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Bed bugs are synonymous with mattresses but they will infest any furniture that is close to the host’s bed. This includes wooden furniture and even metal pieces. As long as there are cracks where they can hide, and these are in plenty on any type of furniture, bed bugs can live there and you need to consider bed bug exterminator services.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Wood
The answer to the question whether bed bugs can live in wood depends on what it means exactly to ‘live in wood’. You may be pleased to know that bed bugs don’t burrow into wooden materials the same way termites or carpenter ants do. In fact, bed bugs will prefer not to infest a flat wood surface.
Since bed bugs like to stay out of sight, the will hide in existing cracks and gaps on wooden furniture or structures. This means that any wooden surface with cracks, grooves or another kind of space is a potential hiding place for bed bugs.
There is also a myth that bed bugs like to infest wood. Research indicates that these critters don’t care for one surface or another as long as there is a tight, preferably dark place available to hide. Such a surface may be metal, plastic or any other habitable material for that matter.
In summary, it makes no difference what kind of surfaces you have. The only requirement that bed bugs need to infest it is a safe place to tuck away and close to the human hosts. Surfaces close to where you spend most of your time such as the bed and couch are most likely to be infested.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Wood Floor
Unfortunately, any exterminator will tell you that a wooden floor, particularly hardwood floors is possibly the worst choice of flooring for a bed bug prone home or location. It is not so much the wood itself that is attracting the critters but the bountiful hiding places that it offers.
Wooden floors generally have numerous joints, cracks, unfinished wood, knot holes and imperfections which make great hiding places for bed bugs. Changing flooring is an extreme measure that is rarely recommended although a wood floor will definitely give the exterminator a real challenge.
Some DIY enthusiasts recommend vacuuming or steaming the floors. These are both logical solutions that may work in other situations except some of the cracks may be too deep. The temperature needed to kill bed bugs (at least 122 degrees Fahrenheit) couldn’t possibly reach most of these bugs as they tend to tuck away as far as possible.
A better solution might be to fill larger cracks with clear silicone caulk and smaller ones with food grade diatomaceous earth. The former essentially seals the bugs in while the latter kills them. This is, of course, a long-shot since the cracks are too numerous for you to seal and treat each one successfully. You may have no choice but to call in an exterminator.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Wood Furniture
Bed bugs can live in wood furniture just as in any other furniture that has potential hiding spaces. Some people suggest that switching wooden furniture for metal helps to get rid of bed bugs. Apart from the expense of buying new furniture, there is simply no evidence to give credence to this claim. There is no reason to believe bed bugs like wooden furniture for any other reason except that this type of furniture naturally tends to have more gaps, cracks, cracks and other potential hiding places.
Another common myth is that a new coat of varnish on your wooden furniture will kill the pests. There is also no evidence to suggest that this is true. Finally, proponents of metal furniture as an alternative to wooden argue that the smooth metal surface makes it hard for the bed bugs to climb the furniture. Although the metal does appear smooth, there are tiny grooves sufficient to allow bed bugs and insects of all kinds free reign on the furniture.
Heat treatment such as steaming the furniture may not work if the bed bugs are ingrained deep in the furniture. You will definitely have to take apart at least some of your furniture to treat it whether that is with chemicals or steam. Again, this is a job best left to an exterminator.
Aside from caulking grooves, gaps and cracks, there doesn’t seem to be much that you can do to prevent bed bugs on your wooden furniture. Avoid introducing second-hand furniture of any kind into your home unless you are 100% sure that it is not infested. It is best to avoid used furniture altogether if you can help it.
Bed Bugs in Couch
It is no accident that bed bugs, which are aptly named, primarily infest beds. This is because they like to stay as close as possible to the human host. The second most commonly infested piece of furniture is a favourite couch or chair. Since you spend a lot of time on the couch, sometimes even napping there, you might expect bed bugs to conveniently take up residence.
Upholstered couches are far more likely to get infested. Signs that you might have bed bugs in your couch include thin black streaks or spots, dried blood stains, moulted skins, bed bug eggs and actual bed bugs.
