You’ve just moved into a new apartment, maybe your first straight out of college, or purchased your brand-new house. Now it’s time to furnish it and make the space your own. Some of the best, and usually cheapest, ways to save money when furnishing a home is buying secondhand, either online, at a local thrift store, or an estate sale in your area. But buying used items brings the risk of hitchhiking pests getting into your home.
Clearing an infestation can be costly, and you might even risk losing more than you originally spent. So, how can you keep your home safe when you buy used items?
Below, ExtermPro has compiled a list of recommended actions you can take to prevent any unwanted visitors;
Hard Surfaces are Safest
Tables, dining chairs, bookshelves, and other furniture that has hard surfaces as opposed to cloth are more likely to be free of pests. There are fewer places for pests to hide and it will be easier for you to spot bugs before you bring the furniture inside.
Avoid Large Pieces
A couch, sectional, or mattress is a great hiding space for bugs and almost impossible to clean. There is simply too much space for you to completely inspect, too many crevices for bugs to hide in, and no way to ensure bugs are removed.
Know the Signs of Insect Activity
Before you purchase any secondhand furniture, look over it carefully for small black specks. These may be droppings from bed bugs, fleas, and other pests. Other signs can include discarded skins from bed bugs or roaches, and egg cases that look like a small dark brown tube measuring about 10 mm long. If you notice any of these signs, do not purchase that piece of furniture.
Clean Used Furniture
For hard surfaces, wipe them down with vinegar or a bleach mixture diluted in water, making sure to get into the crevices. For cloth items, you can wrap them in a plastic bag for a couple of days to suffocate any bugs. Steam cleaning is an option, but is often ineffective with insects like bed bugs since they need to be exposed to temperatures higher than 110 degrees for more than three hours to kill them.
Isolate Furniture Before It Comes Inside
Store your furniture in a safe location for a few days before bringing it into your home so that you have at least a few days to watch for pests. A small item can go in your bathtub which keeps any pests from escaping. A larger item can go in a garage or shed. Make sure you feel confident there are no bugs before you finally set the furniture up.
Buying used can be a great money-saving idea. Just remember to exercise caution and good judgment about your future second hand purchases.
- Buying Furniture Without Bringing Home Bugs | Rocket Homes
- Avoid Bringing Pests Home on Secondhand Furniture · ExtermPRO
- Pests to Watch out for When Buying Used Furniture - Arrow Termite & Pest Control (arrowtermiteandpestcontrol.com)
- How to Ensure Your Furniture is Free from Pest Infestation - The Architects Diary