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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress

Woman cleaning a mattress

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress

Woman cleaning a mattress

Bed bugs have painful, itchy bites that will have you desperately searching for answers to the question: How to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress?

If you’re looking for a simple and effective solution to keep your mattress bed bug-free, you’re in the right place!

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress: Six Easy Steps

Cleaning your mattress of bed bugs can be a little different from doing a regular mattress deep clean.

Freeing yourself from the bed bug reign of terror comes down to six simple steps:

  1. Look out for signs of a bed bug infestation like red stains, tiny red bites on the skin, and itchiness.
  2. Familiarize yourself with what a bed bug looks like and inspect your mattress and other furnishings closely.
  3. Scrub and vacuum your mattress thoroughly.
  4. Remove any egg sacs or clumps of bed bugs with a cloth soaked in hot soapy water.
  5. Wash your bedding and pillows in hot water and then dry these items on your dryer’s hottest setting for at least 60 minutes.
  6. Create a “clean zone” in your home to store all bed bug-free items until the rest of your home can be inspected and cleaned.

What do Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?

As adults, bed bugs are very small and round or oval in shape. The have a reddish brown exterior with short, thin legs that protrude from their bodies. Looking closely, their round heads can be viewed poking out of the top of the rest of their bodies.

Bed eggs are very small and white in color. They have a translucent appearance and can usually be found clumped together. Anywhere from one to five or more eggs can be found in a clump.

Where to Look for Bed Bugs

Before you begin, gather the following tools necessary for bed bug inspection:

  • a flashlight
  • a pair of gloves
  • a vacuum cleaner
  • a scrubbing brush with stiff teeth

When inspecting your mattress for bed bugs, start by stripping off all of the bedding. Your sheets, duvet, pillows, and pillow cases will all need to be scrubbed down with hot soapy water. Many people opt to replace items like pillows, which are notoriously hard to wash, just to be extra sure.

Next, put on your gloves and using your flashlight, carefully inspect around the edges and seams of your mattress. Every crease and crevice will be a hotspot for bed bugs.

Be sure to check the top, sides and underside of your mattress. Bed bugs often hide themselves away in small nooks and crannies, so you’ll have to conduct a thorough inspection.

After searching your mattress, turn your attention to your bed’s base or box spring if you have one and any seams, divots, or holes along your bed frame.

If you don’t do a deep clean of the surfaces that touch your mattress or are in close proximity to it, you’ll risk re-infestation.

Removing Bed Bugs

Using a vacuum with a nozzle attachment, do a cursory cleaning of your mattress. Run the vacuum over every surface, making sure to pay special attention to all of the seams and crannies.

Next, take a stiff scrubbing brush and clean out the edges of your mattress. You may need to dig a little deeper with the brush to make sure all of the bed bugs and eggs are pulled out of hiding spots.

Then, take a clean rag and dip it in a bucket of hot soapy water. Wipe down your mattress with the clean cloth and watch as the bugs and eggs are stick to the wet rag.

Finally, vacuum your mattress a second time to clear away any leftover bed bugs.

To make absolutely certain no bed bugs are missed, store your mattress in a sealable case or “encasement” to trap any bed bugs inside. Without any food or means of escape, the bed bugs will starve to death over a period of several months.

Avoiding Cross-Contamination

To avoid cross-contamination and re-infestation of your mattress, store it in a room or area of your home that you know for sure is free of bed bugs.

Your mattress will need to stay in this “clean zone” until you can do a deep clean of your bedroom. This is especially important if you have carpet or any fabric furnishings in your bedroom.

Remove the vacuum bag used in the process and seal it with tape. If your vacuum cleaner does not use bags make sure to empty all the contents in a sealed plastic bag. To avoid any contamination clean your vacuum cleaner with hot soapy water and discard the used filter, if any.

Keeping Bed Bugs Away

After you’ve gotten rid of the infestation, you’ll want to make sure those pesky bed bugs stay away.

There are a few ways to keep your home free of bed bugs, but if you want to keep your mattress bed bug-free, get a mattress protector.

As its name suggests, a mattress protector minimizes the risk of damage. It acts as a physical barrier to protect your mattress from dirt, food crumbs, moisture damage, and most importantly, bed bugs!

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