing with upholstered furniture to remove all bed bug skin, shells, and eggs. For others, disassemble and wipe down all surfaces with a cleaning agent. Subsequently, spray furniture with an approved bed bug spray to ensure that you can safely enjoy your used furniture without those pesky pests.
Should you check for bed bugs in used furniture? Absolutely. No matter the source or type of furniture, it’s important to identify them and treat that furniture, so you can look forward to pest-free ‘new’ used furniture.