Health & Fitness

How to Check Mattress For Bed Bugs

January 23, 2024   By JM Carpiso

Bed Bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are known to be one of the most difficult pests to get rid of, and a bedbug infestation can quickly become a nightmare for homeowners. One of the most common places for bedbugs to hide is in your mattress. In this article, we will discuss how to check your mattress for bed bugs and what to do if you find them.

Pest Identification

bed bug

The first step in checking your mattress for bed bugs is to know what they look like. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and have a flat, oval-shaped body. They are reddish-brown in colour and can be mistaken for other insects such as ticks or small cockroaches. It is important to properly identify the pest before taking any action.

Visual Inspection

The most obvious way to check for bedbugs is to visually inspect your mattress. Start by removing all bedding and sheets from your mattress. Look for any signs of bedbugs, such as small reddish-brown spots or stains on the mattress. These spots are actually bed bug faeces and can be a telltale sign of an infestation. You should also look for any live bedbugs or their shed skins, which can be found in the seams and crevices of your mattress.

Use a Flashlight

Bed Bugs are nocturnal creatures and are most active at night. This makes it difficult to spot them during the day. To get a better look, use a flashlight to inspect your mattress. Shine the light along the seams and crevices of your mattress, as well as any other areas where bed bugs may hide. This will help you see any signs of bedbugs that may be hidden from plain sight.

Bed Bug Detectors

There are also bedbug detectors available on the market that can help you detect an infestation. These detectors are designed to trap bed bugs as they try to climb up onto your bed. They can be placed under the legs of your bed frame or on the floor around your bed. If you find bedbugs in the detector, it is a clear sign that you have an infestation.

Bedbug Treatment Options

If you find bedbugs in your mattress, there are several treatment options available to eliminate the infestation. One common method is to use insecticides specifically designed to kill bedbugs. These can be applied directly to the mattress and surrounding areas. Another option is to use heat treatment, which involves raising the temperature of the affected area to a level that is lethal to bedbugs. This method is effective in killing both adult bed bugs and their eggs. It is important to carefully follow the instructions provided with any treatment method to ensure its effectiveness and safety.

There are several DIY methods that you can try to kill bed bugs. Here are a few options:


Regularly vacuuming your mattress and surrounding areas can help remove bed bugs and their eggs. Make sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to ensure that the bed bugs are trapped and not released back into the air.

Steam Treatment

Bed bugs are sensitive to high temperatures, so using a steam cleaner on your mattress and furniture can be an effective way to kill them. The steam should be directed at the areas where bed bugs are likely to hide, such as seams, crevices, and cracks.


Bed bugs can also be killed by exposing them to extreme cold temperatures. You can place infested items in a freezer for a few days to kill the bed bugs and their eggs. However, this method may not be suitable for large furniture or mattresses.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural substance is made from the fossilised remains of tiny aquatic organisms. It can be sprinkled around your mattress and other infested areas to kill bed bugs by dehydrating them. Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth and follow the instructions for safe application.


Bed bug-proof mattress encasements can help prevent bed bugs from infesting your mattress and make it easier to detect and treat any infestations. These encasements should be left on for at least a year to ensure that all bed bugs and their eggs are eliminated.

Remember, while these DIY methods can be effective for small infestations, severe infestations may require professional pest control treatment. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions for each method and monitor the infested areas regularly to ensure that the bed bugs are completely eliminated.

Professional Pest Control

If you have found bedbugs in your mattress, it is important to take immediate action. Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and DIY methods may not be effective. It is best to hire a professional pest control company to properly treat your home for bedbugs. They have the knowledge and tools to effectively eliminate the infestation and prevent future outbreaks.


The best way to deal with bedbugs is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. When travelling, inspect your hotel room for any signs of bedbugs before unpacking. When purchasing used furniture, thoroughly inspect it for any signs of bed bugs before bringing it into your home. Regularly vacuum and clean your mattress to prevent any potential infestations.

By following these steps, you can effectively check your mattress for bed bugs and take the necessary actions to eliminate an infestation. Remember to always properly identify the pest and seek professional help if needed. With proper prevention and maintenance, you can keep your home bedbug-free.

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