Can Bed Bugs Live On Leather

Bedbugs are of two main species, the Cimexlectularius and Cimexhemipterus. They are small, oval, non-flying parasitic insects that feed on the blood of a warm-blooded animal or human. Though they have not been proven to transmit or cause infection and they have a few medicinal properties. Nevertheless, they are a major problem in parts of the world.

Bedbugs depend solely on blood for survival; blood is their source of oxygen supply. They can be detected anywhere by a particularly sweet and musky or offensive and musty odor they give off from their scent gland. They have an interesting instinct of staying close to their meal; that’s why they are found mostly in people’s houses as their preferred habitat. They can enter any home undetected through anything or anyone. They take shelter in anything, anywhere in your home, anything they can get them close enough to bite you.

In this article, we would emphasize mainly bedbugs in leather materials.

Do Bed Bugs Like Leather?

Bedbugs are non-flying insects that can’t jump. They have to crawl or climb their way into various parts of where they infest. They can infest a home, hotel, car seats, public bus, airplane, even yacht. They possess an efficient gripping part in their feet region that helps them climb over walls and objects swiftly. With this gripping part, they have a lesser advantage of moving over leather materials. Don’t get it twisted; they can crawl on leather but can barely climb because of its slick surface.

With bedbugs, the position of their host (food) is the motivation. If they have to move on leather to where their host is mostly spotted, almost nothing can stand in their way. Climbing leathers might be difficult for them, but that has never stopped these creatures from living in leather materials, especially if there is a rip or tear in the material, no matter how small if there isn’t any rip-hole to crawl in from. They are still adaptive enough to hide in between corners close to where the host is usually spotted.

At this point, we can agree that bedbugs don’t like or hate leather. They can adapt and survive anywhere, in any material that gets them close to their host.

Can Bedbugs Nest In Leather?

Not only can Bedbugs survive in leather materials, but they can also lay eggs and reproduce in leather. Their eggs are tiny, grain-like but barely visible, about the size of two grains of salt put together. A matured female bedbug can lays her eggs singly or in a group in-between tight spaces. They can lay up to five eggs or less each day, thereby laying hundreds of eggs in one lifetime.

Under favorable conditions between 70-80°F in the leather, the eggs can develop completely. The nymph (an immature bedbug) completes five molt stages, where its sheds off its skin before reaching full maturity. For each molting, it is required to feed on blood. The entire growth phase can be completed within one month in a stable and favorable condition.

How Can You Tell If a Leather Couch has bed bugs?

The most obvious sign that bedbugs have infested a leather couch is the constant complaint of bites whenever anyone sits on that couch. People often mistake bed bug bites for mosquito bites, but most times, that isn’t the case.

Bed bugs like to stay hidden on the couch until they sense quietness. Then they craw out of their hole to feed. They are visible but quite difficult to discover. They are very sneaky to bite you while you are awake and very much active without you noticing until they are long gone. A bedbug would pierce the skin of its host but first inject a mixture of anesthetic in its saliva and an anticoagulant. The anesthetic helps it to perform its entire operation unnoticed. The anticoagulant helps it suck blood freely out of its host. The bite wouldn’t be noticed until after the skin reaction occurs when they are long gone.

Bedbugs also give off a particular smell from their scent glands, depending on their species. Some give off a sweet, musky smell, while others give off a quite offensive and musty smell. Perhaps, you’ve been noticing a certain smell around your couch or in your living room, be sure to check carefully with proper lighting for bugs in corners and dark spots of your couch.

While checking, you might come across tiny eggshells, shed skins, dark-rusty spots, and even fecal spots in tight corners of the couch. Those dark-rusty spots and fecal spots were left behind by the bedbug after its meal. Now, you can confirm that your leather couch has bedbugs in it. You might also want to check other objects and tight corners around that region because they spread in a wide range in a particular area.

Do You Have To Get Rid Of Furniture If You Have Bed Bugs?

Of course not; you don’t have to. Several mistakes cause bedbug infestation in your home. Bugs could have been allowed into your home from the objects brought in unchecked, or maybe they crawled in through openings or cracks in the wall, the ceiling or perhaps, someone unknowingly smuggled them in.

Engaging the several treatment techniques has proven to be more excellent in getting rid of bed bugs from your home. If you decide to get rid of your old furniture for new ones because of bedbugs, what assurance do you have that you wouldn’t face the same bedbug crisis in a few months? Getting rid of bed bugs isn’t complete without preventing their return to your furniture.

How Do You Get Rid Of Bed Bugs On Leather Furniture?

Here are the most effective ways to get total rid of bed bugs from your leather furniture.

