What’s living in your upholstery? No matter how clean you keep your house, your upholstery can still be a breeding ground for insects. Fleas, bed bugs, carpet beetles and dust-mites can be keeping you company while you’re relaxing on your couch. Some bugs are attracted to the upholstery fabric, while others are lured by the fur, hair and dust that can settle on upholstery.
Bed bugs are most commonly found on beds, but they can move into couches. Bed bugs are flat, oval, reddish-brown insects. About the same size as an apple seed. Their shape allows them to slip through tiny cracks such as couch seams, bed frames or clothing folds.
You know you have a bed bug problem if you see live pests crawling on your upholstery or there are visible bite marks on your skin. People do often mistake bed bug bites for mosquito bites, flea bites or a rash.
If you suspect you have bed bugs in your upholstery, use a flashlight to inspect the sofa seams, in between the cushions and around the frame. If you spot bed bugs in your couch, then you will most likely need to have your upholstery professionally cleaning.
Upholstery is also a host for fleas. If you are a pet owner, then you know your pets love to sleep and sit on your furniture. If these pests are present in your pets fur their eggs will transfer to your upholstery. Adult female fleas lay up to 50 eggs every day on their animal host.
After hatching in about two days, the larvae stay hidden in cool, shady places, such as beneath sofa cushions or the couch itself. Dust mites being the most common household bug because they live in dust. You might not be able to see them, but their droppings and body parts contain proteins that can cause allergies or asthma symptoms in sensitive people.
Dust mites prefer feeding on flakes of dead skin, as well as on shed hair and pet fur, so the pests tend to congregate where people and pets rest, including upholstery and mattresses. Because dust mites are too small to see with the naked eye. You will most likely realize you have a dust mite infestation when you start experiencing these symptoms:
- runny or stuffy nose
- sinus pain
- watery or itchy eyes
- sore throat
- skin rashes