How do you Get Rid of Bed Bugs In Air Mattresses?

bedbug on a mattress

Waking up to bed bug bites can be a scary experience for anyone. These little insects are hard to discover to the point where many of us never suspect their presence in our environments until their itchy and often painful bites pop up on our skins.

Can bed bugs live on air mattress?

Mattresses can be a favorite hiding place for bed bugs as it offers lots of spots to hide as well as easy access to food (in the form of human blood). A common piece of advice in insect forums and other authoritative online sources for bed bug-prone area residents is to choose air mattresses.

There’s a common belief that inflatable mattresses repel bed bugs and keep sleepers safe even in bedrooms with high populations of these little pesky insects.

But bed bugs can crawl up air mattresses without any problems. The absence of foam and sewn seams means the bugs cannot get into the insides and are forced to stay on the surface of these inflatable mattresses.

How to Keep Bed Bbugs off your Air Mattresss?

Discovering bed bugs at home can be devastating but it is important to know that all is not lost.  Even the largest infestations can be contained as long as you follow the right steps. Often, the choice comes down to either hiring a professional exterminator or doing it yourself. The good news is that many people have successfully eliminated bed bugs by following the protocols below:

1. Wash All Bedding

If you’re waking up to bed bug bites then chances are the bedsheets, pillowcases, and other bedding have been infested by these pests. Stripping the air mattress of all types of bedding and putting them in the washing machine can be a great start.

Pajamas, bedtime socks, curtains, and every clothing item should also be washed to eliminate any bugs that may be present. Make sure they’re removed, placed in a plastic bag, and sealed immediately to prevent the bugs from escaping to another part of the bedroom.

Also, choose the high heat setting during the washing and drying of the bedding and clothes to guarantee that the bugs can be eliminated once and for all.

2. Bathe and Sanitize The Pets

dog being bathed

Do you have dogs, cats, and other pets at home? If yes, they need to be given a thorough bath as well. This is because bed bugs love feeding on the blood of these pets just as much as humans. Immediately after noticing signs of these bugs on an air mattress or regular bed, know that the probability that the bugs have infested your pets’ bodies can be high. You can confirm this by looking for signs of tiny red bumps on the limbs or belly of the pet canines and felines.

Also, conduct a thorough inspection of the pet’s body for live bugs, paying particular attention to the ears, the underbelly, and other areas where they can hide sneakily. A warm water bath can be essential especially when mixed with Dettol or another disinfectant.

3. Vacuum The Bugs 

Bed bugs are unable to survive high heat temperatures and this is why experts recommend vacuuming your air mattress or foam mattress regularly. The process may not only kill the bugs but their eggs as well.

Any HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner should be able to get the job done as long as you pay attention to the creases in the mattress and the floorboard area which can be a popular hotspot for these bugs.

Make sure the mattress is turned upside down several times during vacuuming to ensure all 6 sides receive enough attention.

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 from Amazon is the number-one-rated HEPA certified vacuum cleaner on the market today. It keeps my mattress devoid of bed bugs, bacteria, and allergens that can increase the risk of diseases and infections. It also offers amazing cleaning solutions for floors, carpets, and other parts of the home. I highly recommend it to everyone.

4. Steam The Floor and Carpets

A durable heavy-duty steamer can offer a chemical-free way to get rid of bed bugs at home. The good news is that these steamers typically kill the bugs and their eggs immediately upon contact without exposing consumers to potentially harmful chemicals.

Bed bugs love to hide in carpets and floors so the steamer can act as a good killing agent to eradicate their numbers rapidly. These electronic gadgets can also help you maintain a clean and harmless floor or carpet so the investment can be worthwhile.

Additionally, make sure to deeply steam the mattress as well as the headboard, floorboard, boxspring, and other areas bed bugs may seek refuge.

The BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop from Amazon is the secret to clean and well-sanitized hardwood floors in my home with the power of steam. The built-in easy scrubber allows the ability to power through sticky messes without problems. It is easy to set up and ready for use in 30 seconds.

