Bed bugs got their name by hiding close to where their food source (i.e. you or another unlucky fellow) is sleeping or resting. This means that you’re most likely to find bed bugs on or near your bed or other furniture that you frequently come in contact with, such as a couch or recliner. If you think unwanted guests might be crashing on your sofa, you should begin inspecting and treating the furniture item immediately. Treating furniture for bed bugs involves a combination of chemical and non-chemical solutions, as well as passive traps to help prevent bed bugs from being able to hide in the item again. These are proven, professional-strength treatment methods, and are all part of our 4-step do-it-yourself solution.
Inspecting for Bed Bugs
You can inspect for bed bugs in your couch using a flashlight, a pair of nitrile gloves, a magnifying glass, and a credit card for hard to reach areas.
Signs of bed bug activity can include:
- Black Spots are signs of bed bug waste. These look like thin black streaks, and can be seen on sheets and upholstered furniture.
- Molted skins are signs of bed bugs progressing through the five growth stages between hatching and reaching sexual maturity. Finding these will let you know that bed bugs have been successfully feeding and maturing over time.
- Dried up blood stains can be possible signs of recent feedings and are commonly found on the fabrics of your bed or sofa
- Bed Bug eggs are milky white and about half the size of a grain of rice. These can usually be found in hidden cracks and crevices where they won’t be disturbed.
- Bed Bugs themselves are oval and flat, unless they’ve recently fed. When they first hatch, they’re very small and hard to see; as they mature, they grow dark and red, and will get to be about the size of an apple seed.
Begin your inspection by removing the layers of cushioning from your couch, inspecting every item you remove. Since bed bugs are good at squeezing into small spaces, it’s important that you leave no areas unchecked or untreated. Trace every seam, edge, and zipper from end to end using your credit card and flashlight. There are tons of cracks and crevices under the bottom of your couch; to reach those potential hiding places, you should remove the dust cover, which is mainly there for aesthetics anyway.
Vacuum and Steam
If you found any signs of bed bugs, you’ll want to start treating your couch right away. Begin treating your couch by using a vacuum to pickup as many bed bugs, bed bug feces, and eggs as possible along the cracks and crevices of your sofa.
Vacuuming for bed bugs is a great way to quickly reduce the bed bug population before steaming and applying your residual chemicals. While you could use your own vacuum, it’s recommended to use a HEPA filtered PCO vacuum that features plugs and a shake-free bag to prevent bed bugs from escaping the vacuums body. After you’ve finished vacuuming your sofa, you can move on to the next step in the treatment process which is steaming the cracks and crevices of your couch. Steaming is the most effective and environmentally friendly way of killing bed bugs and their eggs on contact. All steamers that we carry are capable of producing steam temperatures over 180° Fahrenheit, enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact.
Bed Bug Tip: To take full advantage of pin-point nozzles, take a microfibre cloth and wrap it around the head of the accessory using rubber bands to secure it. Using the cloth breaks up the pressure coming out of the steamer and builds up the temperature at the tip of the accessory. Be sure to read the steamers user manual for safe usage and follow the recommended cool-off methods, to properly relieve the pressure from the container before opening. You can steam your sofa by following all cracks and crevices using your steamers pin-point nozzle attachment. You want to treat around the armrest, below the cushions, and along every seam, to ensure you treat as many potential hiding places as possible. If your steamer features a steam adjustment dial, turn the pressure down for flat surfaces and up to penetrate into cracks and folds. When finished, give your couch a few hours to fully dry before applying your residual chemicals. You can also use a fan in the treated area to circulate the air and speed up the drying process.
After you steam clean your sofa, it’s important to treat your couch with an effective residual. JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus is a non-staining residual insecticide offering up to 12 weeks of protection against the toughest of bed bugs and their eggs.
Before using Jt Eaton Plus, we recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt and using a pair of chemical resistant gloves to prevent skin contact with the chemicals found inside. Remember that you should always refer to the product’s label and msds for safe and effective usage. Begin by attaching the included straw applicator and spraying every seam, flap, crack, or crevice found on your sofa. Be sure to apply JT Eaton Plus to the zippers and seams of the cushions as well to ensure no area is left untreated.
After you treat your sofa with a residual, you can prevent bed bugs from reaching you on your couch by using ClimbUp Insect Interceptors. The Interceptors work by using you as a lure to bring out bed bugs from their hiding spaces and towards the Interceptor. Bed bugs climb up the edge of the interceptor and fall into a pitfall trap, which features a thin coat of talcum powder to prevent bed bugs from climbing back out. To install ClimbUp Insect Interceptors on your couch, simply lift up the leg post and place an interceptor underneath. With the ClimbUps in place you can stop bed bugs from being able to reach you, while also monitoring their population over time.
To increase the chances of attracting bed bugs to your installed monitors, you can convert them to active monitors with the inclusion of SenSci Activ lures. SenSci Activ is a new, easy-to-use bed bug lure that slowly releases an odor that can attract bed bugs for around 2-3 months.
Once these steps have been taken, you can rest assured that your treated furniture is now bed bug free, and that defenses are in place to keep bed bugs out of those cushions for good. You can now use your vacuum, steamer, sprays and traps to begin treating other parts of your home that bed bugs are likely to be hiding in.