Used furniture can be a great addition to your home, but it’s important to know how to clean used furniture to prevent bed bugs before bringing it into your space.
One of the biggest concerns when buying secondhand furniture has always been the presence of bed bugs. These tiny pests can quickly infest your home and make your life miserable.
To ensure that your used furniture is free from bed bugs, follow these steps to safely clean and prevent any unwanted infestations.
How To Clean Used Furniture To Prevent Bed Bugs
1. Inspecting the Furniture
It’s important to look for signs of bed bugs in used furniture before taking it into your home. These bugs are very good at hiding, so you’ll have to be very careful when you look. Put on some rubber gloves and get a magnifying glass to help you see any bugs or eggs that are very small.
First, look at the surface of the furniture, paying special attention to the seams, cracks, and folds. If you see any small, reddish-brown bugs or dark spots, that could mean you have bed bugs. Check the front and back of cushioned furniture as well as any cracks or loose joints in wood furniture.
2. Identifying Signs of Bed Bugs
If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Especially on parts of your body that touch the furniture, you may develop small, red welts that are quite itchy.
- Dark red or black spots all over the furniture, specifically in the corners, seams, and other hard-to-reach places.
- Bed bug shells are shed as they grow. Try checking the spaces between cushions or the seams of your mattress for these.
- White spots could be bed bug eggs or dead skin cells. They are generally about the size of a grain of rice and are clear white.
- The bed bugs themselves, which are oval, brown, and don’t have wings.
Avoid buying the furniture completely if you find any of these issues during your inspection.
Read also: How To Keep Birds Off Your Patio Furniture
3. Avoiding Bed Bugs in Used Furniture
Dealing with bed bugs requires a focus on prevention. Taking these measures will help reduce the likelihood that these pests may find their way into your home through your buying of used furniture:
- Don’t buy used furniture from trash or the side of the road because you don’t know if it’s good. You have no idea why the furniture was thrown away, and bed bugs could be living in it.
- Ask the person selling the house if they have ever had bed bugs. The background of the furniture and how well it has been cared for will be clear from this.
- Leave the furniture outside your house until it has been checked out carefully and, if needed, cleaned. This will keep any possible bed bugs from coming into your home.
- If you finally decide to bring used furniture into your home, wash any parts that can be taken off, like pillowcases, blankets, and seat covers, in hot water. A lot of heat will kill any bed bugs that are there.
- You might want to wrap your furniture in a plastic cover made to keep bed bugs out. These covers can be very helpful for beds and box springs.
4. Cleaning the Furniture
Once you’ve determined that the used furniture is free from bed bugs, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning. Here’s how to clean different types of furniture to ensure it’s safe to use:
Start by cleaning all over the fabric on upholstered furniture, being sure to get into all the cracks and seams. Use a hand-held vacuum with a crevice adapter to get to tight spots. After vacuuming, use a steam cleaner or call an expert cleaning service to clean the fabric. The steam’s high heat will kill anything left over bed bugs or eggs.
With a wet cloth, you can clean all the wood on the furniture. Watch out for cracks and gaps where bed bugs could hide. If the carvings or features on the furniture are very detailed, use a soft brush to get rid of any dirt or dust. After cleaning, put a protective covering or furniture polish on it to bring back its shine and keep bugs away.
Metal furniture is relatively easy to clean. Use a mixture of mild dish soap and water to wipe down all surfaces. Pay attention to any joints or crevices where bed bugs could hide. Rinse the furniture with clean water and dry it thoroughly to prevent rusting.
5. Treating Cracks and Crevices
Although thorough cleaning will eliminate most bed bugs, some may still be hiding in cracks and crevices. To treat these areas, use an insecticide specifically designed for bed bugs. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully and apply the insecticide to all cracks, crevices, and joints.
If you prefer a more natural approach, you can use diatomaceous earth, a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. Sprinkle the powder into cracks and crevices, and it will absorb the bed bugs’ protective waxy coating, causing them to dehydrate and die.
After you’ve cleaned and removed any bed bugs from your old furniture, there are a few things you can do to keep them from coming back:
- Regularly vacuum your furniture, paying very close attention to seams, crevices, and other hiding spots.
- Inspect any new or used furniture before bringing it into your home.
- Encase mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers to prevent infestations.
- Avoid clutter, as bed bugs love to hide in piles of clothes or other items.
- Be cautious when traveling or staying in hotels, as bed bugs can hitch a ride in your luggage.
Read also: How To Find Bed Bugs During the Day
More on How To Clean Used Furniture To Prevent Bed Bugs
Here’s a video that explains How To Clean Used Furniture To Prevent Bed Bugs:
It can save you money to buy used furniture to decorate your home, but you should be careful to avoid getting bed bugs.
You can keep bed bugs out of your home by cleaning and checking the furniture carefully and following some protection tips.
Remember to be thorough and proactive when dealing with bed bugs, as finding and treating them early are the best ways to keep an outbreak from getting out of hand.
These steps will help you enjoy your used furniture without having to worry about bed bugs.