Couches are a standard place for bugs to lay eggs and find plenty of food, particularly old and second-hand pieces. Even though you regularly clean your home, finding bugs on the couch is sometimes an unavoidable experience.
Numerous insects and arachnids can find a way to this comfy piece of furniture, but not all are the same. While some are harmless, others can jeopardize your health and cause allergies, painful bites, and asthma. Therefore, you should learn how to identify and eliminate them.
Bugs on couch furniture
|Bed bugs||0.16 to 0.28 inches
(4 – 7 mm)
|Reddish to dark brown|
|Carpet beetles||0.12 to 0.19 inches
(3 – 4.8 mm)
|Shiny black and dark brown|
|Ants||0.08 to 1 inch
(2 – 25 mm)
|Yellow, brown, red, or black|
|Fleas||0.08 to 0.16 inches
(2 – 4 mm)
|Dust mites||0.004 to 0.02 inches
(0.1 – 0.4 mm)
|Translucent to white|
|Clover mites||0.03 inches (0.76 mm)||Rusty-red or olive-green|
|Ticks||0.12 to 0.50 inches
(3 – 12 mm)
|Reddish-brown, brown, or black|
|Spiders||0.02 to 3.50 inches
(0.5 – 89 mm)
|Depends on species|
|Springtails||0.04 to 0.10 inches
(1 – 2.54 mm)
|Black, brown, or grey|
|Centipedes||1 to 12 inches
(25.4 mm – 30.50 cm)
|Yellowish or dark-brown|
|Cockroaches||0.50 to 2 inches
(12.7 – 51 mm)
|Reddish-brown to black|
|Silverfish||0.50 to 0.75 inches
(12.7 – 19 mm)
|Pearl-gray or shiny silver|
|Earwigs||1 inch (25.4 mm)||Dark brown|
|Booklice||0.04 to 0.08 inches
(1 – 2 mm)
|Pale white, grey, or brown|
|Scorpions||1 to 5 inches
(25.4 mm – 13 cm)
|Yellow or black|
|Tiny white spiders||0.15 to 0.25 inches
(3.8 – 6.3 mm)
|Spider beetles||0.06 to 0.14 inches (1.5 – 3.5 mm)||Dark red-brown to black|
Bugs on Couch furniture
Besides insects and arachnids that commonly live on your couch, you can also find bugs that happened to be there accidentally, like scorpions and bat bugs. Some only pass through but spend time in other places, like cockroaches.
Species that choose your furniture as a place to live and feed on are:
1. Bed bugs
Bed bugs are flat, 0.16 to 0.28 inches (4 – 7 mm) long reddish to dark brown wingless insects. These fast, tiny menaces crawl over your bed and bite you during the night, taking advantage of the warmth and carbon dioxide you produce.
It is practically impossible to see them, and there are five ways to become aware of their presence:
- Bites on your skin arranged in a zigzag pattern or linearly
- Blood-like droppings on bedsheets reminding thin black streaks
- Traces of molted skins means that fully mature females have started multiplying
- Milky white eggs, like half a grain of rice, hidden in bed folds
- Moldy smell that becomes more intense with the increasing infestation
You can bring these blood-sucking bugs to your home with second-hand furniture, luggage, and clothing. Unfortunately, they appear even in new homes and use hidden places to lay eggs. They don’t need nests but use mattresses as their homes.
2. Carpet beetles
Carpet beetles are common shiny black and dark brown bugs that typically reach a length of 0.12 to 0.19 inches (3 – 4.8 mm). They won’t bite you, but you can expect them to destroy upholstered furniture, including your couch.
A week to three weeks after females lay 35 to 100 white eggs, they hatch, and larvae feed on natural fibers like leather, wool, fur, and silk. Their primary goal is to consume keratin, the protein from these materials, endangering your clothes, bedding, and carpets.
Couches made of cotton and synthetic materials are less prone to infestation. However, carpets made of polyester and rayon are also food when mixed with wool or are particularly dirty.
It is unlikely to see adults, but you can become aware of larvae presence after spotting numerous holes in the fabric and upholstery. Once you suspect carpet beetles, start looking for:
- Adults in spring
- Larvae crawling under cushions and beneath the furniture
- Holes in fabrics, stuffed animals, couches, and carpets
- Shed skins and dark fecal pellets in fabrics, carpets, and cupboards
- Damaged dry food packages
Ants are uncommon couch inhabitants, and you can see these 0.08 to 1 inch (2 – 25 mm) long insects only under certain conditions. Typically, your couch can become an ideal place for sugar ants, including black carpenter ants, when it is a food source.
For instance, food leftovers, fruit, sugary drink spills, pet food, crumbs, and fruit seeds attract small yellow, brown, red, or black ants. You can expect an invasion when:
- Fail to clean your home regularly
- Leave food all over the space
- Keep a trash can open and unemptied for a long
Sugar ants are non-aggressive insects but can bite you if you press them while sitting on the couch.
Fleas are 0.08 to 0.16 inches (2 – 4 mm) long dark reddish-brown non-flying insects that survive by sucking their host blood. They are not picky eaters and equally bite people and pets, but they can include decaying organic material and feces on their menu.
They enter houses attached to humans, pets, camping gear, and clothes and end up on your couch since they can jump a long distance.
Another option is through eggs since an adult female lays up to 50 soft eggs daily on your pet as a host. Then, they fall off onto furniture, hatch within two days, and larvae stay hidden beneath your couch or cushions.
