If you just bought your first home, then the furniture and decor you had in your small apartment is likely not enough to fill it and make it feel cozy. You also may need to make your first large appliance purchases, because they are typically provided for you in apartments and many rental homes but not provided in actual purchased homes. However, since that down payment likely took a huge hit on your bank account, you may be looking to save money by filling your home with used appliances, furniture, and decor. You know that used mattresses and sofas need to be closely inspected for signs of bedbugs, but do you know that pests can hide out in other home items? Read on to learn what other home items pests love to hide out in and how to find out if the items are harboring unwanted guests before you bring them into your new home. 

1. Mice and Cockroaches Love to Live in Appliances

When purchasing your first real home appliances, you don't only want to check to ensure they are still working. You also need to examine every appliance, large or small, for signs of pests, especially ovens and refrigerators. Not only can small bugs easily hide in the nooks and crannies of an oven or refrigerator, but cockroaches love to live in refrigerators, and the insulation in the backs of ovens and refrigerators are the favored hiding spots of mice. Not only do mice like to hide out in this warm insulation, but they often breed and build nests in it. 

To avoid bringing critters into your home when purchasing used appliances, inspect every inch of an appliance you are thinking of purchasing with a flashlight and magnifying glass. Look closely for not just live pests, but also mouse droppings, mysterious flakes that could be insect exoskeletons, and small pieces of shredded paper or other small items that mice like to use to build their nests. It may sound strange, but also give every inch of the oven a good sniff. Mice that burrow into the insulation of ovens can easily get electrocuted, and if you find a bad smell coming from the oven, it could be a dead mouse carcass. 

Also, since used appliances are often removed from homes before being sold and placed in garages or storage sheds, inspect not only the room that the appliance is currently being stored in for signs of mice and bugs, but also ask the owner politely if you can take a look at the inside of their kitchen. If they deny the request or you find pest signs in their kitchen, then realize that you are making a risky purchase, even if the appliance passes your initial inspection.

2. Wooden Desks, Tables, and Dressers Can Harbor Stealthy Bedbug Invaders

It is a common misconception that bedbugs only live in beds and upholstered furniture. While they do love soft, fiber-filled furniture that they can easily hide in, they can also spend time in crevices, nooks, and crannies of wooden furniture, especially bed headboards, bedroom dressers (bedbugs often live in drawers filled with clothing and towels) and nightstands. 

Inspect the cracks and crevices of any piece of used wooden furniture you are considering purchasing for small bugs and the tell-tale black dots they leave after feeding. Common bug hiding spots include the seams, joints, and even screw-holes of wooden items. If you are looking at wooden furniture with drawers, also inspect the inside of each drawer carefully, especially the corners and seams. In addition, if you are looking at furniture with flaking paint that you would like to turn into a fun, DIY furniture restoration project, look for bedbugs and their signs under and around any loose paint flakes. 

3. Home Decor Can Also Be Pest Hide-outs

If you also plan to check out the local yard and garage sales to find fun home decorations, then be on the lookout for the signs of bugs in them as well. Examine the seams and joints of picture frames and behind the painting or print if there is already one inside. Also, don't get too caught off-guard by how much you love the look of a decorative throw pillow or small area rug that you forget to inspect these common bed-bug havens. 

If a sale is in a garage, take advantage of the ability to see what is inside of it. If you see any pest-control products lining garage shelves, turn the other way unless an item is glass or ceramic and has no nooks and crannies for critters or their eggs to hide out in. 

Remember that you want to purchase used home items to save money and not end up with a home pest invasion that destroys your home as the result of an impulse purchase gone wrong. If you do end up bringing home an item and finding pest signs on it later, the first thing you should do is call an exterminator  or find out here how to get rid of pests and eggs that can turn into a huge infestation quickly.