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Bed bugs on mattress and bed bugs in a house are a fairly common complaint. These insects are great hitchhikers and will travel on trains, buses, airplanes and on your clothes and luggage. A clean house doesn’t make you exempt from bed bugs as most people associate these pests in unhygienic surroundings.
Can Bed Bugs Live Inside Your Mattress
The short answer is Yes, They Can! Discovering a bed bug infestation in your mattress is frightening. Who would want to share their bed with annoying, bloodsucking pests? The answer is no one. While your first thought might be to throw your mattress away, there is no reason you need to go to that extreme. For some, replacing a mattress is not feasible. Fortunately, there are ways to treat your mattress.
Create a Safe Space
You need to create a safe space for your bed. Most people position their bed against a wall to help save space. In this instance, your best bet is to move your bed away from walls. Make sure there are no other pieces of furniture nearby. In fact, you should remove everything from around the bed, including clothing and shoes.
Bed bugs are incapable of flight and they cannot jump, so they must make their way onto your bed by crawling. Of course, they can always crawl across the carpet and up the best posts, right? The answer is yes, but you can place traps around the legs of your bed. There are traps/monitors specific to bed bugs.
Place each leg of your bed inside the center of the trap. In an attempt to climb into your bed, bed bugs will climb into the outer lip of the trap. There, they will become stuck and unable to climb up your bed our back out of the trap. Using this method of prevention, you can keep bed bugs out of your mattress.
Use Heat to Your Advantage
Extreme heat kills bed bugs. Remove all of your bedding – sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillowcases – and place them in the washing machine. Make sure you wash everything in hot water only. Afterward, move them immediately to the dryer and use the highest heat setting. Make sure you allow everything to remain in the dryer for at least thirty minutes.
In the meantime, get a hold of a steamer. Run the steamer over your mattress to help sanitize it and kill bed bugs. Make sure you steam the mattress thoroughly. You will need to steam along the surface, but make sure you pay careful attention to seams and edges. Seams and edges are where bed bugs prefer to hide and lay their eggs.
Steaming will take time and patience. Do not work too quickly. Pace yourself so you can ensure you are applying enough heat to sufficiently kill live bed bugs. It is said that bed bugs are exposed to 113 degrees of heat will die in roughly ninety minutes. If you can manage 118 degrees, it only takes twenty minutes for them to die.
A dryer usually produces 120 degrees of heat, so that is plenty to kill bed bugs. When using the steamer, however, you will want to make sure you work slowly. If nothing else, steam every inch and then go back and repeat the process one or two more times to make sure you do a good enough job.
Protecting your Bed and Mattress against Bed Bugs
Bed bugs feed on human blood and their bites can be painful, itchy and uncomfortable. There are a few why you can protect yourself from these pests while you sleep whether or not you have an existing infestation.
First, inspect your mattress, bed and box spring thoroughly to see if you have bed bugs. If you have obvious signs of being bitten, you still need to make sure that the culprit isn’t some other insect such as fleas or ticks. Use a flashlight.
Next, get a protective mattress cover that also wraps the box spring. If you already have bed bugs in your mattress, they will eventually starve or suffocate to death between the mattress and the casing. A light colour casing is preferable since it will contrast the bug’s natural brown colour and make them easier to see. Make sure that the mattress cover is specifically designed to protect against bed bugs.
Wash your bedding regularly and heat-dry. High temperatures, above 45 degrees Celsius, kill bed bugs. Avoid throwing your dirty clothes on the floor. Vacuum your bedroom regularly to pick up stray bugs and consider installing door sweepers at the bottom of your bedroom door. Seal any cracks and cervices that the insects may use to get into your room.
Finally, consider placing a bed bug trap under your bed.
These options work both for preventing bed bugs and for managing an existing infestation.
Call a Professional Exterminator
Bed bugs are difficult to exterminate even for professionals. They often require multiple treatments and more than one method depending on the extent of the infestation. DIY bed bug removal is rarely successful. Many of these over-the-counter products are not as effective as advertised and are potentially harmful to small children and pets especially if not used according to directions.
A bed bug exterminator in Toronto relies on specialized knowledge and concentrated pesticides which are not available to anyone besides licensed exterminators due to strict chemical control laws and guidelines. He will also do follow up treatments if necessary and seal your home to prevent the problem from recurring. Hire a pest control company that offers a warranty for the extermination of at least six months.