Bed bug on mattress. How to get rid of them?

kill bed bug on mattress

No one would want to share their bed with the blood sucking apple seed sized insects, bed bugs. Although they are this small and hard to control in this article, I am going to show you exactly how to get rid of bed bugs in your home. I will show you pictures of the signs of bed bug on mattress so you will have a clear idea. Effective control requires you follow the easy steps on this guide. The signs of bed bugs on a mattress include eggs, fecal stains and cast skins on mattresses. All you need to know is how to inspect for bed bugs, the signs of bed bugs, how to control them and the cause of bed bugs.

Read on…

Check for bed bug on mattress

Bed bug on mattress

Bed bugs infested mattress

Bed bugs require blood meals to survive and complete their reproductive cycles. They feed on human blood and do not hide far from their feeding places thus they hide on the mattresses.

They defecate immediately after taking a blood meal. The ‘poo’ leaves stains on the mattress, and the stain sinks into the fabric of the mattress. This is one of the most frustrating and disgusting sights of bed bugs presence.

To find these stains and any other signs for bed bugs you have to inspect for bed bugs.

You need to know that these fecal stains can be found anywhere on the mattress even on places where the bed bugs hide when they are not feeding.

More things that you need to check on your mattress

Bed bugs also smear blood.

Because they usually feed when you are sleeping they can become trapped between you and the bed. They then get crushed and can leave blood spots on the mattress and sheets and even on your nightwear.


These blood smears and stains are not enough signs for bed bug on mattress.

Bed bugs reproduce quickly!

A bed bug lays at least 200 eggs in her lifetime, which hatch in 6 to 10 days and can live up to 10 months. This means that three or more generations of bed bugs are born each year.

When the baby bed bug moves towards adulthood, it sheds skin at least five times, at each developmental stage, before reaching maturity. The shed skins or cast skins look like light colored empty bed bug shells. And that is what they are! And you are more likely to find these on the specific hide out places on the mattress.

The hatched eggs also leave empty eggshells. And this is a symptom of a fast growing generation of bed bugs. These eggshells are very small approximately one millimeter in length but are visible with a naked eye. For the best results inspect using a magnifying glass.

The eggshells look like dried casings, but not shiny and flatter somehow. They are found in any place where the bed bugs hide especially on rough surfaces like the fabric. You also need to understand the bed bug life cycle.

You probably need more proof to confirm that bed bugs have infested your mattress. Bed bugs eggs can also be found on the mattress far away from the main population location. They are shiny translucent to pearly white and are mainly found in wood and fabric, unlike plastic or metal.

Baby bed bugs are also a sign of infestation in the home. They are called nymphs and are smaller and lighter in color than the adult bed bugs. They start turning red when they start to feed. They range in size from the size of a pin-head or poppy seed size at birth to about a quarter inch as they reach maturity. They feed more frequently than the adult bed bugs and are more likely to be found as you inspect.

Inspect for the adult bed bugs themselves!

What do you need to know?

They are rusty-brown and very flat until they have filled their bellies with blood. They are about the size and shape of a small apple seed. In their early stages of infestation, they hide in and around the seams, piping, and tufts of the mattress.

The presence of bed bugs on the mattress is also noted by the sweet musty smell of coriander or almonds or over-ripe raspberries. This smell comes out in the heavily infested places. Bed bugs sniffing dogs are good at pinpointing hiding places for bed bugs effectively.

Bed bug bites are another indication of an infestation. These bites look like any other bites from other insects, and some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.

Infestation on the mattress must not spread and needs to be detected early. Treating an infestation on the bed is more convenient and far less costly and easier. Low-level infestations are not easy to identify as some insects as carpet beetles are usually mistaken for bed bugs. This misidentification gives bed bugs more time to spread on the mattress.

In the end, you should know that bed bug infestation can be identified by inspecting the following on the mattress

  • Eggshells
  • Blood smears
  • faecal stains
  • Bed bugs casting/ skin sheds
  • Bed bug eggs
  • Nymphs
  • Adult bed bugs

How to find bed bugs on mattress

The mattress is the place that you will most likely find bed bugs because bed bugs hide close to where they feed. Look in any place on the mattress that offers darkness, isolation and protection to the bed bug.

Before you start checking you have to take away all clothing and bedding from the bed.

Wear protective gloves as bed bugs take in blood and this blood may contain the disease. Your fingers are also going to get into the weird places of the mattress and probably smashing the bugs. You do not want the disgusting feel for your hands to catch the smell of bed bugs.

Here is a list of tools that you need to use,

  • A Flashlight
  • Thin Blade Spatula  or credit card
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Garbage Bags (for quickly containing infested items)
  • A Vacuum Cleaner That Can Use Filter Bags
  • non pesticide bed bug spray

Now let me explain…

Use the flashlight on the mattress checking for blood stains. Look for bed bugs skins and eggs. The credit card is so thin and can easily run along the mattress seam. Use the credit card under any button, any straps and any tags on the mattress. Also turn the other side of the mattress and check for any signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs may flee when you start inspecting, make sure you pull the bed away from the walls. Use an insecticide aerosol such as CB-80 or PT 565 to flush the bed bugs out of suspected hiding places. These insecticides kill bed bugs on contact.

