Ah, bed bugs.....Think these tiny bloodsuckers only plague high-rise apartments and hotels? Think again. The truth is, more and more people are getting bed bugs from brand new mattresses. That's right, this seemingly innocent purchase can quickly morph into an unbelievable nightmare.
So, how does this happen? To increase their "sell," many companies now offer to discard a shopper's old mattress when they deliver a new one. What they don't tell you: It's a common practice to toss old mattresses in the back of the truck with brand new ones yet to be delivered, and this can easily spread bed bugs.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
First, steer clear of refurbished mattresses. Sure, they're cheaper, but the money you'll save will quickly be spent fighting an infestation. Instead, always buy new if you can.
Second, ask stores about their mattress storage and delivery practices before you buy. Do they follow an official protocol to protect buyers against bedbugs? Do they tightly seal their products in plastic prior to delivery? How exactly do they deliver their products? Do new mattresses ever mingle with old? Asking the right questions can save you a load of trouble later on.
Lastly, as soon as your mattress arrives, stop everything and inspect it. Don't wait for the delivery folks to leave--have them wait while you do your detective work. Specifically check around the mattresses' piping and pillow crevices for dark brown spots. These flecks--called fecal spotting--are evidence that bedbugs have been there (digested a blood meal and excreted it out). See anything suspicious? Don't wait for the critters to spread throughout your home (which can happen in a matter of hours)--instead, insist that the product be immediately returned.
Still wondering if you're at risk? To find the latest offenders in your area, visit http://bedbugregistry.com..