Time after time I have taken calls about bedbugs being introduced to homes via 2nd hand furniture, not just mattresses but lounges, bedroom suites, chairs etc, basically any soft furnishings that have been exposed to bedbugs

Bedbugs are becoming a real problem in Australia and once introduced to a home can be difficult to eradicate, sometimes requiring more than one treatment.  Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened; Adults grow to 4-5 mm long and 1-3 mm wide. Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in cracks and crevices. The body becomes more elongate, swollen, and dark red after a blood meal. Bed bugs have a beaklike piercing-sucking mouthpart system. The adults have small, stubby, non-functional wing pads. Newly hatched nymphs are nearly colourless, becoming brownish as they mature. Nymphs have the general appearance of adults.

Their bites and their presence can be traumatic, painful and treatments require a drawn out process as well as an extensive pest control regime.

Before you run off and buy any 2nd hand furniture, especially mattresses ensure you’re equipped to know what to look out for.

1. Inspect all items thoroughly; this includes the seams, pockets, under the furniture, if there is any rips check inside the rips.

Also check for:

      • Blood Staining
      • Eggshells
      • Shredded skins
      • Rust like staining (bedbug urine)
      • A Musty odour
      • Fold down seams and check crevices on mattresses.

2. If there is any brownish/blackish droppings that look like ink marks on the inside of the cushions or anywhere on the furniture at all, don’t buy it. These could be indications that the furniture items are or have been infested with bedbugs.

Prevention

1. Don’t take mattresses or padded furniture that has been left at the curb or on the street.

2. Check your bed sheets for blood spots.

3. Keep your suitcases covered in plastic and off the floor when you travel.

4. When you travel, take a small flashlight to help you look for bed bugs.

5. When you return from a trip, wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.

I have included photos below which will help with identifying a bedbug infestation