How to Treat Air Mattress for Bed Bugs

Are you concerned about bed bugs infesting your air mattress? Air mattresses may seem like an unlikely target for these parasitic pests, but they can and do become infested.

If you’re dealing with an infestation of bed bugs in your home, one of the things that you need to consider is how to treat any air mattresses for bed bugs. While it may not seem like a big deal (they’re just pieces of plastic and fabric), neglecting this step can leave the door open for further problems.

How to Treat Air Mattress for Bed Bugs

In this blog post, we’ll cover some practical tips on how to treat air mattress for bed bugs so that you can get back to sleeping soundly and worry-free without fear of these pests coming back anytime soon!

What Will You Need?

Before you get started on this process, you’ll need to make sure that you have the following items:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
  • Rubbing alcohol or other bed bug spray
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Hot water and a bucket.

Once you have these items gathered, you’ll be ready to begin treating your air mattress for bed bugs.

10 Easy Steps on How to Treat Air Mattress for Bed Bugs

Step 1: Inspect the Air Mattress

First and foremost, thoroughly inspect your air mattress for any signs of bed bugs. These can include small reddish-brown bugs or black specks, which are the fecal matter of the bugs. Pay special attention to seams and folds where they might hide. If you find anything suspicious, proceed to the next step.

Attention to Fold They Might Hide

Step 2: Vacuum the Air Mattress

After identifying the presence of bed bugs, your next step is to vacuum the mattress thoroughly. Use the vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to reach into the seams and folds where bed bugs might be hiding. This process helps in removing both the bugs and their eggs. After vacuuming, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag to prevent the bugs from escaping and re-infesting your home.

Step 3: Apply Rubbing Alcohol or Bed Bug Spray

The next step in treating your air mattress for bed bugs involves applying rubbing alcohol or a specific bed bug spray. These are known to kill bed bugs on contact. Spray generously on all mattress surfaces, paying special attention to seams, folds, and any other areas where you notice bed bugs or their signs during inspection. Leave the mattress to air dry completely before proceeding to the next step. This step not only kills the bugs but also disinfects the mattress.

Step 4: Wash and Dry the Mattress Cover

If your air mattress has a removable cover, take it off and wash it in hot water with laundry detergent. Hot water is known to kill bed bugs. After washing, dry it on the highest heat setting of your dryer. This heat treatment will kill any remaining bed bugs or eggs. If your mattress cover is not removable or is not washable, consider replacing it with a new one that is bedbug-proof.

 Removable Cover Take It Off and Wash It

Step 5: Scrub the Mattress with Soapy Water

Following the drying of the mattress, prepare a bucket of hot water mixed with dish soap. Using a scrub brush, clean the surfaces of the air mattress thoroughly. The soap and hot water will help eliminate any remaining bed bugs or eggs. Pay particular attention to the folds, seams, and corners where these pests tend to hide. After scrubbing, rinse the mattress with clean water and allow it to air dry completely before moving to the next step. This step further ensures the elimination of any surviving bed bugs and provides additional cleanliness to your mattress.

Step 6: Apply a Bed Bug Proof Mattress Encasement

After the mattress has thoroughly dried, the next step is to apply a bed bug proof mattress encasement. These encasements are specially designed to prevent bed bugs from entering or exiting the mattress. Ensure the encasement is a good fit and covers the entire mattress. This step provides a long-term solution and barrier against further bed bug infestations.

Step 7: Regular Monitoring and Maintenance

Once your air mattress is clean and protected with a bed bug proof encasement, it’s crucial to maintain regular monitoring to prevent future infestations. Regularly inspect the mattress, paying special attention to the seams and folds. If you spot any bed bugs, repeat the cleaning process immediately. Proper maintenance and vigilance are essential in the battle against bed bugs.

Step 8: Keep the Surrounding Area Clean

Remember, bed bugs can travel from surrounding areas to your air mattress. Hence, maintaining cleanliness in the surrounding area is crucial to prevent re-infestation. Regularly vacuum and clean the area around your air mattress, including any bedding or furniture. If possible, avoid placing the air mattress directly on the floor as it can make it easier for bugs to climb onto it. Maintaining a clean environment minimizes the chances of bed bugs finding their way back to your air mattress.

Regularly  Clean  Area Around  Air Mattress

Step 9: Consider Professional Help

If the infestation persists despite your best efforts, consider professional help. Pest management professionals have the knowledge and tools to treat bed bug infestations effectively. They use a combination of chemical treatments, heat treatments, and other techniques to ensure the complete elimination of these pests. Remember, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible to prevent the bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your home.

Step 10: Prevention is Better Than Cure

After successfully treating your air mattress for bed bugs, the final step focuses heavily on prevention. Regularly check your mattress for signs of bed bugs, especially after traveling or having visitors. 

Consider using bed bug interceptors, small cups placed beneath the legs of your furniture, to trap any bed bugs attempting to climb up. Regularly clean and declutter your environment, as bed bugs thrive in cluttered conditions. Remember, stopping an infestation before it begins is the best way to keep your sleeping area and home bed bug-free.

