How To Check Your Couch For Bed Bugs

Bed bugs aren't picky when they're looking for your home. They're known for hiding in mattresses, but you can find them living in all kinds of furniture, including your couch. You should always check the seams of your sofa and the cushions when confirming a suspicion about a bed bug problem. However, it's not easy to identify these insects since they look different during each stage of life. Eggs are as tiny as a pin head and look like pearls with an eye spot. Then they turn into young bugs that look almost invisible or red if they've eaten recently. Once they become adults, they'll look like flat, brown apple seeds. When they eat, they turn reddish-brown and appear round.

It's important to control a bed bug infestation as soon as possible because they're a public health pest. While they won't transmit diseases to the people whose blood they drink, they will leave them covered in itchy bites. All it takes is a single bed bug that follows you into your home to start an infestation. Each female can lay up to 200 eggs that will mature into adults with a two-year lifespan. If you notice bite marks appearing on you and your family, don't forget to check the places on your couch that bed bugs love to hide in.

Look at the seams

There are multiple ways to check for a bed bug infestation on your couch. You can look for the insects, their eggs, and their droppings. They love to hide in tiny crevices, so check the seams on your couch and the cushions. Even if you don't see any bugs crawling around, examine this area for their droppings that look like tiny black dots. It may be easier to look for excrement since the bed bugs themselves will burrow into the fabric. Then flip your couch over and check the bottom. This area is the perfect environment for an infestation since it's often dark and warm.

Another way to identify if you have a bed bug problem on your couch is by listening to a clicking sound. You'll hear it when you push down on the soft areas of your sofa. This noise occurs from the smushing of eggs and old skin that maturing bugs shed. While you're inspecting your couch, pay attention to the smell. These insects release potent pheromones that are similar to the scent of moldy clothes and old food. Depending on the color of your couch, you may also notice red blood stains from the well-fed bugs getting squished when someone sits down. Since they can burrow through the fabric, don't expect your outfit to protect you from a hungry bug. There may even be rusty stains on your clothing when they bite you.

How to get rid of bed bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs is challenging because they multiply so quickly. You'll need to kill not only the adults crawling around on your couch but also the eggs that will hatch. Start by washing everything you can, remove any cushion covers, and put them in a machine with the hottest cycle possible. The adults will die at 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Although to get rid of the eggs, you need your items in 118-degree Fahrenheit water for at least 90 minutes.

Next, you should vacuum the frame of your couch with an attachment so you can get into all the hard-to-reach areas. Doing this only lowers the bed bug population in your furniture. When you're done, put the vacuum in a garage bag to prevent any bugs from crawling out. You'll need to steam clean your couch to treat the infestation. An upholstery steam cleaner will go through the cushions with high heat to kill the bed bugs while cleaning your sofa. A trick is to wrap the small nozzle attachments with a washcloth so the steam is more concentrated in tiny crevices. Then place bed bug traps on the legs of your couch to prevent another infestation. If they're still on your couch, it's time to call a professional to spray your furniture with chemical pesticides.