Despite what the media may portray, bed bugs are not swarming hotel rooms just waiting to hitch a ride back home with you. In reality, you’re far more likely to bring bed bugs home by purchasing that used couch you saw on Facebook marketplace than you are from staying in a hotel during your summer vacation. Shocking, right?!
Of course hotels play a factor in how bed bugs are spread to homes, however, you’d be surprised how many more infestations simply begin by just purchasing used furniture that was infested with bed bugs.
With today’s internet and social media access to various marketplaces, there’s always a way to save a few bucks and let’s be honest, furniture is expensive, so why not try to save some money if you can?
Marketplace, Antique Shop, Rent-a-Furniture, Free Curbside Delivery
So what are all the avenues when it comes to used furniture? From curbside trash to furniture rentals, there are plenty of outlets when it comes to used furniture that can carry the possibility of bed bugs if you’re not careful.
First, let’s start with the obvious, curbside furniture that is discarded for trash. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Not necessarily when it comes to bed bugs.
If you come across any type of used furniture whether it’s a bed, couch, night stand, dresser, etc., be sure to thoroughly inspect it before you decide to load it up and haul it away. For tips on how to inspect furniture for bed bugs, check out our BedBug TV episodes below.
- How to Inspect a Bed for bed bugs
- How to Inspect a Nightstand for bed bugs
- How to Inspect a Chair for bed bugs
When it comes to furniture that is tossed out for trash, our experts suggest that you leave it where it lays. Most homeowners who do have bed bugs aren’t necessarily going to throw out their furniture with a sign on it that says, “DO NOT TAKE—HAS BED BUGS!” Instead they are going to just going to put it on the curb or in the dumpster hoping that no one notices the evidence of bed bugs. Often times, this is exactly how bed bugs are spread unknowingly between homes.
Other obvious ways people bring home bed bugs unexpectedly is by purchasing used furniture from antique shops and internet marketplaces. We know that you are scrolling your newsfeed and may come across an incredible Ashley furniture bedroom set for only $100 or perhaps you found that perfect antique upholstered chair you needed for your living room? We understand the need to save a few bucks, however, we encourage you inspect any and every item before you bring them home. Bed bugs are small and excellent hiders, which is why many can go undetected, even by professionals. So what can you do to help avoid bringing the bed bugs home on used furniture?
What Can I Do to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home on Used Furniture?
Inspect, inspect, INSPECT! To put it simply, you have to inspect any and every piece of furniture BEFORE you bring it home. Once it has entered your car or home and there are bed bugs, you’re in trouble, so just check out the item before you haul it home.
A simple inspection of a mattress includes a quick look at seams and edges for any evidence of bed bugs or bed bug activity including fecal spotting, cast skins or live bugs. Headboards should be inspected by checking screw holes and any other cracks and crevices for evidence of bed bug activity. For upholstered couches and chairs, be sure to check all the seams, edges as well as any backing underneath the item. Bed bugs are elusive in nature and prefer to be hidden away in cracks and crevices.
Secondly, if you have purchased furniture without inspect it and are concerned about the possibility of bed bugs, there are a number of things you can do to reassure you as to whether or not you have the bugs in your home.
If you purchased a used mattress, box spring, headboard, nightstand or any other type of bedroom furniture, you should encase both the mattress and box spring. By doing this, if there are any bugs present in the mattress or box spring, they are now locked inside the encasement. If there are not bugs in them, then the encasement will allow for protection of your bedding and easily help detect any bed bugs if they are found in your home.
Next, we recommend the installation of bed bug interceptors to monitor for any bed bug activity in your home. Pitfall bed bug monitors work by simply catching bed bugs as they move throughout an environment. We suggest installing both under-the-leg and free-standing interceptors within a residence to monitor for bed bug activity.
You can install SenSci BlackOut bed bug monitors under the legs of your beds and couches then install the SenSci Volcanos along the baseboards as well as in corners of your sleeping and resting areas. Both monitors will capture bed bugs as they crawl up the sides of the monitors and trapping them within the wells of the monitors. For additional assurance, you can add a SenSci Activ bed bug lure to your SenSci Volcanos. This lure can attract up to twice as many bed bugs to the monitor.
Finally, if you do notice any bites, evidence or activity of bed bugs in your home after you brought in used furniture, contact your local licensed pest control professional to inspect your home.