Don’t let the bedbugs bite while garage sale-ing

Montreal from downtown. Photo by Hayley Juhl

Even for the person with everything, the prospect of treasure hunting is hard to resist.

Maybe an out-of-print book by a favourite author is waiting just for you in a driveway or back yard, or a Braun hand-blender used only on Sundays.
For many Montrealers, summer is official only when the first Garage Sale sign appears.

But like the Hope Diamond, some treasures come with a curse in the form of nearly invisible bedbugs lurking in the spine of a book or sleeping in the pocket of an old jacket displayed on a table.

Once bedbugs get into your home and your bed, they are loathe to leave.

The good news is that bedbugs do not transmit disease, nor are they a sign of less than stellar housekeeping. The bad news is that they can make life miserable.

Tips to prevent an infestation

• Never pick up used furniture from the street.
• If you buy second-hand clothes, put them into a plastic bag before you bring them into the house and place them directly in the dryer on the highest setting for at least 30 minutes. Then throw the empty bag in the garbage outdoors.
•Place used books in an air-tight bag and put it into the freezer for a four days.
•Should those tiny critters happen anyway, do not try to solve the problem by yourself. Call a professional exterminator immediately.

If you live in an apartment, it’s your responsibility to notify the landlord if you find evidence of infestation. It is the landlord’s responsibility to take action to correct the problem by hiring a professional exterminator to eradicate all bedbugs in the building.


2 Comments on "Don’t let the bedbugs bite while garage sale-ing"

  1. Just imagining an infestation makes my skin crawl, impelling me to itch/ scratch. I found the tips on the dryer and books an eye opener. I’m always shopping in thrift stores and buying second hand books. Never would have thought of putting books into the freezer, would have thought it would ruin the book! I read this article seconds after reading about the Westmount Library’s book sale in Nov. Sheesh, now I’m beginning to wonder about the travels of library books. I could say, laughing at myself, one can’t be too careful, but I don’t think the libraries would take to this measure. I’m only semi-serious but, gee, thanks for implanting that idea into my bedbug phobic brain!!

  2. Kristine Berey | July 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Reply

    It was suggested by tenants’ advocate Arnold Bennett

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