Bed bugs are an ever-looming pest control emergency, as their population is consistently growing across the world. In Australia, for instance, there’s been a 5,000 percent increase in bed bugs since the year 2000. In fact, one out of five Australian homes has had a bed bug infestation during the past year.
Sounds like a serious problem, especially when you realize that these tiny insects may sometimes cause considerable skin irritations, not to mention they can spread like wildfire. And this brings us to the age-old question - how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress?
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that can reach the size of an apple seed. As unpleasant as it may sound, they feed off of human blood. Bed bugs are wingless, oval, brownish insects that crawl hurriedly across all surfaces, peeking out from behind your wallpapers, footboards, headboards, mattress seams, or even your bed frame.
How to Spot Bed Bugs on a Mattress?
There is no easy way to spot bed bugs as they usually keep themselves hidden throughout the day. The only way for you to discover whether your bed is infested with these tiny creatures is to use a magnifying glass and a flashlight to examine your mattress. Look out for brownish insects whose length may vary from one to six millimeters. You should also pay attention to any reddish stains from crushed bed bugs or little pearl-white bed bug eggs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress?
There are several bed bug treatments that will help you clean infested bedding that include washing, vacuuming, steam cleaning, using bed bug sprays, and more. Let’s go over each of them separately.
Wash Your Bedding
Remove all of your bedding from the mattress and put them into some sort of vacuum-sealed plastic bag to make sure that these tiny creatures don’t spread across your entire home. Before putting them into a washing machine, it’s highly important to read their care instructions and see what kind of detergent or washing settings you need to use. We have prepared comprehensive guides to help you wash our very own bamboo sheets, quilts, and pillows.
Dry Scrub & Thoroughly Vacuum Your Mattress
- Use a stiff brush to rub over your mattress seams, relocating bed bugs from their hideouts on the mattress.
- Vacuum the entire mattress surface and box spring using the upholstery attachment to remove these tiny insects. Once you finish vacuuming, quickly empty the vacuum bag within a plastic bag outdoors, so none of these critters make their way back to your home.
According to numerous scientific studies, temperatures higher than 48.3°C are lethal for adult bed bugs. This means that steamers can help you kill bedbugs and at the same time get rid of other allergens on your mattress. As they come with a hose for reaching bed bug hideouts, make sure to move it smoothly over the entire surface of the mattress, with a focus on mattress seams. When it comes to memory foam mattresses, however, a word of caution is appropriate, as steam may cause the material to lose its original shape.
Bed Bug Spray
Bed bug sprays are pesticides that act as a repellent for these pesky creatures. They come in different shapes and use diverse chemicals that can kill bed bugs on contact.
Use a Mattress Protector
Theoretically speaking, these protectors allow you to easily notice a bed bug activity as they crawl across the surface of your mattress protector. This will not only prevent them from reaching the hiding spots inside your mattress, but you’d also be able to kill them before they swiftly reproduce.
Pest Control Company
Pest control companies follow specific procedures that include vacuuming, steam, or whole room heat treatments, along with insecticides to eliminate bed bug infestations. After they finish their bed bug treatment plan, pest control companies visit for a check-up to ensure complete eradication.
Having a bed bug infestation on your bed doesn’t necessarily mean that your surroundings are filthy. As a matter of fact, these nasty little imposters are notorious voyagers, meaning that they can get on your clothes and traverse to your home.
To make your home conditions less attractive for these creatures, however, use bed bug control methods such as regular vacuuming, washing your beddings, and steaming your mattress’s surface.
How to prevent bed bugs from spreading?
The best way to prevent these nasty little insects from spreading is to regularly inspect your bedding for a bedbug infestation, and react in a timely manner. Another way to prevent a bedbug problem is by vacuuming your room regularly, using box spring encasements, inspecting your luggage when you come home from traveling, and avoiding second-hand furniture.
How to identify a bed bug bite?
To recognize bed bug bites, look for fresh bites in a line or grouped together first thing in the morning. These bites are usually pinkish, raised dots that can go up to 0.5 cm in diameter.
Is steaming an effective way to kill bed bugs?
Yes. This is mostly because of the intolerance of bed bugs to hot temperatures.