Many of the pieces are lovely and unique examples of craftsmanship. I love my collection of furniture and felt pride in my frugality. Go me!
And then the bed bugs exploded. Not at my house, mind you, but in other places. Paris, New York, and every other state in our nation. I heard bedbug stories on NPR and the national news in the same week so it had to be true. Those little buggers are tough to get rid of! It can be done but it is a lot of work and it can require several visits from an exterminator. The more I thought and read, the more white with panic I became.
If you need more facts on the topic, the University of Kentucky has a good information site that will not instill the itching and terror some of the alarmist bedbug pages can.
Here are a few things to think about when dealing with used furniture:
Don’t pick up stuff from the curb. You don’t know where it’s been. Or what’s living it in. ESPECIALLY if it is upholstered. Be Nancy Regan and Just Say No.
Carefully examine used pieces you are thinking about accepting or purchasing. Look in the cracks, under seams and under flaps. These spots make good hiding places. Look for black speck or dark brown spots. Run, run, run if you seem those signs.
Wood is good but not perfect. While it’s easier for bed bugs to hide in soft material, they can hang out in cracks and nooks of wood just as easily. Don’t think it’s safe just because it’s hard.
Ask a couple of questions. If you are getting it from free, ask if the person has had bed bugs. If you are purchasing it from a retail shop, ask them how they check the things they sell. If it is a yard/garage/tag sale ask the folks selling it. Better to get dirty looks from strangers than bites from parasites, I say.
And last but not least, if you have checked the piece and the reputation of the place where you are getting it, and are think you are safe, you probably are. There are far more homes without bedbugs than those that actually have them.
Like my granny used to tell me: Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful.photo credit: cuttlefish