throw mattress away with bed bugs
Questions About Bed Bugs

Should You Throw Your Mattress Away If You Have Bed Bugs?

When you’ve got bed bugs, you will do anything to get rid of them. No doubt you’ve wondered what would happen if you threw your mattress and furniture away. But it’s actually a bad idea.

There’s no need to get rid of your old mattress. It’s better to have an exterminator treat it with heat or pesticide. Then fit an encasement to stop bed bugs getting in and out. Disposal of infested mattresses without treatment will spread bed bugs around your house.

Even if you discard your bed, your new one will become infested anyway. You should consider using a bed bug treatment for mattresses instead. We’ll explain why throwing your mattress away is a bad idea, and how to kill bed bugs in mattresses.

Do I Have to Throw Away My Mattress Due to Bed Bugs?

Throwing away your mattress may be a bad idea. There are several reasons why:

  • Mattresses are expensive. Throwing one away and getting a new one isn’t always an option.
  • To throw away the mattress, you would have to pick it up and drag it outside. Doing so could spread bed bugs around your home, or give them to your neighbors.
  • Bed bugs don’t only live in your mattress. They can live in furniture, wall cracks, and floorboard cracks. You would still have bed bugs after you’re done.
  • Because there are still bed bugs in your room, buying a replacement mattress because of bed bugs would be a bad idea. The new mattress would become infested.

It’s understandable if you don’t want to sleep on an infested mattress. Bed bugs cause sleeping problems because they bite you, and because they play on your mind.

Disposal of Bed Bug Infested Mattresses

When you get rid of a mattress with bed bugs in it, you should do so safely and quickly. There is a real risk of spreading the bed bugs either throughout your home or to neighbors. You should take care to ensure the bugs can’t spread.

Don’t Allow Bed Bugs to Spread

When you decide to throw away your mattress, do it quickly. Most people will move it out of the bedroom and store it in the garage until you can throw it away. This is a big job, after all.

However, if you do this, the bed bugs will spread back through the house. They will be attracted to the scent of people and the heat of your home. They will spread from the garage into your downstairs rooms, and eventually get back to your bedroom anyway.

do I have to throw away my mattress?

Instead, get it out of the room and take it straight to the dump. Doing so will ensure that the bed bugs don’t have time to infest anything else.

Seal the Mattress Before Disposal

If you drag the mattress through the home, bed bugs will jump off it and infest the rest of the house. You can prevent this to an extent by sealing the mattress in an encasement.

When you get to the dump, you can take the mattress out of the encasement. Seal the encasement in an airtight box or bag before laundering it at home.

This should prevent at least some of the bugs from spreading.

Throw the Mattress Away Before Treating the House

Even your best efforts will result in some bed bugs spreading. Bed bugs run away from sunlight. When you expose them by moving the mattress, they don’t waste any time. They immediately start finding another place to hide.

There’s only so much you can do. Your best option is to throw the mattress away before having the entire house treated. This will ensure that the house is pest-free, and your mattress is entirely new and clean.

Of course, if you want to treat your house, you could treat the mattress too. The treatment would almost certainly work if done correctly. The only reason to bother buying a new mattress is if the idea of sleeping on your previously infested mattress disgusts you.

Don’t Sell a Mattress Infested with Bed Bugs

You could try and sell your mattress. However, it would be misleading to do so without telling people that it’s infested with bed bugs.

If you treat the mattress first, then perhaps you could sell it. However, there’s a big drawback. Pesticides take weeks to get rid of every bed bug. It may still be infested when you sell it. This would put people off buying it, even if it were reasonably priced.

Furthermore, you would have to keep the mattress hanging around, perhaps for weeks. If it has even just a few bed bugs in it, they could infest your garage and the rest of your house. It’s far better to throw the mattress away, if you want to get rid of it.

How to Stop Bed Bugs Infesting a New Mattress

Don’t buy a used mattress. There’s a chance that it could have bed bugs in it. You would be trading your own infested mattress for another that’s probably infested, too.

Stopping bed bugs infesting a mattress is easy. Before you bring the mattress into your home, fit an encasement around it. Encasements don’t let any bed bugs either in or out. They’re also not attractive to bed bugs as they don’t offer many places to hide.

disposal of bed bug infested mattresses

How to Kill Bed Bugs Inside a Mattress

Bed bugs are susceptible to many things (heat, cold, and pesticides.) The issue is that a mattress offers bed bugs lots of places to hide.

This is especially irritating if you try to kill them with pesticides. To work instantly, a pesticide has to be sprayed directly onto a bed bug. It will linger, but that means it may take weeks, even months to kill them all.

To kill bed bugs inside a mattress can be difficult. The first step is to contact a pest controller. Pest controllers use either pesticides or heat treatments to kill bed bugs. These can be effective on mattresses if applied correctly.

Afterward, you should keep them sealed up inside a mattress encasement. This is a zip-up liner that fits around your mattress, completely sealing it. Bed bugs can’t get in or out.

The mattress encasement means that whether you use pesticides or heat treatment, the infestation will eventually die entirely. And even if there are some left, e.g., some unhatched eggs, the infestation won’t be able to feed on you.

You could apply the encasement without prior treatment. It will have the same effect, in that the bed bugs won’t be able to bite you. The only issue is that the bed bugs will scatter and spread when you try to put it on.