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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Couches

Do bed bugs live in couches? Some may not realize that this is possible, but people usually throw their couch away or leave it somewhere far from their home once they discover that their couch is infested. Well, for some this may be the common solution when they find bed bugs in their couch, but it is not the best idea. It actually makes matters worse as it increases the risk of not detecting how serious the infestation is. Other people may get bed bugs if they take the couch home from where you left it.

It is more difficult to find bed bugs in couches. Instead of throwing it away it's ideal that you learn how to get rid of bed bugs on couches and make sure that you can slowly but surely get rid of them.

Confirming Bed Bug Activity on Your Couch

Instead of throwing your couch away, there are certain things you can do to deal with the bed bugs. First, you need to confirm the presence of bed bugs. Inspection is the first step in learning how you can deal with bed bugs in your couch. Get a flashlight, a magnifying glass, a pair of gloves, and an old credit card to effectively search for bed bugs on your couch.

The following are some of the signs you should look for to confirm their presence and get an idea of the severity of the infestation:

  • Black fecal spots

If there are fecal spots, the chances of bed bugs inhabiting your couch are high. Whether your furniture is upholstered or cloth-covered, you will see streaks or spots of bed bug waste.

  • Sheds of skin

These are obvious signs that bed bugs are going through different stages in their life cycle successfully. It also indicates that these pests are getting full blood meals and maturing.

  • Eggs

During the inspection, you may find bed bugs stuck on the hard surfaces of the couch. These will be the size of half of a grain of rice.

  • Live bed bugs

If you see flat bugs, you have most likely found live bed bugs. You may see wingless, oval-shaped bugs that are either hiding in peace or crawling like ants. You might also see nymphs or smaller bugs that are almost transparent in colour as you inspect your couch.

During the inspection, start by removing the cushions and other removable parts. Make sure that you thoroughly inspect each item you remove. Bed bugs are known to squeeze into narrow and small spaces, which requires you to check the smallest and most hidden parts of the couch.

Inspect every edge, seam, and zipper. Remember that the bottom part of the couch has a lot of cracks and crevices, so it is best that you check each of these small spaces for bed bugs.

Steps for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs Hiding on your Couch

Once you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs on your couch, the following are steps you can do to get rid of them:

  1. Start with washing

Remove all cushions and strip off covers. Wash and dry them at the hottest setting. The bugs will die when you set the temperature at 113°F within 90 minutes. However, you can speed up the process at 20 minutes by setting it at 118°F. Unlike adult bed bugs, eggs are more resilient. So, to reach 100% mortality, heat treat your belongings at 118°F for about 90 minutes.

If you are not sure about how hot your dryer can get, simply set it at the highest setting and keep it running for more than 90 minutes just to be safe. If the cushions can fit in your dryer, you can also run them at the highest temperature. If not, set them aside for steaming.

For bulkier cushions, bring them to the laundromat. There are commercial dryers that can be set at the highest possible temperature and can penetrate through the thick fabrics and get rid of bed bugs in couch cushions.

  1. Vacuum

In contrast to the belief of many that vacuuming can get rid of bed bugs, it is only a part of an entire process to control the infestation and keep the population low. In addition, it helps in getting rid of all the gross signs of these pests like shed skins and fecal matter.

Attach an accessory that will allow you to vacuum through the cracks and crevices of the couch, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Once that is done, immediately put the vacuum bag inside a sealable plastic bag and shut it tight. Dispose of it outdoors to prevent any of the bugs from escaping and getting back inside.

  1. Steam the bugs to death

Steam cleaning is the most effective and environmentally-friendly method of completely killing bed bugs as well as their eggs upon contact. Popular steamers that we carry are the Polti Cimex Eradicator and Polti Vaporetto Smart 40. These are powerful and lightweight steam cleaners that work effectively in killing bed bugs. The hot steam that each product produces can penetrate through the thick cushions and reach bed bugs wherever they are hiding.

Getting a steam cleaner is a worthy investment as you are able to get the impressive steam treatment that you can do repeatedly until your couch is completely free from these pesky critters. Aside from getting rid of bed bugs through heat treatment, it can also be used for cleaning and sanitizing your home.

We highly recommend that you get either the Polti Cimex or Polti Vaporetto Smart 40. Both offer amazing steam power but are cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly. Utilize any of the accessories included to maximize the cleaning power.

Here’s a steam-cleaning tip: When treating cracks and crevices, use attachments with smaller nozzles and wrap the tip of the nozzle in a washcloth. This will concentrate the steam at the tip and effectively clean narrow spaces.

  1. Use bed bug spray for remaining bed bugs

If you find remaining bed bugs, you can use a chemical spray that will kill both live bed bugs and prevent new ones from developing. However, this is not recommended if you have children and pets as they may be exposed to the harmful effects of the chemical pesticides.

A safer option to use is an all-natural bed bug spray. This type of spray kills bugs on contact and doesn’t leave residual effects. Or you can also use diatomaceous earth by sprinkling them in possible hiding areas to kill bugs once they come in contact to the powder.

  1. Make use of bed bug traps

To prevent re-infestation, you should use bed bug traps and put them under the legs of the couch. If the type of couch that you have is touching the ground, you can use some lifts to prevent it from touching the ground.

Since they can’t fly or jump, bed bugs will have to crawl through the traps, preventing them from re-infesting the couch.

Other Options To Try

Another way is using a bed bug cover for your couch. If you have a serious infestation, you can put additional bed bug killers on the couch prior to encasing it. This will prevent them from escaping and letting other bed bugs crawl up the couch.

If the entire process above has worked and you would like to keep your couch safe from re-infestation, you can use our FurnitureSafe Furniture Encasement to protect your couch. It is made from high-quality fabric that is bed bug-proof and has a zipper with a hook closure to ensure that no bed bugs can crawl in and out of the cover.

It is unnecessary for you to throw away a bed bug-infested couch, especially if you are knowledgeable on how to deal with them. Try the methods and other options mentioned above to completely get rid of these pests from your favourite couch.

When to Call for Professionals

If you notice that there are still bed bugs in certain pieces of furniture, the bed frame, and anywhere else, it is best that you call an exterminator.

Calling for pest control companies will give you peace of mind that there are experts working on the bed bug treatment. Yes, it may be expensive. But it is the best option especially when you found bugs not only on the couch but on other areas as well.

If the entire process above has worked and you would like to keep your couch safe from re-infestation, you can use our FurnitureSafe Furniture Encasement to protect your couch. It is made from high-quality fabric that is bed bug-proof and has a zipper with a hook closure to ensure that no bed bugs can crawl in and out of the cover.

It is unnecessary for you to throw away a bed bug-infested couch, especially if you are knowledgeable on how to deal with them. Try the methods and other options mentioned above to completely get rid of these pests from your favourite couch.


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