Following the steps outlined above, you can effectively treat your air mattress for bed bugs and prevent further infestations. Proper maintenance and regular monitoring allow your air mattress to remain a safe and healthy sleeping space, free from these pesky critters.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks:

Consider Using an Insecticide
  1. If you are unable to use a steam cleaner or hot water, consider using an insecticide specifically designed for treating bedbugs. Make sure that you read and follow the directions closely, as the chemicals can be dangerous if not used correctly.
  2. Be sure to inspect other parts of your home for bed bugs. Bed bug infestations often start on mattresses and spread to other furniture, carpets, and curtains.
  3. Wash and dry all bedding in hot temperatures, including the mattress cover. This will help kill any remaining bugs or eggs that may have been left behind.
  4. Ensure that you use mattress and pillow encasements designed to prevent bedbugs from getting in or out.
  5. If the infestation is severe, it may be a good idea to call a professional exterminator for more effective and safe treatment.

These tips should help you treat your air mattress for bed bugs quickly and effectively. Prevention is key; inspect all used mattresses before bringing them into your home.

5 Things You Should Avoid:

  1. Avoid ignoring the issue: Bed bugs multiply quickly and become a serious problem if left unaddressed. The sooner you start treating the infestation, the easier it will be to eradicate it.
  2. Avoid using normal cleaning supplies: Standard household cleaners are not strong enough to kill bed bugs. Instead, invest in specialized insecticides or consider hiring a professional.
  3. Avoid transferring infested items: Moving the air mattress or bedding from one room to another can spread the infestation throughout your home.
  4. Avoid making your bed immediately: After waking up, leave your bed unmade for a few hours to expose the bedbugs to air and light, which they dislike.
  5. Avoid self-treatment if the infestation is severe: If it is large, it’s better to seek professional help as they possess the necessary tools and expertise to exterminate the bed bugs thoroughly.
Invest in Specialized Insecticides

Avoiding the above steps should help you tackle bed bugs quickly and effectively. Taking preventative measures, like regularly inspecting mattresses for bed bug signs, is also important to limit outbreaks in the future.

How Do You Deep Clean an Air Mattress?

Deep cleaning of an air mattress involves several steps to remove all potential bed bugs or other dirt and contaminants.

  1. Deflate and Vacuum: Start by deflating the mattress and vacuuming it thoroughly. Use a brush attachment if available, and pay special attention to seams and crevices where bed bugs may hide.
  2. Use a Steamer: If you have a steamer, this is a great tool for deep cleaning an air mattress. The heat can kill bed bugs and their eggs and remove other dirt or allergens.
  3. Apply Mattress Cleaner: After steaming, apply a mattress cleaner or a mild soap and water mixture. Scrub the mattress gently, ensuring that all areas are covered.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the mattress with clean water and leave it to air dry. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum to speed up the drying process. Ensure the mattress is fully dry before inflating to prevent mold and mildew.
  5. Apply Insecticide: If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, consider using an insecticide designed for bed bugs. Remember to follow the instructions carefully, as misuse can be harmful.
  6. Use Protective Covers: Once clean, use mattress and pillow encasements to prevent bed bugs from getting in or out.

Remember, deep cleaning your air mattress regularly can help avoid bed bug infestations and ensure a good night’s sleep.

How Do You Dry the Inside of an Air Mattress?

To dry the inside of an air mattress after a deep clean, there are several methods you can use.

  1. Place in Direct Sunlight: An easy way to dry the interior is to place it in direct sunlight for several hours. This method works best if temperatures are warm and sunny; avoid doing this on cold or humid days, as it could cause mold and mildew.
  2. Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum: If the weather isn’t ideal, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to extract any remaining water or moisture from the mattress. Make sure to empty the tank regularly to maintain suction power.
  3. Use Fans: Use fans directed over the mattress to speed up drying. Ensure that all mattress areas are exposed to circulating air, and keep the fans running until it is scorched.

These simple methods can help you dry your air mattress quickly and effectively so it’s ready for use again in no time!

Dry Vacuum Extract Remaining Water


The best way to treat an air mattress for bed bugs is to ensure that it is thoroughly and regularly cleaned, inspect the mattress regularly for signs of infestation, and keep the room you sleep in as free from clutter as possible. 

It’s wise to wash all bedding, vacuum carpets periodically, and use specially designed mattress covers to help keep any present pest problems minimal. Call a professional exterminator immediately if the infestation persists or spreads beyond the mattress. Bed bugs are tenacious pests that require swift action to eradicate them from your home.

Taking preventative steps like washing and inspecting your air mattresses for bed bugs is necessary to save money on costly treatments in the future. Use these preventative tips now and rest assured, knowing you will save yourself and your home from an expensive battle with these stubborn pests!

Hopefully, the article on how to treat air mattress for bed bugs has helped help you learn more about this common pest problem. Remember, staying alert and taking preventative measures can help protect your home from becoming overrun by bed bugs! Good luck and happy sleeping!

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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