How To Search For Bed Bugs On Furniture

How To Find Bed Bugs

Need to know how to find bed bugs in your home or hotel room?Let’s walk through the inspection process step-by-step right now. It’s time to find out if you have bedbugs.

Before you can check for bed bugs in your home or hotel, you need to know what bed bugs look like, other signs you have bed bugs and where they hide so you know where to look.

How to Look For Bed Bugs Step-by-Step

If you follow these instructions, step-by-step, you will be just as likely as to find bed bugs (if they are present) as a professional.

Start with the bed.

This is the most likely place you’ll find bed bugs because they like to hide close to where they feed.Here’s how to find bed bugs there:

  1. Carefully pull back the bedding and look for signs that bedbugs have been around like blood spots and fecal stains.
  2. Thoroughly check the mattress, paying particular attention to edges, seams and air-holes. If possible, turn the mattress on its side to inspect the under-side too. Bed bugs are more likely to be closest to the head of the bed, but make sure you take a look at the foot end of the mattress too.
  3. Do the same with the box spring. You may have to cut or remove the gauze “protector” on the underside of the box spring to take a good look inside – but you need to do this (unless it’s not your bed, of course). Box springs are the #1 bed bug hiding place, so spend extra time doing a really thorough inspection here. This is where a flash light and magnifying glass become your greatest allies. Pay special attention to wooden joints, corners, screw holes and staples. The wooden slats make a very attractive place for bedbugs to lay their eggs and the area where the cover is attached to the frame is a favorite hiding spot too.
  4. turn your attention to the head board and bed frame. Remember to really look closely at any grooves in wooden headboards and pay attention to corners and joints. Don’t forget to pull the bed away from the wall and inspect the backside completely too.

Next, try to find bed bugs in any upholstered furniture.

This includes sofas, love seats, recliners, easy chairs, chaise lounges, and ottomans.Here’s how to find bed bugs in these items:

  1. Carefully remove all cushions and pillows and inspect them one by one. Paying attention to seams, tufts and piping. Also examine the zippers closely (this is another common place for bed bugs to hide and lay their eggs).
  2. Look in and around all the seams of the couch or chair itself. Don’t forget to lift up any skirting and check the underside – focus especially on pleats in the fabric and the seam that attaches it to the piece of furniture.
  3. Pull it away from the wall to inspect the back side as well.
  4. If at all possible (with the help of a friend or partner), lay it on its back side to inspect underneath/inside just like you did with the box spring.

Now, turn your attention to the night stands and dresser to see if you find any bed bugs there.

(You can also use the directions below for coffee tables, end tables and desks in other rooms of the house.)

  1. Take everything out and put it in a large garbage bag or plastic tub with a cover to reduce the possibility that they spread if there are bed bugs in those items.
  2. Pull the drawers completely out, one – by one, and thoroughly inspect each one inside and out. Remember to check underneath as well. Like the headboard and frame, pay close attention to the corners, joints, screw heads and any grooves where bedbugs might like to hide or lay their eggs.
  3. Next, check inside, behind and underneath the piece of furniture itself. I think you know what I’m would say here about, corners, joints and crevices. (c’mon, I’m sure you need a chuckle by this point)

If you’ve gotten this far and found nothing.

You’ve checked thetop 92.6% of places where bed bugs are foundin residences with infestations according to a study conducted by the Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky.

You also have all the skills you need to inspect the other places you might find bed bugs. You will find a list of more places to look for bed bugs here.

IMPORTANT NOTE:If at any point you find a live bed bug,STOP.Your inspection is done for now and you need to start working on your bed bug pest control plan.

Don’t jump the gun and grab for a bed bug spray can or fogger!That’ll just make things worse. much worse. Head over to the bed bug pest control section to learn what to do next.

How to Find Bed Bugs When You Travel

Obviously when you’re inspecting for bed bugs in a hotel or friend/relative’s guest room, you have to make some modifications. You really can’t tear the bed apart in a hotel room. And youcertainlydon’t want the folks you’re visiting to come-a-knockin’ asking“everything okay in there?”

Hotel rooms can present some special challengesbecause the bed frame and head board are usually affixed to the floor and wall.

Generally you won’t have access to the the box spring (if there even is one) so your efforts will need to focus on the mattress itself, the head board and anything within about 5 feet of the bed.

Also, don’t forget the luggage rack (never put your stuff there) and make sure to check any upholstered furniture like love seats and chairs.

