Who doesn’t like a good deal? Hunting for great finds when it comes to bargains is something that seems to be embedded in our DNA as American’s. Why else would thousands brave the vicious crowds on Black Friday unless it was to save money and buy items at huge discounts. There are times though when we acquire items that in the end cost us far more than they were worth. You never know what else you may bring home with you that was hidden inside that slightly used couch, or dining room table.
Let’s discuss the most common intruder that is great at finding ways to sneak into our homes unsuspectedly, bed bugs. Bed bugs are not a result of poor housekeeping. Anyone can have bed bugs. People bring bed bugs into their homes unknowingly in infested luggage, backpacks, purses, furniture, bedding, shoes or clothing. Adult bed bugs have flat, rusty-red colored oval bodies, no wings and are about the size of an apple seed. They are big enough to be easily seen when out in the open, but they hide in mattresses, box springs, bedding, cracks in furniture, floors, or walls. When bed bugs feed, they swell and become a brighter red. They can live for several months to over a year without feeding. They don’t jump or fly (that would be freaky), and they crawl and move about the same speed as an ant.
So how can you know if a piece of furniture that has caught your eye is bed bug free? Know where to look. If it is a piece of wood furniture like a table, chairs, etc. look in the cracks and crevasses, as well as the joints. Upholstered furniture is the Ritz Carleton in the eyes of bed bugs. Once they are inside they are nearly impossible to detect without tearing open the couch. Do the best you can and look in each crease and seam. It’s always a good idea to wear latex gloves, and use a flashlight.
The good news is there is a remedy if you happen to bring these blood suckers home to meet the parents: Thermal Remediation. Continuous heat above 115 degrees for between 4-8 hours will eliminate bed bugs.
Always look beyond the bargain when shopping for used furniture. Take your time and be thorough when inspecting pieces of furniture that you intend on taking home with you. Don’t assume you know that each item sold is pest free. Maybe they are selling it for a reason…..