New year, new ideas, new resolutions – with all the fresh starts, it seems like the perfect time to re-envision your Elmhurst home by redecorating and refurnishing. If you consider yourself a DIY-er, you may go looking for used furniture that you can update and personalize for your home. Before you hit Craigslist and the estate sales, however, prep yourself with these tips for avoiding bed bug-infested upholstery:
Home improvement TV shows often showcase furniture that was scavenged from a dumpster or alleyway and re-upholstered to complete a picture-perfect living room. Unless you’re the host of one of these shows, stay away from abandoned furniture. ALWAYS.
Check the location
The Bed Bug Registry is updated daily by users across the United States and Canada. It keeps track of infestations in hotels, apartment buildings, and other public spaces. Before purchasing furniture in a specific location, consider checking this site for bed bug reports in that area.
Stay away from “soft” furniture
The bottom line is, it’s just safer to buy sofas, loveseats, lampshades, and bedding new, since bed bugs are far more likely to be drawn to furniture that is soft and porous. When it comes to used furniture, consider only looking at hard surfaces like wood, plastic, and metal. This isn’t a foolproof solution, as bed bugs have been known to hide in all sorts of crevices, but it is less risky.
Use a magnifying glass to check for the following on all items you’re considering:
- Small black spots, the size of pinpoints (feces)
- The bed bugs themselves, which look like dark, miniscule pebbles
- Reddish streaks or smears
- Objects that look like tiny grains of rice (bed bug eggs)
Don’t just take secondhand furniture sellers at their word, no matter how honest they seem. If you do find yourself with an unexpected infestation, give Pointe Pest Control a call. Our experts will eradicate the problem before it gets out of hand.