How to Kill Bed Bugs in a Couch

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Bed bugs typically attack when a person sits still for a long period of time.
Bed bugs typically attack when a person sits still for a long period of time. (Image: sofa image by Clementina Cabral from Fotolia.com)

Many people mistakenly believe bed bugs are just part of a nighttime nursery rhyme. Unfortunately, bed bugs are real. Bed bugs are reddish-brown bugs that feed only on blood. Bed-bug victims wake up in the morning with red bumps where the bugs feasted all night. Bed bugs are not just relegated to the bed, though. Bed bugs are found on furniture, including your couch. Killing bed bugs on a couch requires dedication and patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Garbage bags
  • Steam cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner

Vacuum the couch thoroughly. Use a vacuum with a hose to reach down into the crevices of the couch. Empty the vacuum's contents directly into a trash can located outside of the home.

Remove the coverings from the couch. Any covering that can be removed from the couch, without actually tearing it apart, should be removed.

Place the coverings in a dryer on the highest heat setting. A bed bug cannot survive in a dryer in high heat. Place the coverings in a sealed plastic bag or garbage bag after an hour in the dryer.

Steam clean the couch with a wide nozzle to reach every surface of the couch. As with the vacuum, use the steam cleaner in the crevices of the couch. Allow the couch to dry.

Remove any clutter from the room. Bed bugs are attracted to clutter. If you don't remove clutter from the room the couch is in, the bed bugs might come back.

Replace the coverings on the couch once it is thoroughly dry. Replacing the coverings before the couch is dry could lead to bigger issues, such as moisture damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the bed bug infestation has spread beyond the couch, you might need to call an exterminator.
  • Some fabrics shrink when heat is applied. Check the care label on your sofa coverings before using the dryer. You also can achieve the same heat effect by placing the coverings in a sealed plastic bag outside on a hot day.

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