How to Get Rid Of Bed Bugs in a Mattress
You must immediately take steps to eliminate bed bugs from your mattress. But don't panic. You can treat bed bugs if you follow the right methods.
It's important to first reduce the ability for bed bugs to travel around your home, as bed bugs are constantly looking for ways to travel and spread.
- Remove your pillowcases, sheets, mattress cover, etc., and wash everything in hot water (please follow the manufacturer's instructions, though) and then more importantly dry the items on high heat if the manufacturer's instructions allow it. Do not carry these items to the washing machine by hand — use a plastic bag. You can throw away the bag if it contains live bed bugs and do not wish to infest new items.
- Protect your box springs and mattress with a cover. Bed bug protection is possible with special encasements. Protective covers are designed to keep bed bugs from spreading to your other rooms by protecting your box spring and mattress. These casings should be top quality (to prevent tears) and have a zipper. This will not eliminate bed bugs immediately. They can live for months without feeding. You can use this method of killing bed bugs. However, you will need to keep the cover on the bug for at least a year.
- Examine the area infected. A good way to start the inspection is to get rid of any unnecessary clutter that's near your bed. Once that's gone, closely examine your nearby furniture and clothing to make sure there's no bed bug activity.
- Wash and vacuum your bedroom floors thoroughly. When finished, double-bag the vacuum bag in a trash bag, and place it in an outdoor bin.
- Do NOT perform a DIY pesticide treatment. This could cause harm to your family and may actually make the problem worse.
- Get help from a professional. How to get rid of bed bugs fast starts with how thoroughly bed bug control professionals can inspect your space. To give bed bugs a headstart, clean furniture and baseboards as well as behind outlets, switches covers, and any other objects. But leave the actual treatment to the knowledgeable and experienced professionals.
Should I Throw Out My Mattress If I Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs can be removed from your furniture, so it's not necessary to throw it out. However, if you're absolutely sure that you don't want your infested furniture anymore, do not sell it or donate it unless it's been inspected for bed bugs. This will likely only spread bed bugs to another home.
As for your mattress, this depends on the severity of the bed bug damage. You should note that just throwing out your mattress won't solve your bedbug problem immediately. You'll still need a professional to inspect your home and make sure bed bugs aren't living in another area of your home. They can also live on floors, dressers and nightstands, even though they are called bed bugs. And moving an infested piece of furniture around the home can move bed bugs into other areas.
Related: Where Do Bed Bugs Live?
You can save your mattress if it isn't damaged. There may be no need to throw away anything as long as you properly address the issue.
You may be squeamish about using your bedding after an infestation (which is totally understandable), but a few hot cycles in the washing machine followed by a high heat dryer cycle and some time spent sequestered in a plastic bag should kill all bed bugs in your sheets, blankets and pillowcases. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when washing and drying your bedding.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Perhaps you aren't dealing with bed bugs yet, but you want to take some precautions. The most economical solution is to defend yourself against any possible infestation in the future. As soon as you purchase a new mattress, buy a mattress protector to go with it. There are various types of protectors. Some envelope your entire mattress. Most of the zippers seal these openings.
While it is important to keep your bedroom clean and tidy, bed bugs are not something you can avoid. It might be time for a brand new mattress. It doesn't hurt, however to dust and clean any hidden places.
Avoid secondhand furniture and mattresses if you can– this can bring bed bug intruders right into your home. If you're planning on buying any secondhand goods, inspect them thoroughly before bringing them home.
If you use a shared washroom, use high heat temperatures whenever possible and transport your clothing in plastic bags. Check your mattress for bed bugs every time you wash your bedding. Staying vigilant about bed bugs can help you spot a problem early before it gets out of control.
What can I do to tell if my mattress has bed bugs?
Bed bugs are microscopic, reddish-brown insects roughly the size of an apple seed. They can't fly, but they love to burrow in dark, small spaces like headboards, closets, and inside mattress seams. Some bedbug bites are not visible to the naked eye, but they can be easily detected.
If your itchy bites form only after you've been in bed, the issue may be bed bugs. A few other signs that point to a bed bug infestation:
- A musty odor
- Tiny dark spots on the mattress (waste left behind from bed bugs)
- Bed bug egg husks or shells (sometimes these are not visible to the naked eye)
Once you've noticed these things, it's time to strip your mattress and investigate further. Take off your sheets, protector, everything. Take off the box spring's dust cover and inspect the seams. You can also look around at your bed and nightstand for signs of bedbugs.
It's time to update your whole bed set. Read our guide of finding the best mattress to compare your options.
How to Check for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs don't like being jostled, so they avoid hanging out in your hair or clothes, but they do like to stay close to their food source, namely you. If you want to quickly get rid of bedbugs, the mattress should be your first concern. They love hiding in crevices and cracks. They can fit into any gap the thickness of a business card. They love the edges of mattresses, and the piping that runs along them. You can find the bugs by looking for their dark droppings and eggs, as well as your bloodied skin, dried blood, eggs, and golden-colored shells from molting.
Every time you replace your sheets, make sure to inspect the upper pipe. You can do a deeper inspection by flipping the piping upside down and inspecting each side, bottom and top. This can be done a few times per year, or whenever you rotate or flip your mattress. If you spot any signs, keep reading to learn how to get rid of bed bugs.
All items should be washed and sanitized
After you've stripped your bed, wash all your bedding in hot water if possible, which will kill any lingering bacteria. Your bedding cannot be treated with an insecticide so hot water at 120 degrees Fahrenheit is best.
You can dry your bedding on high heat in the dryer if you are unable to machine wash it.
Use a brush to clean the mattress with a solution of water, vinegar or baking soda. Clean the bed frame from seams and any areas where you suspect bed bugs. Vacuum your room– and not just the carpet, but the mattress and baseboards around the bed, too (just use the hose attachment on your vacuum).
Any area in the room with crevices or corners is a good hiding spot for bed bugs, so inspect everything, even dresser drawers. Yes, it's time-consuming, but worth it in the end if you can wipe them out.
How to Get Rid Of Bedbugs in Your Mattress
It is not a good idea to spray or rub alcohol on your mattress. This could cause health problems.
Be extra cautious when using home remedies to get rid of bed bugs from your mattress or furniture.
These are 3 methods to get rid of these bed bugs from your mattress.
Place all sheets and blankets in a bag. Then, clean the bedding.
To kill any bed bugs attached, wash and dry everything.
Tips for washing laundry infested with bedbugs
Avoid putting clothing on the ground during and after the disinfection process. More bedbugs could be hiding in the fabric and fall to the floor.
Use bedbug spray to repel them.
You can also take the laundry to a dry cleaner if you are unsure how to clean it. To avoid spreading the infestation to others, it is important to be open with your dry cleaner.
A clothes steamer is a better alternative to washing delicate items like pillows or clothing in a washer. It can heat up to 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. To kill bugs and eggs, follow the instructions and cover all surfaces. To capture dead insects, steam the fabric with a vacuum equipped with an HEPA filter. You can then dispose of the dust or vacuum bag in a plastic bag and place it outside.
What to do if you have bed bugs