Bed bugs are very resilient bugs that you want to avoid letting into your home at all. They can get into your bed or bedding and are very hard to flush out. Infestations that get out of control can make certain areas unlivable. So can bed bugs climb and live on your air mattress?
Bed bugs can get into your air mattress bedding but cannot live in an air mattress like they can in a conventional mattress.
Just because bed bugs cannot live in your air mattress does not mean that you can’t still have issues with bed bugs with your air mattress. Bed bugs will live in bedding and then can spread to other parts of your house. I’ll show you the best ways to identify bed bugs, how to get rid of them and what you should do to prevent further infestations.
How Do You Check Your Air Mattress for Bed Bugs?
First, it is important to understand what bed bugs are.
Bed bugs are tiny reddish-brown insects that have bodies with horizontal ridges. They have a body length of 0.2 inches, and so are very hard to spot. Their size makes infestations harder to deal with.
Bed bugs will dig a hole in your mattress and wait inside of it. The bed bugs will come out at night and bite, leaving behind itchy spots and red markings on your skin.
If you have bed bugs in your mattress, you’ve probably brought them over from somewhere else. You may have picked them up in a hotel room, movie theater, or somebody else’s house. They will hop onto your clothes and will be transported back to your home.
So, if they can live on a regular mattress, can bed bugs also live on an air mattress? Not really, because the material of air mattresses is made from puncture-proof materials to prevent deflation. A regular mattress has some type of foam or a sponge in the middle which can act as the bed bug’s home, whereas they cannot live in an air mattress.
So checking for bed bugs should start with your clothing and bed sheets as this is the only place the bed bugs could live. Strip your air mattress and then treat all sheets to kill bed bugs. You can find step-by-step guides here on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website but the main way is by heat such as a clothes dryer running at 130F.
Bed bugs will leave behind red marks on the skin when they bite. These bites can be compared to pictures to determine if it is indeed a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs have been measured to travel up to 100 feet, but usually, they hang out within an 8-foot range of the food source.
You can collect bedbugs, their eggs, or shredded exoskeletons and take/send them to experts to confirm what was responsible. Clear video or photographic evidence may also be enough.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Air Beds?
Bed bugs cannot live in air mattresses and are easily spotted if trying to live on the surface of an air mattress. If trying to clean an air mattress of bed bugs, make sure the process happens outside so that bed bugs will scatter and not hide somewhere else in the room.
That said, air mattresses with flocked tops, and other things in the bedroom, including carpeting, wallpaper, drawers, and so on, are perfect bed bug nests. Common materials for air mattresses include PVC or heavy vinyl which are not favorite choices for a bed bug.
Your main strategy should be to remove all sheets and similar hiding spaces for bed bugs and treat them.
Should I Throw Out My Mattress if I Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs can have various levels of infestation and so you may not necessarily have to throw it out. Eradicating bed bugs should follow a plan as it can take time to fully rid yourself of a bed bug issue, and they can repopulate quickly.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs from Air Mattresses
Remove infested materials with a focus on fabrics or similarly built items. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and treat them with heat or freeze them.
Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left there for at least 10 months to ensure all bugs die.
Vacuum the bed, bedding, and other likely hiding places. Empty the vacuum after each use and immediately throw it out in an outdoor waste container.
Discard furniture responsibly if you can’t safely eliminate the bed bugs. To stop others from using it, it should be made unusable by ripping off covers and removing the stuffing from furniture items. Use paint to spray BED BUGS on any items.
There are also several products that claim to help reduce bed bugs. On Amazon, there are certain cup-based products that sit near your feet and can help.