How Long Do Bed Bugs Live In Mattresses?

Do you have bed bugs in your mattress?

Have you experienced any insect bites while sleeping at night?

Bed bugs can be easily found in crevices and seams of your mattress. If you happen to see them, you’ll need to control them right away before it turns into a chronic infestation.

A few months ago, my mother complained about having hives and bruises on her body every morning she woke up. She further told me that she was going through the worst itch of her life.

We got in touch with a few dermatologists as we thought she had some skin disorder, but the reality was the opposite. It was her mattress infested with bed bugs.

It took us some time to figure out the real cause, but guess what? 

It gave ample time to bed bugs, and the infestation became bigger. All these issues ultimately made her change her mattress. Though she wasn’t happy about it, it was a last resort.

In this article, I’ll be talking about the bed bug infestation in detail, how long they can live for, how we can get rid of them, and more.

what are bed bugs

Bed bugs are tiny wingless insects, yet they are visible. They feed on human blood, which makes them potentially dangerous.

Wait... How can you distinguish them?

They’re light to reddish-brown in colour in a flattened almost round shape. They can be easily seen with a naked eye.

The unusual thing about bed bugs is that they are hard to spot in the daytime as they tend to hide. 

They come and feed on humans at night when they’re asleep.

Where Do Bed Bugs Live?

where do bed bugs live

Unlike lice or dust mites that are present in almost every home, bed bugs are not everywhere.

Indeed it is normal to have bed bugs in your home; all you need to do is make an effort and get rid of them.

The worst thing is that bed bugs are the most stubborn insects of them all. Lice infestation, when transferred to your mattress, doesn’t last for long, it takes a single mattress wash to get rid of lice.

Dust mites, on the other hand, can be irritating but proper cleanliness of your bedding can keep the dust mites at bay. Sadly, bed bug infestation is different and relatively severe.

If you think you have a bed bug infestation, chances are they’ll be living around your bedding, especially under your mattress. Such places make it easy for them to come out at night and feed.

Nevertheless, you can find bed bugs anywhere in the house, especially in places that are hard to reach like under rugs, sofas, and mattresses. 

And, what about the time? Well, no one can certainly say for how long bed bugs would stay around, but if they’re not fed, they’ll typically last for 5-6 months.  

As unfortunate as it may seem, it doesn’t really make a difference how clean your home is, or how much you care for hygiene.

A bed bug infestation stems from a single contaminated product in the home, for example, your clothes used in travelling or a public bus ride.

Here’s to a little flashback! 

A year ago, I went to thrift shopping since I believe not all expensive things are the best.

Well, it was amazing as I found a few lovely vintage pieces for my home. But something happened...

A little wooden table that I brought home had bed bugs. It was something I never thought could happen, but in a few days, my entire bedroom was covered with bed bugs.

Though I stopped using my room for a while, someone told me that these bed bugs could survive months without feeding, which makes a bed bug infestation even worse and hard to eradicate.

I remember it had become my biggest nightmare, and it took me around three weeks to get rid of that scary infestation.

Relevant Health Issues

relevant health issues due to bed bugs

Having bed bugs can be a severe issue as they feed on human blood. A bed bug bite creates a red puffy hive that’s itchy as well, making it considerably more annoying.

Most people are usually not aware of having bed bug bites until they’re bitten all over.

Remember these little insects feed when you’re asleep. Due to that, a lot of people believe they’re bitten by a mosquito. Hence, a bed bug infestation is hard to distinguish unless you’re actively looking to eradicate it.

Needless to say, bed bugs never cause or transmit a severe disease, but the itching and allergies they bring along can be quite uncomfortable.

It is an infestation that will keep increasing until it is dealt with; therefore, it needs to be catered urgently. Neglecting it isn’t a safe option.

Steps to Remove The Bed Bugs

steps to remove the bed bugs

You may think of it as something really hard, but it isn’t as complicated as you imagine.

When I had a bed bug infestation, I looked for every way I could eliminate it and found some useful tips at the end of the day. Following is a step-by-step guide you can follow to liquidate bed bugs from your mattress once and for all.

STEP#1

Remove the mattress topper, bed-sheets, and pillow covers. Make sure to dispose them off properly in a garbage bag as they may contaminate other things as well.

STEP#2

Vacuum your mattress carefully using a hose attachment. Pay attention to every corner of the mattress, crevices, and seams where bed bugs mostly hide.

Do not empty the vacuum cleaner bag inside the house. Also, clean and wash it thoroughly to ensure no bed bugs remain in the bag.

STEP#3

Purchase a new bed bug resistant mattress cover. Insect-resistant mattress encasements are highly beneficial for you as they cover the mattress from top to bottom.

These mattress encasements are made using particular fabrics; thus, bed bugs are not able to bite through them. They come with snug zippers so no insect, no matter how small, can escape through them.

Please make sure to use a cover for at least one year after a bed bug infestation to be absolutely certain that bed bugs including their eggs have died inside.

STEP#4

Be careful with the cracks and joints of the bed, in case you get to see a bed bug, kill it there and then.

You can also use insecticides for this. Just carefully read the instructions and use it accordingly. 

Pesticide sprays can be hazardous if misused.

STEP#5

Isolate your mattress for some time. Move it away somewhere in a room that is not in use. 

After that, get bed bug interceptors for your rooms.

They come with an insecticide that can trap and kill the insects that may try to climb up the walls. 

Refrain from using the mattress unless you’re sure about its cleanliness.

STEP#6

Vacuum your bedroom thoroughly, including every inch and corner. Clean it every day to make sure none of the infestation remains.

Be vigilant about it since a recently laid egg can hatch and contribute to the infestation.

In addition to this, you can consider hiring a pest control company or anyone that has experience in the related area. They can help you with eliminating the infestation.

Myths About Bed Bugs

myths about bed bugs

I reckon that bed bugs can be quite uncomfortable, but they’re not as harmful as people believe.

A lot of things associated with bed bugs are merely myths. So, let’s bust a few myths that have been scaring people for a long time.

You can spray bed bugs away. (Nope, they’ll still be here)

They can be the reason behind transmitted diseases. (It is nothing more than itching and hives)

They live exclusively in mattresses. (They can be anywhere in the house)

They can travel on human bodies. (They can crawl a little, not much though)

They can survive without a meal for typically a year. (For six months, not more than that)

They can fly. (They have flightless wings)

They prefer unhygienic and unsanitary conditions to grow. (All they need is a contaminated spot to hide)

Bed bugs can be problematic since their bites can contribute to various uncomfortable skin disorders. 

Besides, they multiply pretty quick, unlike lice, so the infestation can spread in merely a few days. 

Hence, for anyone suspecting a bed bug infestation, it is a wise choice to follow the eradicating steps immediately.

Needless to say, mattresses are usually the favourite hiding spots of bed bugs; therefore, in the case of an infested mattress, it is better to switch it altogether.

Also, it isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, bed bugs can be found in the cleanest of places. 

Simply take care of your bed and sleep well!

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