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How to Treat Bed Bugs on Mattress

If you ever had to face a bed bug infestation in your home, you probably wonder how to save your mattress from the pesky bugs. And rightly so, mattresses can be crazy expensive even without having to change them every couple of years.
The solution, of course, is to treat the bed bugs on the mattress and salvage your investment. The bed is usually the first and most common place that gets attacked by the insects. This guide will give you a deep understanding on how bed bugs enter your home, what attracts them, how to treat a mattress that’s infested by the bed bugs and how to prevent any further bed bug problems.

How Do Bed Bugs Get on Your Mattress?

Bed bugs may infest your mattress by getting to your bed from many different places. They want to be as close to you while remaining hidden and safe, so that’s why they choose the mattress in the first place. The most common sources of bed bugs are related to travelling or bringing home items that have been previously owned by someone else, like second-hand furniture, for example.
Some of the most common sources of bed bugs are:

  • Clothing or luggage
  • Motels and resorts
  • Movie theaters
  • Apartments
  • Parks and other public places
  • Boxes and packaging
  • Bedding of any type
  • Used Furniture
  • Purses and backpacks

There are also other factors that lead to an increased chance of ending up with bed bugs on your mattress such as: poor hygiene; dirty sheets and dirty laundry. This, though, doesn’t mean the insects are attracted only to dirty clothing and covers, it’s absolutely possible to have an infestation even if your home is very clean and tidy. It just means that if your home is a mess it gives additional hiding grounds for the bug.

You should inspect your luggage after every trip or your rooms after guests.

See how to inspect for bed bugs.

By nature, bed bugs are nocturnal, so they are most active during the nights and are usually attracted by the warmth and carbon dioxide emitted from a person’s body. This is why usually furniture such as beds are infested.

How to Know You Have Bed Bugs in the Bed

 

It’s not that hard to notice that your mattress has been infested but sometimes there might be confusion if bed bugs are responsible for things such as itchy bite marks. To be sure that bed bugs are in fact the insects that are hiding under your bed, check for any of the following signs of a bed bug infestation:

  • Red, itchy bite marks on the body (mind that 70% of the people do not react to the bed bug bites)
  • Dark, brown faecal stainings on the mattress
  • Coriander smell in the room
  • Blood stains on the sheet or pillows
  • Small white eggshells under the mattress and the box-spring
  • Live bed bugs

Read more about sings and symptoms of a bed bug infestation.

What Kills Bed Bugs in the Mattress Instantly

Home remedies for bed bugs have proven to be efficient only at the early stages of the infestation when their numbers are small. If the insects are already everywhere around the premises of your home, getting rid of the bugs requires a more professional approach to the situation. This means arranging either a heat treatment or comprehensive insecticide treatment for the bed bugs on the mattress and the rooms – both are good but vary in price, effectiveness, methodology and required time.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is very effective and fast way to get rid of bed bugs on the mattress and in the entire room actually! It usually guarantees 100% eradication of the insects, if it’s done professionally. The good thing about this pest extermination process is that bed bugs, no matter their life stage, are very vulnerable to the temperature of 56°C – it kills them in a short time, usually a couple of hours.
Mind that in order to provide full safety, pets, electronics and soft synthetic fabrics should be removed from the room that is going to be heat treated.
The whole extermination process takes about 4-6 hours per room, based on the size of the property that needs to be treated.

Insecticide Treatment

Insecticides have been used for many years as a method of pest control against bed bugs. The substances that are used for bed bugs extermination now are very advanced and will have no impact on your health as long as you follow the instructions of the pest technicians.
Three types of insecticides are most popular and are still being used as the common method of bed bugs control:

Fast-acting insecticide
Residual insecticide
Dust Insecticide
  • Fast-acting, contact insecticide is used primarily for furniture that people touch rarely. Cypermethrin is a fast-acting insecticide.

  • Residual insecticide is applied deep into furniture that we usually have contact with, such as sofas. Most popular residual insecticides are aerosol sprays.

  • Dust insecticide is used on surfaces have cracks and crevices where bed bugs will tend to hide. Such surfaces are floors, ceilings, behind cabinets, refrigerators and sinks. The diatomaceous earth is a type of dust insecticide that is widely used but it requires a proper application.

You can read more on how we proceed with the bed bug treatment service we offer. How long it takes and what are all the steps from booking the service to getting rid of the bed bugs. The good thing about professional control is that you don’t have to do any research nor to get your hands “dirty” — everything’s up to the professional exterminator.

How to Prevent Further Bed Bug Infestations of Your Mattress

How to prevent bed bugs from getting into your mattress:

Thankfully, you can get bed bug covers or “encasements”, as they are more commonly referred to. Use them to completely cover a mattress and its box-spring and prevent bed bugs from getting into the seams and folds of the fabric. Buying a bed bug cover when you first grab your mattress can potentially save you a lot of money. Why, you may ask? Because in case of an infestation you won’t have to replace your expensive mattress.

When buying a mattress encasement, make sure to look for a couple key features:

  • Strong Stitching: The mattress should be able to withstand wear and tear without ripping over time. If the stitching rips off, that will allow an easy access for the bed bugs!
  • Tight Zippers: The zipper teeth should be tight and not allow for any potential penetration by a bed bug.
  • Waterproof: On top of preventing bed bug infestations, a good cover can also protect your mattress from liquid spills. Keep an eye out for this feature!
  • Cotton Material: Having cotton as your top layer can help reduce that “crinkle” noise and keep you a bit cooler at night as an alternative to cheaper polyester fabrics that heat up very quickly.
    For more information about picking out a bed bug mattress cover check out this in-depth guide.

Here are a few simple precautions that can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Don’t leave luggage on the bed. Inspect it outside first;
  • Get a protective mattress cover for bed bugs. Encase your mattress and box spring with it to minimize the possible hiding places;
  • Don’t bring home used furniture or bedding;
  • What cannot be washed on high temperature, vacuum it;
  • Declutter your home – this reduces the number of hiding spots for bed bugs;
  • Keep pets out of bed bug-infested-rooms. The insects will feed on them when they don’t use humans for sustenance.

Image sources:
Louento.pix; Wikimedia – bed bug, aerosol, Diatomaceous earth; Wikipedia;

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