Yard sales and thrift stores are great places for finding unique and vintage furniture pieces. You can get a good deal, but you do need a take a few precautions when it comes to bedbugs. Bedbugs do not discriminate social or economic class and can be living in any upholstered furniture. The last thing you want to do is take a piece of vintage furniture into your home that is infested with bedbugs that will then travel to the rest of your abode.
You don’t need to stop buying furniture used, but you do need to keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs:
•Bed bugs deposit small black spots after feeding. You can sometimes see groups of pinpoint spots on hard and soft surfaces. Fabrics may also show reddish streaks or smears.
•Since bed bugs spend a lot of time hiding, check the backs and undersides of cushions for live bugs or molted skins.
•Bedbugs often hide inside furniture joints, seams, creases, crevices, cracks and voids. You can sometimes also find them or their eggs in screw and nail holes. Shine a flashlight into narrow openings and inspect them with a magnifying glass. You may even catch a bed bug scurrying away from the light.
If you do suspect bedbugs, wrap the furniture in a dark plastic bag and heat treat it. It will need to be exposed to 110 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours. If that’s not feasible, keep your ‘new’ used furniture item quarantined for a few days, away from sleeping areas, and monitor for bedbug activity. If your hunch is correct, then get help from a local exterminator.