3 Easy Steps to Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Up-cycle Project
Garage sale gems, free-cycle finds, and thrift store treasures promise the creative DIYer hours of enjoyment and, sometimes, unwanted invaders. Prevent bed bugs from making a home with you by following these simple steps before you start your furniture transformation.
Step One: Inspect
Before you bring any used item home, inspect it for signs of bed bugs. This is the number one way to prevent bed bugs. Solid wood items are the easiest to inspect; fully upholstered furniture is the most difficult. The DIYers in our office avoid used upholstered furniture; it’s just not worth the risk. Inspect furniture by looking for bed bugs and bed bugs eggs along the joins, bottom of drawers, and inside drawer casements. Flip the furniture over and inspect the underside as well. If you see any crawling bed bugs, bed bug spotting, or bed bugs eggs find something else to work on. Bed bugs are flat and oval. Adult bed bugs are about the size of a small apple seed. Bed bug spotting on wood looks like someone stippled the wood with a fine point Sharpie. Bed bug eggs are whitish, rice shaped and about 1/16 of an inch.
Step Two: Quarantine Upholstery
After that roadside rescue passes initial bed bug inspection, quarantine any upholstery. Ideally, you’ll remove any upholstered parts, such as padded chair seats, and seal them in a plastic bag before placing the furniture in your car. Once you get home either remove the upholstery and padding out of doors, or bag the upholstered pieces for later clean up. Under no circumstances, should you bring upholstered furniture of unknown origin into your home. Bed bugs are nasty little blood suckers and you don’t want them in your house!
Step Three: Dispose of Upholstery
Remove upholstery and padding out of doors, place it in a heavy plastic garbage bag, and dispose of in an outside trash receptacle. Your home is now safe from bed bugs or bed bug eggs hidden within the fabric or padding. Finally, inspect the wood parts of the seat for any signs of bed bugs.
Ugly Chair Up-cycle
In this post, we included “before” photos of an up-cycle project by Kinzie Balfour, friend of Thrasher and co-owner of the Clever Cottage board on Pinterest. She followed our three simple steps to keep bed bugs out of her project and her home workshop. You’ve seen the ugly chair before photos, now here are a few of her up-cycled chair “after” photos. Great job, Kinzie, and thanks for letting us peek into your Clever Cottage workshop.