Got Bed Bugs in Your Mattress? How to Get Rid of Them

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 10 minutes.
Updated: .

You’ve heard of bed bugs, but maybe you never thought you’d experience them. That is, until the fateful morning when you wake up with bites. What happened? How did you get them? Or, better yet, how will you get rid of them? Bed bugs live on many different types of surfaces, most involving the fabric of some kind that they can cling to. One place you’re far more likely to find them is your bed, including your mattress, box spring, and even your headboard. Bugs infesting a mattress can be a hard thing to control, considering how much surface area is involved, but if you take the right steps, it’s possible to have a clean bed once again.

Can Bed Bugs Get Inside My Mattress?

The thought of having bugs crawl on you while you sleep is horrible. Knowing they’re inside your mattress is just as bad. But how do they get there? It seems like you’d be able to easily notice them, right?

One thing about bed bugs is that they’re sneaky. They’re able to hide in the tiniest of cracks, as well as inside seams, and can go virtually unnoticed for quite a while.

If you’re looking for them inside your mattress, don’t forget to check these areas:

  • Mattress seams,
  • In between the mattress and box spring,
  • Inside any folds and creases,
  • Inside rips and tears.

Also, if you’ve got a rip in your mattress, the bugs can get inside the actual mattress material itself, which makes it even harder to find them.

You’ve read up on bed bugs in your bedding, but what about your clothes? Yes, it can happen. Go here to learn more about how to get rid of bed bugs in clothes.

How air mattresses are affected

Air mattressAir mattresses can still be affected by bed bugs. Anything the insects can cling onto is fair game, like vinyl and plastics you find on those air mattresses. And although it’s unlikely, it’s still possible the bugs could get in through the air pump hole you use to inflate the mattress with. You’ll run into very similar problems as with a regular mattress, which are the facts that bugs can hide in, around, and under it.

Do they like memory foam?

Something about a regular mattress is that its interior is filled with springs, which means there’s space for bedbugs to hide. Memory foam, however, is different. It’s a solid piece of foam block with no room on the inside for bugs to hide.

Getting rid of your mattress during the middle of an infestation isn’t going to solve your problem with bed bugs. Even if your bed is riddled with bugs, there’s a high chance they’re located somewhere else in the room as well, meaning that even if you replace the bed, the ones still in the room will simply find their way to the new mattress and infest it, just like the old one.

Memory foamSo is memory foam bed-bug-proof? Not necessarily, since they can still hide on the outside of the mattress, underneath, and in between sheets. However, since it provides fewer places for bugs to hide, it’s a better option if you’re worried about getting bed bugs in the future.

Of all the insect infestations, bed bugs are one of the most annoying to deal with. Thankfully, there are ways to eliminate it.

How to Get Them Out

There are several ways to get rid of bed bugs in your mattress:

  • Vacuum: This might seem the oddest or unexpected, but vacuuming is an excellent way to combat bed bugs. Make sure to use one with a motor of at least 110 volts, to ensure powerful enough suction. Using a crevice tool (without bristles that bugs can cling to), run it along seams, into cracks, and over every surface, regardless of whether or not you can visibly see bugs. A vacuum that uses bags is preferable so that you can trap any insects that have survived. If you’ve got a canister, make sure to empty it into a garbage bag, then immediately tie it up tight and take it outside to a garbage can. Soak the canister in hot, soapy water.
  • Chemicals: Pesticides do a good job at killing bed bugs, although they’re slowly becoming resistant to certain ones. Common chemical agents you’ll see in products include pyrethrins, desiccants, and insect growth inhibitors.
  • All natural: There are some things you can do to kill the bugs in your mattress that don’t involve chemicals. Diatomaceous Earth is a good option, which is a white powder that cuts and dehydrates the bugs to the point of death. Essential oils also work to not only kill the bugs in some instances but to act as a great repellent, keeping any future ones from coming back to your mattress.
  • Plastic wrap: Plastic wrap works to seal any bugs inside your mattress, trapping them there. This takes longer than other methods, as you’ll have to wait for them to starve to death, which can take several weeks. Something else plastic wrap does is stop bed bug traffic in and out of your bed, isolating the ones inside from the ones outside. Now that you’ve trapped some of them in there, you can focus on killing the ones still in your room. To use this method, wrap several layers of plastic cling wrap tightly around your mattress. You can also buy the best bed bug mattress cover that accomplishes this same result, although they’ll be more expensive.
  • Steam clean: Using steam to get rid of bed bugs is straightforward. Steamers shoot out very hot streams of steam that will kill bugs in contact. Good ones will heat a couple of inches through a mattress, which means you can kill ones inside that you can’t otherwise see.

