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How To Avoid Bed Bugs When Buying Second-Hand In West Chester: Bargain-Hunters Edition

March 18, 2020


Who doesn't like a bargain? There are all kinds of ways to get a sweet deal on a pre-owned item. We have second-hand stores, yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, auctions, and a seemingly endless list of online resources to connect us with local people selling their used stuff. In this modern age, there are a lot of ways to find a great bargain. But you can get more than you bargained for when you purchase used furniture and other items. This is one of the ways bed bugs spread.

Why Bargain Items Are A Potential Vehicle For Bed Bugs

The insect we call the bed bug can hide in more than just beds. It is drawn to squeeze itself into cracks, crevices, gaps, and other tight spaces. It also lays its eggs in these tight, hidden spaces. If you purchase a used item that has bed bugs or their eggs, an infestation can start in your home.

used furniture

The Sneaky Nature Of Bed Bugs

When bed bugs get into a home, homeowners usually don't know they have these bugs at first. This is often why used items are sold with bed bugs in them. The homeowners just don't realize they're selling something that has bugs in it. Here are a few reasons why bed bugs aren't detected at first:

  • As we mentioned above, bed bugs hide in tight spaces.

  • Bed bugs are sensitive to light and will hide from it.

  • Bed bugs are small. When they first hatch, they're only about 1mm long. These tiny bed bugs are the insects you're most likely to see. Adult bed bugs usually wait until nighttime, when carbon dioxide levels rise, to come out and begin to feed.

  • When bed bugs begin to bite, most of the bites will be from developing nymphs, which don't inject as much anticoagulant into bite wounds. This makes the bites less noticeable.

Items Bed Bugs Might Be Found In

You'll obviously want to check bed frames, mattresses, and box springs for bed bugs. But there are many more items that can have bed bugs in them. Here is a short list:

  • Nightstands

  • Dressers

  • Closets

  • Upholstered furniture

  • Alarm clocks

  • Computers

  • Stereo systems

  • Luggage

  • Duffel bags

  • Trunks

  • Pocketbooks

  • Clothing

  • Hard Backed bookbinders

How To Check An Item For Bed Bugs

There are a few ways you might be able to tell that an item has bed bugs inside it. Keep in mind that bed bugs don't always leave these warning signs and these signs can be slight.

  • Black excrement, black streaks or black patches

  • Tiny white eggs in batches or as individuals

  • Shed insect skins

  • Tan or brown stains

  • The presence of bed bugs (obviously)

What Bed Bugs Look Like

Nymphs — A bed bug begins life as a nymph. It has six legs, two body parts, and two antennae, just like an adult. It will be 1 to 4 mm in length. It will be pale white or tan. Its skin is transparent, so you should be able to see black excrement inside its abdomen or bright red blood if it has had a blood meal.

Adults — An adult is a rusty red color. You might be able to see black excrement inside it abdomen, but the skin of an adult isn't nearly as transparent as a nymph. It will be oval-shaped and flat. Its abdomen will have horizontal crease lines.

What To Do If Bed Bugs Hitchhike Into Your West Chester Home

Bargain items aren't the only way you can get bed bugs. You can pick these bugs up when you do errands, when you go to work, when you visit a friend's house, when your travel, and many other ways. If you ever get a bed bug infestation in your West Chester home, remember that Moyer Pest Control is standing by to help you quickly resolve your pest issues. Reach out to us anytime for immediate assistance.

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