Bed bugs hide in cluster at different locations in yours house, including bed frame, bed buttons, clothes, bedding, cracks or mattress seam. But do bed bugs only hide in bedrooms? Probably not! You’ll also find these bugs in other locations in your residence. So, can bed bugs live in carpet?
The simple answer is, YES, bed bugs will burrow through, hide and live in your carpet’s fibers. Bed bugs will infest all carpets including doormats, theater or studio carpets, church carpets, offices and laundry room carpets or even carpets in your car.
Carpets offer a better breeding ground for bed bugs as most of them are rarely and shaking off dust from them won’t remove bed bugs infestation.
Let’s get into details.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Carpet? (7 Key Facts)
Bed bugs can live in carpets. Most people consider carpet as fabric to step on and believe that human applied force may cause discomfort/kill to any insect within or under the carpet. This is not true. It is not possible either to kill bed bugs by stepping on them directly.
Carpets in your house/rooms may have more bed bugs infestations than other hideouts. Bed bugs prefer living in a warm place without much disturbance. Plastic carpets generate warm temperate environment as they cling on the floor and are removed only when they get worn out. Therefore, bed bugs will crawl under them and breed successfully.
In real life, most of house carpets are heavy and difficult to move/pull about while cleaning your house. Just like other homeowners, you may prefer cleaning carpets after a couple of months – this offers bed bugs ample time to breed and spread.
Related: Bed Bugs Can’t Jump
Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs In Carpet?
Once bed bugs get in/under your carpet, they secure a nice, warm temperate place where they lay 1 to 12 eggs per day each in a cluster – you may not see them with your naked eyes due to their small size though large clusters can be seen at times.
Bed bugs only move out to while looking for human blood meal or mate after which the return. If you look under your bed bug infested carpet, you will notice clusters of eggs, nymphs or adult bed bugs crawling.
NB: Carpet in your bedroom is a classic bed bugs hideout – this will house thousands of them from where they lay eggs, reproduce, spread and attack you while asleep.
How bed bugs infest your Carpets.
Your carpets can get infested with bed bugs through the following ways. Here’re the main causes of bed bug infestation.
1. Buying second carpets/furniture/items.
Second hand carpets may come infested with bed bugs or their eggs. Bed bugs infested second hand furniture resting on your carpet can also transfer these bloodsuckers.
Visitors may carry bed bugs with their clothes, footwear, bags or purse. Footwear left at the door may infest doormats with bed bugs.
Visitors wearing socks tend to rest their feel on carpet as well as their bags and purse – this lead to bed bugs transfer to your carpets.
3. Crawling into your house/rooms.
Bed bugs can crawl into your house from the neighboring apartment/house – this is possible as bed bugs are able to climb over walls and ceilings. Bed bugs can also move from room to room within your house and hide in carpets.
How Do You Inspect Carpets For Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs inspection is paramount. You will need to do this professionally or look for a bed bugs control specialist/examinator. Carry out the following steps while inspecting your carpet.
Step 1. Inspect floor and floorboard.
Check all the corners and floor where your carpet is fixed. You can flash headlights at night to help you see bed bugs as they escape. Use smart cards/spatula to dig through the cracks/crevices, on the floorboard and corners in order to check bed bugs. NB: This inspection is best done at night.
Step 2. Try to lift your carpet from one side or corner slightly.
Hold one corner or side of your carpet and lift slightly. Observe if you can see cluster of bed bugs asleep or some moving about slowly (flash light in case it’s night). Check how bed bug traps can be of help.
Check black/dark spots left on your carpet by bed bugs’ excrete. Ensure that you do not cause disturbance while lifting carpet (may make them to escape).
Follow the same step and inspect all corners/sides of the carpet. You can also roll your carpet to access middle part if you don’t find some bed bugs on sides or corners.
Step 3. Inspect your vacuum collections.
As soon as you vacuum your carpet to remove dirt, kindly check on your vacuum collected waste in the canister/collector/drum.
Your carpet is infested with bed bugs if observe some carcasses of dead bed bugs or some trying to escape.