Top 3 products

When you’re considering what treatments to go after for bed bugs, keep in mind that there are more types than you think.

Some products to consider include:

  1. Kills Bed Bugs Powder: This powder is made of Diatomaceous Earth, which on a microscopic level, consists of very sharp crystals. Sprinkle the powder over all surfaces of your mattress, then vacuum up every few days and repeat the process.
    Kills Bedbugs by JT Eaton
  2. AllergyEase Maximum Allergy and Bed Bug Mattress Encasement: Although this isn’t a quick method, the encasement will trap any bed bugs inside your mattress and also prevent any new ones from getting inside.
    Mattress Encasement by Allerease
  3. Hot Shot Bed Bug and Flea Fogger: A fogger is a canister that lets out a poisonous gas into the room. A benefit to this is that gas can get into any surface, no matter how small, killing bed bugs in their hiding places. Be sure to leave the room when you’re using this, however, as the gas is unsafe for humans and pets.
    Bedbug & Flea Fogger by Hot Shot

If bed bugs can hide in luggage and clothing, can they hide in sleeping bags as well? Keep reading for more information on bed bug sleeping bag.

How to clean your mattress after a bed bug invasion

After you’re finally done with these horrible insects, you’ll want to give your mattress a thorough cleaning. Not only will there be egg and exoskeleton shells, but there will also be bug excrement to deal with, which is not only disgusting but pretty unsanitary.

Thousands of bed bugs can hide deep inside a mattress.

After a good vacuuming, spray the mattress with disinfectant spray, then use a steam cleaner and run it on all sides. This will ensure you kill bacteria and fungus left behind, hopefully bringing your mattress to a better state than it was before the bed bugs came around.

Don’t Just Get Rid of Them – Kill Them

Some insect treatments include deterring the pests or trapping them, but that’s not what you want with bed bugs. You’ll want to kill them, no compromises. Because they’ve become more and more resistant to common pesticides, you won’t want to mess around when it comes to choosing something good.

Using spray

A good spray is a powerful tool when fighting bed bugs. You’ll be able to get it into small areas where they lurk, and most will leave behind a residue that lasts for a couple of weeks, repelling bugs and keeping them from going back into that area to hide.

The Best 4 Bed Bugs Sprays

The Best 4 Bed Bugs Sprays

Some things to think about in regards to a bug spray:

  • Children and pets: If you’ve got small kids or pets that are extra curious, you might want to consider an all-natural product that won’t accidentally harm them.
  • Severity: Is your infestation extra-bad? If so, you’ll want something strong, and may need to combine it with another technique.
  • Furniture: Make sure you spot test a new spray before you apply it to furniture, as some ingredients can cause staining or damage.

Top 3 Sprays

Once you realize there’s a bed bug problem, you’ll want to start treatment immediately.

Three of the best sprays out there you can use include the following:

  1. Rubbing alcohol: Plain old rubbing alcohol can be great for bed bugs. It kills on contact and leaves a residue behind that deters more bugs from coming back. Make sure not to spray it on finished wood, as it can ruin the varnish, but feel free to spray liberally onto your infested mattress.
    70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol by SWAN
  2. EcoRaider Bed Bug Spray: Something great about EcoRaider is that its ingredients won’t harm you or your pets. Spray it onto your mattress, box spring, and bedding, and reapply every few days.
    EcoRaider: Instructions
  3. Harris Bed Bug Killer: This chemical spray kills bugs on contact. One feature of this Harris product is that it won’t stain your mattress or sheets, making it perfect for frequent use.
    HARRIS Spray: Top Areas for Application

When you realize you’ve got bed bugs, it can feel like one of the worst things you’ll have to deal with. Especially considering the work that goes into getting them out of a mattress. But if you plan correctly, use the right products, and put in the effort, those bed bugs will be gone in no time, and you’ll be back to a bite-free night once again.

You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

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