How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Mattress: A Step by step Guide

7 min read
7 min read

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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Mattress: A Step by step Guide

You may be surprised to learn that there are ways of getting rid of bed bugs without having your mattress taken apart. You can keep the room clean and wash all clothes in hot water, but somehow these pesky little creatures still might find their way into a fabric enclosure like yours! We hope this hasn’t happened for you either – if it has then we’re going to provide some relief in this article on our comprehensive guide about How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Mattress. 

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What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped invasive insects that breed on the blood of animals or humans. These bugs, albeit smaller than a pencil eraser, reproduce at a much faster rate. Female bed bugs can lay around 500 eggs in her life cycle. It’s no surprise that they can wreak havoc on your health. If they get into your bed, they can cause welts all over your body, leaving your skin irritated or itchy. However, they are not proven to be harmful in transmitting diseases. 

How to Check for Bed Bugs infestation?

If you think bed bugs have taken over your home, it is well-worth investing your time locating the areas. Bed bugs are small narrow bodies that may nip into tiny spots easily like folds of curtains or couches or mattresses. 

You should look out for them:-

  • In crevices of the bed frame and headboard
  • Among cushions
  • In baseboards
  • Underneath wall paintings
  • Inside electrical outlets
  • Near the box spring and mattress

The best way on how to identify bed bugs is to use a magnifying glass or a beam of light to look for them in these places. Or you may also hire a professional to do an inspection if this works for you. 

Here are some signs of bed bugs you should look out for:

  • An unusual or musty odor from no obvious source. It may smell like moldy laundry, wet towels, or even rust. 
  • You wake up to small red, itchy bumps that weren’t there when you slept. Sometimes it may look like clusters of 3 to 4 bed bug bites entirely in one line.
  • Visible marks of blood on the sheets, covers, pillows. This perhaps might be the crushes of bed bugs on mattress
  • Dark spots on the pillows, sheets, or mattress typically the size of a pencil tip. These are actually fecal marks from the bed bug droppings. 
  • Pearly white or yellow ovals, egg shells, and yellowish skins from bugs shedding.
  • Live bed bugs or small reddish-brown insects about one-fourth inch. 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Here we have listed five best ways to get rid of bugs at your home.

1. DIY: Your first step to getting rid of bed bugs should be to clear all clutter in the home. Clean your mattress, wash your pillows, sheets, curtains, and everything else and dry them at the hottest settings. Put all the clutter in the plastic bag and dispose of it outside. Don’t move items from room to room as that will make space for them to spread. Scrub infested areas with a stiff brush to kill the eggs. You can also use hot water to spritz on certain items.

2. Use Heat: If you want to get rid of bed bugs, heat treatment can also be an option for you. The affected area is heated between 135°F and 145°F as when the bed bug eggs are left to heat, they die. Be assured to hire highly skilled technicians for successful bed bug treatment. If you don’t have a steamer at your home with this much temperature setting, the method might not be viable for getting rid of bed bugs in your mattress.

3. Clean Your Bed Frame 

If you can take out the bed frame and clean every possible corner, it’s going to be beneficial. Bed bugs are experts in hiding themselves in the smallest of places. So it’s best if you use a flashlight to watch out for them in those cracks and crevices. For wooden bed frames, consider sealing the cracks to demolish their home.

4. Use Insecticides That Are Safe For Your Mattress

If you want to get rid of bed bugs from your mattress, you can spray it with an insecticide. You can use an aerosol to clean mattress and spray them on the infestation and any other furniture in the room. Be assured that you read the manual before, and your room has good ventilation to prevent chemicals from breathing in. You can also kill the live bed bugs right away with the insecticide spray. However, learn that a dry solution may not be as effective in killing the remaining insects. Also, don’t be tempted to spray the insecticide on your sleeping area, as harmful chemicals can irritate your skin. Leave the room and windows closed for 15-20 minutes before reentering the room.

