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Bed bugs were once public health hazards and their incidence have declined around the mid 20th century; however, bed bugs have evolved resistance to common insecticides.
Bed bugs are also known to readily and easily transport from one place to another especially to unsuspecting travelers who stay in hotels or apartments.
When you find bed bugs on your mattress, do not panic! There are easy ways to get rid of bed bugs from your mattress.
The following steps may be tedious, but if you will just resolve to follow through, you will realize that you just cannot put a price on getting sound sleep on a bed-bug-proof bed.
1. Begin by stripping of your bedding from your mattress and bagging them in sealed garbage bags to prevent bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home.
2. Take your bags directly to your washing machine and carefully unload your bedding inside, taking care to reseal the bags. Wash the beddings using the hot water setting.
3. Dry the bedding under the high heat setting if possible. This will kill and bed bugs and eggs hiding in your sheets and covers.
4. While your laundry cycle is running, remove your mattress and box spring from the bed frame then use a vacuum to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that may be present in the seams and folds in your bed.
5. While you could use most regular vacuums for this step, the preferred vacuum model is one that collects bed bugs into a sealed HEPA filter to make sure that nothing gets out. Read our post can bed bugs live and hide in your vacuum cleaner
6. After you’re done going over the bed with a vacuum, you should follow up with a steamer.
While the vacuum may have done a good job covering the surfaces of your bed, only a steamer can effectively penetrate deep inside your mattress, box spring, bed frame, headboard, and footboard to kill bed bugs and eggs that are hiding inside.
Steam slowly all over your bed, paying close attention to seams and folds.
7. Once your bed has been steamed and left to dry, spray the joints of the bedframe, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray. This will kill bed bugs quickly and then evaporate, leaving no residual protection.
8. Follow up with a residual spray to fill those cracks and crevices with the residue that will kill bed bugs for several weeks.
9. After your bed has been fully treated and left to dry, use sealed and certified bed-bug-proof mattress encasements and box spring encasements to protect and seal off your bed.
This will prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping your mattress, reducing the potential for hiding places that they can reside in.
10. Once your encasements have been applied, you put the mattress and box spring back on your treated bed frame and put your clean and bed-bug-free bedding back on your bed.
Treating your bed inside and out and encasing your mattress and box spring are very important steps; however, it is recommended to go an extra step further. You need to stop bed bugs from reaching your bed and climbing back up.
Your mattress, box spring, and bed frame are the most common hiding places for bed bugs, so it’s the best place for you to start your treatment, but do not stop there because bed bugs don’t hide only in your bed; they are also likely in your furniture, closet, even your walls or floors – anywhere close enough for them to detect the carbon dioxide and body heat that you emit in your sleep.
- Start by isolating your bed from other places of contact. Bed bugs can’t jump or fly so they have to crawl up something to reach you. If your bed has hanging skirts, tuck them in or remove them.
- Remove any unnecessary pillows and any storage under the bed.
- Move your bed away from the floor.
- Now that you have isolated your bed while you sleep, the only way for bed bugs can reach you while you sleep is by climbing up the legs. You can stop them from climbing by placing climbing interceptors under each leg. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the interceptors and then fall into the pitfall where they can’t escape. With this stops in place, you can stop the bed bugs from reaching your bed and monitor their population over time without ever being bitten.
Treat deep cracks and crevices along your baseboards, windowsills and furniture with a vacuum cleaner then again with the high pressure steam cleaner.
Remember to move the nozzle slowly – no more than an inch per second to make sure that all bed bugs are adequately exposed to the heat.
Set up long-lasting defenses to ensure that any infestation is finished off.
Use contact spray, residual spray, and residual powder into potential hiding places of bed bugs such as baseboards, cracks and crevices, behind nightstands, along the edges of any carpet, and even inside electrical plugs.
It is not only bed bugs that can be lurking in your mattress. The key prevention which is also a solution in itself is to keep your mattress clean.
There are many resources you can find online to guide you on how to clean your mattress, but never hesitate to call for professional help too.
Further reading and an in depth guide on bed bug removal, see this guide here