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There are two words that strike fear into everyone who owns a mattress: bed bugs. They leave itchy bite marks on your skin and getting rid of them is incredibly difficult. That being said, let’s look at how to check for bed bugs in your mattress.
Bed bugs multiply quickly, feeding on humans while they invade just about everything you have in your bedroom in a very short amount of time. This is because a female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs in a lifetime. Once the eggs hatch, it takes about a month for those to develop fully and, before you know it, thousands of bed bugs have infested your mattress.
Signs of Bed Bugs in Your Mattress
If you have a bed bug infestation, it is best to find it as early as possible. Dealing with a minor infestation is a lot easier to deal with than having to tackle a full-on invasion.
While bite marks are usually a sign that something is lurking in your bed, it doesn’t mean you have bed bugs. Fleas are another nasty nuisance that bite and can live in your mattress. There are even some people who do not react to being bit by bed bugs.
How to Check Your Mattress for Bed Bugs
A better way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. When cleaning, changing your sheets, or even staying away from home, look for:
- Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed
- Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would
- Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1 mm) and pale, yellow skins that baby bed bugs (called nymphs) shed as they grow larger
- Live bed bugs
When not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Around the bed, they can be found near the piping, seams, and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard.
If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs:
- In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains
- In drawer joints
- In electrical receptacles and appliances
- Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings
- At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet
- Even in the head of a screw
Since bed bugs are only about the width of a credit card, they can squeeze into really small hiding spots. If a crack will hold a credit card, it could hide a bed bug.
How to Remove Bed Bugs from Your Bed
If you have a bed bug infestation, chances are it will prove costly to get eradicate the pests. Even leaving one bed bug alive can start the process all over again.
There are some pest control companies that deal with bed bugs, but it usually involves fumigation of at least your bedroom if not your entire house. You might not be able to avoid doing it.
Another thing you’ll want to do is look for a new mattress once the pest control company gives you the OK that all of the nasty creatures are deceased. Removing your old, infected mattress and replacing it with a new mattress will not only help keep the bed bugs away, but will help you sleep better at night, both physically and mentally.
Of course, a great way to avoid getting bed bugs is to make sure you have a mattress protector and pillow protectors covering your mattress and pillows, respectively. These will also help prevent dust mites from invading your sleeping space as well, so you can literally breathe easier at night.