Whether you’re in a hotel, shelter, summer camp, or your own home, the last thing you want to do is wake up itchy and covered in bug bites. Unfortunately, virtually nowhere is safe from bed bugs, which have been deemed a public health pest by various respected agencies, including the CDC and EPA.
The small, brown, oval-shaped bugs are just a few millimeters long, making them expert hiders. And their short reproductive cycle means they can multiply and spread in a matter of days, with every female laying up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.
Early detection and remediation are paramount to keeping these pests at bay. Keep reading to learn how to catch early signs of bed bugs on mattresses and what to do when you find them.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Unlike other public health pests, like mosquitos and ticks, bed bugs are not a vector for diseases, meaning they are not a massive, outright threat to your overall health. However, they are still a huge nuisance and should be exterminated promptly after being discovered.
How to Tell If You Have Bed Bugs in Your Mattress
There are many misconceptions about bed bugs, such as the ideas that you can’t see them with your naked eye or that they only live in very dirty places. Both of these things are false. Bed bugs can live almost anywhere, even in meticulously kept homes and hotels. If you’re not sure how to tell if you have bed bugs in your mattress, all you have to do is stay on the lookout for the following warning signs.
Strange Mattress Stains
Strange stains on your mattress are never a welcome sight, especially since they could be an early indicator of bed bugs. If you notice stains that have a red or orange, rusty hue to them, they could be caused by bed bugs that have been squished and left on the mattress. If the stains are a brighter red, they could be drops of blood from bed bug bites over time. Lastly, small, dark, ink-like stains are indicators of bed bug droppings – another sign of infestation.
If you notice any of these early signs of bed bugs on mattress surfaces, it’s time for further investigation. If bed bugs are the underlying source, you’ll need to start extermination immediately.
When bed bugs bite, they feast on your blood and leave behind a small, itchy red bump on your skin. Unfortunately, their bites resemble many other insect bites, so many people don’t notice them at first. However, if you’re waking up in the morning with more itchy red bumps than when you went to bed, your bed has likely fallen victim to bed bugs.
Bed bugs can bite anywhere, but some of the most common places they target are on the back, legs (especially the backs of the legs), stomach, and arms.
You Spot a Bug
The most obvious sign of a bed bug infestation is spotting one of the pests in your dwelling. Young bed bugs may be hard to see since they’re small, white, and semi-translucent, but adult bed bugs are big enough to spot without the help of a magnifying glass.
Bed Bugs on Mattress Signs: What to Do After You Notice Them
Once you know how to determine whether you have bed bugs in your mattress, it’s important to know how to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back.
Unfortunately, dealing with an infestation is not as simple as just throwing out the infested mattress. Bed bugs can hide in the box spring, bedding, nearby clothes, furniture, curtains, carpet, and virtually anywhere else. So throwing out the mattress won’t get rid of the whole infestation.
It’s best to use heat rather than pesticides, when possible, to kill bed bugs. All bedding and clothing should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat. Commercial steamers can also be utilized on the carpet and along the perimeter of a room to exterminate bed bugs that may be hiding in baseboards.
If bed bugs have burrowed inside of the mattress, you have two options. You could throw it out after fully wrapping it and properly labeling it as infested, or you could purchase an airtight mattress cover that will suffocate the bed bugs, prevent them from escaping, and prevent future infestations.
ESS Universal manufactures and supplies high-quality, cost-effective commercial grade beds, mattresses, and furniture to camps, hostels, shelters, dorms and more. View our entire line of furniture products including our popular waterproof foam mattress for institutional use, single metal bed frames, single over single bunk beds, single over double bunk beds, and triple bunk beds. Download our catalog for detailed information on our complete product line.