Notice: Constant WP_MEMORY_LIMIT already defined in /var/www/html/wp-config.php on line 136 How to Check Furniture for Bed Bugs: Easy Control & Prevention Guide

How to Check Furniture for Bed Bugs: Complete Bed Bug Control & Prevention Guide

Harboring pests at home is a problem a conscious homeowner can hardly ignore. Bed bugs are one of the easiest insects to pick up and the hardest species to remove. This article answers the questions on how to check the furniture for bed bugs, what to do if you find their nest, and whether it is possible to prevent pest infestation.

Quick Inspection of Your Home
  1. Check if you have skin irritation after sleeping in your bed.
  2. Look for alive or dead bugs in fabric folders and structural joints.
  3. Pay attention to the stains on the fabric and furniture.
  4. Notice if there are any shells, eggs, or nymphs.

How to Check Furniture for Bed Bugs: Bed Bug Infestation 101

Bed bugs have a specific feature: the ability to hide anywhere. Thus accurate inspection of the place you are going to sleep in and leave your clothes is extremely important. Whether it is your home or a hostel room, the guide below can be helpful in both cases.

How to tell if a couch has bed bugs

The first and most reliable signs of pest infestation are insect bites and skin irritation after you contact with damaged furniture. The next step is defining which kind of insects you are dealing with since bed bugs are sometimes mixed up with fleas, or rarer, with cockroaches and dust mites.

  1. Try to spot alive insects or search for the dead ones. Bed bugs resemble apple seeds: They are similar in size, shape, and color. Adult individuals have small, flat bodies of brown or dark red shades.
  2. It might be difficult to distinguish them from mites at first glance, thus consider the place where you have found an insect. Bed bugs never live on humans but only bite them. If you see an insect latched onto your skin, it is a mite, not a bed bug.
  3. Cockroaches can provoke the same skin irritation, but they are bigger and rarely hide for too long.

How to check for bed bugs in furniture

Apart from spotting bed bugs on the furniture, there are a number of other signs that can help you to find out if your place is a breeding ground for them. Any pest leaves traces of its activity: You can notice them with the naked eye if you know what you are looking for:

  1. These insects leave feces in any place where they have managed to settle. It is digested blood, yet it gives a strong odor when touched. Their feces are brown and thick spots that grow bigger as an infestation gets more serious.
  2. Passing different life stages, the pests change their shells and leave them in their nests. They have curved, transparent membranes, and offsprings are slightly smaller than adult individuals.
  3. Eggs and nymphs are harder to find, yet you can still notice them when inspecting your room. They are small, transparent balls with slight yellow shades.

Suspect an infestation? Learn how fast it can grow

Though bed bugs are primarily associated with poor sanitary and cluttered rooms, these pests are not whimsical. The main thing they need to survive is access to food – human or animal blood. Therefore, the first place where they colonize is a bed whichever clean the room is.

  • These insects are often brought home in luggage from temporary accommodations like hostels or dormitories. If sanitary in such places is lower than at home, there are risks of omitting pests before they settle and mate.
  • Bed bugs in used furniture are also a common issue. Due to the anatomy of their legs, they can cling to any surface, regardless of how smooth it is. This feature, small flat bodies, and the ability to withstand long periods without feeding make it possible for them to hide in the smallest cracks. Used furniture, especially wooden items, might also harbor these insects.

Getting rid of bed bugs

You have to learn how to eliminate these pests immediately when you find out that your furniture is infested. If the nest grows too big, pulling individuals from every crack might become impossible. Heavy layers of feces are a reliable sign of the infestation, so you should consider getting rid of furniture. However, if the damage is not that serious, here are some tips to solve this problem:

  • You can place traps around the infected area and leave bait there. It will distract their attention from you and lure insects to the adhesive surface they can’t leave.
  • Laundry is an actionable measure to kill them with hot water and remove them from your clothing. Wash it at the highest temperature the fabrics can survive.
  • Call for professional help if nothing else works for you.

A heap of questions also concerns how to treat used furniture for bed bugs, yet the main one is if the risks are worth it. Bringing home a potentially infested piece of furniture might put other items at risk. Select second-hand furniture from trustworthy places and prefer smooth surfaces and constructions with minimum joints so that bugs have fewer cracks to hide.

How to tell if a couch has bed bugs

Prevention methods

Compared to most insects, bed bugs have minimal requirements to settle and mate, thus they are easy to pick up, especially if you travel a lot. To prevent bringing these insects to your home from trips, try the tips below:

  • Always check your temporary accommodation for them and protect your luggage.
  • Wash the clothes you traveled with at the highest temperature.
  • Accurate vacuum cleaning can be helpful if you suspect an infestation. This tip concerns both soft and cabinet furniture.
  • Use a thick brush with long hair to reach more cracks in wooden furniture.

FAQ on Bed Bugs at Your Home

Seeing the insects’ nest in your bed might provoke panic, but knowing how to deal with it is half of the solution. Here are some practical questions on fighting and preventing an infestation.

How do you find bed bugs on a couch?

If you feel itchy bites and skin irritation, inspect your bed for alive or dead bugs that resemble apple seeds in color and size. You might also find stinky feces, transparent shells, eggs, or nymphs – these are all signs of the infestation.

How do I make sure my furniture doesn’t have bed bugs?

If searching for bugs and their traces of activity gave no results, but you still suspect the pest infestation, clean your furniture before you find clear evidence. Wash fabrics at the highest temperature and vacuum furniture regardless of whether it is soft or cabinet.

Can bed bugs be in wood?

They can crawl on any surface and reach the thinnest gaps, thus wood is a common living environment for them. Old wooden furniture with a lot of cracks might harbor these pests, as well as fabric.

How to clean used furniture to prevent bed bugs?

Cleaning furniture might help you to repel other insects but not bed bugs. They only need access to food and select beds no matter how clean they are. Infestation of other furniture signals this issue has got too serious.

Checking Your Home for Safety

Bed bugs don’t belong to pests that spread diseases. The main troubles you can face when contacting them are skin irritation, lack of sleep, and a strong odor if the infestation went too far. Removing them requires a lot of patience and might still be unsuccessful, thus it is crucial to find the nest in the early stages of its development.

Which signs of infestation do you pay attention to? Please share your observations.

Also read:


  • How to Find Bed Bugs:
  • Laundering Items to Kill Bed Bugs:


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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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