Sleep well and without bed bugs: 8 expert tips to eliminate bed bugs from your mattress

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The streets of Paris have recently been invaded by bed bugs, leaving locals and visitors in panic and disgust. Videos of these insects have taken over Tik Tokwhere travelers show how these little bloodsuckers have invaded hotels, public transport and even movie theaters.

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If you’re worried about these pests coming from the city of love to your bed, we’ve put together some tips to help you get rid of them. CNET has a studio full of mattresses we’ve tested over the years, so we know exactly how to keep them pest-free.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped, reddish-brown insects. When they are younger, they can be translucent and imperceptible to the human eye. Adult bed bugs may be easier to spot, especially in light-colored bedding. Like fleas and ticks, bed bugs feed on the blood of animals and humans. Despite the name, bed bugs are not only found in beds: they can also be found on anything made of fabric, such as sofas, chairs, curtains and clothing. If your mattress has bed bugs, you may even feel them crawling on you. You may not feel the bite, but it may leave you with itchy red welts.

Leg with red rash caused by bed bug bites

Andrii Medvediuk/Getty Images

What causes bed bugs?

Bed bugs love to feed on people and animals, so they are likely to be found in crowded places, such as hotels, restaurants, and public transportation. They will most likely hitchhike to your house in your purse, backpack, luggage, or clothing. If you like to save, be sure to check any second-hand furniture you buy before bringing it home. Bed bugs love crowded spaces, warm temperatures, and fabrics.

“Bed bugs can multiply quickly, and those swollen, red, itchy bites are not something you want to deal with on any level,” says David Rubin, bed bug product expert. The sleep doctor. “The best way to prevent them is to keep your home and bedding as clean as possible. Don’t leave clutter where bed bugs can hide and multiply,” she added.

bed bugs on fabric.

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8 tips to get rid of bed bugs in your mattress

If you suspect your mattress has bed bugs, follow these tips.

Dry, wash and dry your bedding and linens.

Remove sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads and place them in the dryer at at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Bed bugs cannot survive these high temperatures, so it is best to remove them and their eggs before washing. After running the drying cycle to kill the bugs, wash the bedding on the highest setting and dry as usual. If you want to improve, you can use a detergent specifically designed to kill bed bugs.

bed bug detergent

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Bed bug-specific laundry detergent is most effective at killing the little gribblies.

Vacuum your mattress well

Use a vacuum cleaner hose (avoid using a brush, as eggs and bugs can hide in the bristles) to vacuum your mattress, paying special attention to seams, crevices and folds. Be sure to empty the vacuum cleaner outside into a sealed bag and dispose of it in an outdoor trash can.

Use a steam cleaner

Steam cleaners produce enough heat to exterminate bed bugs and their eggs, so you can use a steamer to effectively treat your mattress. Be sure to steam all the folds and crevices of your bed.

Invest in a mattress cover

Mattress covers are specifically designed to trap bed bugs and prevent them from escaping or feeding on you and your pets. This helps control any existing bed bug infestations and can help prevent infestations from starting.

mattress cover for bed bugs

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A mattress cover can trap bed bugs and prevent them from getting out.

Use diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a food-grade powder made from silica that causes bed bugs to dehydrate and die. Sprinkle your mattress with a generous layer of diatomaceous earth, let it sit for an hour, and then vacuum. Although it is considered DE safe for human consumption, inhaling can be dangerous. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when handling DE and make sure your room has adequate ventilation.

diatomaceous earth

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Diatomaceous earth can be used as a natural pesticide.

Inspect your bed frame

Even if your bed frame is not made of fabric, these bugs can hide in cracks, small crevices, and even in the legs of the frame. Clean the smooth surfaces of the bed frame and steam and vacuum any pieces containing fabric.

Use error interceptors

Bug interceptors are small plastic plates that sit under the legs of the bed frame and trap bed bugs. These traps do not use any pesticides, but rely on the fact that bed bugs find it difficult to climb smooth, slippery surfaces. Once they have entered the interceptor, they cannot get out and eventually die. One small studio demonstrated that bed bug interceptors showed a 96% success rate in apartments with a range of low-level to severe infestations.

ecopest-bedbug-blocker

Amazon

Bed bug blockers can prevent bed bugs from climbing up your bed.

Resort to pesticides

If you’ve tried everything but can’t seem to get rid of bed bugs, consider using bed bug-specific pesticides. Be sure to look for EPA-approved products that are safe for indoor use. Spray your mattress with the insecticide as directed on the product label. Avoid direct skin contact with treated surfaces and allow your mattress to dry completely before covering it.

ecovenger-bedbug-killer

Amazon

Pesticides are designed to exterminate insect pests.

Too long; I didn’t read

Getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy task. However, by washing your bedding and, with the help of some products, you can control and exterminate most pests. If you are disgusted that your old mattress has bed bugs, you may want to consider purchasing a new one. Be sure to eliminate any infestations in your home so they don’t transfer to your new bed.



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