Thrift stores and bedbugs

krissie55December 3, 2010

A word of warning, thrift stores can/do have bedbugs these days.

I encountered bed bugs in the linen section of a local thrift store recently. Two large sized bedbugs were walking around on a sheet I had just slid sheet off a hanger, not opened up yet. I dropped the sheet like a hot potato and left the store. Brushed myself best I could before entering the car and as soon as I got home stripped to my birthday suit, tossed clothes in the washer and quickly got a shower from head to toe.

I phoned the thrift store and told them they had bedbugs in the linen section.

Here is a URL with pictures of many different kind of bedbugs. Take a look and be forewarned what they look like.

http://www.google.com/images?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hl=en&source=imghp&biw=1044&bih=729&q=bed+bugs&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

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grainlady_ks

OH MY! Thanks for the warning...

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 10:01AM
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jomuir

I don't shop much in thrift shops, but when I was younger I often bought used soft furniture. I was at a friend's home recently & as she proudly showed me her second hand furniture all I could think was BEDBUGS. She loves thrift shops & I hope she doesn't get them that way.

Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 4:03PM
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mommabird

Thrift stores have bedbugs - and so do many of the high end furniture stores! The Made in China furniture comes in with them, straight off the boat. I have a friend who works for the EPA and he said both "soft" and "hard" furniture is a problem, both brand new and used.

I am afraid to buy ANYTHING anymore, either new or used. I will have to buy a new bed in the next few weeks. I'm letting my exhusband have two of the five beds in my house, and I have to replace them. After talking to my friend who works for the EPA, I'm afraid to buy new beds anywhere! It doesn't matter how much you spend, even the most expensive places can have bedbugs. GROSS!!! Maybe my son and I will both just sleep on the floor in our rooms!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:55PM
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davidro1

Hammocks are better.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:57AM
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someone2010

I'm thinking about getting some of that Advantage I use on my dogs for fleas and rubbing a mess of it on my back. Then when the bed bugs bite me they will die. COME AND GET SOME YA NASTY CRITTERS.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 4:31AM
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mikie_gw

get a dehumidiier
under 50% humidity kills bedbugs... supposedly

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 7:08PM
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maifleur01

Couple of comments not intended to be spam. In this area we have several mattress manufacturers, Serta, Hawn, so the idea that all mattresses are made in China is one of those myths.

The spam part. A company here, Indigo Wild maker of Zum products has in there store a anti-bedbug spray. According to the information cinnamon will drive away bedbugs. When I was at their place I forgot to ask what type of cinnamon was being used as there are two different plants being sold as cinnamon which are totally different plant families.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 8:46PM
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Carol_from_ny

Recently saw bedbug killer in a Christmas Tree Shoppes store.
I'm sure if you do some research you will find plenty of advice on how to kill them.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 6:44PM
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sushipup1

Maifleur, why would you think your comments could ever be construed as spam? You don't own either company, right?
That's what make spam, when someone posts on here for the sole purpose of selling their own products, or misleading people to go to dangerous websites.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 7:53PM
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maifleur01

To some any direct suggestion of a company to purchase a product from is spam. Recently I have noticed some long time members posting information that could lead directly to a website that they sell things from so put the disclaimer.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 12:23AM
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vala55

I wouldn't buy any second hand fabric items there or anywhere. I just read in our newspaper that the bed bugs are rampant in the east and are working their way west.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 10:47PM
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maifleur01

I think as time goes by most people will think of bedbugs the way people now think of headlice. When I was young only dirty people got headlice now it seems it is expected if you have children. In the future if you travel you will expect to have bedbugs at some time.

I am really hoping like headlice I never have a time.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 9:34PM
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monicatx

I disagree with the comments about buying furniture at thrift stores. By federal law, all soft items such as furniture, pillows & footstools must be put into an sealed, enclosed room or building and treated with a gas to kill bedbugs.

Until recently, when my health gave out, I volunteered at our local thrift store. It was a couple of years before they could afford to build the tiny building to use the poison gas so we gave all upholstered items to the Salvation Army. I think the law originated in the 20's or 30's but you don't have to worry about upholstered thrift store items. By the way, many of the volunteers at the thrift store don't know why the items have to be treated in that tiny building, they just put them in there.

I do agree that bed bugs can spread quickly. Recently I was told at a furniture store that if I tried a mattress and didn't like it, I could return it. It only takes a few hours for bed bugs to jump onto a mattress. That is a bad policy. Also, there is no spray that you can buy that will kill bed bugs unless you see it walking around.

