Can Bed Bugs Live in Couch | Easily Missed Signs and Prevention Tips

Written by Thomas Matthews

As we all know, bed bugs aren’t that meticulous when it comes to their place of living. Wherever you can’t see them, that’s a good spot for them to live and lay their eggs. Bed bugs are called like that because they mostly attack your bed and everything that surrounds it – carpets, clothes, and other furniture.

The couch is especially comfortable for bed bugs because it has numerous hiding spots, and is also, unfortunately, easy to get into. Every piece of furniture is a possible hideout place when it comes to bed bugs.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we think it’s time to learn more about bed bugs in couches. Learning everything there is about bed bug infestation in different places is crucial for knowing how to fight them off. That being said, let’s delve deeper into this topic and see if this type of infestation is as severe as they say.

Why Have Bed Bugs Infested Your Couch?

Why Have Bed Bugs Infested Your Couch

Let’s say you suspect you have a bed bugs infestation on your couch. The natural thing to do is wonder why did the infestation happen. Well, numerous factors are contributing to this.

The first factor is that your house or your neighborhood is prone to bed bugs. Your neighbor might have them and since they travel quickly from one place to another, they got into your place. Remember that bed bugs easily stick on the surface, thanks to their flat bodies but are unable to burrow. This means that bed bugs walked from someone’s house to yours.

You might have bed bugs in your clothes without even noticing it. Does your skin feel itchy when wearing certain clothes? If so, bed bugs might be in your house, ravaging and biting you and your family. Don’t panic now – bed bugs always do that and their bites aren’t poisonous, so you’ll survive.

There’s another reason why you might find bed bugs in your home and it’s the lack of vacuuming. Do you vacuum often? If not, you want to start doing it right now. No matter how clean your home is, bed bugs WILL get into your couch, as they don’t care about the smell of your home.

Only thing bed bugs care is blood – your blood. If you don’t vacuum, you can’t get rid of bed bugs. But then, if you don’t throw away your vacuum bag, you just negate what you already did.

How Did Bed Bugs Get in Your Couch?

So, how did these bad boys and girls get in your couch? Once again, there are numerous ways in which we’re going to mention some of the most common ones. The main way bed bugs can get into your home is from the environment. Yeah, it’s obvious, right? Bed bugs can easily spread when they have the chance and get into your home in a matter of days.

You can either go to someone who has bed bugs and then return with them to your home or simply buy a bed with bed bugs inside. Some manufacturers use pesticides or other methods to prevent this but if you buy from an unverified seller… well, these pieces of furniture could be infested with bed bugs.

Once you buy that bed and it’s delivered to you, bed bugs can and will walk everywhere they want in your house. They will attack your furniture, get into your wardrobe, and lay down their eggs wherever they deem suitable. This is how bed bugs will get in your couch most often.

Another common situation is that you have a crack or cracks in your wall from where bed bugs can pass through. Even the tiniest cracks in the wall are enough for bed bugs to pass through. Thanks to their flat body, they can pass wherever a credit card can, so you can get a picture of how small they are.

The bed bugs are less likely to appear in urban areas, whereas, in the areas close to junkyards or generally rural areas, bed bugs have a higher chance of appearing.

Can Bed Bugs Live Under the Couch?

Can Bed Bugs Live Under the Couch

Yes, bed bugs can live under the couch. Will they live there always? No, but bed bugs will live where you spend your time the most. Their goal is not to get on your nerves by infesting your house but to feed off your blood.

If the blood isn’t near their place of living, why even bother? But, if you sleep on the couch, bed bugs will most likely live there, as they can easily feed. However, the couch can be infested with different bugs, aside from the ones we’re talking about now. That’s why many people nowadays don’t sleep on the couch but keep it there just for casual sitting during the day.

So, which bugs can infest your couch, aside from the bed bugs? Here’s the brief list:

  1. Fleas
  2. Dust Mites
  3. Carpet Beetles
  4. Cockroaches

That’s quite a lot of bugs, isn’t it? Fleas, for example, are the most similar to bed bugs. Much like bed bugs, they feed on blood, so they will bite you the same way. Carpet beetles seem much less dangerous, as they feed on fabric. They will not attack you but over time, they will eat out the fabric on your couch and cushions, which can create some unwanted costs. 

Dust mites, as their name implies, feed on dust or dead skin. Your couch has plenty of it, making it an ideal place for living. Finally, we have cockroaches, these nasty bugs that feed on old blood. All of these bugs live in the frame, as they will not be disturbed as often there. Bed bugs, on the other hand, can live wherever they find suitable, which doesn’t need to be your bed frame.

