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Can Bed Bugs Live on Leather?

Bed bug infestations can happen in any house or even in a car. These small insects can easily occupy different places and objects, such as your bed, clothes, furniture, and more.

One of the questions remains – can bed bugs live on leather? This material is extensively used in the production of jackets, couches, and chairs, so a lot of people have leather things in their houses.

In this article, you can find out whether bed bugs can hide and survive in this material.

Dealing with bed bug infestations in leather

Can leather couches have bed bugs? And what about leather clothes? These annoying insects are a common occurrence in houses, and you can encounter them in different materials, including leather.

Depending on whether you have an infestation in furniture or clothes, there are different methods of getting rid of them. Here you can learn how to eliminate bed bugs from a leather jacket, a couch, or shoes.

Do bed bugs like leather?

To put it simply, bed bugs don’t seem to have a particular preference when it comes to materials. They can easily hide in items and furniture made out of different materials if there is enough space for them. These insects are called ‘bed bugs’ for a reason, as they like to be closer to people so they can feed off them while they sleep and don’t notice anything.

Some people may think that a leather bed will be an uninhabitable place for bed bugs, but this is not true. There are always enough nooks and crannies in the bed construction for bugs to use as their hiding place. Also, if there are any small cracks and tears in leather, bed bugs can get right into the material.

Can bed bugs climb on leather?

Similar to other insects, bed bugs can climb on anything — human skin, fabric, plastic, and leather. When a certain material has a smooth texture without any tears, bed bugs can crawl, but they won’t be able to hide inside and live in it.

It is impossible for bed bugs to hide inside leather if there are no flaws in it, but even the smallest hole can become a harbor for these insects. What is great about leather and other smooth materials is that you can immediately see bed bugs and get rid of them.

Can bed bugs live inside leather furniture?

As was mentioned before, materials don’t play such a big role in how likely bed bugs are to occupy certain items and locations. The construction of objects and any flaws in the material are the factors that influence this the most.

Leather couches

Leather couche

Can bed bugs live in leather couches? If you have a leather couch at home, you should know that bed bugs can easily live in it if there is an infestation in your house.

Couches are among the most beloved places for bed bugs because they like to feed on people who sleep or rest there. The majority of people don’t have reactions to the bites of bed bugs, so they can go unnoticed for a while.

If you suspect that your leather couch may harbor bed bugs, you should check all the folds and corners.

Leather jacket

Leather jacket

Compared to couches, clothes are less likely to become infested with bed bugs. However, if there is a heavy infestation in your home, this can still happen if you don’t wear certain clothes.

If you haven’t worn your leather jacket for some time, and it has pockets, they can become a home to bed bugs. The insects can also hide on the inside right in the sleeves or other parts of the jacket.

Leather sofas

Leather sofas

As was stated previously, bed bugs in leather couch are a common occurrence. When it comes to sofas, the infestation is more likely to happen if you sleep on the couch regularly.

If your leather sofa is used for occasional sitting or is simply standing somewhere in your house, the chances of it being infested are reduced.

Leather shoes

Leather shoes

Similar to other objects, shoes can be infested by bed bugs, but this is not their favorite hiding place. If you have shoes, whether made from leather or not, that you don’t wear frequently, you may notice bed bugs in them.

Shoes that you keep closer to your bed where you have these bugs can become occupied by them. The most likely scenario is that bed bugs can hide in shoes temporarily, but not live there for a long time.

Leather car seats

Hand Cleaning the Leather Car Seat

Most people associate bed bugs with houses, but they can actually live in cars. This can happen if a garage is attached to your house and there is an infestation in it.

A car is a perfect location for bed bugs, as there are many hiding spots in it. Leather car seats are most likely to become targets, especially if you drive your car for several hours a day. At the same time, a large infestation of bed bugs in cars is a highly rare occurrence.

Getting rid of bed bugs in leather

Now that you know where you can encounter bed bugs, the next step is to learn how to get rid of them. Even though bed bugs are not carriers of infections, everyone will agree that having them around in your house is far from pleasant. Depending on where they decided to hide, you can choose an appropriate method of elimination.


Having your leather jacket infested by bed bugs is a true nightmare. Luckily, getting rid of them is not as difficult as one can imagine. To get rid of bugs from other materials, it is enough to wash clothes and dry them at high settings.

You cannot wash a leather jacket this way, so there is another option. To get rid of bed bugs, you should place a leather jacket in a plastic bag and put it in a freezer for some time. It is important to close a plastic bag tightly so that bed bugs cannot get out.


If you have bed bugs on a leather couch, there are several things you should do. The first step is to take off all the bedding, wash it, and then dry it at a high setting. Next, it’s important to carefully check the entire couch and its frame for any cracks, tears, or holes.

If you see any bed bugs, you can get rid of them manually and then apply patches to any cracks you find. The problem with this method is that you can miss some bed bugs and they will multiply after some time.

The best solution in the case of leather couch infestation is to invite professional exterminators. They will be able to eliminate bed bugs in your house safely as they know which products to use.

Another option is to purchase special insect repellents that have been approved for use by non-professionals in private homes. However, if you have never performed insect extermination, it’s easy to miss their hiding spots, so you will have to repeat this procedure.


Similar to eliminating bed bugs from a leather jacket, you cannot put your leather shoes in a regular washing machine. Also, using a dryer is impossible, as there will be nothing left of your shoes. In this way, you should use the same method as with the leather jacket — place shoes in a plastic bag and in the freezer for a week or several days.


bug in hand

We are often asked whether bed bugs can live on leather and what would be the best ways of getting rid of them. Here are the most popular questions regarding this topic.

Do bed bugs live in the leather car seats?

Bed bugs can live in car seats, but they are most likely to just hide there for some time as opposed to infesting an entire car.

Do bed bugs eat leather?

No. Bed bugs don’t eat leather, as they feed on humans and animals.

What surfaces can bed bugs not live on?

Bed bugs can climb on any smooth surfaces, but they are unlikely to live on them unless there are some cracks to hide in.

Bed Bugs Can Hide Anywhere

Can bed bugs live on leather furniture? As you can see, bed bugs don’t care about materials, as the most important thing for them is to have a place to hide in. When looking for bed bugs in couches or other places, it’s important to do this carefully, as they can easily go unnoticed.

Have you ever had a bed bug infestation in your house? What approaches have you used to get rid of them? Please, tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Also read:


  • Top Ten Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Bed Bugs (by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture)
  • Biology, Habitat, and Management of Bed Bugs (PennState Extension)


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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