How to Get Rid of Bedbugs in a Mattress

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Written by: Alex Savy
Last updated on

Bed bugs are bloodsuckers! And if not for anything, the thought of an insect feasting on your blood while you’re asleep is enough for anyone to know how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress.

Right from the inception of time, bed bugs have been a regular fixture in man’s abode. So if you notice bed bugs on a mattress in your home. 

Don't fret.

Here, I'll tell you everything you need to know about repelling and preventing bed bugs, from identification to elimination techniques. I'll also explain how a mattress encasement for bed bugs can salvage an Infested bed.

Key Takeaways

  • Washing and heating up an infected bed is a great method that rids bugs from a bed. Bed bugs can't withstand high temperatures. So a dryer is a good bug extermination tool. 
  • Steam applied at high pressure and insecticides are feasible options when trying to exterminate bed bugs.

Why Are Bed Bugs so Difficult to Kill?

Anywhere humans dwell, it’s not uncommon to find an army of bugs surfacing at intervals for a blood feast.

These blood-lusting vermin have the rare ability to survive many months without feeding. They can also survive extreme temperatures. 

It gets even worse. 

Apart from the fact that they're found almost everywhere, bed bugs are so difficult to kill. It's as if they’ve a secret pact with death that makes them resistant to many insecticides.

And why's that so?

Interesting, right? 

However tough bed bugs may be, with the right practices, you can exterminate these pesky, itch-causing vermin for good.

What Do Bedbugs Look Like on a Mattress?

The question, "what do bedbugs look like on a mattress" is one that's increasing frequently on google amidst the nationwide surge in bedbug infestation. 

I'm always able to tell the presence of bed bugs by their droppings. These appear as small dots or spots and are often difficult to see. Their dry faeces look like coffee crumbs while faeces that have soaked into textiles are reminiscent of dark ink.

Brown, oval-shaped, and measuring the size of a cucumber seed at maturity, bed bugs aren’t easy to spot because they’re nocturnal insects and only surface at night to feed. They also leave a trail of dark-brownish smudge in the form of excreta that stains mattresses

When bugs crawl out of hiding at night, they pierce human flesh and suck blood until their dark brown exoskeleton takes on a rich, deep reddish color. 

Many folks think that a bug invasion is a sign of a dirty house. 

I don't think that's the case. 

Bedbugs can infiltrate your home through your pet or through luggage infested during trips. (1)

Bedbug Infestation Signs

There are certain tell-tale signs that guarantee you’re sharing your home and your blood with bugs. 

  • Tiny, swellings on the skin after a night’s rest
  • Bronish smudge or dark spots smeared throughout the mattress.
  • A mild, funky smell that’s characteristic of bedbug eggs.

Bed Bug Hiding Spots

The bug’s small size makes it easy to wriggle through tiny openings and hide in unthinkable places. You may easily spot bedbugs on a mattress at night, but you’d be shocked to know that bugs can hide behind furniture veneers and inside telephones.  

The key thing is to spot them on time before massive reproduction sets in. That way it would be easier and less expensive to contain. 

favorite-hiding places for bed bugs

Some favorite hiding places for bed bugs are:

  • Book and cloth piles
  • Underneath mattresses
  • Furniture joints
  • Travel boxes
  • Behind wall pictures
  • Inside ceiling crevices

Steps on How to Fight Bed Bugs on a Mattress?

Steps on How to- Fight Bed Bugs


The first step to knowing how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress is the process of identification already discussed, which details the color and hiding spots of the blood-sucking bugs.


The containment process is the factor that determines whether you’ll say goodbye to the stubborn bloodsuckers or continue to wake up with painful, welt swellings, among other signs every morning.

You can follow the rules below, broken into steps for easy application:

Strip Your Bedding

Immediately after the detection phase, removal of all bedding ought to follow. Gather all the pillow cases, blankets, sheets, put them in a plastic bag and seal it up. The point here is to isolate infected materials and prevent the spread of bed bug eggs.

