|Bedbugs live off the blood of animals and humans, and they are ruining things for us recycling decorators.|
Pause for Eeeee-yewwwws.
I know. Nasty. But a fact of contemporary life. After a near-absence of 40 years, these bloodsuckers are again infesting homes and businesses in cities across the country. Entomologists (insect experts) are puzzled about how they have managed to suddenly proliferate, but global travel and bans on toxic insecticides are probably the reasons why.
For the sake of frugality, I have always encouraged friends to recycle, repurpose, and shop second hand for furniture. Now, we all need to be a little more cautious.
First, let's be clear. The bugs live in upholstered pieces where they can hide in the folds and crevices. Things like bookcases, wooden chairs, tables, vases, and such, are still relatively safe, as long as all surfaces are visible. Bedbugs live where they can't be seen, away from light and fresh air. But they come out of hiding when there's something to eat -- like food, pets, and you! Although they do not carry diseases, the bites hurt, and if scratched excessively, can become infected.
If the second hand article can be washed and dried in the high heat of the clothes dryer, you can get rid of any bedbugs or larvae. Freezing also destroys them, so some people who love vintage clothing and textiles have taken to bagging, freezing for three days, then dry cleaning what they buy.
If you think an upholstered piece harbors bedbugs, you can rescue it. There is an insecticide that kills bedbugs. It's called Pronto and you can read about it at .http://www.bedbugsguide.com/pronto.htm.
If you want to learn more about bedbugs and how to deal with an infestation, go to WebMD.
And here is an excellent article on keeping your home free of bedbugs.
I hope I haven't given anyone a case of the itchies just thinking about these creepy things. But if we are going to stage our homes, and do it on a budget, and be safe about it, we need to know about things like bedbugs.