The City Mattress Blog

health & wellness

Understanding the Signs of Bed Bugs on a Mattress and What to do Next


Close-up picture of a bed bug crawling across a mattress

With the summer heat on its way, it is time to discuss one of the more unpleasant aspects of warmer weather: bed bugs. The mere words are horrifying to homeowners everywhere. No one wants to think it is a possibility they have these pests, yet the statistics tell us otherwise. One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone else who has. Bed bugs are found in all 50 states, everywhere from Florida to New York and each state in between.

Before you say “This won’t happen to me!” consider the following:

  • Bed bugs can survive for several months without eating.
  • Bed bugs can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bed bugs hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress.
  • Bed bugs are not only found in dirty homes or associated with lower income families

Clearly, it is best to be prepared for the possibility this happens in your home. A bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime, and all it takes is for one or two of those eggs to hatch and find their way onto your clothes, luggage, or body and you have a full-blown infestation in your mattress. Before you begin Googling things like “does Lysol kill bed bugs?” or “does bleach kill bed bugs” let’s pause and learn the facts. It is time to educate yourself as to the signs of bed bugs on a mattress.

Tell-Tale Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation In Your Mattress

You see a bed bug before you’ve made your bed in the morning.

Talk about a bad day! If you see a small, reddish brown bug on your bed, make the very next thing you do calling for a bed bug inspection. Bed bugs lay eggs every single day, meaning you’re losing the fight if you don’t begin a bed bug heat treatment as soon as possible.

There are very small red to brown spots on your mattress.

Your mattress should never have any type of stains or spotting on it. It should be the same color as the first day you purchased it. These red or brown spots are actually fecal spots. It means it’s time to call for a bed bug inspection.

You notice other signs of insect activity.

You may see bed bug skins from them molting, their white, sticky eggs, or even empty eggshells. This means you have more than one and they’re multiplying quickly. There is a good chance your mattress is already infested.

Not all signs occur on your mattress itself. Many people realize they have an infestation when they wake up to small red bites and welts on their body. While bed bugs do not transmit diseases, the thought of sharing your bed with these creepy crawlers is unpleasant to say the least.

Call A Professional Pest Control Company To Treat Your Bed Bugs

It is important to note here that simply throwing out your current bed and buying a brand new mattress will not stop the infestation. Bed bugs actually do leave your mattress and it’s not uncommon for them to now be in the carpet or on your couch as well. These bugs will simply infest the new mattress and you’ll be right back where you started, only out even more money. In order to prevent the spread of bed bugs and save you an even bigger headache, our delivery team will not leave your new mattress with you if your home shows the tell-tale signs of bed bugs on a mattress. That is why your first call needs to be to a pest control company for a bed bug heat treatment. 

How To Protect Your Next Mattress From Bed Bugs

Once these professionals have done their job and completely rid your home of the infestation, you can begin the process of maximizing your bed bug defense to prevent future infestation.

We recommend the purchase a high-quality comfortable new mattress. You deserve it after all of this! With your new mattress, and possibly entirely new bed and bedroom furniture as well, you can then begin preventative measures to avoid having to deal with this again.

First, put a mattress protector on your new mattress. These mattress covers can prevent bed bugs from getting onto the mattress itself. These encasements “lock” the bugs right out! It is important to point out that bed bugs also hide inside a box spring, so if you’re purchasing a mattress protector for this reason, you should put one on your box spring too. Regular bed bug inspections are the best method of prevention to avoid a full-blown infestation. Learn and look for the signs of bed bugs on a mattress. As well, you should regularly wash your sheets and pillow cases using high heat. Any bed bugs or eggs that are in your bedding will be killed in the wash. This can stop the infestation from beginning if you catch it while you only have one or two. If you return home from a trip where you spent time in a hotel or at the airport, thoroughly check your clothing and luggage for any hitchhikers. Even better, wash everything before it even comes inside. 

Vigilance is the key to bed bug prevention! No one wants to think about being bit by bugs while they sleep. Yet, the reality that this is possible cannot be ignored. It is important that you be proactive in order to prevent bed bugs from spreading. If you notice any troubling signs, contact a local pest company right away. Once your bed bug heat treatment is completed, you can buy a new mattress and prevent them from making a place in your home again. Of course, if you are one of the lucky ones to not yet have a bed bug problem, you can skip right to the preventative measures and ensure you never have to experience this firsthand!