Can Bed Bugs Live in Leather Furniture?

Having to relax alone or with a love on your leather furniture after a hard day’s work is one of the most peaceful times ever. As someone who personally loves such moments, there are a few things I worry about, and one of such things is if a bed bug can live in leather furniture. Well, I’ve done some research and would love to share it with you.

Can bed bugs live in leather furniture? Yes, bed bugs can live in leather furniture or any place with corners, seams, and undersides of furniture. Not only do they live in the furniture, but bed bugs can also breed or lay its eggs in the leather furniture.

You can be rest assured there are loads of solutions to bed bugs. But, there are a few more questions you might be wondering now. How do bed bugs get in the furniture, how to identify them, what are their weaknesses, the treatment and prevention options. Well, keep reading to find out!

How to Check for Bed Bugs on a Leather Furniture

Bed bugs have been with us since pre-historic times as they are even mentioned in Greek and biblical literature.

How do bed bugs look like? It is important to know what they look like in order for us to know what we are searching for. Bed bugs are generally oval, flat, dark-brown or dark red when they are recently fed.

When they are first hatched, they are very small and hard to see. As they mature they grow dark and red and can become as big as an apple seed.

It is very uncomfortable having the blood-sucking pests still around today lurking around and not knowing when it will strick. How then do you check for bed bugs?

To check for bed bugs, you must carry out a thorough inspection of the leather furniture. To do this, you will need a pair of gloves, a bright flashlight, a plain sheet or cloth preferably white.

Before you start the inspection, make sure to place the leather furniture on the white cloth or sheet so that if any bug falls it will be easy for you to see.

Now with your hand covered with the gloves, you can now use the flashlight to check through folds, creases, and crevices thoroughly. Check all dark and hidden areas of the leather furniture. You can use a ruler, a bank card or pocket ID card to check the edges or tight corners.

As you do that, pay attention to the gloves or white sheet you have laid on the floor for signs such as actual bed bugs, eggs (like tiny grains of rice), dark red stains (bed bug feces), or a shed skin.

Don’t only check the leather parts, also check the wooden frame of the furniture like cracks in the furniture, around nails, screw holes, and underside of the leather furniture. Do well to also check the items around or close to the leather furniture like picture frames, wine tables, and underneath loose paint on the wall close to the leather furniture.

If you put shoes, bags, carpets, toys, and rugs around your leather furniture, you should definitely check those too.

Habits, Strengths, and Weakness of Bed Bugs

To win a battle against an adversary, it is prudent to understand your opponent’s habits, strengths, weaknesses to be able to strategize against it.

Habits and Strengths of Bed bugs

The infestation of bed bugs happens when a fertilized female or a male and female pair find their way into your home. Bed bugs have a brutal way of breeding as countless males attack one female injecting the semen directly into the abdomen.

Instinctively, it causes the female bed bug to leave and while she journeys she lays eggs along the way. This causes a wide dispersion of bed bugs.

They breed rapidly and plenty. Bed bugs can lay between 200 to 300 eggs a year and more if the host (you) gets sucked at least once a week. 🙁 It takes about 60-90 days for bed bugs to transition from an egg to a full-blown breeding blood-sucking adult.

Bed bugs live on the blood of people and bats and an adult bed bug can survive over a year without feed. Their feeding can take up to about 20 minutes and within that time, they can feed two times to three times their weight. Under normal conditions, bed bugs may feed once a week.

They can also survive in 10 percent absolute humidity and 44°C as humans also make their dwelling place an ideal temperature for bed bugs to thrive. Bed bugs often live about 15 feet away from their hosts.

Bed bugs shed their skin five times, an aggregate of their life cycle before reaching maturity termed “Molt”. A blood meal is needed in between each successive molt and each molt lasts a week.

Generally, bed bugs have become highly resilient to most pesticides making it hard to get rid of them.

The weakness of Bed bugs

Enough with the doom and gloom! Bed bugs are with weaknesses as well. Let’s look at some of the bed bug weakness.

  1. Bed bugs can’t jump, fly, climb smooth or slippery surfaces like painted metals, plastics, glass, and sometimes leather can be difficult for them to climb
  2. Bed bugs feed on humans, so deprive them and they will starve to death
  3. The temperature of 50°C or more kills bed bugs in seconds
  4. Bed bugs are layered with waxed coating on their exoskeleton which is a great weakness. Their exoskeleton is to keep them from dehydrating. So, any product like protein or soy can dissolve its wax coating so that it dehydrates and dies. 🙂

How does Bed Bugs get into the Leather Furniture

There are several ways in which they sneak into the leather furniture.

  • Buying second-hand furniture. This is the most common way they get into our leather furniture. When you buy especially second-hand furniture it might contain mother bed bugs or eggs which later hatches.
  • Another way is by bed bugs hitching a ride back home with you after you have visited a friend or family. Mostly when we visit our loved once we like to feel at home while we enjoy a hearty conversation. As a result, we may sometimes leave our jackets or scarfs on their possibly infested furniture or house. The bed bugs then crawl into our clothes including shoes and bags catching a free ride back with us home.
  • Bed bugs also become a problem in our leather furniture especially when we have a lot of unnecessary items lying around the house which we do not want to get rid of. Because these items are unused thus, not frequently cleaned, it can breed bed bugs spreading to the leather furniture and other hiding spots they can find.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Leather Furniture

To prevent Bed bugs from invading your leather furniture, it is best to first of all check for bed bugs yourself as described earlier in this article or gets a professional to come to check it out for you if you may not have the time.

After the checking is done and you don’t find any bugs or eggs, you should activate prevention mode around your house. Use a product that is made from natural ingredients on the leather furniture to act as a repellant that will help prevent them.

In addition, cultivate the habit of washing furniture cushion or cushion covers every week. Use a climb up insect interceptor for the legs of your leather furniture because bed bugs cannot climb smooth or slippery surfaces thus cannot climb the outside of the climb up interceptor trap.

Familiarize yourself with the signs of bed bugs. Look for dried blood spots in and around your leather furniture, folds, creases, behind and underneath your leather furniture.

Finally, be vigilant when you travel to other homes. Be particularly careful by not keeping your briefcase, purse, or bag on the floor, bed or couch.

Treatment options for Bed Bugs on Leather Furniture

If you go through the inspection process and you find out your leather furniture is infested, you can go by any of the treatment options I have researched for you. However, my candid advice will be for you to call an expert. You let the experts deal with the thorough eradication while you handle the preventive measures.

Getting rid of bed bugs on your leather furniture is not an insurmountable task, however, it is difficult to achieve after they have been deeply installed in your space.

There are treatment options you can use together with an expert. A few of these are:

  1. Chemical Treatment
  2. Tarp Fumigation
  3. Heat Treatment or Steaming the crack and crevices of the leather furniture
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Bed Bugs Sniffing Dogs
  6. Residual Treatment

Watch a treatment process on how to get rid of bed bugs from Leather Furniture


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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