Can Bed Bugs Live on Leather?

When we go to the store to purchase clothes, we often see that leather clothes are much more expensive than ordinary ones. For example, a quality leather jacket will cost twice or trice as much in comparison to an ordinary jacket. It’s true that the quality leather is durable and is almost impossible to tear but if you already have tears somewhere on your leather clothes or leather furniture… well, that’s when the new potential problem can arise. That problem is the bed bug infestation.

Can bed bugs live on leather? Bed bugs always prefer fabric instead of leather since it’s easier for them to walk across the fabric. However, if your leather furniture or piece of clothing has a tear, bed bugs can get inside. This means that bed bugs can live in leather! As much as it may sound disappointing, that’s the ugly truth of bed bugs.

Bed Bug Exterminators

If you ask an experienced exterminator about this, he will probably tell you that he encountered numerous cases regarding bed bugs in leather, so it’s not as rare as you think.

In this article, we’re going to talk about bed bugs in leather and see if they can live or survive in various leather items, such as clothes and furniture. If you have leather furniture in your house, we suggest you keep reading, as this article will explain everything about bed bugs in leather, as well as ways of getting rid of them.

Do Bed Bugs like Leather?

Bed bugs like everything that is close to their host and can be used as a harborage. The prime example of this is your bed because you use it for 5 to 10 hours, depending on your sleep time. If they can get inside it, and in most cases, they can, this is going to be their primary harborage for attacking you during your sleep. Now, what if this bed is made of leather? In this case, the same principle can be applied, as long as there’s space for them to enter. Let’s be honest, every bed has places where bed bugs can get inside, so in 99% of cases, bed bugs will get inside.

As for the leather, they don’t like it or dislike it. Instead, they prefer fabric over leather but if your bed isn’t made of fabric, they’ll have zero problems attacking your leather bed. Of course, it’s harder for them to walk on leather but if they have their host nearby, leather is going to be the least of a problem.

Can Bed Bugs Get in Leather?

Can Bed Bugs Get in Leather

Yes, bed bugs can get in leather but only if there are cracks. As we know, bed bugs can’t burrow since their body structure doesn’t allow them to do so. This means that if a structure is crack-free, bed bugs can’t get inside but once again, a bed is made in a way that the cracks are mandatory – not the cracks in the material but cracks between different parts of your bed.

Even if the material of your bed is crack-free, bed bugs could still crawl their way between these parts, regardless of the material.

If you have an old, torn mattress in your bed, the problem will additionally exacerbate, as bed bugs can now get inside the mattress, as well as between your bed parts. To digress, bed bugs can’t get in leather if it doesn’t have any cracks and tears.

Can Bed Bugs Climb on Leather?

Bed bugs can crawl across any kind of surface, whether it’s plastic, fabric or leather. However, when crawling on leather, bed bugs are more noticeable and you can take measures to kill them as soon as you spot them.

As mentioned, bed bugs can’t get inside the leather, so you’re safe, as long as your leather isn’t torn at some places. Remember that a very small tear in the material can let through a bed bug, if a hole is the same thickness as a credit card, that’s already more than enough for them to pass through.

Can Bed Bugs Stick to Leather?

Bed bugs can’t and won’t stick to the leather. The reason for this is that they prefer to be hidden away when they’re not feeding. Even in that case, bed bugs rarely spend their “free” time doing nothing. They mate, lay eggs, and prepare new harborages to infest. Sticking isn’t something that bed bugs do, unlike ticks and fleas. When you’re peaceful and quiet, bed bugs will come out of the harborage, fill up their guts, and get out – hit & run.

Many insects prefer fabric over any other flat material, such as leather. Fabric that’s used for bed has tiny bumps, allowing bed bugs to stick onto the surface more firmly. The leather, on the other hand, is much flatter and doesn’t allow bed bugs to stick to it.

Will Bed Bugs Live in Leather Furniture?

• Do Bed Bugs Hide in Leather Couches?

Do Bed Bugs Hide in Leather Couches

Yes, bed bugs do hide in leather couches and they love it as much as every other couch out there! Couches are some of the most popular bed bug harborages, as many of us still use them for sleeping or for a late-night NBA match. Remember that bed bugs will still feed off of you while you’re wide awake and you won’t feel anything because of their pain-relieving substance that is injected the same moment they start drinking your blood.

Overall, leather couches attract the most bed bugs out of every leathery thing on this list.

• Can Bed Bugs Live on Leather Sofas?

Leather sofas are similar to leather couches, with a slight difference in dimensions. The sofas are smaller but can also be infested with bed bugs the same way as leather couches. If you don’t sleep on your sofa, it will be less infected in comparison to the leather couch. Still, if you have a leather sofa and you are the victim of the bed bug infestation, be sure to check your sofa for signs of bed bugs.

