This is a sample furniture inspection and disposal protocol designed to be used by building managers and landlords to develop their own building specific protocol. Developing a system for inspecting and disposing of potentially infested furniture - in conjunction with resident/staff education - will prevent infested furniture from entering the building or spreading bed bug problems to other units.
When bed bug inspections reveal that a bed or other piece of furniture is infested with bed bugs, home owners often panic and seek to immediately discard the furniture.
There are times that furniture should be discarded but certainly not always. Remember that bed bugs can be eliminated from beds or stuffed furniture using control methods mentioned later. In most cases there is no need to throw expensive furniture out.
Having said that, there are situations when a heavily infested piece of furniture might best be simply disposed of. Just how that is done is critical to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
Furniture moving is most often a two man job. When it comes to bed bug infested furniture, this is even more true.
Before you even begin to move the furniture, make a sound plan as to how and where the furniture can be moved easily and safely.
Remove bed bug infested furniture from a home or apartment with ‘containment’ in mind. The goal is as much to prevent the spread of the bugs, as it is to be rid of the furniture. To do this you must ensure that all bugs are contained inside the furniture on the way to the dumpster. This is best done by wrapping the chair or couch in plastic. Drop cloths are inexpensive large sheets of plastic that can be wrapped around the furniture and sealed with tape. Be sure to seal up any openings or tears so that the bugs cannot fall out as the furniture is loaded, tipped and carried down hallway, stairs and through doors.
Once the furniture is successfully removed from the building it is the final responsibility of the owner to ensure that the furniture is not picked up by another and taken into another home or apartment, thereby spreading the bed bug infestation. The best way to assure that this does not occur is to render the furniture unusable. Breaking the wooden framing and slashing the fabric with a utility knife are two effective ways of doing this. Further, ensure that others know that the furniture is infested by marking it as such before you leave it to be discarded.
Management will design building-specific protocol for disposing of all furniture and other household items. This protocol should include the following:
Educating residents on proper inspection and disposal of furniture is the key to preventing the spread of bed bugs. Once a protocol is developed, it must be communicated to all residents without exception and periodically repeated. With the proper education, your tenants can become an ally in preventing your building from ever becoming a bed bug haven.Back to top