Air mattress is not a convenient place for bed bugs to live on. Most air mattresses are made of vinyl or PVC, durable, and flexible plastic film resistant to puncture. The resistance keeps the air mattress safe from bed bugs to create a hole and get inside. And this is why maximum bed bug-resistant mattress covers with vinyl or PVC layers. Though bed bugs succeed in making a hole in air mattresses, they will not hide because the air mattress is filled with air. The air mattress will start to leak, and you will soon lie on the floor. So you will easily know that there are bed bugs on an air mattress, and you will be careful.
The edges of the PVC or plastic air mattress are smooth, which prevents bed bugs from crawling up and sucking blood. So, the PVC or plastic air mattress is safer than a regular foam mattress in case of bed bug.
Bed bugs are miniature wingless reddish-brown insects that drink human blood, generally at night. Bed bugs also are attracted to warmth, carbon dioxide, and warm-blooded animals, e.g., pets. Their size ranges from 1 to 7 mm.
Bed bugs commonly dwell in bed cracks and crevices. As well as mattresses, sheets, blankets, sofas, chairs, suitcases, cluttered areas, cardboard boxes, and other home furniture.
Can bed bugs climb up an air mattress?
Bed bugs cannot climb smooth edges. Since they are attracted by human blood, they are pulled by the smell of sleeping people. So, they try hard to climb air mattresses and sometimes succeed. If there are even small cracks in the air mattress, bed bugs can hide there.
Bed bugs need to crawl to roam alone because they don’t have wings. For this reason, sometimes the invasion occurs slowly. Either way, they can go inside the walls, through the floor, and into the pipes. Most bed bugs move quickly from one place to another through one’s infected clothes, sheets, or furniture.
Where do bed bugs come from?
Since bed bugs can be found in any area where people gather and pass a long time. Be conscious of bed bugs while utilizing public transport or sitting out in public places like libraries. The hotel room should be carefully inspected during the trip, especially before going to bed. Probe the bed sheets for noticeable blood stains or bugs, or eggshells. Use a little torch to find out hiding spots. As bed bugs can travel spontaneously, you must be sure to vacuum the baggage and investigate any symbols of bed bugs when returning from holiday. Also, use a giant garbage bag to put used clothes while staying at the hotel and wash clothes in hot water while you arrive home, even unused garments.
Furthermore, do not bring second-hand furniture in the house, specifically box springs, and mattresses. Even if you bring it, you need to check for marks of bed bugs carefully. Once bed bugs enter the home, they can easily move from one unit to another.
This will help if you plan to inspect the furniture by a bug control specialist. If you are an inexperienced person, it will be difficult for you to detect the infection.
How do you check your air mattress for bed bugs?
One method to check your air mattress for bed bugs is to get a flashlight and seek cast skins, eggs, and bugs under air mattress labels, creases, and any common area. Knowledge about the primary indications of the bed bugs pervasion will save your time and help dispose of them quicker. Air mattresses are not the single area where bugs can hide. It may be that bed bugs come to your bed to drink your blood, but their residence is elsewhere.
Hence, these are what you should search for:
- Bite marks all over the body are the most unambiguous indication of having bed bugs on an air mattress and any other place in your home.
- A dark stain on your air mattress and sheets comes from your dry blood and bed bug stools. Therefore if you find them each time you change the sheet, it indicates the pervasion.
- Bed bugs, eggs, and shells in different places of the house indicate that the area is infected. So, have to check carefully the nearest mattress, furniture, clothing, and so on.
How to treat (Clean & disinfect) air mattresses for bed bugs?
If there are bed bugs in residence, it is crucial to find and clean them. Pervasion can continue until you disinfect them properly. You can hire a professional pest control specialist or do it yourself. Fortunately, many people have effectively eliminated bed bugs by following the steps below:
How to clean air mattress from bed bugs?
Wash Bedding Items
Washing bedding items are the core part of eliminating bed bugs. Bedsheet, mattress topper, pillowcase, and other bedding items putting in the washing machine is an effective start. Sleeping suits, curtains, bedtime socks, and other clothing items must be washed so that no bugs appear. Choose a high-temperature setting when washing and drying bedding items and garments to ensure that the bugs can be completely disinfected. If you want to throw away any clothes, put them in a plastic bag and seal them immediately so that the bugs do not escape to other parts of the house.