Uggg. Hate those things.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 8:26PM
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jomuir

monicatx, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the notion that all used furniture is fumigated by federal law. I used to work next door to a Salvation Army store & I seriously doubt there was any treatment of the soft furniture other than putting it on display. Do you know a name of this law or any more information because I'm not finding anything like this when I google it. The closest I found was a Salvation Army store manager saying they INSPECT the furniture carefully, which could still harbor bed bugs.

I think that used furniture is a good thing as far as economics and decreasing landfills goes, but I just wouldn't risk getting bed bugs, my SIL has had a minor problem with them & it has been horrible for her emotionally.

Here is a link that might be useful: bed bugs in used furniture article

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 8:20PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

"I disagree with the comments about buying furniture at thrift stores. By federal law, all soft items such as furniture, pillows & footstools must be put into an sealed, enclosed room or building and treated with a gas to kill bedbugs. "

Can you cite a source for this?
I know of ZERO thrift stores in my area that do that....

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:04AM
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vala55

A few years ago there were problems with bed bugs in new mattresses made of recycled internal parts. If there is a law it may be regarding those mattresses. Having a sealed room and treating old mattresses would be to costly for thrift shops to use.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 11:13AM
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sushipup1

Used bedding is treated under California law, so I think it's a state thing, not federal. And no, the individual stores don't do the processing. Organizations like Good will have regional centers for such work, or they sublet the work to other companies.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 11:38AM
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lucky_12

I read that any mattress coming into your home whether used or new should be put in a bug proof mattress cover for eight months. Thats how long it takes for them to die of starvation. Especially if you live in an apartment or have guests stay at your home.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:27AM
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maifleur01

Have you given a thought on how a mattress cover could be bug proof? Any opening to place the mattress is an opening a bug could go through as most would have connections where what ever seal would be weak or nonexistant.

Of course you could be like my DIL and insist that a guest immediately shower and anything that can not be washed in hot water, includes medicene bottles be left outside. Guests come in all types but most guests do not like to be considered a bug carrier. Of course after a while you have no guests.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 6:40PM
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vala55

I don't even like to be told to take off my shoes when I got into someone's home. I was only asked that once, the owner had just shampooed it so I understood. When my guests come in out of the rain, they start to take off their shoes, I tell them it's only water, keep them on if you want to. It's a home, not a temple/shrine.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 11:23PM
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monicatx

Sorry, I was wrong in saying it was a federal law (tho I think it should be). I had been told years ago that the law was federal. The federal law only states that the item has to be tagged with what the contents are.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5340515_laws-resale-used-mattresses.html

Yes, our little local thrift store, Serving Center of Round Rock, TX has built a tiny building to treat furniture, mattresses & pillow type of donations. It should be a federal law that all placing selling these items should have them fumigated.

Here is a link that might be useful: ehow & laws

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 2:23PM
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jomuir

Monica, you're right, it should be a federal law. Thanks for updating your post. I wish more did fumigate, but I've never seen it here in the Detroit area.

20 years ago, a friend brought me a white sofa & loveseat he picked from the curb/trash, I vacuumed them thoroughly, & washed down with hot water & bleach. That furniture lasted so long for me & I gave them to my cousin when I didn't want them anymore. I would NEVER do that now due to fear of bedbugs!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 6:41PM
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dreamgarden

I had bedbugs after I got back from vacation. I have pets and didn't want them exposed to chemicals so I used food grade Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of them. Worked great. Don't forget to put it in the vacuum cleaner bag.

A link that might be useful:

www.badbedbugs.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bed-bugs/

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:28PM
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plantmaven

Here in San Antonio, I was told by a person at a matteress store that by state law once one left the store it was considered used.
I had asked about borrowing a set to stage my house for sale. My thought was to not open the plastic cover and to put an ad placard stating the store I got it from.

I went to a Salvation store to buy a set and was told they do not take used matteress sets any more. I finally bought off Cr***s list. But that was in 2007. I would not buy used to have in my home.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 8:56AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Dreamgarden, where did you go on vacation?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 9:07PM
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totsuka

Anything I buy off CL is clean before bringing into my home. I don't recommend any matress and very leary of a couch, chair. I never buy used clothes, towels, etc...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:18PM
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dreamgarden

"Dreamgarden, where did you go on vacation?"

