Buying second-hand furniture is one of the best ways to furnish your home without spending too much money. However, this is not always a smart move. When you buy and bring home used furniture without inspecting them carefully, you may soon find yourself having a bed bug problem.
Bed bugs like to live in couches, chairs, tables, mattresses, and of course, beds. If you want to buy these pieces of furniture second-hand, you need to be sure the ones you choose are free of bed bugs to avoid starting an infestation in your home.
Here are some tips on how to avoid bed bugs while buying used furniture:
Ask the seller if the furniture had bed bugs before
Although most sellers will likely answer “no,” especially if they are in a rush to unload the furniture, always ask this question. After all, you may be lucky enough to deal with an honest seller. If the furniture has had bed bugs before, ask the seller what steps he or she took to get rid of the pests and if the problem ever occurred again.
But even if the owner was able to beat the infestation problem, be wary of buying the furniture. If you are really interested in the piece, be as thorough as you can when inspecting it.
Bring the right tools when inspecting furniture for bed bugs
To carry out a proper DIY bed bug inspection process when shopping for second-hand furniture, make sure you have the following:
- Latex gloves
- Old credit or debit card (or something similar)
- Magnifying glass
Employ the right bed bug inspection technique
When checking a piece of furniture for bed bugs, put on your gloves and position the furniture on a light colored surface. By doing so, you will have an easier time seeing any moving insects.
Next, run your old credit or debit card along the furniture and through any cracks and seams. The card will then sweep and dislodge bugs, exoskeletal remains, and fecal matter left by past or present tiny inhabitants. Afterward, use the magnifying glass to find anything else that may be ejected from the furniture.
To inspect tight, dark crevasses of the furniture such narrow joints and small screw holes, use the flashlight to illuminate these areas.Tips
Once you are satisfied with your inspection and you have decided to buy the furniture, do not bring it into your home immediately. Leave it outside first, preferably in an area where it can be bathed in sunlight.
To be sure your furniture won’t be hiding any bed bugs before bringing it indoors, consider heat treating it in a dark plastic bag. Make sure you keep the temperature at 110 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours or more.
Next, vacuum the furniture, including all crevices, seams, folds, and hidden areas.
Lastly, use a bed bug spray to spray down the furniture. Follow the instructions that come with the spray.
Before bringing the furniture inside, make sure the furniture is completely dry.