Secondhand Furniture: To Buy or Not to Buy

December 19, 2017

Secondhand Furniture: To Buy or Not to Buy

Buying used furniture is a great way to spruce up your home without paying full price. Before you buy that secondhand table or couch, you’ll want to make sure that you’re bringing home a good piece. Bugs are everywhere these days, and one of the most common ways to introduce them into your home is through secondhand furniture. With the financial and emotional cost of bed bugs, you surely don’t want to make a mistake.

Whether you enjoy buying used furniture, or you’re considering furnishing your home with previously loved couches and chairs, keep these tips in mind.

Look Over the Item

You may feel strange combing through a living room chair, but you have every right to know what you’re bringing into your home. If you get bed bugs, it won’t affect the seller of the furniture. It will only affect you.

A great way to check for signs of bed bugs is by bringing along a white sheet and placing the item on the sheet. This makes it easier to see the pests. Using latex gloves and a flashlight, look in between creases and crevices for signs of activity. If you see any type of blood or feces, don’t take the item home.

Leave Abandoned Items Alone

If you see a couch or bed frame in the alley or end of a driveway, leave it there. There’s a reason why it’s there! Even if it’s not infested with bed bugs, it could be broken, damaged, or soiled. In other words, use common sense before taking home furniture.

Be Cautious with Upholstered Furniture

Bed bugs are very hard to detect in upholstered furniture. The seller could have the couch vacuumed and cleaned, and you would never know what’s lurking beneath. Unfortunately, steam cleaning won’t be enough to eradicate all of the bed bugs and their eggs, so the pests can live on.

Ask about the History

You might feel safer shopping at a secondhand furniture store, but don’t believe everything you see and hear. It’s very difficult for furniture stores to know if bed bugs are living in furniture, even if they look over everything carefully. And, if there’s any history of bed bugs, stay away. Heat, concealment, cold temperatures, and starvation don’t always work.

Choose Hard or Porous Surfaces  

Buying used furniture is not a bad thing. Simply, be mindful of what you’re buying. At Heritage Pest Control, we recommend sticking to hard items made from solid wood or plastic. Porous surfaces such as leather, pressed wood, or cardboard are fine, too. Watch out for upholstered furniture, lamps, and even electronics and fans. Simple items like dressers, bookshelves, and nightstands are best.

If you end up bringing home more than a new piece of furniture, call Heritage Pest Control. We are successful at eliminating pests from homes, including stubborn bed bugs.