Can Bed Bugs Live in Leather? [Couches & Clothing]

Bed bugs. They’re ugly, little creatures that are often associated with dirty places. If you’ve ever had bed bugs in your home, then you are familiar with the disgusting feeling that comes along with them.

While bed bugs have a bad reputation for only being found in “dirty” homes, this simply isn’t the truth. As they are very easily transported from one place to another, just about anyone can catch them. It can happen to anyone! 

Bed bugs typically are found in couches and beds made of softer fabric. So, what does this mean if you have a leather couch? Can bed bugs live in leather? The answer is yes! Bed bugs can in fact live in leather furniture, but it is more difficult for them due to the smooth surface. 

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about bed bugs from what they are, how to identify an infestation, how they get into your home, and how to get rid of them. 

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

How can you tell when bed bugs have infested your home? There are a few telltale signs. The first sign of a bed bug infestation is small, itchy bites on your skin. They will often be clustered together on your arms, legs, or stomach. 

The second sign is small blood stains on your bedsheets. These are caused by the bed bugs biting your skin as you sleep. You may not even notice the bites depending on your skin and body chemistry. Some people react worse to their bites than others. 

The third and final sign of an infestation is when you can actually see them on your furniture. This can be done using a bright light like the flashlight on your phone in a dark room. Shine the light on your mattress or the seams of a couch and look very closely. You’ll see them scattering away from the light.

Where to Bed Bugs Live?

Bed bugs can often be found living in furniture like couches, chairs, mattresses, and box springs. They like places with tight seams. Although, they can also be found in small cracks in walls and baseboards. 

Typically, the furniture bed bugs live in is made from a cloth material. The cloth makes sit easier for bed bugs to crawl around quickly and lay their eggs. 

Leather Isn’t Ideal for Bed Bugs

So, back to our main question, can bed bugs live in leather? While the answer is yes, they can absolutely live in leather furniture, it isn’t really ideal for them. 

Leather material is soft and slippery for bed bugs. This makes it difficult for them to move around on the surface and lay their eggs comfortably.

If you have a leather piece of furniture, you aren’t completely in the clear of not having bed bugs ever living in it. However, there is a less likely chance that you will find them there. 

How Do Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home?

Remember how we mentioned that bed bugs are not actually a sign of a dirty home or lifestyle? Contracting bed bugs and bringing them into your dwelling is actually way more common than you think.

This is because bed bugs are so easily transferable. You simply have to come in contact with a couple of bed bugs and they will latch on your clothing or belongings.

Soon enough, they will start laying eggs in your home, causing an outbreak of bed bugs. It’s all a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when it comes to bringing bed bugs into the home. 

However, there are four main things that can cause bed bugs to come into your home.

Buying Used Furniture

Buying furniture can be stressful, especially when you’re working on a budget. So, many people opt to buy used furniture. Whether it’s from friends or family, a thrift store, or the Facebook Marketplace, used furniture comes with the risk of bed bugs.

If you don’t know who you’re buying the furniture from, definitely make sure to check that no bed bugs live on it. 


Traveling may be the biggest cause of bed bug infestations. So many people come in and out of hotel rooms and AirBnBs without considering if they’ve been in contact with bed bugs.

Bed bugs are often found in hotel rooms. Since the rooms are so close together, they can easily move between rooms, infesting and laying eggs throughout the building. 

When traveling, never put your luggage on the bed. If there are bed bugs, they will latch onto the luggage and you’ll bring them home with you. Instead, put your suitcase on a bench or luggage holder. 

Public Transportation

Thousands of people ride on public transportation every day. If you’re taking the subway, train, or even a taxi or Uber, you could be at risk of bringing bed bugs home. 

If the seats on these modes of transportation are made of cloth, bed bugs are more likely to be found on them compared to plastic. 

Before taking your seat, take a brief look to see if anything is crawling around. 

Living in an Apartment Building

If one apartment has bed bugs, chances are high that more apartments in the building are infested as well. Just like in hotels, apartment buildings are prone to bed bug outbreaks because of the small space. 

These little insects will quickly latch onto someone’s clothing and scurry on over to the next apartment and then the next laying their eggs throughout the building.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

If you have the unfortunate experience of bringing bed bugs home, there are a few ways you can get rid of them. Fortunately, they are pretty simple and don’t require too much time, effort, or money.

Clean the House

The moment you think you have a bed bug infestation in your home, it’s time to get cleaning! Bust out that vacuum and cleaning supplies and get to scrubbing. 

You’ll want to focus on the nooks and crannies in your home where bed bugs may burrow and hide. This means cracks in the walls or baseboards, between couch cushions, and along the seams of your mattress.

Kill Bed Bugs in the Dryer

If you notice that bed bugs are infesting your bed, throw your sheets and blankets in the dryer on very high heat. The heat will kill the bed bugs almost instantly and any of the eggs they may have left. It is a good idea to wash the sheets after and run them through the dryer again for safe measure. The dryer should kill the bed bugs.

Comb Your Mattress or Couch

With a stiff brush, comb through your mattress or couch to kill any remaining bed bugs. While this may take some time and patience, it is a proven method to kill these nasty and irritating little creatures. 

Call a Professional

Sometimes things are just too big to handle and require a professional to come in and take care of it. If you don’t want to deal with getting rid of bed bugs on your own, you may want to call an exterminator.

Exterminators are well-versed in handling bug infestations and bed bugs don’t pose any threat to their careers. If you have the luck of knowing a reliable exterminator, you may want to call them up if you can’t seem to get rid of the bugs. 

What Are Bed Bugs?

First things first – what are bed bugs? You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” from your younger years. But what exactly are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects about the size of an apple seed. They enjoy dark tight spaces like mattresses, couches, recliners, and even cracks in the walls. They are flightless but can crawl very quickly.

The main problem with bed bugs is that they survive off of human blood. They will bite you as you sleep or sit on your couch and leave small, itchy marks on your skin. This is why they are so feared by the common household.

Bed Bug Infestations and Leather

Now, you came to this article to find out if bed bugs can live in leather furniture or clothing. The answer is simple – yes. While leather isn’t the ideal material for bed bugs to live on, it is still possible for them to burrow and lay their eggs there. This is especially likely if there are dark seams and cracks where they can hide.

So, just because you have leather furniture does not mean you are safe from bed bug bites. However, if you use preventative measures such as being careful when traveling and examining seats on public transportation, you can avoid bringing bed bugs home. 

If you do find bed bugs in your dwelling, simply follow the tips listed above to easily and effectively get rid of the creepy crawly little insects. 

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