Let’s face it, finding out that you have bed bugs in your home, particularly on your couch is an anxiety-inducing thought.
Unfortunately, they are more common than you might think and can be painstakingly difficult to get rid of.
But, before you panic and throw out your couch (or anything other home furnishings), know that despite being a persistent pest and being difficult to get rid of, there are effective solutions and ways to manage them.
Common Bed Bugs in the Couch Myths and Facts
Before we get into the solutions, understanding the truth behind these bed bugs allows us to better address the infestation.
Here are some of the most common myths and facts about bed bugs in the couch:
Bed Bugs are Afraid of Light
It’s a common misconception that light is enough to keep bed bugs away. The truth is, no matter how brightly lit a room may be, bed bugs will still stay on the couch or in other furniture pieces.
The carbon dioxide given off by humans is what attracts bed bugs to the couch, and not the absence of light, per se.
This means that even if you turn the lights on, they won’t scurry or immediately hide. They are able to detect changes in light around them, and quickly adjust their behavior accordingly.
Although they do hide in dark places during the day, they won’t be deterred by light.
Bed Bugs are Only Found in Dirty Places
People often assume that bed bugs can only live in dirty and unkempt environments. But this isn’t true. It doesn’t matter how clean or neat your space is.
Unlike rats which are more likely to be attracted to a messier environment, bed bugs are equal opportunity pests – they don’t discriminate.
As long as there’s an opportunity to feed on a blood meal (humans and pets), they will make themselves at home.
This doesn’t mean that leaving your couch in a messy state increases the risk of an infestation, but it also doesn’t reduce it either.
Bed Bugs Are Nocturnals
True – bed bugs are usually more active during the night than the day.
This is probably why there was a myth surrounding them and light in the first place. However, bed bugs can be found crawling around during daytime hours too.
Again, it’s not the absence of light that makes them attracted to living spaces like mattresses and couches, but rather the presence of people and the carbon dioxide being emitted.
Bed Bugs Disappear on Their Own
This is perhaps one of the most damaging myths out there. While they may find temporary relief from a lack of food, bed bugs will not go away on their own.
Some people believed that leaving the couch unused for a couple of months will do the trick. Unfortunately, this isn’t true either.
Bed bugs may take a while to find a food source again, but they won’t just disappear without any effort on your part.
The only way to get rid of them is to use a combination of treatments, such as insecticides and frequent vacuuming. Left untreated, the infestation can quickly become unmanageable.
The sooner you identify an infestation and start treating it, the better chance you have of completely getting rid of bed bugs from your couch.
Bed Bug Eggs and Shed Skin Means There’s an Infestation
While this is partly true, this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an infestation. Shells and casings can be easily mistaken for other pests, such as dust mites.
They’re also difficult to identify, unless you’ve seen the skin sheds as a whole. This rarely happens because the shed skins can be broken apart easily.
The most reliable way to confirm you have an active bed bug infestation is by identifying living bed bugs with your own eyes or through specialized pest control services that use specialized equipment such as thermal imaging cameras and an inspection scope. Carpets, bed frames, and other furniture pieces are also at risk.
Throwing a Couch or Mattress is the Best Way to Get Rid of the Infestation
This isn’t always the best move. While most people believe that this is the only solution to address the ongoing infestation, other methods of treatment can be used.
If you’re trying to get rid of bed bugs from a couch, heat treatment is a more efficient option as it can penetrate deep into the material to kill any eggs and living bugs.
There are also many types of insecticides that can be used, depending on what type of couch you have (synthetic or natural). In addition, you can use steam cleaners for carpeting and furniture upholstery too.
Bed Bugs Develop Resistance to Certain Pesticides
Bed bugs have been a common household pest for centuries, but recently they’ve become even more insidious. As science has evolved, so have these little critters.
We now know that they are developing increased resistance to certain organic compounds used to eradicate them. This includes pyrethroid, a compound commonly used in bed bug treatments.
A recent study by Scientific Reports found evidence that bed bugs are indeed evolving and becoming resistant to certain chemicals.
The same report conducted an extensive case study that detailed the bed bug’s increasing resistance to pyrethroid over time – a finding that could spell trouble for pest control companies.
With that being said, although pesticides can be effective in certain cases, heat treatment remains the most reliable and effective method to eliminate bed bugs in furniture.
You Need to Treat the Area Repeatedly
Unfortunately, this is a fact and not a myth, especially if you decide to do the treatment on your own. Professional heat treatments may get rid of the problem in one session, particularly if your couch isn’t heavily infested.
However, if you’ve used pesticides, a single treatment might not be enough. You’ll need to do multiple treatments over several weeks, to completely eradicate the bed bugs and their eggs.
The majority of individuals make the common mistake of cleaning all surfaces that have been sprayed or treated and think that the infestation has been taken care of.
The truth is, the pesticides on the couch (and other surfaces) can quickly break down, leaving eggs and live bugs still present. This is why repeated treatments are necessary until the infestation has been fully eradicated.
It’s always better to speak with a pest control company to identify and understand proper post-treatment protocol. They can help you determine the best course of action to take, which may include additional treatments or preventive measures.
Desiccants and Other Drying Agents Can be Used Alternatively to Kill Bed Bugs
There’s a little bit of truth in here – desiccants, or drying agents, can be used to kill bed bugs. However, take note that this can be used as an additional option for killing bed bugs, but it is not the best and only solution.
Desiccants that are labeled for pest control should be used. Other than that, many professionals believe that it’s considered to be a waste of time and money.
Desiccants have been found to work best when used with other types of treatment, such as heat and pesticides.
It is important to note that different desiccants may be more effective than others in killing bed bugs, so it would be wise to consult a professional pest control company before using any desiccant or drying agent.
Bed Bugs in the Couch: Final Thoughts
The dreaded bed bug infestation can be a nightmare to deal with, especially when it’s in your furniture. Because heat treatment is the most reliable and effective way to eliminate bed bugs in furniture, it’s often the preferred choice for many individuals.
You may want to always keep in mind that you might need to utilize multiple treatments, as well as items like desiccants, to truly get rid of the bed bug problem.
Hopefully, these myths and facts about bed bugs in the couch have given you more insight into the issue and how to properly get rid of them.
Remember, no one should ever have to live with bed bugs in the couch, so if you believe there might be a problem, contact a pest control company today.