Use HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters obstruct bed bugs from the escapade. It has a vacuum cleaner equipped with a heating system that can generate heat up to 210 degrees. The spray of steam is a compelling method of killing bed bugs from air mattresses, mattresses box springs, carpets, and other hidden places of the house. It also absorbs dust, which is essential for good health.
Disinfect air mattress
Disinfecting air mattresses can be quick and easy by following a few organized ways.
- If you want to provide extra care, sometimes take the mattress outside to get sunlight and fresh air. Daylight will remove the dampness of the mattress and will kill other germs as well.
- A mixture of vinegar and water (1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water) will be adequate to remove mold. Soak a mop or cloth into the liquid and rub softly on the air mattress. Then rinse with water and let the mattress dry in the sun.
- Prepare a liquid of isopropyl alcohol and water to eliminate mildew.
- Warm water will be preferable for this combination. Wet wipe with the mixture and use to clean the air mattress. Wash with water and let the sleeping pad air dry once you are done.
- Disinfectants such as Lysol can be utilized to destroy mold or mildew on the air mattress. Spray the chemical over the space where the mildew, as well as mold, shows up. The disinfectant will also kill bacteria which may cause mold growth in the future.
Bed Bug Spray for cleaning air mattress
Bed bug spray can be an excellent choice for disinfecting insects. It can help to get rid of pests very quickly as the spray can reach all cracks and crevices in mattresses, furniture, walls, pipes, etc.
Inspect the seams
Before cleaning or fixing any household items, a thorough inspection is essential of the premises. A primary check provides a complete understanding of the problem, which helps to the concept of prevention.
Zippered encasement covers
A zippered mattress encasement cover provides structural protection on all 6-sides of the mattress. Also, the zippered mattress cover is an additional layer of protection against allergens like dust and bed bugs. Membrane and non-membrane are two types of allergy relief bedding; both are very comfortable and breathable.
Membrane covers are waterproof and provide safety from bedbugs. But non-membrane does not provide waterproof protection.
When cleaning zippered mattress cover, all areas, as well as the inside of the zipper, must be cleaned. Use mild soap, water, and a soft cloth to remove dirt. After washing properly, it is essential to wipe the entire area with a non-invasive disinfectant. Keep in mind that not all disinfectants are suitable for all mattress cover materials. And using the wrong cleaner can damage the mattress.
Clean and Sanitize your Pets
Take your pet to a safe place away from your home and clean it carefully. Trim off long hair and brush tightly all over your pet’s body. Use anti-parasite shampoos to remove bed bugs and their eggs. After rubbing the pet well, rinse with lukewarm water.
Since your pet cage and other things in contact with your pet may contain bed bugs, it is vital to clean these things thoroughly. Then vacuum the place where your pet stays.
Pest control service
Often, pest problems become extreme while you may need the help of a professional pest control service provider. Selecting a pest control company can be difficult. But don’t make rapid decisions. Try to evaluate companies through a few key areas: Qualifications, reputation, experience, customer service, and safety. A good pest control service maybe helps to prevent the problem of bed bugs.
During camping, you can experience bed bug in your mattress. In your camping tour, camping cot or air mattress will be better?
How do you attract bed bugs to one spot?
Bed bugs are photophobic. Photophobia means “fear of light.” For that, bed bugs hide during the day and come out at night. Bed bugs are usually attracted to warmth and CO2, which the human body releases during sleep. Here you may use a glue cartridge or Vaseline as a trap. Keep glue cartridges close to your bed so that bed bugs stick to the glue.
Bed bugs are also attracted by heat, so it is possible to bring out them from hiding places by heating the room to the ideal temperature. Hopefully, any of these will work as expected.
Should I throw out my mattress if I have bed bugs?
Throwing out a mattress is a less effective solution to get rid of bed bugs. It might spread further. But, if the mattress is outdated and harshly infested, you can reject it. When you throw out your infected mattress, it is wise to fire burn completely.
Throwing a mattress to get rid of bed bugs is a less effective solution. However, you can use alternatives of air mattress.
So, in the final verdict, we will say that bed bugs on an air mattress can be found rarely (bed bugs rarely live on air mattress). But these insects can spread widely to other areas of your home. You need to clean the home items, especially clothes, bedding, and furniture, regularly to ensure a comfortable life.
David is a passionate traveler who completed his MSc in Travel Industry Management from University of Hawai’i.