Case Studies

Pests We Treat Case Studies: Old Furniture Leads to Bed Bugs in Howell, NJ

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 by Chris Dattoli


Recently, we went on a service call for a homeowner in Howell, NJ who contacted Cowleys after finding bed bugs on their sofa. Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that are primarily found in a bed but will harbor in any surface that is close to human activity, such as couches, curtains, buses, and hospitals. They're mainly nocturnal but have been known to take a blood meal during the day, especially in heavily-infested areas. After feeding, they move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time in the bed bug life cycle, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate, and lay eggs.

We equipped our personal protective equipment and began a thorough inspection of the home. Within minutes we found a massive infestation of bed bugs in the seams of the couch. As we inspected the bedrooms, we didn’t find any bed bugs on the mattress, but once we flipped the metal frame over, we found a large number of bed bugs harboring in the corner. 

Once we finished inspecting the entire home, the homeowner mentioned that he didn’t have any issues with bed bugs until recently when he purchased the sofa from a garage sale. That was the answer to how bed bugs invaded his home! You should avoid bringing second-hand furniture into your home, especially mattresses and box springs. Without a proper inspection, you’re at a higher risk for inviting bed bugs and other insects inside your home.


First, we thoroughly vacuumed all the cracks and crevices in the home and the furniture with a HEPA vacuum. Vacuuming will drastically reduce the clusters of bed bugs and, with a HEPA filter system, will keep allergens from bed bugs from becoming airborne. After vacuuming we then used a commercial grade steamer to eliminate the bed bugs on contact.

Then we applied a light liquid application on the sofa, curtain, the beds and along all the cracks, crevices, and baseboards in the home. The liquid application will take care of any eggs as well as leave a residual behind that will eradicate bed bugs if they decide to return. Finally, we placed a mattress and box spring encasement cover on all the beds in the home. A mattress and box spring encasement cover makes it easier to detect bed bugs and prevent them from trying to get in or out. We scheduled a two-week follow-up inspection to monitor the situation and apply any additional treatments if needed.