If bed bugs find it comfortable to live under the couch, they will gladly do it, especially if your couch legs are short, as this will make it easier for them to climb up when needed. Couches with taller legs are somewhat more secure but not very much, as bed bugs have no problem climbing whenever they wish.

Can Bed Bugs Get on the Leather Couches?

Can Bed Bugs Get on the Leather Couches

Bed bugs can get on the leather couches but they can’t live there. The reason for this is that their eggs can’t stick to the leather quite well. Female bed bugs use their saliva-like liquid on the place they want to stick their eggs but once again, leather isn’t the kind of material that benefits bed bugs in that sense.

As for walking across the leather couch, sure, it’s possible. However, they will do that when traveling to another spot where they can feed or to their hiding spot. Generally, leather furniture is less suitable for bed bugs unless they can get inside somehow.

The only way bed bugs can get into your leather couch is through some hole, as bed bugs can’t burrow. This hole can be directly in the leather part or to the sides where the mattress and the frame join. There is always a small hole between them and this hole is enough to let through hundreds of bed bugs.

Bed Bugs Eggs in Couch

Bed bugs lay their eggs where they can properly hide them and that’s inside your couch, in this case. Now, can these eggs live enough to survive in the couch? Absolutely – depending on the temperature, of course.

This means that bed bugs eggs can live in the couch and in most cases, this is the place where they will lay their eggs, as it’s safe and without disturbances.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Couch?

Getting rid of bed bugs is a whole other story, covered in our separate article – How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Couch. The reason for this is that we devoted a special article that includes a step-by-step guide for several methods that can help in exterminating bed bugs from your couch.

But, before you start reading that article, we suggest you stick with us because we also gave you some ways to prevent bed bugs from getting into your couch. It’s always best to prevent them than to fight them. In case you already have bed bugs in your couch, you are forced to fight but after you read the aforementioned article, the odds that you’ll win that fight are pretty high!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting Into Couch?

How do you prevent bed bugs from getting into the couch? Here are some ideas:

  • Vacuum Often

Vacuum, vacuum, and vacuum! When you grab your vacuum cleaner, don’t just wipe the floor. The floor isn’t the only place prone to dirt or bugs – your bed is, too! I remember when I was a child, my mother used to vacuum my bed and it was always when I was on it. But, I also don’t remember having any bed bugs in my home!

By vacuuming, you get rid of a vast majority of bed bugs outside your bed. This way, you ensure that bed bugs won’t appear, given that you didn’t have them beforehand. Vacuuming your couch isn’t going to take forever, that’s why you should do it often.

We’ve talked about diatomaceous earth in the previous articles. This product is the most effective in fighting against bed bugs, especially the food-grade ones. By sprinkling it around your couch, in the holes, and crevices, you ensure that bed bugs suffer a painful death.

Isn’t that what you want? If you use food-grade diatomaceous earth, you ensure that you’re safe and you get the same effectiveness when it comes to killing bed bugs. It’s cheap, and affordable, and there’s no reason not to sprinkle it around just for security.

  • Check the Furniture Before You Buy It

We’ve said it but we’ll say it again. ALWAYS check your furniture before you buy it. It might seem clean on the outside but you don’t know what’s under it or inside it. In many cases, the seller will give you a warranty, which allows you to inspect it when you purchase it and see if there are bed bugs. If there are bugs, you can return the item or never shop there again. 

Look for verified sellers, look for reviews on the internet, and make your final decision. Bed bugs infestation can be quite severe and believe me, you don’t want to be a victim. Not only you will be nervous all the time but also waste money thanks to your lack of attention.

  • Check your House for Infestation

Finally, check if your house is infested with bed bugs. The couch might not be the culprit here. Bed bugs can hide in the holes of your wall or any other piece of furniture. If they were hiding in some other beds in your house, chances are that they will go to a new one.

Before you bring a new piece of furniture, be sure to check your house for any signs of infestation. Holes in the wall, carpets, clothes, and beds should all be checked. If it’s safe, take our third piece of advice when buying a new piece of furniture. This will ensure that no bed bug gets inside your home.

List of Sources

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus (Bed Bugs), University of Florida/IFAS Featured Creatures Web site

Dolling WR. 1991. The Hemiptera. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

Krueger L. 2000. Don’t get bitten by the resurgence of bed bugs. Pest Control 68: 58-64.

Schuh R, Slater JA. 1995. True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera : Heteroptera) Classification and Natural History. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

Thomas Matthews
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