How to Identify and Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Mattress

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Red, brown, or in between, these microscopic insects known as bed bugs are known to feed on human and animal blood. Typically found in your mattress, bed bugs easily move and hide from place to place which means that they can easily move from your box spring to your pillowcases or bedsheet seams. Bed bugs in mattress are a common issue and they prefer this specific environment because of the carbon dioxide and warmth humans create. Also, your blood is their main source of food which is why you've probably noticed red, itchy bites when you wake up. This bug problem can get out of hand easily, which is why you need to learn about the signs of an infestation, how to deal with one, and prevent re-infestation.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation in a Mattress

Bed bugs in mattress, what are the signs? You have an infestation if you notice:

  • Small, dark fecal patches are left behind by bed bugs on the box spring and mattress. These stains are usually found along the mattress' borders or along seams and cracks.
  • When bed bugs are squashed as they feed, this results in blood smears being left behind on the linens and pillowcases.
  • Bed bugs shed their exoskeletons as they develop so you'll see these in sleeping areas
  • You have an infestation if you spot live bed bugs crawling on or around the mattress.
  • An infestation may be detected by the musty, unpleasant odor that bed bugs produce
  • Small, red, itchy welts on the skin are frequent symptoms of bed bug bites. On exposed flesh, these bites are typically located in a row or cluster.

wipe out bed bugs

Bed bugs are most active at night but they can feed in the morning. It can be hard to determine whether or not you've got an infestation because they can fast for long periods of time too. It's also important to remember that they can infest other furniture, curtains, and rooms around the house.

Bed Bug Characteristics

Bed bugs are known for the following physical and behavioral characteristics:

  • These pests are the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color.
  • Bed bugs are typically flat and oval which is why they can easily fit into small crevices.
  • These insects feed on both animal and human blood and are active at night. This leaves red, itchy bites which some people may be allergic to.
  • Bed bug eggs are about 1 mm long and are white. Bed bug eggs are also hard to find but will be clustered in furniture, clothes, bedding, or your mattress.

While looking for bed bugs in mattress, the usual hiding spots include:

  • The seams and tufts of a mattress give the bugs a safe, secure place to hide.
  • The wrinkles and cracks of the mattress and box spring are another typical bed bug hiding place.
  • Surrounding pieces of furniture like nightstands or dressers as well as the bed's frame, headboard, and footboard. You can find them concealed in pillowcases, bed sheets, and other bedding components.

It's important to remember that bed bugs aren't limited to the mattress and can hide in other spaces like under baseboards, in picture frames, in a laundry basket, on the table, or in other places in your bedroom.

red bed bugs in mattress

How to Check for Bed Bugs in a Mattress

To check on bed bugs in mattress or surrounding areas:

  1. Remove all bedding before inspecting the seams, tufts, and folds of the mattress to check for bed bugs. Use a flashlight and pay particular attention to any stained or damaged sections of the fabric as well as the mattress' corners and edges.
  2. Look out for fecal marks or tiny, reddish-brown beetles, which are indicators of an infestation.
  3. Bed bugs frequently hide in cracks, check the box springs next for any indications of an infestation Examine the box springs' corners, edges, and folds, paying special attention to any places where the fabric is stretched or ripped.
  4. Bed bugs can conceal themselves in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard, so check those items as well.

If you tick off any items on this list, the chance you have a bed bug infestation is pretty high. So, how does this happen and what can you do about it?

Causes of a Bed Bug Infestation in a Mattress

Bed bugs in mattress don't happen for no reason. So, how do bed bugs get in your house and invade your mattress? Here are the usual causes:

  • Bed bugs were in the area: bed bugs could already be around your neighbor's house! Bed bugs can travel through walls and floors which is why an infestation in a connecting room or apartment in multi-unit housing buildings is common.
  • They were brought in: you may have accidentally brought the bed bugs into your home on clothes, luggage, or furniture. Visitors can also introduce them to your house when they come over and bring their personal items. Also, if you've stayed at a hotel, dorm, condominium, or hostel that has bed bugs, they probably came from there.
  • Poor sanitation: lack of hygiene attracts bed bugs like there's no tomorrow. If a room is cluttered, covered in dust, or debris, bed bugs are likely to make a home in the area.
  • Secondhand items: if secondhand furniture, clothing, or other personal items are infested and brought into your house, you could have brought in bed bugs.

These pests can invade your personal space for a number of reasons. Now, you're more aware!



Prevention and Control Measures

So, you're dealing with a bed bugs in mattress problem. Here's how to get rid of bed bugs and prevent future infestations:

  • Check the bed, box springs, and surrounding furniture, or items frequently signs of an infestation such as dead bed bugs, eggs, or shed skins.
  • Reduce clutter and potential hiding places by keeping clothing and blankets off the ground.
  • To stop bed bugs from lurking under mattresses and box springs, use bed bug-proof encasements.
  • Learn how to use a vacuum cleaner and have a routine! You can get rid of eggs before they become adults this way.
  • Use hot water to wash clothes or bedding, high heat to dry them, or use a steamer to prevent a bed bug infestation.
  • Fill in any cracks or crevices in the walls or floors.
  • When traveling, check for bed bugs and make sure not to bring any home.
  • Avoid purchasing secondhand, used equipment, or upholstery.