When you’re staying with folks you know,discretionis the word of the day.You can hit the most common bed bug hiding places without making a ruckus. Focus on the mattress, visible parts of the box spring, and the headboard.

Consider how often/recently the room is likely used.If it’s been closed up since the last time uncle Chuck came through 6 months ago, chances are slim there will be bed bugs present (they would have migrated to where people in the house sleep or lounge). If it’s also used as a reading room, take a look at that big comfy upholstered get the idea.

Whether you’re on the road or at home, make sure you know how to find bed bugs without helping them spread.

How to Find Bed Bugs without Spreading Them

The last thing you want is for some of these little buggers to hitch a ride on your clothing while you’re looking for them. You’re going to be getting up close and personal with their hideouts, so this is a real possibility. Here are five ways to help you find bed bugs without letting them spread.

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Bedbugs Slideshow: An Informative Look at Bedbugs

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

As if you needed something else to worry about, bedbugs, those pests from the old bedtime rhyme are making a comeback. More of a nuisance than a health hazard, they’re showing up to suck blood from people in hotels, college dorms, and hospitals. Take an informative look at bedbugs: what they are, where they lurk, and how to spot them before they get you.

Know the Enemy

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with six legs that, like mosquitoes, feed on blood from animals or people. They range in color from almost white to brown, but they turn rusty red after feeding. The common bedbug doesn’t grow much longer than 0.2 inches (0.5 centimeters) and can be seen by the naked eye to the astute observer.В Bedbugs get their name because they like to hide in bedding and mattresses.

Am I at Risk for Infestation?

Bedbugs are most often found in hotels, hostels, shelters, and apartment complexes where lots of people come and go. Because bedbugs hide in small crevices, they can hitch a ride into your home on luggage, pets, furniture, clothing, boxes, and other objects. Bedbugs are found worldwide, but are most common in developing countries. Once rare in North America, they may be on the rise due, in part, to increases in international travel.

Feeding Habits

These nocturnal creatures can hide in beds, floors, furniture, wood, and paper trash during the day. We humans usually become their dinner during the night, with peak biting activity just before dawn.They can obtain their meal in as little as three minutes, after which they are engorged and drop off the host, then crawl into a hiding place to digest their meal. Bedbugs can live for 10 months, and can go weeks without feeding.

Signs and Symptoms of Bedbug Bites

Amazingly, these sneaky little bloodsuckers dine on you without waking you. You don’t feel their stealthy bite because they inject a numbing agent into your body, along with an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing as they suck. The first sign of bedbugs may be itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites.

Treating Bites

Bedbug bites do not usually require treatment. If a secondary infection occurs (usually from scratching), apply a local antiseptic lotion or antibiotic cream or ointment. Creams with corticosteroids and oral antihistaminesare used for the primary, unbearable symptom of itch. In these more severe cases, you may need to see your doctor.

Do Bedbugs Transmit Diseases?

Bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. In a recent study, researchers reviewed 53 recent studies on bedbugs and their health and medical effects. The results showed that although bedbugs have been blamed for the spread of up to 40 different human diseases, there is little evidence to suggest they are carriers of human disease.

Bedbug or Imposter?

Don’t assume your bites are bedbugs. Bites can be hard to identify, even for doctors. Rule out mosquitoes, fleas, mites, and biting gnats by conducting a visual inspection. It’s best to collect and identify bedbugs to confirm bites. Look for the bugs themselves or their bloodstains, especially along the seams of mattresses. Further, look for dark spots of insect waste where bedbugs might crawl into hiding places on furniture, walls, and floors.

Bite Back Against Bedbugs

Professional exterminators should get involved right off the bat—tell your landlord, super, hospital administrator, hotel owner, or you call a professional right up front. The exterminator will locate the bed bugs (which may be found in more than one location) and exterminate as needed. YOU will have to do a lot of laundry.В

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(5) В© Pulse Picture Library/CMP Images / Phototake — All rights reserved.
(6) Dr. Kenneth Greer / Visuals Unlimited
(7) Darlyne A. Murawski / National Geographic
(8) Courtesy of Orkin, Inc.
(9) Thinkstock

New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene.
Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet.
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Lancaster County.
Washington Post.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 17, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Bed Bugs

How to Find Bed Bugs

If you have a bed bug infestation, it is best to find it early, before the infestation becomes established or spreads. Treating a minor infestation, while an inconvenience, is far less costly and easier than treating the same infestation after it becomes more widespread.

