How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In The Mattress

Finding any insect in your home can be stressful but most can be simply killed or removed and that’s the end of it. More intrusive pests like ants may take a little more work but aren’t difficult to overcome. Finding bed bugs in your mattress, however, can really freak you out. This isn’t something that happens every day and can be quite jarring when you realize this is where those little red bumps on your body are coming from.

Bed bugs were pretty much wiped out almost half a century ago in the US but they’ve come back with force in some areas. Large cities with a high influx of seasonal workers to small towns that have a lot of yard sales can be hit equally as hard so it’s difficult to say any specific area is more prone to bed bugs than another. It’s wherever they’ve been spread.

Discovering The Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs On A Mattress

Before you even know you have them you’ll probably notice small red bumps now and then on your body. Bed bugs seem to prefer areas close to your face like your chest, shoulders and upper arms but they can strike anywhere. Most random insects bite in non-specific patterns here and there but bed bugs travel in straight lines biting as they go. If you find recurring bites and they seem linear, bed bugs could very well be the culprit.

To confirm that this is the actual source of your bites, you can take a couple easy steps. Bed bugs mostly come out at night so a thorough inspection during the day can save you another night of bites. Take a flashlight and shine it on your sheets/blankets and bare mattress while looking at eye level. If your bed is directly on the floor this could be difficult and you should always use a bedframe if possible, it can actually help keep bugs from reaching your bed in the first place.

Examine your bedding and mattress closely with your flashlight switching angles now and then. What you’re looking for is tiny yellow/brown smears that are the bugs’ droppings as well as exoskeletons, blood specks and the bugs themselves. They should be relatively easy to spot. Bed bugs are oval shaped and yellow/brown/red depending on various things. Once you spot even one, you know your mattress is probably infested and you can take action.

Eliminating The Pests

Now that you know you’ve got them what do you do? Unless you have an extremely expensive mattress, throw it out right now. You might want to slap a note on it or shred it up nicely with scissors or a knife so other people don’t take it home. A nice plop of peanut butter should keep yardsalers and used furniture vendors at bay also.

This doesn’t mean you’re done. You’ll have to toss that box spring as well and do a very thorough cleaning of your home, especially your room. Most people should definitely consult a professional extermination service at some point after you’ve discovered bed bugs or any persistent pest to ensure you’ve gotten rid of them yourself or to schedule a deep cleaning and treatment. You might need multiple treatments if bed bugs are prolific in  your area to keep them from returning. Be wary of used mattresses and furniture you bring home too. You might want to quarantine it in your garage and inspect it first.

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