Be careful since these wingless pests can cause severe allergic reactions after biting you. So, seeing them jumping on your couch indicates your home is ready for cleaning. In case your pet has fleas, you can notice that it:
- Scratch frequently and even bites its skin
- Slowly lose hair, and its fur becomes dull
- Has pale gums and crusty scabs on the skin
- Can’t sleep well
- Has dermatitis or tapeworms
5. Dust mites
Translucent to white dust mites are 0.004 to 0.02 inches (0.1 – 0.4 mm) long pests that can quickly end up on your couch. Females lay 50 eggs in a lifetime, meaning your mattress can be a home for millions of these microscopic creatures.
They require high humidity and temperatures to live and lay eggs comfortably. The problem with dust mites is that you can’t see and identify them on your couch. However, you can be aware of their presence because their droppings cause allergies, followed by symptoms like:
- Red patches and a rash on your skin
- Itchy throat, watery or itchy eyes, and runny nose
- Coughing and sneezing
The only way to eliminate them is to lower indoor humidity and thoroughly clean the house. Unfortunately, dust mites feed on dead skin and hair, making their elimination from the couch and bed challenging.
6. Clover mites
Clover mites are rusty-red or olive-green plant feeders, long approximately 0.03 inches (0.76 mm). They come inside your home in spring and fall through vegetation planted nearby but are harmless since they neither bite nor carry diseases.
The reason is their intolerance to extremely hot and cold weather conditions. In most cases, they will stay on the window sill but can drop on your couch placed near the window. Another option is to use kids and pets as carriers.
Since these creatures require plant food to survive, they won’t stay inside for long. However, you can see dirty stains on your couch, representing guts thrown out after crushing adults.
Booklice are harmless pale white, grey, or brown tiny insects, about 0.04 to 0.08 inches (1 – 2 mm) long. The problem with these creatures is that they reproduce quickly, causing a difficult-to-control infestation.
Be aware that fungi growing in a high-humidity environment attract them to your home and the couch. Besides fungi as the primary food, they can consume the glue linking the book pages, grains, and insect leftovers. The only way to get rid of these menaces is to reduce humidity and thoroughly clean the couch.
You can quickly recognize these 1 to 12 inches (25.4 mm – 30.50 cm) long worm-like arthropods by numerous legs arranged along their body.
These yellowish or dark-brown creatures can find their way to your couch when you have bugs they feed on, like bed bugs and roaches. You should eliminate them since they can bite you when running out of other food.
These 0.50 to 0.75 inches (12.7 – 19 mm) long pearl-gray or shiny silver bugs are common inhabitants in your yard, but they can enter the house while looking for food. Since these small insects feed on plants, you can bring them with the potted flowers.
Interestingly, they can consume everything after invading your home, including cardboard, paper, and soap. Typically, they spend time in dark and humid places, but you can sometimes spot them on your couch. It can be pretty problematic since silverfish can trigger allergies and damage upholstery.
Earwigs are dark brown insects that typically reach 1 inch (25.4 mm) in length. They are nocturnal creatures with long pincers, but they rarely use them against humans.
After you bring Earwigs from the outside, probably on your clothes, they will quickly appear on the couch. Since they feed on small insects, the quickest way to eliminate them is to do it indirectly by cleaning your home of food sources.
Ticks are 0.12 to 0.50 inches (3 – 12 mm) long apple seeds-sized arachnids that typically come in reddish-brown, brown, or black color. These creatures are dangerous disease transmitters and can jeopardize your health.
They commonly attach to the skin and can fall off while you sit on your couch, but it is unlikely to see them wandering inside the house. The best way to eliminate these blood-suckers is to check your pet and furniture and remove them physically.
Spiders can be 0.02 to 3.50 inches (0.5 – 89 mm) long, while their color depends on the species. You can find them on the couch since they often live, weave webs, and lay eggs behind or under it.
These arachnids enter houses while looking for food and comfortable living conditions. They can bite you or not, depending on the species you host inside your home.
Springtails are tiny, 0.04 to 0.10 inches (1 – 2.54 mm) long black, brown, or grey wingless insects that can enjoy living on your couch. They come inside homes with high humidity through wall openings.
Be prepared that these creatures can stay in your home forever if there is plenty of food, like decaying organic matter and fungi. The good side is that they neither bite nor damage furniture.
14. Spider beetles
These tiny insects are 0.06 to 0.14 inches (1.5 – 3.5 mm) long and don’t suck blood. They are dark red-brown, rarely black. Even though they are harmless to humans, it can be disgusting seeing them feeding on decaying organic matter in the house.
You can expect them to quickly invade your couch when it is covered with food leftovers and grains. On the bright side, wood and rodent droppings typically attract a few bugs wandering around, but you will never face a severe invasion.
Ways to Prevent and Eliminate Bugs on Your Couch
There are a few efficient tricks you should follow when trying to prevent bugs from appearing on your couch. Once these menaces enter the house and invade your furniture, reacting immediately and eliminating them in a few ways is necessary. Let’s take a look.
Tips to eliminate bugs from your couch
- Use a vacuum or steam cleaner to clean the couch
- Wash your laundry and clothes thoroughly
- Hang double-sided tape
- Apply bug exterminator sprays or insecticide
- Install bed bug traps
- Pull the couch away from the window and walls
- Repel insects with essential oils, like peppermint spray
- Disinfect your furniture
- Seal cracks in the wall and around the window frame
- Throw away old pillows
Ways to prevent bugs on your couch
- Clean your home regularly
- Store food in airtight boxes
- Thoroughly check luggage and camping gear when coming back home
- Avoid buying a second-hand couch
Unfortunately, your couch attracts various bugs, including a few harmful species. It is a place where they find food and a comfy place to lay their eggs. The first step when deciding to get rid of these menaces is to clean your couch, vacuum it thoroughly, and apply some repellents to keep them away in the future.