However, low-level infestations are also much more challenging to find and correctly identify. Other insects, such as carpet beetles, can be easily mistaken for bed bugs. If you misidentify a bed bug infestation, it gives the bugs more time to spread to other areas of the house or hitchhike a ride to someone else’s house to start a new infestation. Learn about identifying bed bugs.

Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or chiggers), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. Some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.

Looking for Signs of Bed Bugs

A more accurate way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. When cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for:

  • Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
  • Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would.
  • Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
  • Live bed bugs.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

When not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Around the bed, they can be found near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard.

If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs:

  • In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
  • In drawer joints.
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances.
  • Under loose wall paper and wall hangings.
  • At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet.
  • Even in the head of a screw.

Bugs on Furniture: 4 Common Household Bugs that Are Hiding on Your Couches

Table of Contents

4 Common Household Bugs that Are Hiding on Couches and Furniture

No matter where you live or how you live, household bugs are going to be a part of your life. One of the biggest problems is the fact that insects can be almost anywhere, including your couches and furniture.

It seems that a homeowner’s work is never done. If it’s not a leaky faucet or broken fence, it’s an infestation of couch house bugs. Insects love to get into your home and invade your space. Some are lurking for shelter, others are looking for food. Your house a lot of places where a bug might call home. There’s your garage, basement, cupboards, walls, couch. Yes, your couch.

Perhaps you don’t want to think about it, but the unfortunate truth is that certain bugs can infest that coveted piece of furniture that you use to watch television and take naps. Due to this possibility, let’s take a look at a few household bugs that you might find on your couches:

#1. Bed Bugs

Out of all the household bugs that might take refuge in your furniture, bed bugs are, by far, the worst ones. These little parasites need blood to grow, and you’re their target. Although they are visible to the naked eye, bed bugs are quite small and can squeeze into very tight areas. The folds on your couch also allow for easy access.

Your furniture is the perfect spot for these insects to hide, and you may not even know they’re inside until you have a full-blown bed bug infestation. If you wake up with red spots on your skin, it’s a good idea to test for bed bugs. A bed bug infestation is something that no homeowner ever wants to deal with. Also, it has been shown that selling and buying used furniture can help spread bed bugs.

Although they are visible to the naked eye, bed bugs are quite small and can squeeze into very tight areas. The folds on your couch also allow for easy access.

#2. Carpet Beetles

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen a carpet beetle without knowing what it actually was. In some ways, they are a slightly nondescript creature, especially compared to other common household bugs .

Carpet beetles are rather small, although they are typically the biggest of the three insects we’ve discussed here. They are often black, which can make them hard to see at night, but there are different varieties of carpet beetles, so the ones in your home may be a mottled white and brown color, as well.

#3. Dust Mites

This is another insect that homeowners can sometimes find both in and on their couch. The big problem with dust mites is that they’re microscopic, so you have no chance at seeing them. Dust mites are commonly found in your air and on many surfaces around your home. If you breathe them in, they can cause respiratory issues, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

To find out the severity of dust mites, you can pick up a test kit at your local pest control supplier. The good news is that dust mites do not bite and getting rid of them typically comes down to simply vacuuming and washing your couch on a regular basis.

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#4. Fleas

Many people don’t give fleas too much thought. They see them as a threat to dogs, not to humans. However, fleas can also get onto humans almost as quickly. They do so usually by jumping. Fleas are incredible jumpers, in addition to being very tiny, which makes them hard to spot sometimes.

If you have dogs, the likelihood of fleas getting into your furniture can be pretty high if you haven’t taken the proper precautions to protect your four-footed friend. But even if you don’t have any pets in your home, the threat of fleas hiding in your furniture is still possible.

Fleas do bite and move around a lot. Just like dust mites, they can typically be taken care of by cleaning your couch on a regular basis. In some situations, however, you might need to get a chemical treatment to help with the cleaning.

Carpet Beetle Infestation

“Certain bugs can infest that coveted piece of furniture that you use to watch television and take naps.”

-Rest Easy Pest Control

Second Hand Furniture & Bugs Problems

We’re all looking for ways to save money in our lives. One way that we do this is by searching for any deals or discounts that we can find. This is especially true in today’s economy when homeowners, apartment renters, and dorm dwellers are trying to save a buck whenever possible.

