can bed bugs live in leather couches
Kristina Davis

“Can bed bugs live in leather couches? Can they thrive in such texture and material?”

This question bugged me for months, and I hear people often ask it until now. So, I’m here to explain to you fully whether bed bugs can thrive in leather couches or not.

Yes, there is a possibility of bed bugs living in and infesting leather couches and other similar surfaces. As long as there are crevices, seams, or cracks where they can climb and move, they wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

At first, I also thought that it’s not possible for them to thrive on these types of surfaces because they’re smooth and not very climber-friendly, but I thought wrong.

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To understand this better, let me discuss with you the common behaviors of these bedbugs.

Where Do Bed Bugs Like to Thrive In?

bed bugs like thrive in

Naturally, bed bugs reside and thrive in spaces and environments that are protected.

They’re pests, so, as part of their natural behavior, they will conceal and hide as best as they can from you.

Therefore, naturally, the location you’ll see them would be in cracks, seams, and crevices of your beds and couches – usually in areas where people sleep and rest.

There are even instances where bed bugs stay inside cabinets and drawers, too.

If that is their perfect location, can bed bugs infest leather furniture? Is it possible for them to thrive and live on this type of surface?

Can Bed Bugs Live in Leather Couches?

To answer this shortly and simply, yes, bed bugs can live, thrive, and even breed in your leather couches.

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I’ve seen and read a lot of discussions about leather surfaces being immune to this, but those are false claims.

bedbugs live in leather couches

I, myself, have experienced a minor infestation on my leather sofa in our old house.

I had an L-shaped sofa, and I noticed dark bloodstains on the arm, or at the joint of my couch.

Bed bugs can thrive, live, and survive on any type of surface as long as there are crevices and seams.

So, it doesn’t matter if it’s wood, steel, metal, fabric, or even plastic – they will be there and there could be a possible infestation.

Do Bed Bugs Like Leather?

Bed bugs prefer living on surfaces that are easier and simpler to climb. Therefore, it’s safe to say that these bed bugs do not like living in leather at all.

Similar surfaces like suede and vinyl share the same properties that bed bugs do not like – they’re smooth and they wouldn’t be able to latch themselves onto it easily.

Nevertheless, they will still conceal and hide under crevices and seams during the day.

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Different Signs of Bed Bug Infestation in Leather Couches

signs of bedbugs infestation

Bed bug infestations can appear in many forms. However, based on my experience and my deep research about it, I was able to find some of the most common and most noticeable ones.

Blood Stains on Clothing After Sitting on Sofa

One of the earliest signs of an infestation is the appearance of bloodstains on your clothing after sitting on your sofa for a while.

You might not be noticing it, but you could be swatting them while you’re moving, and thus, release the blood they’ve sucked on from you. 

Bed Bug Shells Near the Couch

When bed bugs get their supply of blood, their bodies expand. In order for them not to burst, they’ll shed their shells.

If you notice bed bug shells near your couch, that could be it!

NOTE: These bed bug shells are empty shells that are in the shape of insects. You can’t mistake it for anything else because they’re shaped like insects and are usually light brown in color.

Feces and Blood Stains on Sofa Crevices

tiny bloodstains

Of course, the best and possibly the most obvious sign of an infestation would be fecal stains and bloodstains on your sofa’s seams and crevices.

When you sit down on the couch, you put pressure on the crevices, which, in turn, squeeze these nasty bugs.

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By knowing and identifying these signs, you will find it easy and simple to track and trace if bed bugs are currently living on your couch!

How to Remove Bed Bugs on Leather Furniture?

Knowing whether there’s a bed bug infestation is one thing but learning how you can get rid of them is another.

So, I looked for information on how to properly get rid of them and their eggs permanently.

Regular Vacuuming

vacuum regularly

Vacuuming is the simplest and easiest way to clean leather couches with shells or eggs.

You can vacuum your couch, as well as the area around it regularly to make sure that any surviving pest would also be exterminated.

NOTE: If there’s an infestation, vacuum it at least once per day for a full week. 

You might be surprised at how tough these pests are. So, to get rid of them once and for all, vacuum the furniture and the area around it constantly.

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Insecticide Spraying

Yes, the myth is busted – bed bugs won’t survive insecticides. You can spray insecticide on your leather furniture to exterminate them.

Just make sure that the house or the area will be empty for at least 4 hours when you do it because inhalation of toxic chemicals is much worse than bed bug infestation.

Similar to vacuuming, if you decide to spray insecticide, you also need to do it at least once a week.

This way, you won’t just be able to get rid of them temporarily – you’ll be able to exterminate them from their roots!

Steaming or Heat Treatment

heat treatment

Probably my favorite out of all the different methods is heat treatment or steaming.

I consider this my favorite simply because it’s safe, and it is something that can also help eliminate odors and disinfect the area.

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In steaming, you need to make sure that you set the temperature to 50 °C or about 122 °F for about half an hour.

If that’s too high, you can set it to 45 °C or about 113 °F for 90 minutes.

There are many companies that offer rentals of steaming machines or, you can purchase one!

Pest Control Services

Lastly, you can contact pest control services in your vicinity to help you with the bed bug infestation problem you’re having.

This probably is the best and longest-term solution for any type of pest infestation you have in your home.

The only problem with it is that the sprays are going to be chemically induced, so you'll have to leave your house for a full 8 hours.

Also, you would have to wait for the company to arrive. Some wait for a few days before they successfully exterminate bed bugs.

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You could have other questions about the ability of bed bugs to thrive and survive on leather surfaces.

So, I dug deep and found a couple of the most frequently asked questions about it.

questions about leather couch

Do Bed Bugs Penetrate Leather?

No, bed bugs do not have the strength to puncture a hole and penetrate leather surfaces.

They can live on leather surfaces, yes, but it’ll be nearly impossible for them to get their bodies on the underside of suede, vinyl, and leather because of the thickness.

Can Bed Bugs Lay Eggs on Leather?

Yes, just like how they can lay eggs on any other type of surface they cling onto.

The type of material on which they lay their eggs on does not matter – what matters is its location.

If it’s hidden like a crack or hole in the wall, crevices on leather couches, and even underside of beds, they can lay their eggs.

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How Long Can Bed Bugs Live in Leather Furniture?

If left untreated, bed bugs can live and survive in your furniture for up to 400 days.

They have a range of 30 to 400 days of survival even if they do not feed on anything.

So, you can’t just starve them out – you have to take action and exterminate them from the eggs they’ve laid!

Final Verdict

So, can bed bugs live in leather couches? Sure, they can!

It’s totally understandable why many of you think that bed bugs aren’t able to survive on leather surfaces, as well as other similar textures.

But when you learn about the habits and behaviors of bed bugs, you will understand that the material they stay on won’t matter.

As a homeowner, you just need to know the signs of infestation and act on it before it gets worse.