As per past reports, about 1 out of 5 people suffer from bed bug infestation. This study strongly depicts that bed bugs have largely adopted themselves with time and increased their resistance to pesticides. This has made it harder for humans to prevent their infestation. In this post, we have answered one of the most common questions of homeowners, “can bed bugs live on air mattress”. If you are willing to know more about it, continue to read below.
Can Air Mattresses Get Bed Bugs?
Yes, it is largely possible. Bed bugs can infest your air mattress. These little creatures can get on and adapt to any type of matter whatsoever.
However, due to the type of construction of air mattresses, bed bugs cannot reside inside an air mattress but can infest the surface. Air mattresses are mostly manufactured with polyvinyl chloride. Some of the latest air mattresses even feature rubber construction. There are a few other models that contain urethane plastic construction, which is more elastic and less brittle.
This type of construction makes it difficult for pests to reside inside air mattresses. They can only climb or crawl on the surface. You can find a few bed bugs living inside crevices and seams. With an air mattress, they cannot drill small holes and hide until night-time. At night they come out of their hiding spots in search of food and get inside the hole again.
Shockingly, bed bugs can only eat once after every seven days. What’s even more shocking is that they can even survive a year without eating anything and can even survive!
Research has found that the materials used to manufacture air mattresses aren’t fulfilling or appetizing for bed bugs and hence they face difficulty in burrowing the mattress. As a result, they take time to adapt to the material of the air mattress. Eventually, they hide in big seams around the edges of the mattress. Once they create their hiding spot they can thrive on the air mattress surface.
Read on to know how you can identify bed bugs on your mattress surface.
Signs that you have bed bugs on your air mattress
Identifying the major signs of bed bug infestation will help you get rid of unnecessary troubles. It would also help you get rid of these pests faster. The tough part is bed bugs don’t only consider your bed as their hiding place. It might so happen that they have made their hiding place somewhere else and travels to your bed only to thrive and eat. So, look for the following signs if you are willing to find out if at all your air mattress is infested with bed bugs.
- Red welts all over the body
The most certain sign can be the bite marks of bed bugs on your skin. These bite marks are quite similar to mosquito bites and can be seen on any part of your body. However, you must check the sides and back of your torso.
- Dark spots on your mattress and bed cover
These dark spots are your bloodstains. Some spots are also bedded bug faecal matter. If you notice such spots every time you change bed sheets, know that your bed is probably infested by these pests.
- Bed bug eggs and shells around the house
Bed bugs lay white coloured, opalescent eggs. If you notice these lying around your house, it indicates that somewhere nearby bed bugs have built their hiding spot. Inspect the nearest furniture pieces or other items where they are likely to burrow holes.
Is it necessary to throw away the mattress that is infested with bed bugs?
If you have discovered bed bugs on your air mattress, don’t panic. You can get rid of them in some time if you take the necessary steps and precautionary measures.
Try not to do the following things for some time:
- Shifting furniture to other rooms
- Cleaning the bed sheet inside the house
- Ripping up your carpet
- Using DIY pesticides
The sole reason why people are advised against doing the above-mentioned things is to prevent the bed bugs from spreading to other places of your house. Stay calm and don’t have hasty decisions.
Disposing of your pest infected doesn’t ensure that the new one wouldn’t be infected again. It’s hence, not an effective solution. Unfortunately, people continue to do this only to buy a new mattress which is again infested with bed bugs after a few days.
However, if your mattress is really old and severely infested, it’s best to throw it away and get a new one. However, make sure you do it with the correct procedure. Make sure you don’t spread that notorious creature around your house.
The best person to consult regarding this matter is a pest control professional. The person would inspect your bed and suggest effective methods to get rid of bed bugs without disposing of your air mattress. He/ she would ensure that the problem is preventing and not aggravated.
How to dispose of a bedbug-infested air mattress?
If you have decided to throw away your pest-infected air mattress, here are the precautions you must take to ensure the bed bugs don’t spread to other parts of the house.
- To make it completely unusable, cut the mattress into pieces.
- Wrap the mattress tightly in plastic to prevent the bed bugs from common out. Cover the furniture and other items in your room while taking the air mattress outside.
- Attach a warning sign on the air mattress saying” bug-infested”.
Disposing of the air mattress is the last thing you can do to prevent further bed bug infestation. Before resorting to this step you can try out several preventive measures and see if they are effective enough. Seek professional help if necessary.
How To Eliminate Bed Bugs From An Air Mattress
Getting rid of these tiny creatures from your air mattress is tough and tricky. They hide in spots that aren’t easy to spot. Moreover, apart from your bed, they are likely to have created multiple hiding spots in other places as well. They can easily be transported to the other areas of the house. You can even find them hiding in boxes, shoes, and suitcases. So, to make sure you check the spread of bed bugs in your house, following the strategies mentioned below.
- Keep your pets clean
Bed bugs can easily enter your house and infest different areas through your pets. If you sleep with pets and allow them to sit on your bed, sofa, and other resting places, you must ensure that your pet is completely clean and fresh. Bath your pets regularly to check the spread of bed bugs.
Also, the bathing must be done outside the house. Properly groom your pet and cut off all its long hair. Brush his/ her entire body vigorously. Use an anti-parasite shampoo while cleaning him/ her. But make sure it doesn’t entire his/ her eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid vacuuming
Vacuuming never eliminates eggs or bugs. Vacuum cleaning machines can be infested with pets as well. Vacuuming alone isn’t effective to remove bugs from your air mattress. You are supposed to add another strategy with vacuuming.
Different vacuum cleaners are made for different purposes. Every vacuum isn’t efficient to clean bugs. Make sure the vacuum cleaner you use is equipped with a HEPA filter. It would prevent allergens from bed bugs from becoming airborne while you vacuum.
Also, utilise a vac’s crevice while cleaning your bed bug air mattress. It’s a necessary accessory and can help you to get rid of bed bug clumps. You can utilise this device on different spots like edge seams, crevices, corners, and cracks.
- Steam carpets and floor
Another effective method to control the spread of bed bugs is steaming. No matter at which stage their development is, steaming would be effective.
However, the quality of the steamer is extremely important. Better the quality better would be the cleaning process.
Make sure to buy a heavy-duty steamer or a top-notch one from a major brand for this purpose. The minimum capacity of the steamer must be at least one gallon. If you can afford it, check if the steamer has steam volume control. People are advised to stop using carpet cleaning machines as they aren’t equipped to contain intense temperatures that are extremely essential to eliminate bugs.
- Buy an encase cover
Certain encasements are specifically tailored to prevent bug infestation. However before you install the encasement, try to remove or destroy as many bug eggs as possible. This makes the process easier.
However, you should also know that encasements are effective only if they are intact. Therefore you must inspect the encasement periodically to check their integrity hasn’t been jeopardised.
Homeowners also shouldn’t use a gel or memory foam top unless you put the top of the mattress under an encasement cover. Change your bedding regularly. After you take off the pillowcases, sheets, and blankets, make sure you keep them nowhere. Put them straight into the washing machine. Know that bed bugs are destroyed in extreme temperatures. So run hot water in the washer and while using the dryer, set it to the highest heat.
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