Furniture is one of the most popular items to buy used. After all, brand new furniture can be quite expensive. Picking up a used couch or bed can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, freeing up your money to spend elsewhere or simply keep in the bank. But when you’re searching for used furniture, remember these two words: Buyer Beware. Why? Because used furniture could have bed bugs problems, and that could spell real trouble for you and your family.

The Harsh Reality of Used Furniture

Whenever you buy something used, no matter what it is, you take a certain amount of risk. Is the seller forthcoming about any problems? Are they selling the item so cheap because they’re desperate to get rid of it and then disappear before you figure it out? The truth is, you don’t know for sure. Of course, many sales of furniture will be legitimate, but even those may hold unknown bed bugs problems.

That’s the real issue when purchasing used furniture, isn’t it? The last thing you want is to buy a new couch or chair or bed, only to realize days or weeks later that the piece of furniture had bed bugs and now the little parasites are spreading throughout your home.

Used furniture could have bed bugs problems, and that could spell real trouble for you and your family.

Your Choices When It Comes to Used Furniture

The best solution is to be forthcoming in your apprehension. Let the owner know that bed bugs are a concern and discuss whether or not they’ve had any bed bugs (or other house bugs) in their home. Some homeowners may be forthcoming, but it’s important to realize that some may not. They may even be downright embarrassed by any bed bugs problems they’ve had.

Since there’s no way to know for sure, inspect the furniture yourself. Start with a visual inspection beneath any cushions, under the furniture itself, and around the edges. If nothing is found, use a latex glove to feel between any spaces in the furniture. If you have black spots on the gloves, this is most likely bed bug feces.***

Bed Bugs: How to Check Used Furniture

Buying used furniture is one of the most common ways people bringbed bugsinto their home. Many people love to search for and find a diamond in the rough when it comes to furniture for their house.

While this is a good way to save money, there are some unwelcome guests that may be hiding in the seams. Bed bugs can be very expensive to get rid of, let alone the mental stress and physical discomfort that comes with their presence. The Bed Bug Inspectors has a few tips to help you avoid bringing home these infamous hitchhikers the next time you buy a piece of used furniture.

How to Make Sure Used Furniture Doesn’t Have Bed Bugs

It is very important to inspect any used furniture thoroughly before taking it home. Some tips to help you check furniture completely and thoroughly are:

  • Use a Flashlight to Look for Bed Bugs– Before you take home any used furniture, one way to check closely for bed bugs is with a flashlight. Looking in cracks or hidden areas of the furniture is where you would most likely find bed bugs hiding. Flashlights make it much easier to see these areas clearly.
  • Use a White Sheet to Help Spot Bed Bugs– When you are loading furniture up to take it home spread out a white sheet and place the furniture on top of it. By wrapping the furniture in a white sheet, you will be able to see if any signs of bed bugs or bed bugs themselves fall from the furniture on the way home.
  • Use a Magnifying Glass to See Bed Bugs– If you see anything that might be questionable on any furniture, the use of a magnifying glass will help you decide if it is indeed bed bugs.
  • Use a Credit Card to Look for Signs of Bed Bugs– You can run a credit card firmly across the top of the furniture to check for any signs of bed bugs. You should be looking for any feces or bits and pieces of the bed bugs themselves.
  • Use Your Hands to Check for Bed Bugs– If you don’t want to touch the furniture with your bare hands, you can use white latex gloves. You should always use your fingers to check the cracks and crevices of any used furniture. Bed bugs are excellent at hiding, so you don’t want to leave any small cracks unchecked.

How to Treat Used Furniture Infested with Bed Bugs

The biggest thing you should not do if you are suspicious of bed bugs is bring the furniture into your house. Leave it outside until you can solve the problem. If covers can be removed from cushions, you can place them in the dryer on the hottest setting to kill bed bugs.

Bed Bug Fecal Staining On The Bottom Of A Sofa

There are also sprays and pesticides or Diatomaceous Earth that can help you kill them. If you use these products, the furniture should sit outside for several days. You can use steam and heat to kill bed bugs as well. Bed bugs can’t survive high heat, therefore, these are great options in getting rid of this pest.

Bed Bug Inspection & Control

If you find yourself with a bed bug problem as a result of buying used furniture, it may be time to call The Bed Bug Inspectors. They have the proper knowledge and equipment to rid you of this invasive pest. Bed bugs can prove hard to treat on your own, and will often resurface after a short time. Call today for an appointment!

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