Treating Upholstered Furniture for Bed Bugs

At a minimum, all of the upholstered furniture in any room of a home that’s known to have bed bugs should be shampooed. The upholstery attachments of a good carpet shampooer usual will do a very good job. Shampoo all the surfaces, and use the crack and crevice or extractor attachment to thoroughly shampoo and extract the cleaning solvent from all the crevices and seams.

When you’re done, inspect the water that you pulled out. Sift it through a fine strainer and look for any bed bugs or bed bug skins, and sniff it to determine whether it smells like bed bug droppings. If it does, then the item of furniture should be treated for bed bugs once it’s dried from the cleaning.

Yeah, I know that last step, inspecting the water, is pretty gross. But you don’t want to do the whole treatment again, do you?

Furniture located in a room that’s known to be infested should always be treated after cleaning, even if you don’t find evidence of bed bugs.

Upholstered furniture can be treated using steam, liquid insecticides, aerosols, dusts, or some combination of these. Whichever one you use, it’s a good idea to remove foam stuffing from cushions that have zippers, and to treat the foam separately from the cushion covers. This also allows the cushion covers to be turned inside-out and treated from the inside, which is useful if the fabric is very thick. Also make sure to treat every part of the furniture item, top and bottom, including the parts of fold-out beds and futons that are usually concealed. Treat them in both the closed and open (sleeping) configurations.

You can treat upholstered furniture using one or more of the following options:

  • Non-Chemical Treatment: If you’re taking a completely non-chemical approach, then use your bed bug steamer to methodically cover every square inch of the furniture, both the upholstered and non-upholstered parts, paying special attention to cracks, crevices, and tufts in the upholstery.
  • Liquid Insecticides: If you’re using liquid insecticides, then I suggest using Eco Raider Bed Bug Killer. But before using it, treat an inconspicuous area and allow it to dry to make sure it doesn’t discolor the fabric. If it passes that test, then treat the entire item of furniture, both the upholstered and non-upholstered parts, paying special attention to cracks, crevices, and tufts in the upholstery. You’ll want to use enough liquid to wet the fabric, but not enough to soak it.
  • Insecticide Dusts: If you’re using dust insecticides, double-check the label to make sure they’re approved for use on upholstered furniture, and treat in accordance with the label instructions. Usually the procedure is to apply the dust to the fabric and work it in, and then remove it with a vacuum after a specified period of time.
  • Aerosol Insecticides: There are many aerosol insecticides labeled for use against bed bugs on upholstered furniture. The usual procedure is basically the same as when using liquid insecticides: Treat the entire item of furniture, both the upholstered and non-upholstered parts, paying special attention to cracks, crevices, and tufts in the upholstery. Sometimes the labels also specify vacuuming the item a specified time after treating it. Read and follow the label for more specific instructions, including things like drying and airing-out times.

By: DIY Bed Bug Control

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