Step 4. Pass bed bugs attractant over your carpet.
Bed bugs are attracted by warm blood, carbon dioxide or special oil such as spearmint oil, or coriander Egyptian oil. Place any of these on top of your carpet at various points and observe if there are any moving to them. Related: Scabies Vs Bed Bugs – Differences Between Them
Ways of Treating Bed Bugs Infested Carpets.
Using a vacuum cleaner will help you get rid of surface bed bugs on your carpets. Most carpets are made of heavy material fabric that are difficult for the vacuum cleaner to suck bed bugs living deep inside. To vacuum your carpet, follow the following steps:
Step 1. Remove all the carpets and lay them outside/open place. Check and remove other equipment that rest on your carpets e.g. couches, curtains, chair, clothes or shoes – they should be vacuumed together with carpets.
Step 2. Vacuum floor, floorboard, walls and corners where there the carpet lay thoroughly to remove any bed bugs left behind.
Step 3. Overturn and vacuum both sides of the carpets – make sure you pass the vacuum machine efficiently over the carpets. Leave your vacuumed carpets outside for 60 minutes.
NB: While vacuuming, fit the machine with vacuum filter to prevent allergens from bed bugs wastes from getting into your carpet.
2. Heat treatment
Lock the bed bugs infested carpet in your room and heat the room to a temperature of 120 – 140 degree Fahrenheit. During heat treatment, the room temperature rises killing all bed bugs in the carpets and other hideouts in the room.
This method is safe for pets and humans in your house – you will need to remove all heat-sensitive items within. Specialized equipment used in this method are slightly expensive. You can also best bed bug steamers.
Alternatively, you can purchase smaller size special bed bug Zappers that can heat the room to bed bugs room temperature – these bed bugs zappers are designed to kill of stages of bed bugs.
3. Hot water treatment
Dip bed bugs infested carpets in a boiling water reservoir and leave them for about 10-20 minutes (you will need continuous heating). High temperature of boiling water will kill bed bugs and their eggs in the carpets. You can also use a clothes dryer to kill the bed bugs.
You can pour boiling water on bed bug infested carpets. However, this may not kill all bed bugs. This method can also be used when treating other bed bugs infested items such as mattress, bedding, curtains, clothes or baseboard.
NB: Check first the fabric/fiber used to make carpets before treatment. Plastic and wool synthetic carpets may shrink when dipped in boiling water.
4. Using Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring silica product that is made up of fossilize skeletons of sea/aquatic creature. Sprinkle Diatomaceous earth powder over bed bugs infested carpets.
Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes, then vacuum the carpet – bed bugs will breathe this chemical and die. Bed bugs that will not have died before vacuuming will suffocated in the canister/collector. You will have to carry out this process 2 to 4 times.
How to Prevent Carpet from Bed Bugs Infestation
Prevent your home carpets from bed bugs infestation by using any of the following ways:
- Stop purchasing second hand carpets, furniture or home items.
- Inspect all new items and carpets in your house.
- Use Diatomaceous earth to prevent any bed bugs infestation in your carpets especially when you receive visitors in your home.
- Vacuum Carpets, furniture, floors, floorboards, walls crevices/cracks and other bed bugs hide outs them frequently.
- Do not transfers carpets and other home equipment from one room to another.
- Engage a professional bed bugs examinator for prevention and treatment activities.
Which Other Places Can Bed Bugs Live?
Apart from carpets, bed bugs can hide and live in the following places in your house:
- Bed frames and bed buttons, Mattress seams and bedding.
- Wall cracks/crevices and ceiling compartment, Furniture such as couches, chairs, tables of wall unit.
- Floorboards, picture frames and wall papers, Clothes (but bed bugs can’t bite through clothing) and closets.
Bed bugs can live in carpets within your house, office, theatre, studio or hotel. They crawl, burrow and hide inside/under carpets where they lay eggs and breed.
You can treat bed bugs by vacuuming, heat treatment, hot water treatment or application of Diatomaceous earth. Carry out bed bug prevention and inspection frequently to experience bed bug free home.