Two passerby contemplate a wooden desk (their bodies block a clear view). Is it safe? Wikihow has a tutorial on how not to bring bedbugs home.
Take care when bringing used furniture ---- into your house. Furniture, however, should be inspected carefully before even bringing it into your home: Check the crevices, behind moldings and other embellishments, and any cracks. Avoid bringing home used mattresses. Wash and dry all soft furnishings, such as curtains, at high temperatures before using.The CDC is an excellent source of information. Bedbugs hide in tiny nooks and crannies. Even in wooden furniture like dresser tables. The little critters can live for many months without any food (blood meal .... yuck). They can travel pretty far in a day (100 feet). In general bedbugs live within eight feet of where people sleep.
So picking up this desk drawer set may be taking a gamble. Especially if its near mattresses and a chair marked as infected. Was this furniture in the bedroom? Quite possibly. Better to take a pass.
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Rogers Park in 1,000 words has written a few posts about the Bed Bug problem here. Curbed Chicago took notice and included them on one of their many link pages.
Before moving into an apartment building look them up here on the Bed Bug Registry. The latest report is from February 2013 at 1705 W Jonquil Terrace. Looks like whoever threw this furniture out didn't bother to log a complaint on the 'net. Studying the surrounding area there are more than a few buildings with bed bug problems nearby.
Clark & Devon does sell some chemicals that are somewhat effective. The surefire way to kill these bugs is heat. 115 degrees Fahrenheit at one hour will do the trick. There are companies that will seal a house or building and pump in very hot air. A strange way to "fumigate". But its the only guaranteed way to get rid of an infestation.
Animal Planet had a great series on this issue called Bedbug Apocalpyse. Warning. Watching! This series may make you pathologically paranoid.