5. Encase With A Mattress Cover 

A mattress cover offers protection from bedbugs by serving as an insulation layer around a mattress. They come in the form of plastic liners that are impenetrable and sometimes waterproof.

Experts recommend getting a cover immediately after buying a new mattress as a preventative measure against the insects. Even if you’ve suffered a bed bug infestation already, it is not too late. Installing an encasement after cleaning and steaming the mattress can prevent a future invasion from these annoying insects.

The Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement from Amazon keeps out bed bugs permanently. It is highly recommended for a brand new mattress purchase or for anyone who lives in a bedbug-prone home or frequently stays in motels and hotels.

6. Spray A Bed Bug Killer

exterminator at work

Bed bug killers can be another effective option to get rid of the insects. They typically come in the form of sprays or dusting agents. Most people use either but experts believing a combination of both can eliminate the pests much quicker because the dust lasts longer while the sprays allow easy access to all cracks and crevices.

A few popular options on the market include:

  • Bedlam Plus Aerosols
  • Spectre 2 SC
  • Crossfire Insecticide
  • Crossfire Aerosols
  • Cimexa Dust
  • Ster-Fab Bed Bug Spray
  • Temprid FX Insecticide
  • D-Fense NXT
  • Cirkil Organic Treatment Products

7. Vigilance

Once you suffer a bed bug infestation, the probability of experiencing another may be greater. This is why being extra vigilant can be such a smart choice. Look out for signs of bed bug feces or eggs in your mattress, clothing, curtains, or bed frames.

Immediately you suspect the presence of these insects, institute a thorough eradication protocol including vacuuming and steaming all surfaces as well as washing all clothes and getting rid of bedroom clutter.

Also, be extra vigilant whenever you stay in a hotel while looking out for signs of bed bugs during the use of public transport.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs feed on blood meaning they can be found wherever humans and animals spend time together. These bugs may lay hundreds of eggs within a short period. Once a few get into your home, they can multiply quickly to put the whole place under siege.

Here are the most popular sources of bed bugs:

Public Transport: Do you commute to work and or school on the bus or the train every day? Being on the lookout for these bugs may prevent a lot of potential problems. Remember, bed bugs can be extremely sneaky by hiding behind corners, cracks, and crevices so be extra vigilant when looking for them.

Hotel Rooms: Unfortunately, hotel rooms all over the world are saddled with bed bug problems. Whether you’re traveling locally or internationally, extra care has to be taken not to transfer the insects to your home. Cheap motels, in particular, can be guilty of these serious insect problems. Stripping off a hotel bed of bedding and turning the mattress upside down may sound like a lot of work. Especially after a long hard day. But this could be the key to discovering bed bugs and asking for a room change.

Libraries: Love going to the library to read and catch up on schoolwork? Staying alert to avoid picking up bed bugs can be rewarding for everyone. Examine any seat thoroughly for signs of blood spots and turn the seat upside down if possible to look for evidence of bed bugs.

Second-Hand Furniture: Shopping for a second-hand mattress, sofa, or box springs? It could be a major source of bed bugs if care is not taken. Getting a professional exterminator to examine it thoroughly for signs of these bugs can be rewarding. If you’re cash-strapped, undertaking a detailed physical examination yourself may also yield the necessary results.

Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?

The answer is no. Bed bugs cannot physically make you sick but a bite from these insects can lead to allergic reactions like rashes and other skin indentations. The fear of bed bugs can also cause severe anxiety resulting in insomnia and its related side effects.

The situation can be so bad that many people are forced to take sleeping aids before catching some sleep.


Bed bugs can get in an air mattress and crawl around its surface. However, unlike memory foam, latex, and coiled springs, these troublesome insects cannot get into the internal layers of the mattress.

This is thanks to the design of air mattresses which involve no sewn seams and layers of foam like those featuring polyurethane foams. This means bed bugs can be easier to spot on inflatables more than regular mattresses.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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