• Can Bed Bug Infest Leather Jacket?

Can Bed Bug Infest Leather Jacket

We know that bed bugs can infest clothes, not just furniture. Leather jackets are a perfect example of this. Now, you can say that you’ve just bought your new leather jacket and that it doesn’t have cracks. Well, that’s partially true because every jacket has pockets and pockets are nothing more than cracks. This means that bed bugs can infest your pockets or the inside of your jacket if you don’t wear it frequently.

• Can Bed Bugs Live in Leather Shoes?

Shoes are something that bed bugs can also infest, although to a smaller extent. Every type of shoe is endangered, as bed bugs don’t care about the material. However, there are some exceptions to the rule and they’re tied to the frequency of use. If your pair of leather shoes isn’t used often, bed bugs might infest it, especially if it’s close to your bed, to make their feeding easier. To make things clear, let’s say that bed bugs can’t live in leather shoes in the vast majority of cases. In rare cases, yes, they can live there, especially if it’s a larger infestation you are dealing with.

• Can Bed Bugs Live on Leather Car Seats?

Can Bed Bugs Live on Leather Car Seats

The sad thing about your beloved car is that it can be infested by bed bugs. If your garage is very close to your house or it’s in the house, separated by a single door, chances are that bed bugs might infest it quickly, especially if you use your car frequently. The leather car seats aren’t a problem for bed bugs, as there are tons of places to hide – under your seat, in the upholstery, between seats, etc.

But what are the chances of bed bugs infesting your car? To be honest, very slim! So, as much as they can live inside the car, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll infest it.

How to Get Bed Bugs out of Leather Furniture

• How to Get Bed Bugs out of the Leather Jacket?

Seeing bed bugs in your leather jacket is a terrorizing sight because you know that washing is not an applicable method. So, how do you get bed bugs out of a leather jacket? Well, you can use plastic bags and very low temperatures of the deep freezer, for example. Be sure to use a plastic bag without cracks because if it has cracks, bed bugs will scatter around your deep freezer or your house when you carry the bag to your freezer.

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Alternatively, you can use only a plastic bag and wait for the bed bugs to die but this process can last up to one year, so we don’t suggest it. The only situation is when you don’t need your leather jacket for a year, so you can leave it aside and forget about its existence.

• How to Get Bed Bugs out of Leather Couch?

The leather couch is much easier to handle in this situation. Professional exterminators are mostly used for bed bug infesting leather couches, as this is a very common occurrence. Here, you have plenty of options, with the first one being to call a professional. But, if you want to save some money, we suggest that you take the bedding of your leather couch, launder it in your washing machine, and then using a dryer to make sure that every bed bug is dead.

Unfortunately, this is only a part of the problem because the rest of the bed bugs are probably somewhere in your bed frame. Checking your leather couch for cracks is the next thing to do.

If there’s even a tiny crack somewhere, be sure that bed bugs knew about it way before you, thus they have probably already infested it. You can patch the crack in your leather couch to trap them inside but patching a leather couch isn’t as easy as patching an ordinary fabric couch.

To tell you straight, paying a professional exterminator is your wisest choice. You’ll give your money away but you’ll also make sure that bed bugs are exterminated. While this cost-saving option is viable to some extent, it doesn’t exclude you from future problems with bed bugs in a leather couch.

• How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Leather Shoes?

Leather shoes respond differently to washing and drying. As we have mentioned in our article about bed bugs and shoes, you should not dry or wash your leather shoes in the washing machine. When using a dryer, the high temperature will dehydrate the fibers in the leather, making your shoe age faster and crack.

On the contrary, we know that washing anything made of leather is pointless, as it will make it weaker and prone to cracks. The best way of getting rid of the bed bugs in leather shoes is with the use of a deep freezer and plastic bags. 

Simply pack your shoes in a plastic bag and put it in the deep freezer. This way, you’ll accelerate the process by using a very low temperature, which will make bed bugs die within a few days or a week.


Bed bugs have zero problems infesting some leather items in your house and the biggest problem for owners is that the leather should be treated differently than fabric. Fabric can be washed and dried, while the leather is susceptible to aging and cracking with the use of high temperatures and wetness.

Thankfully, the exterminators have some methods that can successfully eradicate bed bugs from your leather couch, clothes or car seats. While the cracks in the leather are less common than in fabric, older leather stuff in your house might suffer this fate.

That’s why we suggest buying products made of high-quality leather, instead of buying a couch made of eco-leather, for example. Eco-leather is much different than the quality leather, that’s why it’s much cheaper and affordable.

While both materials are equally susceptible to bed bug infestation, quality leather is harder to tear, thus being substantially more durable. In the worst case, if your house is prone to bed bug infestations, we suggest avoiding leather furniture.

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