All things evolve, including – unfortunately – bed bugs. This insidious insect’s population is on the upswing, and they’ve grown immune to old methods of extermination. They can be found pretty much everywhere, including secondhand furniture – a milieu in which Action Pest Exterminating is often contacted regarding bed bug removal.
Avoid “Free” Furniture
As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and every now and then we come across an interesting piece of furniture in an alley or at the side of the curb. Though it’s tempting to pop the trunk and take the piece home for refurbishing, it’s a better idea to just leave it be. Bed bugs love hiding in seams and cracks, where they can go unnoticed by even the most diligent bed bug inspections. And once they’re in your home, they’re even tougher to get rid of because they have near-endless options for places to live – bedding, baseboard cracks, books, you name it.
Closely Inspect Upholstered Furniture
Upholstered furniture looks great, but the more intricate the design the harder it gets to detect bed bugs that might be lurking inside. Also, if a piece of upholstered furniture was vacuumed before you purchased it, don’t assume that it’s bed bug-free. On the contrary, vacuuming only obscures the signs of bed bug activity in upholstered furniture. It’s not an effective method of eradication. Neither are pesticides, which often don’t adequately permeate upholstered furniture. And besides, there could be health risks associated with pesticide application. No, the only effective bed bug treatment for upholstered furniture is the application of extreme heat. This will kill any resident bed bugs and their eggs, no matter how deeply they’ve dug into the furniture/upholstery.
Stick With Hard Surfaces
Buying a piece of furniture that someone has sat on or slept on is something you should probably avoid. Hard-surfaced furniture, i.e. pieces made from solid wood or plastic, are ideal when shopping for second-hand furniture. Other items to avoid include lampshades, curtains, and books, since bed bugs have shown a fondness for inhabiting all of these items, preferring anything with creases, pleats, and crannies. Even electronic objects like clocks should be avoided, since they’re not only cranny-rich but also generate warmth. Our advice is to stick with objects that have hard, cleanable surfaces and few-to-no crevices or seams.
Handy Bed Bug Facts
With bed bugs being such a widespread issue in North Carolina and every other state, don’t be surprised to see some items labeled as “bedbug-free” at a flea market or the local second-hand store. However, as we’ve made clear already, it’s very difficult to be 100% positive that used furniture items are free of bed bugs. That’s why you should thoroughly clean and inspect anything you buy, and keep these facts in mind:
- Excessive heat kills bedbugs (minimum 117 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours)
- Cold also kills bedbugs (minimum 0 degrees Fahrenheit for a week)
- You can’t starve bed bugs (adults can last up to 18 months without feeding)
- Bedbugs are stealth masters
Get Bed Bug Protection Today
Great deals and exciting finds are what second-hand furniture shopping is all about, but make sure to err on the side of caution. Contact Action Pest Exterminating in Charlotte for professional bed bug control tips and service, and we’ll make sure these pests never see the inside of your home.