Management and Prevention in Garment and Furniture Recycling / Re-use programs

Advice to Garment and Furniture Recycling / Re-use Organizations

Modified from Dr. Stephen A. Kells, Associate Professor, Structural and Stored Product Entomology, University of Minnesota

  1. Contact a local canine scent detection team to see if they would donate time or provide reduced cost services for periodic bed bug detection.
  2. Train receivers to ask direct questions about materials received. They could have asked if furniture was clean and bug free. Ensure they are able to identify bed bug-soiled materials.
  3. Realize that bed bug sources may not be just the donated furniture, but clientele visiting the store, or employees, may be transporting bed bugs.
  4. Place a control step in the system for at-risk materials, such as heat treatment, fumigation, or even a simple clothes dryer (keep in mind that fumigations require licensed personnel, following the label, etc.). Many of these smaller groups may be able to leverage a donation of equipment or services. The key here is to identify and minimize at-risk materials, as not all items require control (i.e., the importance of step two).
  5. Have control scenarios planned ahead of time, include licensed and experienced PMPs in this planning.
  6. Understand the potential cost of handling, disposing, or controlling a widespread infestation. Earlier detection and containment of smaller infestations will be less of a hit to their budget. Especially if they are identified as a source of infestation and have to assist in cleaning up an infestation in a recipient’s place of residence.

The cost of eliminating a large infestation can be a major shot to a non-profit’s budget. Anticipating a bed bug issue can greatly reduce the risk and enable organizers to set up funding and donations for equipment and services to help with monitoring, containment and response programs.

Precautionary Statement

To protect people and the environment, pesticides should be used safely. This is everyone’s responsibility, especially the user. Read and follow label directions carefully before you buy, mix, apply, store or dispose of a pesticide. According to laws regulating pesticides, they must be used only as directed by the label and registered for use in your state.


This publication contains pesticide recommendations that are subject to change at any time. The recommendations in this publication are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator’s responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. The label always takes precedence over the recommendations found in this publication.

Use of trade or brand names in this publication is for clarity and information; it does not imply approval of the product to the exclusion of others that may be of similar, suitable composition, nor does it guarantee or warrant the standard of the product. The author(s), the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and University of Tennessee Extension assume no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations.