Thrift store couch leaves woman with bed bug infe­station

Tagged furniture can mean germ-free, not bug-free


SAN ANTONIO - "I felt something, I looked down, there were bed bugs -- there were three of them on me, actually," said customer, Passion Ross.

Even before Ross actually saw the insects, she said she noticed bites on her hand.

She also remembers being so freaked out that she tossed the used couch and chair she purchased at a second-hand store onto the front lawn.

"They were, like, a little cluster -- like ... scattered about on the under side of the cushion," Ross said.

Prior to buying the couch, Ross saw yellow tags on the furniture in the store showing the merchandise had been treated with a germicide.

"The Texas Health code says that you sanitized this, but you're absolutely right it doesn't say that we bedbug-proofed it, it just says that we sanitized it," said Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman, Chris Van Deusen.

He said he doesn't think the tags give customers a false sense of security, explaining the purpose is to show the store has a permit to do the treatment and has performed the germicidal treatment.

"They're germicides, so they kill bacteria, and then they also have the property of being insecticide, so they should kill flees, ticks, bed bugs, other insects," Van Deusen said.

The Health Department also does periodic inspections to ensure the items tagged as treated have actually been treated.

While Van Deusen thinks the tags should give people some peace of mind, he recommends customers do their own inspection.


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