Keep Bed Bugs Out of Up-cycle

Garage sale gems, free-cycle finds, and thrift store treasures promise the creative DIYer hours of enjoyment and, sometimes, unwanted invaders. Prevent bed bugs from making a home with you by following these 3 simple steps before you start your free furniture transformation.

Step One: Inspect

Step One - Inspect for Bed Bugs

Before you bring any used item home, inspect it for signs of bed bugs. This is the number one way to prevent bed bugs. Solid wood items are the easiest to inspect; fully upholstered furniture is the most difficult. The DIYers in our office avoid used upholstered furniture; it’s just not worth the risk. Inspect furniture by looking for bed bugs and bed bugs eggs along the joins, bottom of drawers, and inside drawer casements. Flip the furniture over and inspect the underside as well. If you see any crawling bed bugs, bed bug spotting, or bed bugs eggs find something else to work on. Bed bugs are flat and oval. Adult bed bugs are about the size of a small apple seed. Bed bug spotting on wood looks like someone stippled the wood with a fine point Sharpie. Bed bug eggs are whitish, rice shaped and about 1/16 of an inch.

Bed Bugs on Upholstery

Step Two: Quarantine Upholstery

Tip: Keep both a flat head and a Phillips-head screw drive in your car, along with contractor-grade garbage bags and zip ties, just for preparing furniture for transport.

Tip: Keep both a flat head and a Phillips-head screw driver in your car, along with contractor-grade garbage bags and zip ties, just for preparing furniture for transport.

After that roadside rescue passes initial bed bug inspection, quarantine any upholstery. Ideally, you’ll remove any upholstered parts, such as padded chair seats, and seal them in a plastic bag before placing the furniture in your car. Once you get home either remove the upholstery and padding out of doors, or bag the upholstered pieces for later clean up. Under no circumstances, should you bring upholstered furniture of unknown origin into your home. Bed bugs are nasty little blood suckers and you don’t want them in your house!

Step Three: Dispose of Upholstery

Step Three Remove Old Upholstery to Avoid Bed Bugs

Step Three Dispose of Old Upholstery and Bed Bugs

Remove upholstery and padding out of doors, place it in a heavy plastic garbage bag, and dispose of in an outside trash receptacle. Your home is now safe from bed bugs or bed bug eggs hidden within the fabric or padding. Finally, inspect the wood parts of the seat for any signs of bed bugs.

Ugly Chair Up-cycle

In this post, we included “before” photos of an up-cycle project by Kinzie Balfour, friend of the Thrasher family. She followed our three simple steps to keep bed bugs out of her project and her home workshop. You’ve seen the ugly chair before photos, now here are a few of her up-cycled chair “after” photos. Great job, Kinzie, and thanks for letting us peek into your workshop.

DIY Upholstered Chair Kinzie Balfour

Kinzie gave a medieval flair to this chair. She added a fully padded back with upholstery nails and carved the clover shape into the frame.


Before: Yard Sale Find, c/o PAC-SJ

We forgot to take a “before” photo of the arm chair; however, it was in the same poor condition as this matching side chair.

anded, Stained, Shellacked

The legs were full of cat scratches. Sanding and stain hid most of them. Amber shellac added luster.

Solid Plywood Attached to Back

1/4″ veneer plywood provides support for the newly padded back.


At Thrasher Termite and Pest Control, we make homes healthy through effective pest control, termite inspections, and termite control.  No gimmicks, no nonsense, and when we’re done, no pests. Satisfaction Guaranteed. We’re licensed, bonded and insured. Our family owned business has offices in Silicon Valley

[408-354-9944] and in San Diego [619-955-5121].

SERVICES: Termite Inspections, Termite Treatments, Termite Repairs, Pest Control and Eradication: control of Ants, Bed Bugs, Bees, Beetles, Cockroaches, Rats, Mice, Rodents, Flies, Mosquitoes, Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets, Fleas, Ticks, Pantry Pests, Earwigs, Crickets, Flies, Scorpions, Spiders, and more.

Members of both the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), Thrasher Termite & Pest Control is well recognized in the pest control industry. We are members in good standing of QualityPro, the mark of excellence in pest management. Janet Thrasher is a Santa Clara Valley District Director of PCOC and a member of the state insurance committee; Garrett Thrasher is San Diego District Chairman of PCOC.

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