Before you buy a used piece of furniture, remember that just because it’s cheap and looks good doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. It’s best to scrutinize used furniture so you won’t need to deal with bed bug removal later. Bed Bug Heaters advises you to take some precautions so that your used furniture purchase won’t become more than you bargained for.
Take Some Precautions
Do a thorough inspection of any used furniture before you buy it. Bringing used furniture with bed bugs into your home for just a few minutes can be the beginning of a bed bug infestation that will cost you money, time, and possibly even some of your sanity. Follow these steps to guard against bed bug infestation:
Step 1. Ask Questions & Use Common Sense
Don’t be afraid to ask the furniture owners directly if they currently have or have ever had a problem with bed bugs. Then thoroughly inspect it for bed bugs yourself. This could offend some people, but it’s better than having to deal with bed bug treatment later.
You should never take used furniture in dumps or left by the side of the road. Furniture like this is usually thrown away for good reason, and bed bugs are often why.
Step 2. Inspect the Item
When you’re shopping for used furniture, bring a flashlight, some white latex gloves, a magnifying glass, and an inexpensive white sheet with you to inspect the furniture. Spread out the white sheet on a flat surface and place the furniture on it. The white sheet will help you see bed bugs or signs of bed bugs. Check for signs of bed bugs on the sheet or your gloves. Signs can include dark red stains or bed bugs themselves. Inspect anything remotely questionable with the magnifying glass.
Use the edge of a rigid piece of plastic, such as a credit card, to run over the furniture’s surface. Then run it through any grooves, creases, or cracks in the furniture. Remember, bed bugs like to hide in small tight spaces, so running the card through these areas is crucial to performing a thorough inspection. Inspect any hidden or dark areas of the furniture with the flashlight.
If you see any signs of bed bugs, do not bring the furniture home. Do other potential buyers a favor and tactfully point out the problem to the seller.
Step 3. Do A Precautionary Pre-Treatment
Once you’ve done a thorough inspection, and haven’t found any signs of bed bugs, you may want to do a precautionary bed bug treatment before you bring your purchase into your home.
If the furniture is a couch or chair with removable covers, remove them and place them in a sealed plastic bag, put it in the dryer and rip it open. Keep the covers in the dryer and put the bag in an outside trash can. Run the covers in your dryer on high heat for at least half an hour. Then run the dryer again for another 30 minutes.
Thoroughly vacuum the furniture, including all seems, crevices, and folds. Remove the vacuum bag as soon as you’re done, then place it in a tied plastic trash bag in an outside trash can.
You may want to spray the furniture with Permethrin. Permethrin sprayed fabric will kill bed bugs and a single application of Permethrin lasts for six weeks. You’ll want to do this spraying outside and be sure you keep all pets away, especially cats (it's toxic to them until it’s dry). Make sure all areas of the piece are covered and it is completely dry before you bring it into the house.
Used Mattresses And Box Springs Are High-Risk
You should usually avoid buying used mattresses and box springs. If you’ve found a deal that’s too hard to resist, do a thorough inspection and pretreat, following the steps above. Bed bugs usually infest box springs first, so be especially thorough when you’re checking them. You should also shy away from nightstands.
Keep in mind that bed bugs can hibernate for over a year without a meal. A couple of items that could protect you from bed bugs are Permethrin treated liners and mattress and box springs encasements. The liners will kill bed bugs on contact. The encasements will prevent bed bugs from entering and exiting.
If you’re going to use encasements, you should pad any parts of the frame that could tear the encasement. You shouldn’t steam the mattress or box springs if you plan to encase them because the moisture may develop into mold when it’s trapped inside the encasement.
Use Heat for Bed Bug Treatment
Even after you’ve taken all these precautions, you may still end up with bed bug hitchhikers. If that happens, heat treatments are the safest, easiest, and usually the most affordable way to do bed bug treatment. Bed Bug Heaters can help you find the best unit to address your problem. Contact us to learn about your options. When you rent a heater from us, you can pick it up for free. Otherwise, we can deliver it if you want to do the bed bug treatment yourself, or we can do the work so you’re sure it’s done in the most effective manner possible. Call us at (937) 506-6940 for more information.