Bed bugs are called bed bugs for a reason. The most favorite places for them to live are beds and mattresses. And if you suspect that your bed has bed bugs, find out how to get rid of them and take action.
How do I detect bed bugs?
Detecting bed bugs in a mattress is not easy, because they are very small and can penetrate through the seams. In this case, identifying uninvited guests will not be easy.
Still, there are some ways and signs:
Smell your mattress. Bed bugs have an unpleasant, specific smell. If you can smell it, your mattress is probably where the pests live.
Inspect your mattress, especially the seams.
Examine it carefully from all sides. If you notice in the seams light yellow or almost transparent dust (this may be dropped during molting insect shells) or crumbs (pest feces), these signs should alert you. In addition, if the mattress is light-colored, yellow stains may be found in some places.
You start itching at night, and in the morning you find red spots on your body? It means you’ve been bitten.
Learn more: Frequently asked questions about bed bugs.
How do I prepare my mattress for treatment?
To get rid of bed bugs, the first thing to do is properly prepare your mattress, because it is not easy to clean it completely.
The basic preparation steps are:
- First, remove the bed linens and wash them well in hot water at a minimum of 60 degrees.
- Move the bed away from the wall and remove the mattress, placing it on its side. Remove the cover from the mattress and wash it as well.
- If possible, disassemble the bed. The fact is that small bed bugs can get into the narrowest crevices and stay there for a long time. In order to exterminate all pests, provide access to the most inaccessible places.
- Vacuum the mattress thoroughly to remove contaminants from the surface, as well as unhatched bed bugs, discarded shells, and laid eggs.
- It is advisable to open the mattress. This is problematic, but if you don’t, some may stay inside and continue to live there even after you’ve been poisoned.
- If you are going to move the mattress, wrap it in plastic beforehand to avoid moving the pests to other places.
“If the mattress is very old, the easiest option is to throw it out and buy a new one.”
How to treat a mattress?
To get rid of bed bugs in the bed completely and permanently, it is important to choose an effective method. Here are some methods:
- Freezing. Bed bugs die at -15 degrees Celsius in about 24 hours. So, you can take your mattress outside in the freezing winter and leave it there for 24 hours. Before taking it home, give the mattress a good whipping to remove all the dead insects and larvae.
- These pests don’t like the heat either, and you can take advantage of that. Treat the mattress with hot steam. A steam generator or steam cleaner can help. If you have neither, you can use an iron with the steam function. Treat the mattress thoroughly and on all sides.
- You can ask for help from professionals, a district sanitary and epidemiological service or a private company that deals with disinfestation. Specialists will carry out treatment qualitatively and quickly. Learn more: Local Resources for Bed Bug Assistance
- Special products can help you get rid of bed bugs. Today, you can find a lot of different products in stores. They differ in active ingredients (although almost all of the active ingredients are insecticides), formulation, toxicity, price and specifications. When choosing, consider the degree of infestation and number of bed bugs, as well as personal preferences and other characteristics. When it comes to toxicity, it’s best to use low-toxicity products to treat your mattress and bed (especially if you can’t leave the room). The most convenient forms of release are sprays and aerosols. You just need to spray them on the surface. When studying the prices, remember that they can’t be too low (this can be a signal of poor quality or counterfeit goods). Remember also that some products can have an extremely unpleasant, persistent and pungent smell, as well as leave stains. The choice is yours, but the most popular, safe and effective products are considered to be Get, Lambda Zone, Delta Zone and some others. When treating, follow the directions given in the instructions and precautions. After the treatment, leave the mattress for a few days to allow the active ingredients to take effect. In some cases, a second treatment is necessary. After the time indicated in the instructions, clean the mattress thoroughly or have it dry-cleaned.
- Try using folk remedies. The most effective are vinegar and ammonia alcohol. The pungent smell of these compounds will scare away bed bugs and make them flee. At this time, you may be able to catch and kill the specimens.
What to do after the treatment?
If you manage to get rid of bed bugs living in your mattress, do not rush to return it to its original place. Bed bugs can live in other places in the room, such as under baseboards, under windowsills, under wallpaper, in cracks, under paintings and carpets, in the spaces between pieces of furniture, and so on.
If you want to forget about pests forever, it is advisable to treat the entire room. To do this, use the methods suggested above. And only after you are convinced of a complete victory over the insects, you can return the furniture and interior items to their places.
Have an effective and successful fight!