Furnishing a new place can be expensive. Especially for students just out of college, couples furnishing their first place together, or even just someone who wants to change up their surroundings after so much time stuck at home due to the pandemic. Thus lies the lure of second-hand furniture from thrift stores, free recycling apps, and Facebook Marketplace. These resources provide plenty of great pieces of furniture for a fraction of the cost of furniture stores. However, while these second-hand pieces may be cute and within your budget, they can end up costing you a lot more if your apartment ends up infested with termites, roaches, bed bugs, fleas, ticks, or any other matter of pests. If you are thinking about replacing your current furniture with some second-hand upgrades, read on for a few tips on keeping your new-used furniture pest-free.


Beware Of Large Pieces

Large pieces of second-hand furniture like couches and mattresses can be the most difficult to clean and offer the amplest opportunity for pests to be hiding in their crevices. If you are buying a second-hand couch make sure to inspect it first, keep it outside or in a garage initially, and treat it with one of the many at-home pest-killing sprays available online or at your local hardware store.

If you want to steam clean your couch, by all means, go ahead but know that steam cleaning will not kill bed bugs, fleas, and other pests that are buried in the upholstery of second-hand furniture. The heat required to kill them needs to be sustained for three hours at 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Small pieces can be wrapped in black plastic garbage bags and placed outside on a hot day in a pinch but proper cleaning with pesticide sprays is usually still necessary. 


Hard Surfaces Are Your Best Friend

Though pests can still hide in small crevices, it is much easier to clean hard pieces of second-hand furniture. Tables, chairs, and entertainment consoles are the easiest to clean. Diluted bleach, vinegar, and other household cleaners are a cheap, easy cleaning options. They work well to ensure that these pieces stay pest-free in your home. 


Keep An Eye Out For The Signs

Occasionally pests leave signs that they have infested your second-hand furniture. Keep a watchful eye out for small black flecks on couches as that may be a sign of fleas or bed bugs. Additionally, some pests leave exoskeletons and discarded egg casings that you can also watch for. If you spot any of these signs, it is in your best interest to call an exterminator.  The pests will have likely already spread much further than the piece of second-hand furniture that they originated in. 


Quarantine Is Not Just For COVID

Quarantining newly purchased pieces of second-hand furniture is essential to keep your home pest-free. Small pieces of furniture can be quarantined in a bathtub. The slippery plastic or ceramic sides will not allow pests to escape. Larger pieces should be quarantined in a garage. Or at least as far away as possible from bedrooms and other upholstered pieces of furniture. Furniture should be treated immediately and left in quarantine for as long as possible. At minimum, you should know that it is pest-free before you take it inside.


Free Stuff Can Be Costly

The lure of the Facebook Marketplace “Curb Alert” is strong. Beautiful furniture just sitting there on the side of the road for free! However, these roadside pieces of furniture are the ones that are most likely to be infested with pests. If someone doesn’t have to look you in the eyes when you take their furniture from them, there might be a reason. Make sure you quarantine any new, second-hand furniture you acquire. Use your best judgment and always air on the side of caution. Extermination fees and replacing all of your previously pest-free furniture can be costly. 

If you are finding your home overrun with pests after picking up a piece of second-hand furniture, you need to call Advanced Pest Control Alabama. With 25+ years of experience, our pest control treatments will ensure that your home stays pest free.