How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Inside A Couch

By their name alone, bed bugs have a well-earned reputation for preferring to make a home out of your mattress. There are a lot of good reasons why this is true, too. After all, bed bugs rely on people for food, preferring to snack on our blood every seven days or so.

It, therefore, makes a lot of sense for them to live near where humans spend several hours per day, asleep, unable to defend ourselves.

Furthermore, something like a bed provides a lot of hiding places for bed bugs. Bed bugs like to hide away between meals in a place that is safe and warm. Your home, and more specifically, your bed, provides just the right environment for a bed bug to live and lay its eggs.

But wait a minute…doesn’t all of this also describe other furniture, such as couches? If bed bugs are fond of mattresses, wouldn’t they also be more than happy to set up shop in and around your comfy couch?

CC Image courtesy of louento.pix

Do Bed Bugs Live In Couches?

The short answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” Bed bugs like to be in a climate-controlled environment, which your home surely provides. They also like to be near a source of food that allows them to feed at regular intervals, and most humans are obviously found on their couches for a fair amount of time each and every day.

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What’s more, couches provide a lot of cracks, crevices, grooves, all of which provide ample hiding spots for tiny bed bugs and their eggs. When you add it all up, it makes total sense that bed bugs would decide to make their home within your couch.

Bed Bugs On Clothes

Signs That Bed Bugs May Be In Your Couch

So, we have established that yes, bed bugs do like living in couches when they find the opportunity to infest them. However, it can be much more difficult to ascertain whether bed bugs are living in your couch or your bed when you start noticing skin irritation or bite marks.

Bed Bug Bites

Finding bed bugs during the day can be a little tricky, but not impossible if you know exactly what to look for.

First of all, be ready to look closely, because bed bugs, their eggs, and the evidence they leave behind are very small and require good lighting and a very close inspection. Make sure you have a flashlight and a magnifying glass at hand. An old credit card is also useful for checking difficult to access areas, and think about putting on a pair of nitrile gloves for good measure.

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When you look, you’ll be trying to find a few things in particular. The first would be black spots or small red spots. While black spots are signs of bed bug waste, tiny red spots are proof that they have been feeding.

Also, keep an eye out for tiny, milky white cylinders about half the size of a rice grain, which are bed bug eggs.

Bed Bug Eggs
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Bed bugs themselves are flat and oval-shaped, and will grow to become reddish-brown, only taking up half the space of an apple seed at full maturity. Finally, the discarded skins of growing bed bugs are paler in color and look like pale shells, which is essentially what they are.

Bed bug shell – CC Image courtesy of louento.pix

During the time that you look, use your old credit card to trace seams, edges, zippers, and other small spaces. Remove any dust covers, take cushions out, and even flip your couch over to check from the bottom. Being thorough here is key to the detection process. A thorough examination can also let you determine how serious the infestation is, and importantly, what your next move must be.

Finally, bed bugs will bite dogs and cats if human blood is in scarce supply, so if your pet bedding is close to the sofa, check this area also.

Ways To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs From Your Couch

It simply is not possible to continue to use a couch infested with bed bugs as if there is no problem at all. Bed bugs have to be dealt with quickly and effectively before they spread out of control.

Fortunately, there are a number of proven ways to get bed bugs out of your couch for once and for all. Your options include vacuuming, steam cleaning, and of course, calling an experienced professional exterminator. Let’s take a look at each of the options below, and see what they entail.

Vacuuming

In many ways, vacuuming is the first step that you should take once you have done your thorough inspection and determined that your couch has become home to bed bugs and their eggs.

Vacuuming is a good place to start because it’s a quick and relatively easy way to reduce a bed bug population. You want to lower their numbers with each new effort, so vacuuming up as many as you can to get started makes a lot of sense.

If at all possible, use a HEPA filtered vacuum for this step, as it allows you to keep bed bugs from escaping the vacuum’s canister and getting back into other areas of your home. Carefully vacuum the couch, including the cushions on all sides, underneath, in all the little crevices, and so forth. Afterward, it’s strongly advised that you move on to steaming the couch eradication.

