One of the most common ways for bed bugs to enter and infest homes is via furniture. Couches, chairs, and the like make ideal landing places for the pests, which are well aware that these crevice-filled pieces of furniture are not only good hiding and nesting places, but also likely to head into unsuspecting houses. Of course, bed bugs above all need human hosts for survival, and furniture is only a means of reaching hosts.
Want to avoid hosting bed bugs? Of course you should—so be sure to check any furniture that comes into your home! If you are buying new furniture, make sure you are dealing with a retailer who has a good reputation—and even then, it is best to check it for bed bugs yourself, too. When acquiring second-hand furniture, however, the danger is greatest—furniture that has been inside homes already and put back on the market is often in poor condition. Sometimes, that means pests. Here’s how you check second-hand furniture for bed bugs:
-Use your instincts and common sense. Don’t get your second-hand furniture from sketchy sources, such as couches tagged with “FREE” signs on strangers’ doorsteps, dumpsters, and other shady places. If furniture is on its way to a landfill, let it get there—it’s not worth taking the risk!
-Avoid second-hand upholstered furniture. Unfortunately, upholstered furniture is a bed bug’s dream habitat, as they are nearly impossible for a non-professional to detect. Even if vacuumed and steam cleaned, the bed bugs may still linger inside. Even chemical pesticides may not get the job done here. Of course, furniture which humans rest on is most at risk here—possibly upholstered stools and dining room chairs are somewhat less dangerous to buy second-hand than beds and futons. But beware!
-Don’t trust second-hand sellers! They want to make a sale more than they want to be certain of what they tell you. Even if they claim their furniture is bed bug-free, it is unlikely they have subjected it to the rigorous detection and treatment methods which are needed to ensure the death of pests.
-Buy straightforward furniture. Basically, if you’re going the secondhand route, go for furniture which is solid rather than porous. Wood and plastic are much harder for bed bugs to make a home in than leather or fabric.
-Inspect the items for bed bugs yourself! Check all nooks and crannies, look under loose paint, and anywhere you can think of. And if you need to be absolutely sure you’re getting safe furniture, call Bed Bug Solutions!