Bed bugs can colonize any environment provided the conditions are favorable. The couch is one of the most notorious areas that bed bugs find a lot of comfort. This article elaborates how you can check and confirm that you have an infestation of bed bugs in your couch. You will also be equipped with the information on how to get rid of them.
Bed Bugs Couch- Signs & How to check
There are some indicators that can give you a clue of the presence of bed bugs in your couch. Here we review the real signs and how you can scout for them.
Can they live in leather & fabric couches/sofa?
Not only sofa but bed bugs can also live in the leather furniture. They in fact are capable of living in any place that is dark. The leather couches or sofas have some few dark areas that are as well conducive for the bed bugs.
They will not entirely penetrate to the inside because they will find it a great challenge to burrow through the leather. They only find convenience of space to hide and come out when looking for food at night or even daytime. 
Where do bed bugs hide in couches
They will nest on the surface and perhaps any voids that are left when the furniture was being made. When your house is heavily infested, you will find them on the seams of the couch, the cushions and the folds.
Signs of a couch infested with bed bugs
Whenever you suspect bed bug infestation in your home, look for the following signs to confirm their presence:
- Dark spots which could be the excrement from the bed bugs, or blood spots, when they are accidentally sat on.
- Egg shells that look tiny and pale yellow skin, which the nymphs shed when they grow into adult bugs.
- Some rusty looking stains that is sometimes red in color. This could occur when the bed bugs are crushed when the sofa is brought to use.
- Live bed bugs that crawl on the couch. This could become very evident when the infestation is out of control and they could openly come out from time to time.
How to Check
The best and most reliable method to detect the bed bugs is to check for their physical presence on the sofa. Keep in mind, bed bugs do not only live in the couch but also the nuts and nails of the sofa.
The following are some of the steps you can undertake to check the presence or absence of bed bugs in your furniture:
Acquire white latex gloves, a white sheet of paper and a flashlight for inspecting the sofa.
Put the furniture on the sheet of paper which will help you see the bed bugs.
Use your gloved hand or any other object with sharp edges to run through the cracks and crevices of the couch.
Observe from time to time any signs of bed bugs on your gloves or the white sheet of paper. Use a magnifying lens for better observation. You should be able to observe the real bed bugs, their fecal material or old and shed skin of the bugs.
Using the flashlight, look into the couch especially the dark areas. Bugs hide in very dark areas. Because the bugs do not like light, a flashlight could also scare them from their hiding places and you will be able to see them on the white sheet.
Plastic and other Couch covers for bed bugs
Protection of your sofa sets is always called for when you want to keep the bed bugs away. There are covers and encasements that can help you do this.
How do Bed Bug proof Covers, Protectors and encasements work?
The encasements work by creation of barrier to the bed bugs from accessing the couch. The covers keep all the stages of bed bugs in the zipped cover and this chokes them to death because they will not come out to get a blood meal which they need for survival. They will also lack air and thus collapse and die.
You will also be able to easily detect the bed bugs if you have your furniture covered with the encasement. This because the covers lack the dark areas, folds and nooks that the bugs love to hide in most cases.
What are the pros and cons of these covers?
Looking at the advantages:
- They save you money because you will not spend on getting professionals to exterminate the bugs or even replace the entire infested furniture.
- The bed bug covers also prevent your furniture from getting dust or dirt.
- The covers also act as detecting tools for the bed bugs; especially if the covers are white and clear enough for you to see.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages that are associated with their use. They include:
- They are not entirely effective because not all the bed bugs in the sofa would be killed. The bed bugs would also migrate to other places during covering and then come back after some time.
- They are only effective for the sofa and would be of less use in other areas like the mattresses and the bed.
- Covering the bed requires some technique and special skill to be effective.
Types of covers
This are handcrafted covers that are meant to perfectly fit on the furniture in your house. They are supposed to protect your sofa from any stains from bed bugs or any tear. You can use them permanently or as much as needed. It is recommended that you always clean your furniture before you put the covers.
Fabric slip covers
These are fitted covers that are always easy to take off whenever need arises. They enable you to keep your furniture from the infestation of bed bugs and any other threats to your furniture.
They are designed to end the bed bug infestation and their allergens that they release. Its design combines both the zipper technology as well as the breathable hypoallergenic materials.
This type is meant to prevent and treat the infestation of bed bugs on your sofa. This is a real-time protection if you frequently suffer asthma attack or allergic reactions from the inhalation of the allergens released by the bed bugs.
How to get Rid-Removal & Treatment options
Other than use of covers, how else can you get rid of the bugs in couches?
Washing-how to clean a couch with bed bugs
Laundry is always the number one alternative before any other. All you have to do is remove all the cushions and then strip off the covers then wash them at the highest setting.
Raise the temperature of the water to effectively get rid of the bed bugs. This will only take you about 20 minutes.
If the bed bugs do not succumb to the washing, then subject them to a higher temperature for 90 minutes. Once you are done with the washing, pass the cushions through a dryer if they can fit. You should dry bulkier cushions through commercial dryers because they are set at higher temperatures and could be more effective.
Other treatment and removal options
Apart from the prevention of the terrorism by use of covers, you can also get rid of the bed bugs using vacuum and steam. The use of vacuum picks up the bed bugs, their feces and eggs from the crevices of your sofa.
The use of vacuum is often the fastest and the first step to take before you could even think of steam or other chemicals. It is recommended that you use the HEPA filtered vacuum that could even prevent the bugs from escaping.
After trying the vacuuming, you should go ahead to try the use of steam. This is now the most effective and surest way to completely remove the bed bugs from the couch. The steam produced should be about 180° Fahrenheit. This kills the bugs and even kills the eggs of the bugs.
Residual spray is also effective. After spraying your sofa with the steam, it is important to add some residual spray to continuously kill the bed bugs. Look for the non-staining insecticides that provide up to 12 weeks protection of your couch.
The chemical should also be able to kill the eggs of the bed bugs. Always ensure that you are protected and not to allow the chemicals to get in touch with your skin as it could irritate.
Use climb up interceptors. Prevent the bed bugs from coming back again using the interceptors. Use the climb up interceptors as they are more effective. They work to lure the bed bugs from their hiding places and then trap them in a pit thus killing them. You should place the devices below your couch and in most cases the stands of the couch.
Use a heat treatment unit. The use of ZappBug Room are large equipment that can be used to rid your couches of the any bed bugs. They are more expensive and more effective as well. Because of their costs, they could be rented and used when need arises.
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