5. Protect Your Mattress and Box Spring in a Cover

Buying a new mattress when they have got infested with bed bugs can be expensive and tedious at the same time. Instead, you can protect your mattress from becoming a breeding place with the help of a special mattress cover and box spring cover. These highly specialized encasements do not allow bed bugs to break out. Keep the mattress encasement on for a year or so, and you will have most of them die inside. 

However, the treatment only works when you want to know how to get bed bugs out of a mattress. But if bed bugs are located somewhere, it may not be efficient. 

Easy Home Remedies to get rid of bed bugs

1. Vacuum Cleaner

You can simply use a vacuum cleaner at your home to suck those little invasive bugs. Vacuum clean your mattress, pillows, and everything in between while those intrusive bed bugs have named your home as theirs. You can also use the vacuum on furniture, bed, chairs, carpers, floors, and curtains. Scrap the vacuum bag outside or as far as possible. 

2. Silica Gel

Those little packets in your shoes or handbags can really come in handy in keeping insects off the home. Simply grind the mixture and spread the powder around the infected area. However, be careful as silica gel can be potentially harmful to your children. 

3. Rubbing Alcohol

Use a bottle to spritz alcohol on the infested area. This will kill all the bed bugs that come in contact with alcohol. 

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is the easiest and yet safest remedy to kill those insects rolling over your mattress. It sucks moisture from the body of bed bugs. Use it in the areas where you find bugs more often, including crevices. Be sure to do this every few days.

5. Diatomaceous Earth

This works miraculously on different bed bugs, including fleas. It is made from sedimentary rock finely crushed into a fine powder. Sprinkle the powder on the floor, cracks, crevices, and other areas you think are infested. It might show a little time to show you the required results, but worth investing in. 

6. Essential Oils

Yes, you heard it right. Essential oils can also be backed upon for keeping those bugs at bay. Easy to make, you can carry them anywhere you travel. You can use peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme, and lavender, to spread on the affected area and eliminate bed bugs. Besides, it leaves your home smelling fresh. 

How to Prevent Bed Bugs?

Here are 11 tips to prevent bed bugs from storming into your home!

  • Storing food or related things under your bed invites bugs to your mattress. Avoid stockpiling such infested items in the first place.  
  • Bed bugs may find it easy to creep on smooth surfaces, including plastics or glasses. Keeping your storage in any such content will prevent them from breeding on food. 
  • If any bed bug latches on your sweater or woolen, the risk of infecting the entire closet will pace up. Also, keep your clothes off the bed. 
  • Always encase your mattress or box springs in dust mite-proof encasements to prevent them from making your room a seedbed. Use a mattress protector to safeguard your mattress. 
  • Make it a habit to clean your home with a vacuum cleaner regularly. Dispose of the trash away from your home in a trash box only. 
  • Immediately dry clean your clothes or anything you bring home after travel, including backpacks, handbags, and suitcases. They may be a host for bed bugs to breed on. 
  • Don’t let bed sheets hang on the ground or floor. A hanging bed sheet may invite the bed bugs to crawl up to the bed. 
  • Always wash your bed linens once a week at the highest temperature. This will kill most of them and also prevent future bed bugs. 
  • You may be tempted to buy second-hand furniture and a mattress, but this is where you may find most bed bugs. 

Sometimes, bed bugs come home uninvited regardless of how clean your home is. If you bring anything home, such as furniture or mattress or even your travel bags, do a thorough inspection and clean them outside, if possible.  

Conclusion

Having bed bugs in your mattresses is like seeing a nightmare with your eyes wide open, and you think only so much you can do about them. But bed bugs are beatable. We have suggested the best ways to get rid of bed bugs at your home without burning a hole in your pocket. But if this seems uncontrollable, you likely need the help of pest control in getting bed bugs out of a mattress and your home eventually. 

The cost to have bed bugs exterminated from your home may vary based on a number of factors such as the type of treatment you want – room or whole-house treatment, level of infestation, and the size of a home. 

No, you don’t need to throw away your mattress entirely if it has got infested with bed bugs. There are ways to get rid of bed bugs in your home and besides you can always seek professional help right away. Throwing away your mattress seems reckless and you have to buy a new mattress which would cost you even more. 

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians