Author Options:

Bedbugs treatment-friendly furniture hacks and projects? Answered

Hi all,

as an astute long-time reader of people's projects, I found some great ones to repurpose and reuse otherwise not-so-pretty, salvaged or thrift-store bought furniture.

However, as I slowly gained confidence in my abilities and availability of products, I sustained my third treatment against bedbugs in less than a year. Nothing unusual in my town where the epidemics is out of control, but surely a time-waster and great source of tension between tenants and landlords. For those who have been lucky not to harbour this pesky little parasite, a treatment involves pulling every furniture from the walls, dismantling every piece that can, turning them upside-down, removing wall outlet plates, placing dirty laundry nearing the bed at the center of the room, waiting for the CPO to spray everything, leave a mess of a (inefficient) white powder everywhere, going outside the home for at least 12 hours, going back, pack everything and go to the laundry, come back and re-assemble the furniture.

This is extremely time-consuming, but I got a hint from the CPO that could potentially save hours of work. Bedbugs don't fly or jump, and cannot climb on metal or plastic. Conversely, they are especially fond of wood to live and sticks their eggs on. Incidentally, wood is the most common material to make low-end Ikea furniture.

Question is, considering current North American bedbug invasion, why is there no more bedbugs treatment friendly hacks, or at least a word of caution against getting anything used or of unknown origin? That would be as responsible thing to discourage the practice, as we already do about wearing safety googles when using a power tool. And second, why aren't there more hacks and projects with that in mind?

As Tim Anderson wrote, most people have more time than money on their hands. Well, I have neither of those (nor a vehicle), and thus cannot participate at that time.


It's probably important to note for people who don't know... that BOOKS are a huge source for many of those pesky critters. You can easily get them with a nice trip to the local library or to a used book store.... They literally burrow into the spine and don't appear to be there until you take them home, and come nighttime, they make their way out for their next meal.

Thankfully, I've never had the problem, but I also will NOT allow any used furniture into the house that hasn't been fully dismantled and inspected outside of the house... That and I don't trust the library's anymore... :(

Once you have them, as the OP points out, they are extremely difficult to get rid of.

Interesting... I never read anything bout books transporting bedbugs; only "book fleas", who eat paper. In the university, books and clothes are usually very close to each other, and besides, lockers communicate with each other through venting holes.

This reminds me of a friend of mine who repeatedly advised me to get rid of the current sofas and bed I got from a bedbug-free friend, thinking the infestation comes from them. As I have barely enough money to survive, buying new furniture would be out of budget, and then she advised me to go ... to a thrift store like the Salvation Army to buy used furniture. As even high street clothing companies can get them, there's no doubt low-end shops could harbor them, too. The difference is, the higher end shop has the means to close the store for days and fumigate it. I HIGHLY doubt thrift stores do anything more than a quick check for obvious infestation signs.

There are "fluids" out there that kill them....but if you have ever read the instructions and the ingrediants on the bottles.....it is really nastly stuff.

A tenant with bedbugs issue should have its landlord call an licensed PCO. Attempts to get rid of the issue by oneself usually makes the problem worse by repelling the bugs in the whole appartment instead of a part of it. Plus, as these bugs can go through the walls, neighboring appartment must be treated, too.

Considering the spread of infestations, one doesn't have many choices but to accept the bed will be sprayed with insecticide. Nasty it is, yet we don't have a choice but sleeping face first in the treatment.

So, the bugs mostly climb up the legs of furniture?

Why not make sure all furniture is on legs (even if that involves adding legs to existing furniture), and then putting an un-climbable band or metal or plastic (Teflon?) around the legs?

Does anybody know if that would work?

If it works, and if the problem is community-wide, make the solution community-wide as well, and organise groups to round to folks' homes and add the bands to their furniture. It's like vaccination - it only works properly if everybody joins in.

They climb on legs, up and down, but no one can say for sure if they come climbing, not even the PCOs. All we can do is limit the spread of the infestation.

Likely, this wouldn't change much about infestation rates since most people are afraid to talk about it, or associate it with a lack of cleanliness (has nothing to do). Plus, it seems that bedbugs spread hitchhiking on people's clothes, but with some caution, one can avoid sitting on the bed with "outside" clothes on.

A strip of something seems interesting, but where do we find such good-looking metal? The local hardware stores don't seem to have anything beside rolled steel bars.

Have you ever cut open a drink can? They look lovely on the inside.

You're right, I was more concerned about bringing them back for money, but even that value is pretty small. Since this insect is amazing at cramming itself in tight spaces, how should I "seal" the gap under the newly-installed "plating" ?

I did some experiment with thumbtacks since they look nice (polished brass), but some space (~0.5 to 0.7mm) remain, which is enough for bugs to crawl under.

Preferably with common household or scavenged (!) items. E.g., I won't have any use for a full tube of caulking, contractor's glue or the like.

Maybe wrap a few lengths of nylon cord around it?

But, if you cut the metal to size, and pre-fold it to fit around corners and curves, I would have thought you could fit it properly flush?

That seems right, but can one straighten out the curvy metal part before bending it to size? And how can I make eight 45° bends with about 8mm between them?

Bend it by pressing it over an edge, like the corner of a table, or clamping it in a vice and pressing it over.

It would still be springy, but it would be held in shape when you nail it down.

Don't have any wise, but tables, yes. I'll have to find the one which is only 8mm thick.

I'll have to lay my hands on strong scissors, now.

I'll get back here as soon as I drink enough energy drinks to keep the cans!

Wrap a strip of sellotape around the legs?

The sellotape woud age and peel, the elastic band, wouldn't a bug be able to climb over it? Anyhoo, neither of them would be as aesthetically pleasing as a strip of copper, brass or steel.