Used Moving Boxes and Bed Bugs
Most of us have fond memories of making forts in our living room as children with our old moving boxes, right? Perhaps that’s just me. Either way, there is nothing like the comfort of having an array of new cardboard boxes for packing your belongings leading up to a move. It’s kind of like opening up a new pair of shoes; they have that new, fresh, clean feeling to them. When you purchase a supply of new cardboard boxes and new moving supplies you actually know that you are the first person to be using them. The issue with used cardboard boxes is that you don’t know whose items or what kind of things were packed into them before you or the cleanliness of their home. Were they a smoker? Did they have pets? Or even worse: PESTS. This opens the door to a recent hot button topic: disgusting and rampant bedbugs.
Bedbugs have long been an issue in motels and hotels. But it doesn’t end there: many residences across the US are sadly afflicted by these persistent little blood suckers. The scariest part is that they transfer to a new victim easily and hitch a ride home, whether you are unlucky enough to sit on a friend’s infested couch or use a contaminated moving box. What’s even worse, they can stay alive without food for up to one year and in temperatures ranging from 14 ° F and up to 115 ° F, meaning they can cling to used boxes and packing materials for much too long. Once active they feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals and are blamed for causing skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. The ramifications of an infestation are so horrible that the psychological damage can persist for months after the infestation. We’re not kidding! Check this out recent article from the New York Times.
If that isn’t gross enough, once bed bugs get into your home they are very difficult to exterminate as some species are becoming immune to ever increasing forms of chemical pesticides. Not exactly the persistent houseguest you want after moving into your new home, right?
Occasionally clients have asked us to lend them wardrobe boxes for their moves, but unlike other moving companies who will reuse wardrobe boxes up to 100 times before being thrown away, we have opted to only sell new moving boxes and moving supplies because the health and safety of our clients is our top priority. On a green note, we do remove and recycle 100% of the boxes we unpack.
Oh, and because we like to help, if you are worried that you may have bedbugs from another moving company’s used boxes, here is a helpful tip on how to check: Turn off the lights in the room. Grab a hair dryer, and aim it at an area of your mattress along the seams. Aim hot air at the area for 20-30 seconds and then run and quickly turn on the lights. If you had bed bugs, they will have congregated where the heat is. Works at a hotel, too!
Here’s to sanitary, bug-free moving and traveling!