STEP #3: DEALING WITH LARGE FURNITURE

We’ve broken out large furniture into a separate step, because it has its own challenges. Heat treatment is your best option for large furniture: it’s reliable, works without chemicals, and takes much less time than any other treatment.

ZappBug Room™

Get rid of bed bugs in couches, beds and furniture.

The easiest way to save your furniture is to use the ZappBug Room™, available for $1499 including shipping. The ZappBug Room™ measures 111” x 57.5” X 78″ making it large enough to heat treat your:

  • bed (including California King sized mattresses and bed frames)
  • couch
  • tables
  • chairs
  • just about anything else.

This large capacity lets you heat treat more items at once, thus reducing your time in getting rid of bed bugs. Saving the cost of buying a new mattress, bed frame and couch can more than pay for the ZappBug Room™. It’s also extremely easy to use and can be set up by one person in approximately ten minutes. If this is out of your price range or you have space constraints then small pieces of furniture can be heat treated in a ZappBug Oven 2™, available for $349 including shipping. You may also want to consult with many of the pest control professionals who offer full residence heat treatment, although this can be much more expensive than buying your own portable heat treatment device.

If you choose to treat your furniture without a ZappBug, take one of these two approaches, depending upon whether or not the piece of furniture is upholstered or not upholstered.

Other ZappBug Heating Units

Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture is the most challenging because it’s especially easy for bedbugs to hide in the upholstery.  Despite what some pest control professionals will tell you, steam cleaning is usually not effective, because it’s difficult to get the steam to penetrate deep and thoroughly enough through the upholstery.

We recommend that you use a pesticide called DDVP (also known as DICHLORVOS) found in Hot Shot No-Pest Strips or Nuvan ProStrips combined with encasing the furniture in a large plastic furniture bag.

We understand that some people are hesitant about using pesticides and we explore this issue in a lot more detail in Step 7.  Unfortunately, there are just not many other options for upholstered furniture besides disposal or long term storage. As always we recommend heat treatment as the easiest and safest solution. When using any pesticides exercise extreme caution and follow all safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer of the pesticides. Consult with a health care professional for any specific concerns. Be aware that pesticides are dangerous chemicals and misuse can have serious health consequences.

We feel Hot Shot No-Pest Strips (MSDS sheet) or Nuvan ProStrips (MSDS sheet) are the best option because their active ingredient, DDVP, is one of the few pesticides we know to be effective against bed bugs.  DDVP has been used since the 1960’s for pest control in enclosed storage areas.

To treat your upholstered furniture, take the following steps:

Supplies You Need to Treat Upholstered Furniture:

  • The active pesticide in both Hot Shot No-Pest Strips and NUVAN ProStrips is DDVP also known as DICHLORVOS (2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate).  These are different brands of what is effectively the same pesticide, so in our experience either one will work equally well.
  • Furniture bags are large plastic bags designed to protect furniture when it is being transported.

NOTE: Hot Shot makes an entire line of pest control products, but we do not recommend any of them other than the Hot Shot No-Pest Strips.  Hot Shot No-Pest Strips use DDVP, but Hot Shot’s other products use other pesticides. It is the DDVP that you want to use for the purposes of your upholstered furniture.  Many of the other pesticides in Hot Shot products are not necessarily that effective with bed bugs.

Non-Upholstered Furniture

Non-upholstered furniture is not as challenging as upholstered furniture because you don’t have to worry about bed bugs hiding in the fabric.  However, bed bugs can still hide in corners, cracks and crevices. Heat treatment can easily and effectively kill bugs in these hard to reach areas. If you’re treating the furniture without heat your primary weapon will be a vacuum to remove any bed bugs that might be lurking in the furniture.

Take the following steps: [add picture guide]

Vacuum

  1. Vacuum the furniture thoroughly.
    Be sure to vacuum all cracks and crevices and the undersides of any drawers, as well as any other areas of the furniture. If it’s possible to dismantle the furniture (for example removing the drawers, unscrewing any chair legs) then do so and vacuum all exposed areas revealed.
  2.  Use Diatomaceous Earth (If Possible) 
    If possible put diatomaceous earth in cracks and crevices.  For example, if there are joints in the furniture that have gaps and you can apply some diatomaceous earth to those gaps without making the furniture unsightly then go ahead and do so.
    Consider putting diatomaceous earth in the bottoms of drawers. This is helpful just in case any bed bugs manage to get into drawers. Diatomaceous earth is a fine chalky, powder, so this can be rather messy. But if the items you are placing into the drawers are sealed in plastic bags, the diatomaceous earth won’t get on them. For more information see Step 4 – Diatomaceous Earth.
  3. Caulk Cracks & Crevices (If Possible) 
    If you can caulk any cracks and crevices without making the furniture unsightly, then go ahead and do so. This will prevent any bed bugs from finding harborages in those crevices.  We go into a lot more detail about caulking in Step 5.

Supplies You Need to Treat Upholstered Furniture:

  • We go into more detail about choosing the right vacuum in Step 6.  The most important thing to remember is that you must use a vacuum with bags. Do not use a bag-less vacuum like a Dyson.  This is because bag-less vacuums can release bed bugs when they are emptied.
  • If you are looking for a vacuum with great suction power and which uses bags, we recommend the Hoover Tempo Widepath Upright Vacuum.  It is relatively inexpensive and has gotten excellent ratings from Consumer Reports.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic substance that is very effective in helping control bed bugs.  We go into a lot of detail about diatomaceous earth in Step 4.
  • Caulk is generally sold in tubes. With small tubes of caulk you simply cut off the tip of the tube and squeeze to apply.  With large tubes of caulk, it’s very helpful to have a caulk gun for application.
  • Generally caulk is available in either white or clear.

Disclaimer: Some of the procedures outlined in this guide may be dangerous and should be undertaken at the readers own risk. Readers should consult all material safety data sheets for any products they use in their own attempts at pest control and consult with the manufacturers of all products regarding best usage practices. This guide should be construed as theoretical advice. ZappBug and its employees will not be held responsible for any injury due to the advice offered herein. This guide cannot be construed as formal advice and ZappBug will not be held liable in any instance of an action resulting from this story. This disclaimer assigns the readers all responsibility for their own decisions.