How To Ensure A Thrift Store Trip Doesn’t Lead To A Pest Infestation

One of the best trends that have exploded in popularity in the past few years is the popularity of thrifting. Thrift store shopping is sustainable, low cost, and allows for interesting DIY decor and clothing transformations. While many people love searching for unique clothes and decor at a thrift store, some people are still reticent. Their reason? Pests. Thrift store clothes and furniture have a bad, and typically unfounded, reputation for being full of pests like bed bugs. If you want to start thrifting, while ensuring that your thrift store trip doesn’t lead to a pest infestation, read on for a guide on how to minimize the chances.


Common Thrift Store Pests

The most common pest that people associate with thrift stores is bedbugs. This association is just not a figment of the public imagination, however. Furniture pieces that are donated to thrift stores can sometimes be the home of bedbugs. While bedbugs are not frequently found in clothes, they can also be located in luggage and of course bed linens and comforters. In addition to bed bugs, some pests that you may find in thrift stores are fleas, lice, and moth larvae that can be found especially in clothes that are not frequently washed like coats and jackets.


Wash And Sanitize

When trying to make sure your thrifted clothes or furniture pieces do not lead to a pest infestation, be sure to store the clothes in a plastic trash bag on your way home and wash them immediately upon returning. Thrifted clothes should go straight into the washer, as you can’t return them anyway so there is no point trying them on. If the clothes are dry-clean-only, place them inside a black plastic bag in the sun for a couple of days, and let the heat sanitize the clothing. For larger thrift store finds like chairs and couches, you can use a bed bug and flea-killing spray, contact a professional exterminator, or use a steam cleaning device that reaches over 130 degrees Fahrenheit.


Heat Is Your Best Friend

While the wash cycle will help in getting rid of thrift store pests, what you need is the dryer. Bed bugs cannot survive at a temperature above 122 degrees Fahrenheit, but bed bug eggs need to be subjected to that temperature for longer than 30 minutes to die. For thrifted furniture pieces, wrap the cushions or whole pieces in black plastic trash bags, and apply steam or a hair dryer until the temperature inside the bag reaches 130 degrees. Alternatively, these thrifted items can be placed outside in the sun during the summer and wrapped in black plastic for a similar result. If you do not have access to a dryer, or do not want to ruin the integrity of a delicate hat or handbag in the dryer, you can place the item in the oven at 130 degrees, but watch carefully so it does not melt.


Watch For The Signs Of An Infestation And Know When To Contact An Exterminator

It is important to watch for the signs of a pest infestation after bringing thrifted furniture or clothing into your home. You may notice things like broken wings, holes in your clothing, or small specks that look like dust. For bedbugs in particular, you might notice small red bites on areas of exposed skin that are in contact with your thrifted clothing or furniture. If you notice these signs you need to contact a pest control professional immediately, as the infestation is already underway.


Thrift store clothing and furniture pieces are often beautiful and a great low-cost solution, but don’t allow these thrifted items to carry the hidden cost of a pest infestation.


If you are dealing with a pest infestation from thrifted clothing or furniture, you need to contact Advanced Pest Control of Alabama. Advanced Pest Control has been helping Alabama residents end pest infestations for over 25 years. Call or Contact Advanced Pest Control of Alabama online today to put an end to your pest problems.