In a recent post, we told you all about the most common ways that bed bugs travel. It’s usually because of a suitcase that has been in a hotel room and the little bugs grabbed on because they’re just horrible. Sometimes they can come in on guests too, often in backpacks or other types of bags where bed bugs like to hide because they’re simply the worst.
While you can certainly take measures to de-infest a suitcase (like our all-natural bed bug killing spray) or put out some bed bug traps out to prevent them from moving throughout your house once guests bring them in, there’s one way that people bring bed bugs into their house that you can completely avoid: used products. We’re talking about the garage sale and Craigslist items that can have the possibility of infesting your entire home.
So, when you’re looking for a bargain, always keep the following in mind. Then ask if it’s worth the risk.
Danger Level: Off the Charts!
First of all, they’re called bed bugs! THE MOST COMMON place to find bed bugs is in a mattress.
There are many reasons to never pick up a mattress at a garage sale. There are dangers, such as human pathogens (including skin diseases) that can be transferred. There are the squirm-inducing, like the levels of human skin cells and dust mites that come with it. And, of course, there are bed bugs. On every level, bringing home an old mattress is just disgusting.
If you’re having trouble affording a new one, here’s a tip: Consumer Reports and this fun podcast note that Mattress Stores have one of the highest markups of any product on the market. A $1000 mattress can usually be had for about half that if you haggle. If you go with the absolute cheapest model and play the stores against each other (you should be able to see two or three from whatever window you lookout right now), we’ll bet you could get a brand new mattress for very little money. Trust us, it’s worth it!
Danger Level: High!
Wanna see something scary? Click this link. If you’re too scared to, just know that it’s hordes and hordes of bed bugs hanging out on, in, and under couches. Many people will completely forget about the dangerous levels of a couch because bed bugs are so associated with beds. But it makes sense because couches have even more nooks and crannies than a mattress. Couches have both wooden and plush parts, giving the bed bugs great places to hide.
The only thing that makes couches less of a threat than mattresses is that people don’t tend to sleep on them as much. Unless they do, like when you have a friend sleeping on the couch for a week. At that point, the couch is just as much a problem as a bedbug-infested mattress.
So yeah, don’t buy any upholstered furniture.
Danger Level: Medium-High
There are two aspects of dressers that make them highly susceptible to bed bugs. First of all (and the one that people often forget about) is that garage sale dressers were in people’s bedrooms. That’s the same bedroom that has the mattress, which is the most likely place for bed bugs to be. Bed bugs have no problems crawling long distances for a meal, and pregnant females are the most likely to hide out a bit further from the bed.
The second is that dressers have lots of cavities, those parts that are over, under, or behind the drawers and provide excellent spaces for bed bugs to hide. So while you might take a look in the drawers and think you’re good to go, there are many spaces that you simply can’t see.
If you absolutely must bring home a dresser — and we’re not advising that you do — don’t take it straight to your bedroom. Work on it in the garage or driveway as you take out the drawers and inspect it even more thoroughly than when you bought it.
Spray any crevice you see liberally with our pet-friendly and human-friendly, all-natural bed bug insecticide, and once it does reach your bedroom put some bed bug traps and insect control dust around the feet of the dresser.
If you see the traps capture any bed bugs, put any clothing you’ve put in the dresser in a garbage bag and immediately wash them in hot water and a hot dryer (throw away the garbage bags immediately). Wrap up the dresser in plastic and take it straight to the dump.
Danger Level: Medium
Some furniture has moving parts, such as a desk with drawers or a roll-top. The good thing is that most of this furniture was never in a bedroom. The bad news is that moving parts often mean more spaces in which bed bugs can hide. Another problem is that it can be hard to identify the signs of bed bugs on hard furniture: is that a bed bug fecal stain, or did someone’s pen just leak?
Dealing with articulating furniture is much like that of the dressers we mentioned above. Clean it outside or in the garage, and put some bed bug killing spray in every nook and cranny you can see.
Hard, Non-Articulating Furniture
Danger Level: Medium-Low
So you’re at a garage sale and you see a gorgeous little coffee table. Is it safe to bring it home?
Of all the items we’ve discussed today, this has the lowest chance of bringing home bed bugs. While you can’t be sure if it was kept in a bedroom or not, the fact that there aren’t as many places for bed bugs to hide is a plus. Just make sure to spray any place where the wood, metal, or plastic come together because bed bug eggs are less than 0.1 inches long.
Danger Level: Medium-High
You want to get healthier. Yay! But you also don’t want the mental stress that comes with a bed bug infestation.
We’re going to put exercise equipment into the “articulating furniture” category but at a higher level. Why? Because exercise equipment is usually harder to take apart and check for bed bugs, and you can’t just spray our bed bug treatment blindly into a piece of electronic equipment that plugs in. Have you ever taken off the roller on a treadmill, or opened up a rowing machine? If not, then you might be missing the bugs.
It’s very likely that the people selling the item don’t even know that they’re selling something containing bed bugs. Their whole house might have them, but they might not be aware of the signs that they’re infested. (And if they do know they have a bed bug problems, they’re certainly not going to tell you and ruin the sale!) So whenever possible, buy new!
Let us at Bed Bug Store assist you. All our products come with a 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. We have been relieving customers of their bed bugs for over 15 years. Our products are also 100% all-natural, chemical and pesticide-free. The smell you notice when using our solution, is the fresh scent of peppermint.