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Bed Bugs and Buying Furniture

A bedbug
Redecorating your home with new furniture requires savvy shopping - especially when bed bugs are concerned. Whether you're buying secondhand or choosing new pieces, bringing furniture into your home increases the risk of a bed bug invasion. While not all furniture comes with insect hitchhikers, you should know how to protect yourself. Take a look at what you need to know about avoiding bed bugs when buying furniture.

Second-Hand Furniture

Reused or second-hand furniture has the greatest potential for bed bug infestation. According to the National Pest Management Association, single-family homes are the top place that pest control professionals find these insect invaders. This is followed by apartments/condominiums and hotels/motels. All three categories of top bed bug infestation areas contain furniture, which can serve as a home (and mode of transportation) for bed bugs.

New Furniture

Even though your brand-new furniture won't as likely come with bed bugs, it's still a possibility. Furniture that's been sitting on a showroom floor, stashed in a warehouse, or on a truck are all subject to bed bug infestations, especially if the pieces are near or pressed up against old/used throwaway items, such as mattresses. But if the item is securely wrapped in unbroken plastic, there's very little chance that it contains bed bugs.

Inspection Timeline

Don't wait until the furniture is in your home before inspecting it for bed bugs. If you're transporting the items in your own car, truck, or van, conduct your pre-purchase inspection before loading up your vehicle. This minimizes the risk of transporting the bugs into your car or truck, which could cause a potential auto-related infestation.

If the place of purchase or a moving company is transporting your new/used furniture, inspect the items after they arrive and before they come into your home.

Item Inspection

Whether you inspect the furniture in the store, outside of the store, or in your driveway, you need to know the signs of a bed bug infestation. Visible bugs is an obvious red flag. Bed bugs are a brownish-red color and have an apple seed-like shape. They often look similar to other insects, such as ticks or beetles. A pest control professional can help you to identify what is and what isn't a bed bug if you suspect an infestation.

You aren't likely to find the bugs out in the open. Look for them in the seams of chairs, under or between cushions, in seams or borders of mattresses, in wooden joints, around metal accents, or in fabric/upholstery folds.

Along with the bugs themselves, you may see some of these signs:
  • Stains. You may see thin, reddish streaks on fabric, upholstery, or a mattress - especially in second-hand furniture.
  • Eggs. Bed bug eggs are nearly 1 mm, with white or yellowish skin.
  • Spots. The insects excrement looks like pinpoint-sized dark brown or black spots on fabric or upholstery.
  • Skins. Bed bugs leave behind thin whitish skins as they shed.
If you see any of these signs (or all of them), do not bring the furniture into your home. Preventing a bed bug infestation before it starts is easier than remediating it.

After Infestation

Even the most thorough of bed bug searches can miss an infestation. These home invaders are notoriously tricky to find. If your furniture looks clear, but has bed bugs, you can take steps to remove the insects. 

Throwing out the offending item may seem like the easiest technique. But this isn't always cost-effective or possible. The bugs may have also spread from the infested item into other areas of your home, so throwing out the offending item may not solve the problem. Instead of taking a DIY approach, call a pest control professional to create a treatment plan.

Do you have bed bugs? Contact Patton Pest Control for more information.


Patton Pest Control | 15526 Chillicothe Road | Novelty, OH 44072
Phone: 800-553-9088 | 440-338-3101 | 440-247-7500 | Email:
Business Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am to 5:00pm | Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm


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