Santee, South Carolina. Quality Inn. Don't bother staying across the street at the Holiday Inn Express. They have them there as well.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 3:44PM
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anenemity

It's likely a state-by-state thing, but our local (Ohio) thrift shops aren't allowed to sell used mattresses at all, and all upholstered furniture (as well as pillows and other soft goods you can't necessarily throw in the wash) is fumigated. There are tags on every affected item saying as much. It's possible that the bedbugs the OP spotted had jumped off of a customer that had been in the store. I don't think that they wash the sheets before putting them out for sale, though, so they could have been "donated" with the items. Anybody know how long the chemicals from the fumigation are supposed to last? I mean, if those bedbugs from the sheets made their way to the furniture that had been fumigated, would they survive the chemicals?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 9:47PM
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buffyfultz

I love thrift stores but IâÂÂve never been able to bring myself to buy linen or shoes from them. I have my reservations about clothes too. Not that I think theyâÂÂre dirty, wearing clothes that have been worn by someone I donâÂÂt know makes me uneasy.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:41AM
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krissie55

I had been buying used sheets at thrift shops for about 3 years before encountering bedbugs. Our church quilt group makes quilts for charity using sheets for the backing.

This time was my last time to shop for sheets at thrift stores.

We are in need of used sheets and welcome suggestions where to find them other than at bedbug infested places, please let me know.

Krissie

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:49PM
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jannie

I stay out of thrift stores, 99 cent stores and dollar stores. Junk,junk,junk that I don't need in my house. And a great way to save money.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:14AM
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pekemom

I don't go into thrift stores anymore either. But I do clean our rentals sometimes and hope I don't bring anything home.
So far, so good. I don't know how much longer my luck will hold out!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 10:11PM
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bellamay

Recently a family member shared that they bring all their own bedding while traveling and change the sheets, mattress pad and pillows before spending the night at a hotel. They are older and feel this is the cleanest way to stay in a hotel. I tried to explain that they were exposing themselves to bedbugs but they didn't believe me until their house became infested. They still don't believe this was a result of changing the bedding at hotels but its obvious this was the case. If you don't want to sleep on other peoples nasty stuff in hotels sleep in your car!!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:33PM
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dreamgarden

If you brought bedbugs home and don't want to fumigate your house here is one way to help get rid of them.

A link that might be useful:

www.bedbuginfo.com/using-diatomaceous-earth-to-kill-bed-bugs.php

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 7:37PM
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pekemom

New mattress returns? Speaking of possible bedbugs and thrift stores, we bought a new mattress.
After 3 days it was just too firm. They took it back and brought us another we selected, that one worked fine (medium firm). Anyway, I
assume they resold that mattress we had initially.
Even the one we got might have been in someone else's home, I don't know. I didn't think about it until I read this thread. Even
"new" may not be "new"..

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:47PM
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petesmom

I have no experience with thrift stores or used furniture (except from family) but I do have info concerning other comments here
First is the bedbugs. I travel quite a bit for work and have to stay in hotels. My business partner and I both did a ton of research on bedbugs and they are actually very small. That is how they get transfered. You cant easily see them.
Next, mattresses. When I was younger I worked at a big name mattress store. The new mattresses were made in a factory and then sat sealed in their bags for months before they even were sent to a customer. Most popular mattresses are made in the USA and should it be in a bedbug area there is no way the bugs would make it to your home. When someone returned a mattress it would get picked up and taken to a special facility that "treated" I dont know what they did, but they get put back into plastic that is clearly marked as having been used. We never had a complaint from any customers about any critters.
Lastly, lice. Lice are not attracted to dirty people. Again if you do the research you will find that lice will only live on clean hair. They cannot attach and lay eggs to oily hair therefore dont choose live there.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:52PM
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mommabird

My ex-husband lives on a street that has apartments on both sides of the street. Each building has 4 townhouse apartments. I just found out that the street is becomein infested with bedbugs, passed from one apartment to another. Now I am totally freaked out! My son brings his clothes for the weekend to-and-fro. I was thinking he should just keep clothes there, but what about his coat, bookbag, etc. that he must bring home? I can't throw those away every other weekend!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:32PM
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krissie55

Freezing things in the freezer (if you have one large enough) will kill many bugs. Might try that. Spread things out so there is more space around them in order to freeze faster.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 1:20PM
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allahakbbq

...fire works pretty well, too...

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:59PM
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MyOverActiveMind

I worked at a thrift store and we NEVER treated ANYTHING.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 4:16PM
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MyOverActiveMind

I guess I should also add that probably 90% of my wardrobe, sheets, rugs, curtains and towels came from there and I've NEVER had a problem with bedbugs.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 4:18PM
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