In the past, people can easily visit neighborhood garage sales and find secondhand treasures at a bargain. Today, there are still a lot of bargains from secondhand items, but who knows what might hitch a ride back to your home. You might end up shopping for tiny, bloodsucking bedbugs instead.
When you think of these bugs, you usually associate them with beds and public places, such as hotels and motels. What typically slips your mind when thinking of these bloodsucking critters is the fact that they also like to dwell in upholstered furniture and clothing. These items are usually found in neighborhood garage sales or thrift stores. So how can you make sure that you are shopping for a bargain and not for bedbugs? Here are a few tips to avoid these critters.
Tip #1: Confirm The Safety Of The Store And Use Common Sense
Before you start shopping at any thrift store, you must first confirm its safety. You can go online and use the bed bug registry and look up the thrift store you want to visit. If you find any reports regarding the store, then avoid buying anything from them.
In addition, you must avoid scavenging furniture or other items from unlikely sources, such as alleys and dumpsters since it is unsanitary and unsafe. This may seem like an obvious tip but you might be surprised to find that a number of people who brags about finding secondhand treasures from somewhere.
Tip #2: Thoroughly Inspect The Items You Wish To Purchase
You have to understand that bed bugs can hide in very narrow cracks and seams, especially in upholstered furniture. These critters are very hard to spot; thus, you must be vigilant to look for signs of infestation, which includes:
- Skin casts from nymphs that have molted
- Live bugs
- Blood stains
- Tiny black spots on linens and clothes
Before you buy any clothes, furniture, or other items from thrift stores or garage sales, you must first give each piece a thorough inspection. You must check seams, cuffs, collars, or pockets for any signs of infestation. You have to make sure that the item is free from any damage and stains. It is also advisable to bring a flashlight and a magnifying glass with you since these items will help you catch sight of bedbugs easily.
As an added tip, avoid purchasing a fixture that is porous, which means you can compare it to a sponge or anything weaved. This type of furniture is at a higher risk of getting infested with these bloodsucking pests.
Tip #3: If You Bought Small Items, Place It In A Sealed Plastic Bag
If you bought clothes or other smaller items, you must place it in a plastic bag and properly seal it. In doing so, you can be assured that any bedbugs hiding inside the item will be trapped inside the plastic bag. You can then wash and dry the items to ensure that all the bedbugs are eradicated.
As an additional tip, you must place your new hauls in your trunk so that in case any of the bloodsucking critters manage to crawl out of the plastic bag, they will be confined inside the trunk and eventually die.
Tip #4: Buy Hard And Uncomplicated Furniture
If you are buying furniture and fixtures from garage sales or thrift stores, it is best to choose hard and simple items instead of upholstered and sophisticated items. Soft and porous materials, such as leather, pressed wood, or fabric are the most likely breeding areas of bedbugs. Hard, cleanable surfaces with very few crevices and seams, on the other hand, are less risky.
Tip #5: Wash And Dry Secondhand Clothes
If you bought secondhand clothes, it is best to wash and dry them immediately. Using hot water when washing the clothes will help eliminate the bugs. It is also advisable to dry the clothes using the highest possible setting in the dryer.
These five tips will help lower the risk of buying bedbug-infested items. However, it is still highly recommended to avoid purchasing secondhand items to prevent potential infestation.
Kris Bennette is a blogger for lifestyle and finance websites. In this article, she offers tips to avoid bedbugs in secondhand items.