Should you get rid of your mattress when you suspect a bed bug infestation? Absolutely not! Throwing away infested furniture is a common mistake that can worsen the situation. Here at Bed Bug Specialist London, we understand the stress and frustration bed bugs can cause. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to tackle these critters and reclaim your home.

Should I Throw Out My Bed Bug infested Mattress

Why Tossing Your Mattress Won’t Solve Your Problem?

Realising that you have a bed bug infestation is quite disturbing! Bed bugs are stressful and their bite can lead to severe allergic skin reactions! So, it’s only natural to have the instant urge to dispose of your bedding. However, in this case, our instincts are wrong. Here’s why:

Bed bugs spread easily

These critters aren’t loyal to your mattress. They often lay their eggs on or near your bedding but can live anywhere in the room because, after their feed (of your blood!), they become lethargic and seek a place to hide and be undisturbed. Once they invade, they likely lurk in your bed frame, headboard, drawers, furniture, and even cracks in the walls. Disposing of the mattress alone won’t solve the issue.

New mattress, same problem:

Imagine lugging a brand new mattress home, only to have it infested within days. Bed bugs hiding elsewhere will hop readily onto your fresh purchase, seeking their next blood meal. You would’ve spent quite a lot of time and money only to find yourself in the same situation.

Ineffective and socially irresponsible

As we said, you need more than chucking out your mattress to solve your bed bug problem. Moreover, if you decide to leave it on the street (which many people do), you can unwillingly help spread the infestation throughout your neighbourhood. Needless to say, this also doesn’t help solve the bed bugs issue.

The Smarter Approach: Treating Your Entire Home

The best way to eradicate bed bugs is through a comprehensive treatment plan for your entire home, including your bed and other furniture where these pests might be hiding. We know this sounds daunting, but it is the only sustainable approach to dealing with bed bug infestation. Professional pest control companies like ours have the expertise and tools to ensure a successful result.

Signs of Bed Bugs on Your Mattress

Still, before panicking, it’s worth determining if you really have a bed bug infestation. There are a lot of critters that might be bugging you, so a single itchy welt might not be a dead giveaway. That’s why it’s best to watch out for these telltale signs:

  • Mysterious blood stains: Unexplained red spots on your sheets or pillowcases could be bed bug feeding sites.
  • Rusty specks: Dark spots on bedding might be bed bug droppings, often mistaken for dirt.
  • Musty odour: A coriander-like smell that intensifies over time, resembling damp clothes or mould, can indicate a bed bug infestation.
  • Bite pattern: Waking up with itchy, red bumps, often in a zigzag pattern, could be from bed bug bites.

Are you spotting any of these signs? It’s time to thoroughly inspect your entire home for bed bug eggs, shed skin, droppings, and the bugs themselves. Remember, these pests are masters of disguise, making professional help invaluable.

DIY Bed Bug Mattress Treatment

If you’re keen on tackling the problem yourself, here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your mattress:

  1. Bag it up: Strip your bed completely. Encase all bedding — pillowcases, sheets, comforters — in sealed plastic bags for hot laundry treatment later. Do not open the bag unless you are tossing the infested items in a treated washer at the hottest temperatures — 60°C or above.
  2. Freeze or fry: Items like pillows and stuffed animals that can’t be washed can be placed in a sealed bag and frozen at -18°C for several days to kill bed bugs. Alternatively, if the items can withstand the heat, putting them in a tumble dryer on high heat (45°C or more) for at least 1 hour can also be effective.
  3. Scrub and vacuum: Using a stiff brush, scour every corner, seam, and mattress fold to dislodge bed bugs and eggs. Vacuum thoroughly, paying close attention to crevices and seams. Remove the vacuum bag outside and dispose of the contents in a sealed plastic bag.
  4. Encase it: Invest in a tightly woven, zippered encasement for your mattress and box spring. These products help trap any remaining bed bugs and prevent new ones from entering. Leave the encasement on for at least a year to ensure complete eradication.
  5. Protect your bed: Move your bed away from the wall and place interceptor cups (insecticide-treated cups) under the legs to trap climbing bed bugs.
  6. Keep bedding off the floor: Bed bugs don’t jump, but are excellent climbers. Avoid bed skirts and ensure no bedding touches the floor, creating easy access paths for bed bugs.
  7. Seal the cracks: Use caulk to seal any gaps or cracks in your bed frame, drawers, and around the room. Vacuum carpets thoroughly.
  8. Heat treatment (optional): If you suspect bed bugs elsewhere, consider raising the room temperature to 45°C for 90 minutes. This sustained heat will kill bed bugs in hiding. Exposure to temperatures above 45°C kills the eggs, too, not only the adults.

DIY Bed Bug Insecticides

If you find the hiding spots of bed bugs in your home, you can try several DIY treatments to kill the pests. You can treat them with substances you might already have at home — like vinegar, essential oils, or rubbing alcohol. We have a whole article with recipes for efficient homemade insecticides that will help you battle the infestation while remaining safe for you and your pets.

Chemical Treatments: Proceed with Caution

Today, homeowners can get plenty of chemical insecticides designed to kill bed bugs: liquids, aerosols, and powders. And while some people consider using pesticides, they can be ineffective if not applied correctly. Not to mention, that inhaling these chemicals can pose serious health risks. If you decide to go this route, always read and follow the instructions meticulously. However, It’s best to leave chemical treatments to certified professionals who understand safe and effective pesticide use.

Diatomaceous Earth

While many advocate for Diatomaceous Earth, claiming it to be a safe commercial insecticide for bed bugs that is harmless to humans and pets for indoor use, we cannot endorse it. Despite its reputation as non-toxic, it is important to note that Diatomaceous Earth can pose toxicity risks to both animals and people. This powder might eliminate some insects upon contact, but it fails to eradicate the eggs, rendering it ineffective against a widespread bed bug infestation. It is essential to consider safer and more efficient alternatives for pest control, especially ones that do not carry potential health risks for pets and humans.

A Word on DIY Bed Bug Treatments

While DIY remedies can be effective in some cases, it’s crucial to remember bed bugs are persistent. They are resilient pests and can survive for months without feeding. Also, some homemade solutions will kill the adults but not the eggs, so you must reapply them. Complete eradication requires a meticulous and persistent approach.

Professional Help is Often the Best Choice With Bed Bug Infestation

For a guaranteed and efficient solution, seeking help from a professional pest control company is highly recommended. Here’s what you can expect if you call us:

  • Expert inspection: Trained professionals can identify the extent of the infestation and locate hidden breeding grounds.
  • Targeted treatments: We use safe and effective methods, including insecticides and heat treatments, to eliminate bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle.
  • Peace of mind: With professional treatment, you can rest assured that your home is free from bed bugs and the worry of future infestations.

Don’t let bed bugs steal your sleep! Contact Bed Bug Specialist London for a consultation today! We’ll help you reclaim your home and ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.