WEST COLUMBIA, SC — A South Carolina couple got more than they bargained for when they purchased a couch from Craigslist. The husband and wife say they soon discovered the furniture was infested with bed bugs.
Over the past month, Katie John’s West Columbia home has been torn apart. “We’re not comfortable in our house right now, and that’s what I’m most angry about.”
It all started with a new sectional.
“My husband was browsing on Craigslist, and he found a sectional sofa for a really good deal. It was like $250, and he called me and said, ‘How about we get a new sofa?'” said homeowner Katie Johns.
They say they picked it up from the online seller at a storage unit in Columbia. Johns says in just about a week she and her son started noticing bright red blotches on their skin. A doctor’s diagnosis — likely bed bug bites.
Johns couldn’t believe it — until she had to. “Turned on the flashlight and got right down beside my bed and saw one bug…I’m looking some more, and I see another one. I bagged five bugs…When the exterminators came and they actually pulled the couch apart, it was immediately clear that the couch — in fact, that one section of the couch — was infested.”
Johns says the $225 couch has cost her $3,000. To this day, she continues to find bed bugs, mainly under the couch. Luckily, they’re dead or dying.
Johns says she’s not seeking retribution or a new couch. She says she’s only trying to warn others. The CraigsList seller had other furniture items in the storage unit too.
“In fact, my husband said as he was picking up the couch, there was a couple coming in to pick up a bedroom suite. The fact that he’s possibly continuing to do this infuriates me.” said Katie Johns.
WIS-TV says they contacted the seller — who said he had no idea the furniture contained bed bugs.