Bed Bug Fears? Here are 9 things not to buy used

things not to buy usedUnfortunately, the list of things not to buy used continues to grow as bed bugs become increasingly worse of an issue in Northeast Ohio. We love a deal and a thrift find as much as the next guy, but this is a serious issue. See our list of 9 things not to buy used below, and tips to be careful or seek help if an issue is discovered.


If you are a frequent shopper at garage sales, thrift stores and the likes, clothing can be a tempting purchase.  If you are going to buy clothing, there are some important tips to protecting yourself from bringing bed bugs into your home.

  1. Immediately after purchase, put clothes into a plastic trash bag and tie it shut, tight!
  2. Before you go home or as soon as you arrive home, dry all clothing on high heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Dispose of the plastic bag immediately, outside. Tie it back up after carefully emptying the contents into the dryer, and put it in the trash can.
  4. Put the items immediately into the wash on heat, and wipe out your dryer with disinfectant wipes.


Mattresses are obviously a very big bed bug threat. We recommend never buying or accepting a used mattress donation. If you are set on getting a used mattress, we recommend hiring a company to inspect it before bringing it into your home. If at all possible avoid used mattresses!

Bed room furniture

Bedroom furniture tops the list of things not to buy used. In addition to mattresses, bed bugs can be in other bedroom furniture. From night stands to dresser drawers – It’s no surprise bed bugs could be hiding. If you are going to buy used furniture we highly recommend inspecting it before purchase, and not bringing it into your home until it is thoroughly taken apart and cleaned with disinfectant wipes. Visually inspect as you go.

Living room furniture

Living room furniture can also be a risk, particularly reclining furniture.  Recliners and reclining couches are notoriously difficult to find bed bugs in. If you have any concerns, skip it or hire a professional to do a K9 inspection.


Cribs can be a double threat, with safety concerns and recalls on top of the risk of bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs don’t have an age preference and it is possible for cribs and crib mattresses to harbor bed bugs.


Toys can be high on the list of things not to buy in order to avoid bed bugs. Toys that can be dried, like stuffed animals, should be treated per the clothing instructions (Bagged, treated on high heat in a dryer and then washed). Plastic toys or toys that can be disinfected and wiped down should be done so before bringing them into your home.

Car seats

Cars can also be at risk for bed bugs. Just like humans, cars can serve as a transport for bed bugs. This means car seats can harbor bed bugs in the cracks and crevices. If you are going to buy a used car set, research all safety information first and then disassemble the carseat. Treat the clothe parts like clothing directions above, and wash / disinfect any hard surfaces.


Books are one of the best things to avoid and not to buy used. Used books can harbor bed bugs!


Luggage, while cliche, is recommended to be avoided in thrifting. Although bed bugs are highly likely to come from other sources than a trip, luggage can still harbor bed bugs and it is difficult to preventatively treat luggage as it cannot go into the dryer.

If you have recently purchased used items and are concerned that you brought bed bugs into your home, call us at 216-544-8292 or click for a free inspection today! Our visual inspections will be able to help identify the source of the infestation, and provide a great recommendation for treatment.