How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Couch? (Updated)

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Alene Schill

If lounging or napping is your preferred activity, the couch may be your top choice. However, it is important to note that bed bugs are known to frequently hide in this seemingly cozy spot.

Say bye-bye to these bloodsuckers because here’s a complete guide on how to get rid of bed bugs in a couch. 

10 Ways to Remove Bed Bugs From Your Couch 

1. Wash & Dry the Cushions & Covers

There are parts of your couch that you can remove to wash and dry, and that helps bed bug infestations. Remove all seat cushions and strip off the covers to wash and dry at the highest setting. Most bed bugs will die at 118 °F. 

If you don’t know how hot your dryer gets, be on the safe side and dry your washed covers for 1.5 hours to reach 100% mortality. If you have bulkier cushions, go to your local laundromat because commercial dryers can reach high temperatures for thick fabrics. But what causes bed bugs?

2. Use a Vacuum

Use a Vacuum

Suck up the suckers by using your vacuum cleaner. It is a great method for bed bug control because it can pick up many bed bugs and their eggs. After vacuuming, your vacuum bag will be loaded with dirt, bed bugs, eggs, and bed bug feces (fecal matter), so completely seal the plastic bag before disposing of it. Find out how long can bed bugs stay inside plastic bags here.   

In addition, vacuums can suck up shed skins and bed bugs’ feces that we are sure you don’t want to lie on your couch. While vacuum will not eliminate bed bug infestation, it is a great method to keep the population down.

3. Use a Home Steam Cleaner

If you have a bed bug problem, a home steam cleaner can help you get rid of bed bug infestation. A steam cleaner typically releases steam at 214 °F, and the heat is enough to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs on a high-quality fabric. Heat treatment can be an expensive investment, but it greatly helps eliminate bed bugs. 

Wrap the pinpoint nozzle of your steamer in a washcloth to concentrate the heat coming from the steamer. Focus the hot steam on the crevices and all the cracks of your couch, especially the seams where bed bugs hide. But how do you find bed bugs during the day?

4. Get a Professional Steaming Service

Get a Professional Steaming Service

Steaming is proven effective in treating bed bugs because it helps get rid of the bed bug population. If you don’t own a steamer or don’t want to handle killing bed bugs, you can get a professional steaming service to steam them to death. 

Professional steaming services cost approximately $300 – $1200, but that effectively helps get rid of bed bug infestation. Steam cleaners will heat water high enough to get rid of bed bugs and instantly kill their eggs, too. 

5. Use Chemical Spray

Chemical sprays can be a great option if you want to know how to get rid of bed bugs in a couch.  An insecticide is a toxic substance that can kill insects [1], and it can be an effective bed bug treatment. 

Chemical sprays are a cheaper alternative, so you don’t need to hire a professional exterminator to kill bed bugs. Spray the chemical on your couch, and it will kill bed bugs and their eggs for two weeks. However, you must replace chemical spray with a natural bug spray if you have kids and pets at home because that can be dangerous for them. But what chemicals do bed bug exterminators use?

6. Opt For a Natural Bug Spray

Opt For a Natural Bug Spray

Spray some natural bug spray on your couch and chair legs as it can kill the remaining bed bugs on contact. Natural bed bug sprays help kill the remaining bed bugs; however, it does not provide continuous protection.

Natural bed bug spray protects your kids and pets from insecticides’ harmful chemicals. While natural bug sprays kill bed bugs, they require frequent re-treatment and may not kill all the bed bugs, especially if not in contact.

7. Use Bed Bug Traps or Lures

After killing bed bugs, it is important to prevent new ones from moving in. 

Set up bed bug traps under the couch and chair legs to get rid of bed bugs from infesting your couch again. If your couch touches the ground, get some lift to raise the entire thing and let the lift touch the ground, and stand at the bed bug traps. 

Bed bug traps are universal, so you can use them in other areas of your living space. It will help you monitor areas infested with bed bugs and be bed bug-free! 

Fun Fact: Bed bugs cannot fly or jump, but they can climb. So imagine them crawling at you while you soundly sleep. Yikes!  

8. Use Insecticide Dust

Use Insecticide Dust

Insecticide dust is a great option to get rid of bed bugs on your couch. It gives a complete coverage on the surfaces, even in cracks, and crevices. Distribute the insecticide dust with a dust dispenser and use a paintbrush for all the cracks, corners, and crevices before completely sealing it. 

