Finding bed bugs in a mattress is one of the most horrifying discoveries for a homeowner. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most difficult pests to get rid. Known for hiding between tight crevices, bed bugs are able to remain hidden until nightfall before emerging and biting their prey – you.
If you’re finding bed bugs on your mattress, take the following steps to remove them from your bed and your nightmares:
1. Wash Your Bedding, Drapes, Nightclothes and Throw Rugs
Every loose fabric item from around your bed should be removed and washed in at least 120-degree water. The hot water will directly kill bed bugs living in your bed sheets, as well as their eggs and larvae.
Washing your bed sheets can also act as a preventative measure in keeping bed bugs from re-infesting your mattress. Seal your clean, bed bug-free bedding in airtight bags or double-sealed trash bags until you are done treating your mattress.
Vacuuming is highly effective measure in removing bed bugs from the mattress. Use a powerful vacuum with detachable nozzles to clean your mattress. Pay special attention to the folds and creases. Slide your nozzle beneath the mattress binding and get between the mattress and the bed frame.
3. Use Steam
Steam cleaners are an excellent tool for removing bed bugs from a mattress. Run the steamer across the entire mattress and let it dry. Then, vacuum it once more to remove the dead bed bugs and their larvae.
4. Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is an effective, but relatively slow way to kill bed bugs. The fine, natural silica powder is safe for humans to use in bedding. It works by absorbing moisture from the bed bugs, disrupting their blood intake and causing them to die.
Diatomaceous earth is safe to use and can be applied on most surfaces. However, it should be avoided where children and pets are present.
5. Seal Your Mattress in Plastic
Airtight mattress covers prevent bed bugs from infesting your mattress again and keep any bed bugs that are still in your mattress from attacking. Sealed inside with diatomaceous earth, bed bugs have little opportunity to do anything but die off slowly.
You will have to take all these steps at least once in every bedroom of your home. Be aware that bed bugs can live in a number of places in your home, including wooden bed frames and headboards, baseboards, carpeting, clothing and other upholstered furniture.
If these steps do not eliminate your bed bug problem within a few weeks, you will probably need the help of a professional exterminator.
Patios and porches can also attract ants for their vicinity to windows and doors. They also have plenty of hidden spots underneath the porch to grow their colony.