When it comes to choosing a vacuum in your fight against an infestation, you need a product that can be reliable, and one that is powerful enough to create secure suction deep within fabric and carpet fibers. And remember; it’s imperative you choose a vacuum that’s installed with a HEPA filter to ensure it’s impossible for insects to escape once captured.

My personal favorite for this sort of job is the medium-priced Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum, which easily ticks all of the boxes I’ve just mentioned, as well as being lightweight and easily maneuverable.

Steam

A common misconception about bed bugs is that the best way to get rid of them is through toxic pesticides, bleach, or other items that are not necessarily safe for use around humans or pets. Not so, however. You can also use the power of intense heat to rid your couch of these nasty bloodsuckers.

Does Steam Kill Bed Bugs

Bed bugs, like many living creatures and insects, can only survive in specific temperature ranges. For bed bugs, that range ends at about 117 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, one of the proven ways of getting rid of bed bugs is to heat up their environment past that point. Steam heating is a great way to get that done and kill bed bugs as well as their eggs.

This process required special steamers that have nozzles allowing the steam heat to be applied to specific areas. For your couch,  you will simply need to steam clean all areas, including underneath the couch, and of course, in all of the little nooks, cracks, and crevices that bed bugs like to hang out and lay their eggs in. Once again, thoroughness is of the utmost importance here.

If you’re looking for a powerful and reliable steamer for use against infestations and at a good price, the PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner is a great choice. It’s heavy-duty, made to last, and produces a great covering of extremely hot pressurized steam – exactly what you want in order to kill insects and their eggs on impact.

This steamer can be used on a wide number of surfaces and objects, including mattresses, carpets, curtains, clothing, box springs, bedding and baseboards.

If your steamer has an adjustment dial, try turning down the pressure when doing flat surfaces, and turning the dial up when getting inside any crevices and grooves.

Call An Exterminator

For many people, calling an exterminator may be the last resort. After all, retaining the services of an exterminator is likely to be somewhat costly. However, if you’ve tried doing it yourself and it’s just not working, an exterminator can be a great option to have. If this is the route you eventually decide to go down, do your research, read reviews, and compare prices to make a well-informed decision.

Pest control experts can also give great advice with regard to bed bug prevention methods to help stop your home from becoming re-infested once the initial bug population has been exterminated.

What To Do If Your Couch Is Heavily Infested?

Under certain circumstances, it actually may be best to just discard your couch. Obviously, this is a very individual decision and has to take into account the age of the furniture, your budget, and perhaps other factors, as well.

If your couch is older, you are interested in replacing it anyway, or you just want to be done with the infestation no matter the cost, discarding it is a viable option. It should be noted that this process must be done a certain way, however.

First of all, be careful when moving your infested couch outdoors. Bed bugs are opportunistic and could hop out and find a new home elsewhere along the way, so move the couch quickly when the time comes.

Also, you don’t want any unsuspecting individuals to think that your couch is a good alternative for someone looking for free furniture. Clearly mark the couch as infested with bed bugs so that anybody who sees it won’t be tempted to take it home with them.

In some cases, you may be best off seeking out good local removal options. These options could include pickup by qualified professionals, a designated place to discard the couch, and more. Finally, a removal company can be hired to deal with it all for you, if you prefer. Obviously, this will come with a much higher cost than doing it yourself, and you should let them know exactly what sort of infestation you’re dealing with.

Can Bed Bugs Live Outside

Summary

Bed bugs are not to be taken lightly and they will not simply go away on their own or if ignored. A proactive approach is necessary to get rid of them whether they are in your bedroom or in your living room couch. Bed bugs can go months without feeding, so waiting for them to leave and starving them out is not a viable option.

Fortunately, the approaches outlined in this article have been proven time and time again to be effective strategies for bed bug and egg removal. Hopefully, these tips have helped you to get the answers you need to fight off bed bugs within your home.