To remove bed bugs from your couch, start by stripping all the upholstery, covers or any fabric that comes off. Wash in the washing machine with at least 122 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes and throw in the dryer at similar temperature and duration. Put anything that you can’t launder immediately in a plastic bag and seal tightly.
Your cushions and pillows may be too large or bulky to put in washer or dryer. Place them in a bed bug -proof bag or sealed plastic bag and take to your local dry cleaners. Be sure to let the cleaner’s know that the cushions may have bed bugs.
Next, vacuum the couch thoroughly to pick up eggs and live bed bugs as well as the undesirable remnants including feces and bed bug skin. Pay special attention to the cracks, edges, corners and seams. Place the used vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of safely.
Use your steam cleaner to thoroughly seam the couch. Pay close attention to cracks and seams. Finally, use the chemical spray if you think it’s necessary or if you suspect there are bed bugs left in the couch.
Note that this process only gets rid of the bed bugs in your couch. There is no telling if your wallpaper, appliances or other obscure locations are infested. The best guarantee that you are rid of your bed bug problem for good is to hire an exterminator.
Bed Bugs in Carpet
Bed bugs also infest carpets. They prefer carpets near the host such as around your bed or favourite couch or chair. They’ll lay eggs in the carpet and since the eggs are about the size of a sesame seed and translucent, it is highly unlikely you will notice their presence.
Although bed bugs can’t fly or jump, they will crawl their way painstakingly through the even thick carpet to get to the host. Keep in mind that bed bugs aren’t the only pests to infest carpets. A carpet beetle is another common culprit and looks much like a bed bug to the untrained eye. A sure way to tell them apart is carpet beetles tend to have patterns such as stripes or spots on their backs while bed bugs have a consistent colour. Carpet beetles don’t feed on blood although they can bite humans.
The best way to get rid of bed bugs in your carpet is a combination of vacuuming and steaming. Vacuum thoroughly and be careful when disposing of the used vacuum bag and the steam thoroughly. A carpet shampooer is not a good alternative for a steam cleaner since the former doesn’t get hot enough to kill the bugs. Vacuum and stream the carpet regularly for at least a few months.
Once more, getting rid of the bed bugs in your carpet doesn’t mean that your problems are over. The parasites might as well be infesting other fabrics in the vicinity including stuffed animals, blankets and upholstery. Hire an exterminator to remove bed bugs permanently and ask for a warranty for the service.
Note that bed bugs are not just restricted to the bedroom. Again, these pests want to be close to the host so furniture within a few feet of the couch is also ripe for infestation. Bed bugs don’t have a preference for any type of furniture as long as there is somewhere to hide and is in close proximity to food (read human blood).
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Exterminators in Canada report that most of their calls come from desperate homeowners who have tried ‘everything’ to get rid of bed bugs. This is hardly a surprise since bed bugs are among the most stubborn pests to treat even for professionals. Most infestations require multiple visits and lengthy and complicated treatments to eradicate completely.
Home remedies such as cayenne pepper, baking soda, ginger and so on are nothing short of old wives tales. If these homemade remedies were effective, exterminators wouldn’t have to spend money on expensive chemicals and pesticides and would gladly go the all-natural way.
Over-the-counter insecticides are hardly any better than home remedies. The stringent pesticides regulations in Canada means that products with potent active ingredients are only available to licensed exterminators. What is available over the counter is simply a much milder version of what professionals use.
A professional exterminator will first inspect the entire house to find all the bed bug hiding places. These pests love gaps, cervices and cracks so this inspection needs to be lengthy and thorough. Only then can the exterminator decide which control method to use and which insecticides are most appropriate for the type of infestation. He also has the equipment to reach gaps and holes that would be impossible to treat otherwise.
Finally, the professional can advise on what you can do moving forward to prevent the infestation from recurring. Make sure you get a warranty for at least six months from the exterminator. A warranty ensures that you don’t have to go out of pocket on the rare occasion that the treatment is not successful.
Contact the Exterminators: 647-496-2211 to deal with bed bugs now. If you are interested in DIY methods please check our store for bed bug control products.
Article Updated: September 26th, 2018