Second-hand furniture can be a great way to furnish your house with high-end items without breaking the bank. But before you buy used furniture, inspect it first. If you fail to take this step, you could be inviting unwanted guests to your home.
So, check for bed bugs in furniture before striking a deal. Even if a piece of furniture looks clean, it can still be hiding these pests.
Avoiding bed bugs is the best and less costly option. That’s because these pests are not easy to get rid of once they get into your house. That said, how do you tell if second-hand furniture has bed bugs?
Let’s discuss five ways to detect the presence of bed bugs in furniture.
A surefire way to know a piece of furniture has a bed bug infestation is when you see a live one. But that rarely happens because these insects are excellent at hiding. However, you might see a dead one.
You can identify an adult bed bug by its looks. It’s reddish-brown and about the size of an apple seed. Once it feeds, it’s shaped like an oval balloon. When hungry, it’s flat in shape.
To examine the furniture for bed bugs, get a flashlight and put on latex gloves. Remove cushion covers and examine all seams. Bed bugs can hide in the tiniest spaces, including screw holes. So, run a credit card through the crevices to see if anything comes out.
Bed bugs may be good at hiding, but they leave behind traces that indicate their presence. They feed on blood and leave behind droppings of digested blood.
These droppings look like dark stains, about the size of a marker pen dot. Check for these spots around the furniture, including on the lower side. If you see the droppings, that’s a sign of bed bugs, though this isn’t definitive proof that they’re still on the items.
Like other insects, bed bugs have an exoskeleton. As they grow, they shed the exoskeleton in a process called molting. Bed bugs go through this development stage five times before reaching full growth. So, when you see empty shells, there could be bed bugs in the furniture.
Bed bugs produce pheromones when disturbed. If you smash one, you’ll detect a musty, sweet smell like that of berries.
You may not pick up the smell unless there are many bed bugs in the furniture. However, upholstered furniture can trap the smell a bit longer. So, you may want to smell it to be sure.
Bed bugs lay white eggs that resemble tiny grains of rice. These eggs are easier to see on dark surfaces but not on white covering.
Due to their tiny sizes, you might need a magnifying glass to see them well. If you see the eggs, there could be adult bed bugs in the furniture. Call professionals for bed bug control to kill the bed bugs and their eggs.
Bed bugs are resilient creatures that can live up to a year without food. So, if you see evidence of bed bugs in second-hand furniture, don’t take it lightly. There could be dormant bugs inside, patiently waiting for their next victim.
What should you do to avoid bringing these blood suckers home? One way to kill bed bugs is through heat. The bed bug heat treatment strategy works by exposing them to temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes.
For sofas, you can use steam cleaning, then vacuum the furniture. Alternatively, you can use bug bomb chemicals, but there’s no guarantee the spray will reach all hiding bugs.
If you can’t get rid of bed bugs, call pest control services. Meanwhile, use a plastic bag to quarantine the furniture before the exterminator arrives.
Buying second-hand furniture is one of those cases of buyer-beware. Don’t rely on what the seller tells you or how the item looks. Take the extra step of thoroughly checking the furniture for bed bugs. Look for these five signs of a bed bug infestation to ensure the furniture is bed bug free.
If, for any reason, you have bed bugs in your house, call a pest control company. That’s the surest way to ensure you get rid of them for good. McDonald Pest Control is here to help with bed bug prevention and treatment. Call us for a professional bed bug treatment if you see any signs of an infestation.