D. L. Bennett of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that a family in Atlanta is suing Aaron Rents, a furniture sales and rental firm, which operates 515 stores in 39 states, for $250,000 in damages. They claim that the living room suite they rented from Aaron Rents was infested with bed bugs.
Rebekah Worsham said the saga began in Kentucky when the family was expecting a transfer to Atlanta. Rather than buy living room furniture, the Worshams went to a local Aaron Rents outlet.
When the delivery truck arrived at their home, the Worshams and the delivery personnel noticed bugs on the furniture, she said. The crew took the pieces back, promising to clean and return them.
Worsham said the furniture came back a day later, but so did the bugs.
“A week or so later our kids started waking up with these red bites all over them. We did too,” Worsham said.
The tiny biting insects quickly spread from the rental furniture throughout the Worsham home, infesting beds, carpets and other furniture, Akin said.
Worsham said Aaron Rents initially worked with the family, replacing bedding and mattresses and hiring an exterminator who made several failed attempts to remedy the situation.
The family thought, the lawyer said, that when they moved to Atlanta, they could leave the bugs behind by throwing away pillows, towels and other linens. Instead, they learned the bugs had infested the bed frames and other wood pieces they brought to a rental house in Dallas.
An entomologist the couple eventually consulted told them the bugs crawl into wood furniture, televisions, stereos, clothing and can live up to 18 months without feeding, Worsham said.
Tha family has completely abandoned two homes so far because they were infested.
People need to be aware that rental furniture is at serious risk of harboring bed bugs. Anything that has been in someone else’s home (whether it’s a rental sofa or a set of towels from eBay or Craigslist, or a comforter someone else bought and returned to the store before you bought it “new”) may have bed bugs. Something that can’t thoroughly be inspected, like the insides of a sofa, is especially suspect.
But the other concern here is the truck used to deliver the sofa; from the description above, it may well have been the truck that was infested.
When I first started reading about bed bugs in early 2006, there was a story going around that one furniture rental giant had heaters in its trucks that it used to de-infest rental items. I was impressed and thought this was a great idea. We still do not know which company is doing this, or if it is just another apocryphal bed bug myth. But I’d love to know.