2nd Hand Antique Furniture
Before you buy a used piece of furniture, remember that just because it may look nice on the outside, doesn’t mean it is on the inside.
It’s best to inspect used furniture before buying to avoid pest infestation in your home. By taking the right precautions when inspecting, you won’t have to miss out on buying inexpensive furniture and avoid calling an exterminator.
How to Choose Furniture
Before you buy a piece of furniture at a yard sale or anywhere else, try to avoid choosing anything upholstered.
“The truth is, you probably won’t notice if your furniture is infected by bed bugs as the person selling it would have steam cleaned it most of the times, ” said Amber Morris, pest control expert at 24/7 Pest Control. “But bed bugs are quite difficult to eradicate and with upholstered furniture, it is certain that they are still alive in there and it’s just a matter of time before you see the signs of infestation.”
So the next time you decide to buy used furniture, a good tip would be to choose a chair or barstool because bed bugs are most likely to set up fort on a bed or couch.
“If you want to be on the safe side, but still not 100% safe, that’s how adaptable bed bugs are, pick furniture made of solid materials and has a simple design, ” said Morris. “Bed bugs are quite stealthy and indestructible, and can survive on the oddest of surfaces, such as pleats and seams of lampshades.”
Inspect Your Used Furniture
- You’ll need white latex gloves, a flashlight and a white sheet with you when inspecting the furniture.
- Place your furniture on the white sheet to help see bed bugs if they fall on the sheet.
- Using a credit card or gloved hand, run the edge of your card or finger over any creases or cracks on the furniture’s surface. Keep watching for signs of bed bugs on your gloves or the white sheet with the magnifying glass. Signs will either be the actual bed bugs, feces (which will be dark red stains) or old skin.
- Use your flashlight to thoroughly inspect any hidden or dark areas of the furniture. Bed bugs are usually hiding, so look in the creases where they aren’t visible.
Remember, bed bugs don’t only live in beds and couches. They can reside in the nails and screw holes on the backside of framed pictures. And even underneath loose paint on the frame!
“These are just a few places – bed bugs can hide in just about anything you can think of – shoes, rugs, bags, plush toys, ” said Morris.
Don’t Collect Furniture from the Curb
While it may be hard to pass up a free couch or chair sitting on the side of the road (especially if you’re in need of one), it’s best not to. Not only for sanitary purposes, but for termites, bed bugs and other pests.
The Bed Bug Treatment Site indicates that furniture left on the side of the road is generally thrown away for good reason. When going to yard sales, don’t be afraid to ask the seller if the furniture has ever had a prior pest infestation.
Treatment of Furniture
“Seal every cushion cover in a plastic bag. Go to your dryer and empty the bag inside it, ” said Kolev. “Run the covers on high heat for at least half an hour and dispose of the plastic bag in a trash bin outside.”
You should also vacuum the furniture along the seams, folds and other hidden areas. Once done, remove the vacuum bag and dispose of it.
If your furniture has a termite issue, spread out newspaper on your basement or garage floor, put your furniture on top of it and shut all of the doors and windows. Next, you should either spray the furniture with a bug spray or use a bug bomb.
“Essentially these are little devices that emit a poisonous gas that kills larvae and insects. They can be purchased at most supermarkets or hardware stores.”
Also, hiring an exterminator is an effective option – but can be expensive. Hire one if you feel like you can’t control the issue and need help.
“Your last resort should be to contact a pest control company, which will inspect the item you’ve purchased and treat it, ” said Kolev. “The downside here is that bed bug extermination services don’t come cheap, however, it’s the most efficient option you got.”