Whenever people hear the phrase “bed bugs” their thoughts tend to head straight for the bedroom. That’s understandable I suppose. After all, ‘bed’ is right there front and center. But bed bugs don’t restrict themselves to the boudoir. As we’ve learned over the years bed bugs tend to congregate wherever people sleep, and let’s be honest here – that includes couches.
Bed bugs are known to infest many types of furniture. Couches, sofas, and easy chairs are all prime spots for bed bug activity. Bed bugs gravitate to places where their hosts spend long periods of time inactive. They are always looking for an easy meal, and sedentary body makes the perfect dinner plate. That’s why they often move beyond the bedroom to infest sofas and other furnishing where we tend to relax, put our feet up for a few hours, or even take an afternoon nap or two.
So, what should you do if you suspect your couch or sofa has become home to a colony of bed bugs? First and foremost – stay calm. There’s no need to panic. Take a deep breath and we’ll get you through this.
Inspect Your Couch and Confirm the Infestation
Before you call in a professional bed bug removal service you’ll want to confirm that you do, in fact, have a bed bug infested piece of furniture. The first thing you’ll need to do is find a flashlight and, if possible, a magnifying glass.
Bed bugs like to hide in the seams and edges of cushions, secreting themselves into tight spaces to avoid detection. This can make them difficult to spot at a glance, which is why you’ll want a flashlight and magnifier for this task. You should also keep a pair of tweezers and a plastic bag handy for any samples you might collect
Once you’re ready to start your search there are a few key signs to look for:
- Living Bed Bugs – The first, and most obvious, thing to look for is bed bugs either dead or alive. Adult bed bugs are flat, oval shaped, brown insects about the size of an apple seed. Baby bed bugs (aka nymphs) look like smaller and paler versions of their adult counterparts.
- Bed Bug Husks or Exoskeletons – Bed bugs shed their outer shells as they grow. These discarded husks are a sure sign of bed bug activity.
- Bed Bug Eggs – While bed bugs can be difficult to spot, their eggs can often be easier to find. Bed bug eggs tiny, white, and translucent. They are difficult to see with the naked eye, which is why you’ll want to have a magnifying glass handy.
- Bed Bug Feces – Bed bugs excrete where, and while, the feed. Look for black spots or streaks along the underside of cushions and along the upholstery of your couch or sofa. These could be the tell tale signs of bed bug feces.
- Blood Stains – Rust colored stains are typical signs of bed bug feeding activity. These brownish stains can indicate that bed bugs have been feeding on hosts while they were occupying the sofa or couch.
If you any bed bugs or bed bug exoskeletons try to collect a sample (hence the plastic bag and tweezers). Any samples you can collect will help your exterminator identify the pest so they can formulate a comprehensive plan for its removal.
Eliminating the Infestation
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of on your own. Over the counter insecticides and home remedy solutions often do more harm than good. In the first place they can be dangerous if used improperly. In the second they tend to only force the bed bug population into other parts of the home, effectively spreading the infestation and increasing the problem.
When it comes to ridding furniture of bed bugs steam cleaning is often cited as a clean and environmentally friendly DIY option. Unfortunately, while steam heat can kill bed bugs the necessary temperatures are usually beyond most home units. High-capacity commercial steamers can effectively kill bed bugs, but only if they maintain a temperature of 160 degrees or greater. That can make the unit dangerous to use, especially for novices.
In the final analysis, if you find you have a bed bug infestation in any part of your home the best course of action is to contact a professional.
Professional Bed Bug Removal Services
If you suspect you have a bed bug problem in your home your best course of action is to contact a professional bed bug inspection and removal service as quickly as possible. The emotional and financial toll that bed bugs and exert on a family can be substantial, and going it alone only serves to make the situation more stressful. At the first sign of bed bug activity contact a professional pest control service and take the necessary steps to rid your home, and your family’s life, of these blood-sucking parasites.