Bed bugs are nasty little creatures. Although bed bugs seemed to be a thing of the past, and were rarely heard of since the 1940’s and 50’s, over the past decade or so, bedbugs have made their return. This is due in large part to the fact that many of the chemicals used 60 years ago to eradicate such pests are no longer available for use.
What Are Bed Bugs
Bed bugs, as can be derived from the name, are parasites that live in bedding and like to show up during the night and feed off of the blood of humans. They are approximately a quarter-inch long and are reddish in color. You will know if your home or hotel room is infested with bed bugs if there are red bites on your skin, and brown bug excrement markings on your sheets as well as on your walls.
Sadly, if you visit a hotel that is infested with these critters, there is a possibility that you can carry them home with you on the sleeve of your shirt or the hem of your pants or blouse. They also can ride home on your luggage as well.
How to Kill Bed Bugs in a Mattress
If you do end up dealing with a bed bug infestation in your bedroom and mattress, it can be difficult to exterminate them altogether. Your best bet is going to be to get rid of the mattress completely, and make sure any new one is fully encased.
However, there are a number of resources online that can be helpful in learning how to kill bed bugs in a mattress.
One of the first things that you will want to do is inspect the room for any areas where bed bugs may be hiding. Vacuum everything thoroughly, including your box spring and mattress. Any linen that may have been infected should be washed in hot water or placed in the dryer for several minutes. Additionally, check the mattress for any holes or tears. If there are openings, then the bed bugs very well may have crawled inside and it may be impossible to get rid of them. You may have to resort to purchasing a new mattress.
Chemicals and Bed Bugs
However, if there are no tears in the fabric, then you can proceed by treating the mattress with an insecticide. Pyganic dust, Temprid SC Insecticide, phantom aerosol, and bedlam aerosols are all possibilities if you’re thinking how to kill bed bugs in a mattress. Apply these with special attention to the folds and seams of the mattress. You can also hire an exterminator to do the work for you, but you will likely spend a lot of money doing so.
Dry Steam Mattress Cleaning
If you don’t like using chemicals in your mattress cleaning, you can also utilize a steam cleaner. The heat from the steam will kill both the bed bugs and their eggs on contact. Be sure to apply the steam to all areas of the mattress including any crevices where the bugs might be hiding. A dry steam cleaning of a mattress is especially desirable as it lets off little moisture, thus reducing your chances of causing mildew growth on the mattress.
Regrettably, even after all of this effort, sometimes the bed bugs may still remain. If you miss any bugs and they lay more eggs, then you will have the same problem all over again. Simply put, be extremely thorough in your mattress cleaning, and keep in mind that these critters are very hard to get rid of.
Reputable Resources Related to Bed Bugs
The Mayo Clinic writes about bed bugs, and symptoms you might have if you are infested.
WebMD also has a good page about bed bugs.
The University of Kentucky has this informational bulletin about bed bugs.
The EPA also covers the issue of bed bugs in great detail.