A reader in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area wrote tonight to tell me this story.
The reader, who has suffered much from bed bugs and was discarding a cherished piece of wooden furniture only after a long fight with bed bugs and many treatments. It was wrapped in sealed plastic and labeled as being infested with bed bugs.
A [name of large dept. store chain xxx] delivery truck just stopped at my house.
A man rang my door bell and asked if he could take the piece for it looked like garbage. I told him that I wouldn’t take it if I were him. He asked why and I told him that there is a possibility that it’s infested, hence the sign. Thank goodness they drove away.
But I just cannot believe that if they took it — and yes, I have the thing wrapped to the hilt — they would be putting it in the [xxx company] truck.
That was a delivery truck for a major and well-respected national chain, which was presumably in the course of dropping off new items in the area. I hope this reader will write a letter to that company, explaining what happened, and why it was a bad thing.
Many people in the driver’s shoes would simply take the item. Obviously, the sign was no deterrent.
Had the reader not been home, even this driver might have taken the item. It was carefully wrapped, so the company’s other customers might actually have been protected. But someone willing to ignore a bed bug warning sign might also not get why they should not peek inside. And eventually, the item would have been unwrapped somewhere.
Having heard much more of this reader’s saga, I know why this person is discarding the item. If you can avoid it, however, get furniture treated. Depending on what bed bug treatment your home is getting, such items can be dry steamed, sprayed by a PCO, or left in a home where Vikane or thermal treatments are being done. Try not to discard bed bug infested furniture. If it cannot be destroyed (as this piece of wooden furniture would have taken some work to destroy), get it sprayed to the hilt.
And since many folks are going to toss things anyway, write a letter to lobby your local officials to create a bed bug task force (New York vs. Bed Bugs gives a sample letter for New Yorkers in particular, and to implement (among other things) ways of dealing with bed bug-infested refuse. Because, let’s face it, some stuff is going to get tossed.