Thrift Stores: Bed Bugs are Real, and Back with a Vengeance
Protect Your Business – Protect your Workers – Protect Your Customers
Train your workers:
DO NOT: Take upholstered furniture if the cloth is ripped or torn: Exterminators often remove the dust cover on the bottom of sofas and chairs to treat them. Rips and tears in the upholstery allow the bed bugs to burrow into the stuffing.
DO NOT: Ignore the problem: it will only get worse. Without taking precautions, your business, your employees and your customers are at risk.
DO NOT: Try to treat your facility yourself! There is nothing that you can buy that is safe for you to use, and it is illegal to self-treat your facility.
Step by Step
- Ask every donor about issues pertaining to communicable diseases, bed bugs, pet hair/allergies, etc. – do not accept items if they answer yes
- and do not take cloth items that are ripped or torn
- This minimizes the chance that pests are inside soft furniture or mattresses where we can’t see them
- Train each employee on what to look for and how to identify the telltale signs of bed bugs
- Follow up with periodic refresher training about health risk issues and bed bugs
- Each vehicle, checkout, and intake station should have pocket identification guide
- Do several times as the items are handled
- Initially as items are being retrieved from donors
- As item is displayed
- At checkout
- At each of these stages train employees to looking for the tell-tale signs of bedbugs – fecal staining, eggs, actual bugs dead or alive