To avoid bringing home bed bugs, avoid “Free” furniture that may be sitting curbside.

Gone are the days of driving by a person’s house and seeing a nice couch, table, loveseat, or easy chair, that has been placed on the curb with a sign stating…“FREE”. “If it’s free leave it be” is a good motto to follow when it comes to picking up used furniture off the street says New Jersey pest control professionals. In 2011, you simply never know if the furniture, which seems like such a bargain, will bring about a nightmare of massive proportions. Used furniture may look good on the surface but may be harboring bloodsucking bed bugs in the cushions and frame of your new find.

Bed bug infestations have hit Mom and Pop operations, donation sites, and major used goods distribution centers as well. Many of these establishments claim to look for the presence of bed bugs and in some states they are required to sanitize furniture products. The question remains as to the effective rate of the sanitation process.

Another hot spot for bed bug activity is rental furniture and appliances. There have been countless reports and subsequent lawsuits over the past few years from people who have received items that were “sanitized” before delivery and were quickly subject to creepy, bloodsucking bed bugs infesting their entire homes. There are always denials from the rental stores that the bed bugs did not come from the store, and always claims from the recipient that they were bed bug free prior to the arrival of the goods.

Because of their propensity to hitchhike, unfortunately, New Jersey pest control professionals report that even new goods are not immune from the wrath of bed bug infestations. To date, many retail stores have suffered through infestations, causing panic among some consumers. Additionally, buying new furniture also puts you at risk because many furniture delivery companies offer removal services to customers. It is not uncommon to have a delivery truck that contains both new and old furniture at the same time. If the old furniture contains bed bugs, there is a risk of cross-contamination and the transfer of bed bugs onto the new furniture.

The only way to be safe is to avoid buying used furniture when possible and to fully examine anything new for the presence of bed bugs. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, it’s important to contact a New Jersey pest control expert at the first sign to eliminate the infestation before it spreads.