Beware of Bed Bugs in Second Hand Furniture

We have had a spate of jobs recently where the cause of their bed bug infestation points to second hand furniture.

One of our customer’s was given a lovely old dressing table by a relative, but unfortunately for them, it turned out to have bed bugs and infested her house. We were able to get rid of the bed bugs for her, without needing to throw away the table, but the stress and money to treat the bed bugs can be costly.

Bed bugs have nothing to do with dirt, anyone can get them, the bed bugs or eggs just have to be carried into your house via someone or something. Picking up discarded beds or sofas from outside People’s houses is extremely high risk for bed bugs. Often the first reaction for people when they find out they have a bed bug problem is to throw furniture away!

In fact, we would recommend steering clear of any second hand beds full stop. A recent customer purchased one which seemed like a bargain at the time, but she ended up paying more than she expected. She bought a brand new bed, and tried in vain to get rid of the bed bugs herself, and in the end when she couldn’t eradicate them, she had to pay to get rid of the bed bugs professionally.

Today is such a throwaway society and so we do not want to discourage people from buying second hand furniture. Forewarned is forearmed, so be aware and follow these tips to stay bed bug free:

  • Avoid buying second-hand beds or headboards which are high risk items
  • Check any second hand items for the following, before you move it:
    • Adult bed bugs. These are visible to the eye, they are rust coloured and about the size of an apple pip. They can make themselves entirely flat so can hide in tiny cracks
    • Check for black dots like felt tip, which smudge when moistened
    • Eggs – these are tiny, but you can see them best on dark surface
  • If you are unsure then call a bed bug expert like Trust K9 for advice or a visual inspection
  • If you are buying a large quantity of second hand furniture then bed bug sniffer dogs can give you the all clear
  • Remember, you can’t tell if the seller has bed bugs just by looking at their house. Bed bugs are hitch-hikers, so just because someone’s house is clean and tidy, it doesn’t mean they don’t have bed bugs
  • And finally, if you are unlucky enough to get bed bugs, don’t treat it yourself! Unfortunately bed bugs are immune to much of the pesticides available to consumers. Call an expert.