Moving Days: How to avoid bed bugs in your roadside treasures

Moving Days: How to avoid bed bugs in your roadside treasures

Moving Days has descended upon downtown Madison, but there are some risks to consider before picking up any leftover furniture that looks appealing.

Bed bugs are the major concern when it comes to the unofficial city holiday known as Moving Days. Per city ordinance, residents are asked to mark bug-infested furniture with spray paint. UW’s Insect Diagnostics Lab has some warning signs to keep an eye out for, as well.

Check both upholstered and wooden furniture for any unwanted roommates – bed bugs aren’t limited only to beds, according to UW etymologist PJ Leish.

Look in cracks and crevices – bed bugs like to stay hidden and are most commonly found in couch seams, behind tags, inside wooden seams and even near screw holes in metal furniture like futons.

Look for droppings – Leish best describes them as stains from a leaking ballpoint pen. Droppings tend to appear as dark drops along wood or fabric.

Skip over big items and go for small ones – while bed bugs can be hard to find in crevices hidden in big items, small items can be thrown in a freezer for a week to kill any insects or eggs.

If you do find yourself with an infestation of bed bugs, Leish said to get them identified first to ensure you pursue the proper extermination practices.