Buyers, beware: your thrift store shopping cart may contain more than just shirts and shoes. Though vintage shopping can be both stylish and affordable, since bed bugs resurged over the past decade, these creepy critters can turn the frugal fashion lover’s dream into a nightmare. Here are 5 tips that will help you avoid bed bugs when shopping for second hand clothes.
Use an Online Bed Bug Registry to Ensure the Store Has No Signs of Bed Bugs
The Bed Bug Registry is a database of bed bug reports submitted by the public. Prevent bed bugs by looking up the store you plan to visit either on the registry website or on the iPhone app. If the store in question isn’t registered, you can always double-check by asking the retailer if signs of bed bugs were spotted on any items.
Look For Signs of Bed Bugs on Your Desired Items
When you’ve selected the pieces you’d like, inspect them for signs of bed bugs. Keep an eye out for small whitish eggshells, brownish flakes, bloodstains and dark spots. Scrutinize seams, unfold cuffs, turn pockets inside out, and use a flashlight to examine dark areas.
Shake Out Bags to Prevent Bed Bugs From Entering Your Home
Shake out bags, purses and wallets upside down. Do this carefully, or don’t buy the item at all. The dark, warm crevices of bags are an ideal breeding ground for bed bugs to hide and lay their eggs. Check all seams and pockets too. And forget buying vintage luggage, as bed bugs can take cover in zippers, seams and luggage lining.
Avoid Bed Bugs by Checking Your Body Before You Exit
Do a visual scan of your skin before leaving the second hand store. Be on the lookout for any bed bugs that may have latched onto you. Look inside your bag, as well as in any seams and pockets.
Wash Your New Finds Immediately to Eliminate any Missed Signs of Bed Bugs
As soon as you get home, hit the laundry room. Drying an item on high heat for 30 minutes is often an effective way of getting rid of bed bugs. If the item is washable, wash it in hot water first. Most importantly, wash or dry your items immediately after returning from the thrift store.
If you’ve brought home more than just a bargain from your local vintage store, fear not. Magical Pest Control has a number of bed bug treatments that make getting rid of bed bugs possible. Call us today for a bed bug treatment at (905) 738-6676, or contact us online.