Wash and Heat

Washing linen doesn’t stop the spread of bedbugs; however, it helps to remove the bug excreta from your pillowcase, mattress cover, and sheets. 

High temperature is a threat that bedbugs can’t withstand. And that’s where the dryer becomes a nifty bug extermination tool. Toss the bedding into the dryer after washing, turn up the heat to the highest level and leave for at least half an hour. 

Also read: TOP 5 Best Memory Foam Mattresses

Vacuum Infected Spots

The next step is to get a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bugs that might exist in close-by crannies. Underneath the mattress and carpet, furniture joints and wardrobes are good places to start. 

Move any suspecting vermin hideout. If need be, dismantle furniture set and disassemble equipment where the blood-sucking insects could be hiding. When you finish vacuuming, endeavor to empty the vacuum cleaner far away from your residence. 


Now is the time when you bring your bug-killer instinct to life. If you want to stop being dinner for tiny, little bugs with piercing beaks, here's how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress

After cleaning, I like to freeze previously infested clothes. What I do is seal them tightly with tape and freeze them for several days. The stubborn eggs and bugs which may have remained must have died during the freezing.

Get Steamy

Steam applied at high pressure does drastic damage to bed bugs and their eggs. Although bugs may lay eggs inside unreachable crevices in furniture and holes in mattresses, high-pressured steam can penetrate the tiniest of holes. That’s why apart from conventional DIY solutions like the use of mattress protector for bed bugs, the application of super-hot steam remains the most assured technique of tackling insect infestation.

If you don’t have a steamer and the cost of purchasing an industrial one that’s workable and effective seems intimidating, then the next best option would be the solicitation of an exterminator’s services.

Apply Insecticides

Using insecticides is another feasible option I use in exterminating bed bugs. You just need to ensure that it is a thorough job. Applying chemicals takes lots of patience to ensure every possible vermin spot doesn’t escape spraying.  

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The use of insecticides can be harmful when used in excess, and calls for the highest of focus during the application, and the strictest adherence to the manufacturer’s directions.


Once you’ve decimated every last bug in your home, you want to ensure that a resurgence never comes to life. Your best bet is to begin exploring protective options like a mattress encasement for bed bugs, among others. 

Also read: Mattresses for Back Pain 

Use a Mattress Cover

Using a plastic mattress cover is one of the simplest methods you'll find on how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress. It's a protective tool that prevents bed bugs from entering into and escaping from mattresses.

Do Routine Checks

It's always best to nip the bug in the bud. Routine checks will help to alert you in the event of any infestation.

Regardless of the type of control, I think it makes sense to check after about 2 to 3 weeks: Are there any new signs that point to bed bugs? If individual bed bugs or eggs have survived, it is important to repeat the measures in good time.


Should I Throw an Infested Mattress Away?

No, you don't need to throw an Infested mattress away. Get a mattress protector for bed bugs instead. 

How Does a Plastic Mattress Cover Kill Bed Bugs?

A plastic mattress cover kills bed bugs by trapping them inside the mattress. Trapped insects don't have access to human blood—their source of sustenance. With time the insects sealed inside the bed cover will die of starvation.

Are There Special Mattress Bags for Bedbugs?

There are no special mattress bags for bedbugs. However, the latest mattresses in the market come with an impenetrable, waterproof cover that prevents bed bugs' entrance.

Do Bed Bugs Spread Diseases?

Contrary to commonly held perceptions, bed bugs don't spread diseases, but they cause painful welts and itching.


However stubborn bed bugs may be, they can still be exterminated with the right knowledge and practices, detailed in our article.  

Still have questions about how to get rid of bedbugs in a mattress? Alex Savy, the Co-Founder and Chief Editor at Comfynorth has reviewed countless sleep products with over 4 years in the industry and can help you find what you’re looking for. Reach out through email at [email protected]. When emailing Alex, include your full name and phone number or email address.


  1. Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and. Parasites. 2021.

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