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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
12:45 AM Sun, Dec. 16th

Ask the Contractor: Don’t bring bedbugs home with used furniture

We did what they say is a “big no no.”

We purchased some secondhand furniture and did not take your previous advice into consideration to inspect for bedbugs, and we had a bedbug infestation in our home.

You said in one of your past articles that bedbugs are great hitchhikers, and they can move from an infested site to a home by traveling on furniture. In this case, they did just that.

We hired a pest company to eliminate the bedbugs, but please, please share with others about precautions to take against bedbugs. We had to spend quite a bit of money to rid our home of these pests.

— Ruth and Carol, Yavapai County.

A few simple precautions can help prevent bedbug infestation in your home: Always inspect secondhand furniture, beds and couches for any signs of bedbug infestation before bringing the furniture home.

Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bedbugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes.

Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bedbugs.

Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.

Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, and use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bedbugs.)

Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., will discourage movement of bedbugs through wall voids.

If you think you have an infestation, it is best to find it early, before the infestation becomes established or spreads. Treating a minor infestation, while an inconvenience, is far less costly and easier than treating the same infestation after it becomes more widespread.

However, low-level infestations are also much more challenging to find and correctly identify.

Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bedbug infestation. Bedbug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or chiggers), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. Some people do not react to bedbug bites at all.

A more accurate way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bedbugs.