Bed Bugs in Rental Furniture

Do you rent or purchase furniture from a “rental place” ?   If so, you might want to to rethink that.   Recently in Ohio and other states in the US, bed bugs are being found on furniture that was previously rented.   Various furniture items, including couches where found to be infested with bed bugs after being purchased and rented from multiple rental stores in Ohio and other states in the US.

Bed bugs a growing problem in rental furniture

Bed Bugs Used FurnitureWhile difficult to report this as a trend, it does suggest that consumers need to take extra precaution when purchasing or renting furniture from rental stores.  We previously reported on the growing trend of bed bugs being found in used furniture being sold by people and from charitable establishments.

Whenever furniture is in someone else’s home or place of business, there is a risk of the furniture being infested with bed bugs.    Places like Aaron’s Rents and “Rent A Center” have inspection processes in place, there is still a risk and nothing beats doing the inspection yourself.  To keep your home from being infested as a result, you need to thorough inspect the furniture before you even load it in your car to bring it home.

How to inspect used furniture for bed bugs

Here’s how to inspect  your used furniture for bed begs:

  1. Bring the following with you: White latex gloves, a magnifying glass, flashlight, and an inexpensive white sheet.
  2. Spread the white sheet out on a flat surface, and place the furniture on top of it.  The white sheet will help you spot any bed bugs or signs of bed-bugs if they fall to the ground.
  3. Use a credit card or your fingers and run them over the furniture’s surface.  Also using your fingers or the edge of the card through any creases, cracks or grooves in the furniture.  Remember, bed bugs like to hid in small tight spaces, so running the card through these areas is critical to performing a thorough inspection.  Watch for signs of bed bugs on your gloves or on the white sheet.   Signs can include feces (which will be dark red stains), old skin, or bed bugs themselves.  Use the magnifying glass to inspect anything remotely questionable.
  4. Use the flashlight to highlight and inspect any hidden or dark areas of the furniture.  Again, these are the locations where bed bugs like to hide.  They are generally not out in the open where they are easily seen.

If you do find bed bugs, just pass on the furniture, don’t even bother treating it.   Treating it can be expensive, timely and you may not kill all of the bed bugs.  We recommend not even risking it.

Also, don’t think you are 100% safe purchasing new furniture either.   While your chance of finding bed bugs in new furniture is much lower than on used furniture, there is still a risk.   Bed bugs don’t discriminate and can be found in factories, warehouses and in stores.   All it takes is one employee or customer infected with bed bugs to walk in and sit down on the furniture.  As a result, we even recommend doing inspections on new furniture as well as used furniture.

Photo by: marc falardeau

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