How do bed bugs look on your mattress?

Adult bed bugs about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long), they are long and brown if not fed. They become brown-like, reddish-brown and more elongated if fed. A bug has a beak with three segments; an antenna that has four parts; wings that are not used for flying; and short, golden-colored hairs.

Bed bugs are smelly, “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body.

Young bed bugs are smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow; and if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.

How to treat bed bug on mattress

If you find any signs of bed bugs on the mattress, as blood stains make sure you wash all bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing first in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Any high-temperature environment kills bed bugs.

Dry cleaning and washing in hot water for 30 minutes or tumble drying for 30 minutes on high heat kills bed bugs.

Using a stiff brush on the seam of the mattress eliminates bed bugs and remove their eggs. Then vacuum the mattress. Vacuuming is one handy remedy to get rid of bed bugs in your home. A vacuum cleaner is a standard household item. It can suck up bed bugs and their eggs effectively from the mattress. It has to be done thoroughly to make sure that no bed bug escapes and at least once a week. Also, remember to change and dispose of the vacuum bag after you finish vacuuming.

You will have to use some home remedy to get rid of bed bugs. Expose your mattress to any of the following home remedies,

  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Boric acid
  • Thiamine
  • Wintergreen alcohol
  • Sweet flag
  • Bean leaves
  • Indian lilac leaves
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Thyme
  • Essential Oils
  • Mint Leaves
  • Black Walnut Tea
  • Beauveria bassine
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove
  • Pyrethrum

There is also a range of residual insecticides and dust for spraying of dusting the mattress as,

Dust last longer than aerosols whereas aerosols get into the smallest cracks of the mattress. Temprid SC may be used on the tufts and seams of mattresses.

Does Lysol kill bed bugs?

Lysol has to be sprayed directly on the bed bugs, and for best results, it has to be wet. Just spraying on the mattress may not have any effect.

Where to look for bed bugs on mattress

Bed bugs around the bed can be found near the piping, seams, and tags of the mattress. When checking first look at the edge reinforcement on the bed. Look at the sides of the mattress, following all stitch lines. Pay attention to all the labels, tags and buttons or air screens.

Can bed bugs live on the plastic mattress?

The plastic mattress is a control measure for bed bugs. In fact, it can be used as the cover.  Plastic makes it more difficult for bed bugs to survive thus killing them.

Can steaming help to get rid of bed bugs on the mattress?

70 percent of bed bugs live in the mattress. Bed bugs can be very stubborn in the home thereby requiring more effective and professional methods to get rid of them.

Steam treatment can eliminate bed bugs on mattress. It is a method by which the cleaner produces low vapor, high-temperature steam. The steamer must be dry so that the mattress does not mold. The steam must not allow any bed bugs to escape therefore it mustn’t be too powerful but fast. Otherwise, the bed bugs will scatter to other places.

Steam seams and labels of the mattress and continue to all the surroundings. Because bed bugs are very sensitive to greater heat temperatures than 45 degrees Celsius, instant and fast heat can kill them. The material is heated must be heatproof to avoid explosions.

Does mattress encasements kill bed bugs?

Mattresses can be prevented from bed bug infestation by using the bed bug mattress covers or encasements. These are impenetrable to bed bugs outside the mattress. If the bed bugs get trapped in the mattress, they will not be able to escape and will eventually die.

It’s important to know the cause of bed bugs

Bed bugs hide in the deepest, warmest and inaccessible crevices of the home.

Bed bugs find hiding places in clutter, not dirt thus they can be found anywhere from five-star hotels, in planes, trains and automobiles, and most public places like libraries, schools, and even retail stores.

The best way to get rid of bed bugs

The best way to get rid of bed bugs on the mattress on your own is to prepare the room by removing clutter. You need to get rid of all items that you do not need to use or keep. All items in the room must be treated at the end of the day.

Reduce clutter off the floor so that all areas can be thoroughly treated. Be careful not to transfer bed bugs from room to room by carrying things throughout the house. If the mattress is heavily infested, covered with a Bed bug proof mattress cover, or a Bed bug mattress encasement.

Regardless if you find a bed bug or not, I am going to recommend using our Bed Bug Bully Detergent on all your linens, pillows, bed sheets and mattress. This is a specially formulated natural detergent that kills bed bugs and the eggs. You will want this because in many cases there are eggs in your linens and pillow cases. Your regular detergent or bleach will not kill bed bugs or the eggs. So consider a solution to wash your bed bug infested linens.

Remember to

  1. Reduce Clutter
  2. Launder Infested Garments and Linens
  3. Dismantle Bed Frames
  4. Remove Dresser Drawers
  5. Clean the Area
  6. Caulk and Seal






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