Not only those suffering in economic times shop at thrift stores and second hand shops. Those seeking bargains and retro-style garments do as well. In fact, many items sold in such shops are designer styles and name brand items. Still, the point of origination for such items is never really known to the consumer, so some fear they may bring their garments home along with an unsavory hitchhiker-the bedbug. You say you aren’t worried about bedbugs where you live and that they aren’t a real problem in your neck of the woods?
Are Bedbugs a Real Problem?
Bedbugs are a real problem, and are not merely the product of an over-active imagination. They are a very real problem. But aren’t bedbugs only found in the Deep South-that is in states such as South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida? For an answer, consider this web page devoted to the bedbug hosted by the Centers for Disease Control. Notice that the second entry on that page discusses the very real problem of bed bugs in Ontario, Canada!
By the Store: What Can Be Done?
Some stores that carry used items are being very cautious about what they take in. Thus the New York Times article, “At Flea Market, Fear of a Different Insect,” by James Barren, tells of one chain located in New York City being very cautious of what they accept. In addition, that chain has taken steps to spray all 39 of its centers located there. Have they had success? A representative spokesman indicates the firm has received not even one complaint.
By the Consumer: What Can Be Done?
Although bedbugs are not large, they are relatively easy to identify, so if one regularly makes purchases from a thrift store or second hand shop, it is good to closely examine garments to see if there may be an a bedbug or larval bedbug present. Sketches of these creatures may be seen in this CDC pictorial; actual photographs of the bugs in various sizes and forms as well as the bites they inflict, may be seen on this Bed Bugs Picture website.
To Be Sure
Some make certain they don’t suffer an infestation by hand-checking garments, and then taking them home, putting them in a plastic bag, and freezing them for a few days. Reportedly, bedbugs cannot survive freezing. One thing is for certain: in these days of economic difficulty, many people are turning to second hand stores and thrift shops to obtain genuine bargains. Forewarned is forearmed. If you want to make sure your bargain proves to be a real bargain, you will do all that is necessary to avoid an infestation of bedbugs in your home.
References and Resources:
University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture – Bed Bugs
Bedbugger – Bed Bugs: Photos