For a natural option, you can use Diatomaceous Earth. Using Diatomaceous Earth is an effective way to get rid of bed bugs because it dries out and absorbs the oil and fats from bugs. However, it may take a while because it needs to be in contact with bed bugs. After application, get a bed bug couch cover and leave your couch sealed for 1 – 2 months or a year to be on the safe side. 

Did you know? Bed bugs can only live for an average of 4.5 months without a blood meal, so even if they avoid insecticide dust, they can die from starvation. But what will bed bugs eat other than blood?

9. Get a Sofa or Couch Encasement

You can get a sofa or couch encasement to get your couch sealed and avoid other bed bugs from entering and escaping. 

The sofa encasement seals the whole couch, and it works great if you use insecticide strips or dust with it. Also, ensure that your working area is well ventilated when removing the encasement after a week or two. 

10. Contact a Bed Bug Exterminator

Contact a Bed Bug Exterminator

If the bed bug is too much to handle and you did everything in your means and power, maybe it’s time to contact an exterminator. Bed bugs prefer to hide in deep spaces, so contacting a pest control company will be of great help. 

While there are many DIY ways to get rid of bed bugs and prevent re-infestation, exterminators are experts you can rely on. Save time and effort by hiring an exterminator because they know how to get rid of bed bugs on a couch easily, safely, and successfully. 

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Signs That There Are Bloodsuckers On Your Couch 

Live Bed Bugs

Live bed bugs are hardly seen on your couch because they prefer to hide in the cracks and crevices. It may be very hard to spot live bed bugs because they hardly go out in the daytime. 

When live bed bugs get hungry, they go out of their hiding spots, looking for human blood. So, if you have fallen asleep on your couch, the bed bugs must be thanking God for their fresh meal. 

Dead Bed Bugs

You will know if your couch is infested with bed bugs if you see dead bed bugs scattered all around the couch after treatment. A dead bed bug looks similar to living bed bugs, but it is not moving. In addition, it is about the size of living bed bugs, and its color can be compared to an apple seed. 

Bed Bug Eggs

If you see bed bug shells or eggs, it is a sign that new bed bugs are born and will infest your couch. Female bed bugs lay eggs in comfortable places, and if you find your couch comfortable, bed bugs feel the same way. The eggs are slightly larger, so you can notice them easily.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are mostly active at night, and they usually bite people when they fall asleep [2]. They feed themselves for three to ten minutes and then crawl away. 

If bloodsuckers bit you, it is painless, but it will become itchy later on. It does not leave a red spot, but since it will get itchy after a few minutes, it will become noticeable. Unlike mosquitos, bed bugs bite any parts of your body exposed when you are sleeping. But how will you prevent bed bug bites while sleeping?

Blood Stains on Couch

The last sign that your couch is infested with bed bugs is the bloodstains that you can find on your couch cushions. Bed bugs eat the blood of humans and animals, and they use their elongated beaks to suck blood. 

After piercing the skin, there can be bloodstains that will be left on your couch. If you see small blood stains on your couch cushions, it’s time to check for bed bugs.


How long does it take for bed bugs to infest a couch?

It will take around five weeks for bed bugs to infest a couch. Premature bed bugs reach adulthood as early as three weeks under 70-80 ºF temperature and constant access to blood. Still, realistically, it may take five weeks before it reaches maturity and infests your couch. 

How long can bed bugs live in furniture?

Bed bugs can live in furniture for 20 to 400 days with food, the right humidity, and livable temperature. However, if there is no food available, it can die as early as several weeks. An adult bed bug can survive for 4.5 months only under optimal conditions before dying from starvation [3]. 

Can you get bed bugs from sitting on a couch?

Absolutely! You can get bed bugs just by sitting on a couch. Bed bugs can crawl to you and transfer from one place to another. If you have an infested couch, avoid sitting or placing any belongings on it. But will bed bugs get into your ear?

Making Bed Bugs Come Out 

Bed bugs love to live closer to locations where you spend a lot of time, and it is no surprise that the couch is the second most popular spot for them. A couch infested with bed bugs can be challenging to identify, especially since bed bugs are active mostly at night or when you are sleeping.

Fortunately, there are many ways to make your sofa bed bug-proof! Vacuum cleaner, high heat, chemical pesticides, and laundry remove bed bugs from your couch. We hope our tips on how to get rid of bed bugs in a couch are helpful in your battle against bed bugs. 



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