Get a Professional Exterminator:

Infestation of bedbugs in leather furniture is quite a common occurrence. Getting rid of bedbugs usually require chemicals like insecticides. These chemicals can be very harmful and specific to certain conditions or objects, with precautions before use. Hiring professional exterminators is generally the most effective and safest option for getting rid of bedbugs. A professional exterminator would know exactly where to look, what species of bedbug you are dealing with, and the most appropriate method to exterminate them completely based on specific factors.

Exterminate Bedbugs through vacuum cleaning:

Getting rid of bedbugs comes in stages. Vacuum cleaning should be your first approach for exterminating bedbugs in any leather furniture. Bedbugs, as you already know, like to spread themselves in wide range at every corner in the house, so when vacuuming, you should focus on the entire room, not just the infested furniture.

At this point, every corner of the room is a suspected hideout for bedbugs. If your furniture is detachable, you should detach every part, attach the crevice accessory of the vacuum cleaner to target tiny cracks and tight corners, then carefully clean the nook and cranny of each part of the furniture. Doing this ensures deep and effective extermination of active bedbugs with their eggs and waste. Bedbugs are somewhat relentless; their wide search for hideout closer to their host leads them to cracks and corners deep within the furniture, so if cleaning isn’t deeply done in a piece of furniture, then many bugs would escape the cleaning unnoticed.

Ensure that you toss out the vacuum bag immediately after cleaning to avoid them crawling back into your house. If your vacuum cleaner is designed with a plastic canister, empty the content in a plastic bag outside the house and seal thoroughly before finally disposing it into the trash can. Lastly, it would help if you washed the canister with hot water and soap before replacing it.

Exterminate Bedbugs through Steaming:

Temperature is a major weapon against insects. Steaming is a highly recommended method to exterminate bedbugs with a temperature above 120 degrees to kill bedbugs and their eggs instantly. Vacuum cleaning is an effective extermination technique, but some bedbugs might be lucky enough to escape the cleaning. With steam cleaning, it is almost impossible for bedbugs or their eggs to escape this cleaning.

The steam cleaning process should be a careful one because there are different steam cleaners specific for different usage. There are steam cleaners that can damage your leather furniture, and there are also steam cleaners specific to bedbug extermination that wouldn’t damage leather furniture. A safer option for steam cleaning is to hire a steam cleaning service. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about your properties getting damaged by heat because they know the suitable steam cleaner to use and how to reach every hiding insect in your furniture.

You can alternatively decide to steam by yourself, but it’s important that you carefully find out which steam cleaner is suitable for your leather furniture. The ones that wouldn’t damage the leather and would reach the bedbugs in their tight hideouts. When cleaning, you should be careful and thorough as much as possible. You can also detach and clean as you would do during the vacuum cleaning extermination.

Exterminate Bedbugs through Residual Treatment: 

Throughout this section of exterminating bed bugs completely, emphasis has been drawn to bed bugs that escape the cleaning process, either the vacuum cleaning process or the steaming cleaning process. The use of bed bug-killing spray might be the most effective method to eliminate bedbugs and prevent re-infestation. The effectiveness is tightly tied to their residual property. They practically have the same effect of killing any bed bugs that contact them long after they have been applied. Therefore, if any bedbug that has escaped treatment crawls over the area where the spray is applied days after it was applied, it would die from the effect of the spray.

As easy and sweet as that sounds, not all bed bug sprays are suitable for leather furniture as they could damage or cause serious stains on the leather furniture. You should research carefully for sprays that are suitable for leather furniture before purchase and application.


This method helps to kill two birds with one stone. The survival, reproduction, and growth of bed bugs are all tied to their feeding. They need to feed on blood to perform all essential activities to keep living. Patching the cracks and rips, they hide traps them inside the leather with no way of escape. They cannot cause a rip or create a hole on their own because their body structure doesn’t have that capacity. When trapped in the leather with no access to blood within two weeks, they will starve to death.

Patching in a way also helps to control re-infestation. When the crack or rip is patched, bed bugs wouldn’t have a place to hide inside a piece of furniture. That helps to control infestation in that furniture. Patching isn’t 100% reliable to control infestation or re-infestation in furniture because there will always be corners in a piece of furniture that bed bugs can hide. Constant residual treatment with patching can help ensure a piece of leather furniture is completely free from bed bug infestation.

Final Words

In conclusion, your leather furniture is worth the time and effort you invest into it to constantly check and treat to prevent a bedbug infestation in your house. You should be ready to check and treat your home immediately you notice any bed bug crawling around to prevent an infestation before it starts. Bedbugs come into homes by hitchhiking when you or anyone who has access to your house visits a place that bedbugs, especially hotels, have infested. They can crawl from one place to another unnoticed. That is why it is advisable to carefully check yourself and your luggage for bedbugs before going back to your house. Prevention, they say, is better than cure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.