Stay vigilant and keep an eye out for any signs of an infestation

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Mattress

The effective methods to get rid of bed bugs on or in a mattress include:

  • Vacuuming: to get rid of bed bugs, eggs, and debris from the mattress and nearby areas like the carpet and furniture, use a vacuum with powerful suction and a HEPA filter. To stop the spread of the pests, make sure to empty the vacuum waste bag or container.
  • Steaming: use a steamer with a nozzle attachment to steam your mattress, box spring, and surrounding regions. For bed bugs to be killed, the steam needs to be at least 120°F (48°C) to130°F (54°C.)
  • Bed bug-proof encasements: you can use ed bug-proof materials, like thick polyester or nylon cloth to encase your mattress or other parts of the bed. Bed bugs shouldn't be able to enter or leave the encasement.
  • Chemical products: pyrethrins and pyrethroids are found in most insecticides and there are pesticides that you can buy to kill bed bugs.
  • Cryonite: you can buy carbon dioxide snow which destroys bed bugs and their eggs by freezing them to death.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): this approach combines many methods, such as heat treatment, chemical insecticides, and physical removal, to efficiently get rid of bed bugs while using the fewest amount of chemicals possible.
  • Bed bug exclusion: seal any openings or crevices that bed bugs might use to get into a building.
  • Professional pest control: expert exterminators can use a combination of methods and products to get rid of a current pest infestation and put a stop to bed bugs in mattress or surrounding areas.

You can choose one or a mix of the methods above to get rid of bed bugs in your mattress or around the room. We recommend doing your research before making the final choice and contacting a pest control professional if the infestation gets out of hand.

Bottom Line: Bed Bugs in Mattress

Bed bugs in mattress can be a problem for anyone! These tiny, bloodsuckers are hard to find but they can be eradicated and kept out of your house. Pay attention to where you live, if there's an infestation nearby, your household is vulnerable to bed bugs too. Remember to keep your house clean, perform routine inspections, and be mindful of the items brought into your home. You can also vacuum your room often, learn how to caulk like a professional to seal off potential entry points, wash, dry, and steam bedding and clothes at high temperatures, and refrain from buying anything secondhand to prevent an infestation.

However, if there are already bed bugs in your mattress, you can use natural and chemical eradication techniques or consult a professional pest control specialist for help.

Bed Bugs in Mattress FAQs

How can I avoid becoming infested with bed bugs?

The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation is by routinely vacuuming, cleaning your room, inspecting furniture, using protective encasements, sealing gaps, cracks, holes, and crevices, as well as consulting a pest control professional.

What are the most effective ways to eradicate bed bugs from homes and buildings?

The most effective way to eradicate bed bugs in mattress is by hiring a professional pest control specialist. These businesses use a combination of high-tech equipment, techniques, and products that are designed to exterminate bed bugs. Also, an expert exterminator may use heat treatment that can help prevent future infestations.

What signs do bed bug bites cause?

The most obvious signs of a bed bug bite are if you see a line of groups of small, itchy, red bites on your exposed skin.

What are bed bugs' behaviors and eating preferences?

Bed bugs prefer feeding on human and animal blood at night. This can be due to the fact that there is a rise in body temperatures at nighttime.

How does having bed bugs impact one's mental health?

Aside from itchy bites, bed bugs in mattress or other places you sleep can cause discomfort and cause a lack of sleep.

How much does bed bug removal cost, and how effective are the techniques?

The price of an exterminator will depend on the level of infestation and the techniques or products used to eliminate bed bugs.

What safety measures should I take while traveling to avoid bringing bed bugs home?

It's good practice to check for bed bugs at lodgings before or right after checking in. Keep your luggage away from the floor, closed, and away from the bed as you inspect the space.

Do various states or nations have different laws or rules regarding bed bug infestations?

Each country and state will have different rules and regulations regarding bed bugs and their elimination methods. Explore the restrictions put in place to better understand your rights as a tenant or homeowner.

How long before bed bugs die in high temperatures?

Bed bugs can die at temperatures as low as 32°F (0°C) and as high as 130°F (54°C.) It may take bed bugs longer to die if they are exposed to deathly temperatures for a short period of time and other factors like humidity will place a role.

What distinguishes bed bug eradication from bed bug control measures?

Bed bug control tactics are designed to minimize the damage of an infestation and control bug populations. On the other hand, pest eradication techniques eliminate adult bugs, their larvae, and eggs.

What kinds of bed bug-proof encasements are there, and how effective are they?

There are zippered bed bug-proof encasements and mattress covers that keep bugs in our out. It's best to look at each product in detail before making a purchase.

How do I effectively use steamers and pesticides to get rid of bed bugs?

If you're going to use a steamer or pesticide, follow manufacturer instructions and adhere to all safety precautions. We also recommend getting advice from a professional pest control specialist to learn how to use these tools and products properly.

How do bed insect infestations affect the travel and business sectors?

A bed bug infestation can harm an establishment's reputation which leads to a loss of revenue and brings down the economy and tourism sector.

How should I dispose of contaminated objects appropriately and store them?

Infested things should be packed in plastic bags or properly disposed of. Refer to your state's rules and regulations regarding this or contact your landlord for more information.

The surrounding region needs to be cleaned and disinfected as well.

Abigail Clemente

Abigail is an experienced content creator who has worked with several big names in the home decor and interior design industry. She comes to our team with almost 6 years of experience of working as a full time content writer.

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