Bed bugs are stubborn wingless insects that feed on human blood regularly to lay eggs and reproduce. Getting rid of this annoying creature ordinarily is always a headache to many homeowners as they are good at hiding. This is why many people resort to steam cleaning. Bedbugs may be tough, but they cannot withstand the high heat that comes from steam.
Cleaning your mattress with steam will kill both the bed bugs, their eggs and completely clean the infested area. So, if you recently discovered that your mattress had been infested with bed bugs, don’t worry. We will be looking at how to clean a mattress for bedbugs here. We will also discuss the next thing to do aside from steam cleaning.
Can You Kill Bed Bugs By Steaming Your Mattress?
Steaming your mattress is an effective chemical-free way of getting rid of bed bugs. Proper steaming using a quality steam cleaner for mattresses can kill bed bugs and their eggs in the space of minutes. Bed bugs need warmth, carbon dioxide, and blood to survive. Therefore, they reproduce and strive more in a temperature between 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 80.
However, their survivability decreases significantly once the temperature increases. If you expose them to a temperature range between 110 oF to 120 oF, they will die. But the exposure must be continuous for like 15-20minutes. Moreover, steam cleaners produce steam with temperatures as high as 300 oF.
This temperature is high enough to kill bed bugs, nymphs, and their eggs almost instantly. But the challenging fact here is the mattress’s thickness and the steamer’s ability to do a thorough job. Bed bugs can easily reproduce again if the steamer doesn’t reach the insect’s hiding spots.
How To Steam Clean A Mattress For Bed Bugs
The process of how to steam clean a mattress for bed bugs is simple but requires patience. Your effort may be fruitless if you omit some hiding spots of the bed bugs for any reason. This’s because they will certainly reproduce again within a very short while. So let’s find out how best we can do this.
1. Vacuum Clean the Mattress
This is the process of removing every object, including the bedsheet and pillows, off the mattress. You can use a strong vacuum cleaner to remove all debris, dust, and dirt. Also, ensure you pay attention to corners, seam holes, and crevices. Steam cleaning a dirty mattress is more tasking and may end up in a mess. Imagine adding moisture when lots of dead skin cells or lots of bacteria are present. Of course, the moisture will facilitate the formation of mildew or mold on your mattress.
2. Choose a Steam Cleaner
The efficiency of the steam cleaning equipment goes a long way in ensuring proper steaming. There are lots of quality steam cleaners available in the market that you can buy. Also, you may opt for renting quality cleaners from a local hardware shop if you can’t buy one.
However, it’s important to ensure that the steam cleaner heats up to at least 212 oF to 220 oF. A temperature high enough to kill the bed bug.
3. Get the Steamer Started
Now is the time to use the steam cleaner. Fill the reservoir with distilled water, plug it into a power source and allow it to heat up. Don’t use tap water to prevent free minerals like limescale from building up within the equipment. Again, the manual can guide you.
4. Steam the Top
Hold the steamer at least one or two inches above the top of the mattress at a safe distance. Apply the steam moving slowly in sections to ensure that you cover the whole surface. While blasting, keep the steam light. This will make the mattress slightly damp but not wet.
You can control the system either via the upholstery attachment or by turning the dial down. The upholstery attachment has a pad that you can use to absorb the excess moisture.
5. Steam the Sides
Following a similar pattern for steam cleaning the top, move the steam down to the sides of the mattress. Hold the head of the steam vertically and glide it across both sides to further kill any hidden bed bug. You can also flip it over to steam clean the down part. Ensure that the top is fixed before flipping to avoid making it dirty again.
6. Dry the Mattress and Make your Bed.
Leave the steam-cleaned mattress for 2 to 4 hours to dry completely. The rate depends on the quantity of steam on it. You can dry it in the sun or inside the house by leaving your windows open. After the bed is dried, you can make it by returning the bedsheets, etc.
Is It Good to Steam Clean A Mattress For Bed Bugs?
According to a research study, steam treatment is an effective means of killing bed bugs. It’s also seen as a basic component of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for bed bugs. Besides, steam cleaning a mattress for bed bugs will also clean the mattress from the following;
- Dust Mites and pest infections
- Dirt and debris.
- Bacteria and other skin cells
Generally, steam cleaning a mattress will make it glow again as well as increase its durability.
What Else Should You Do Besides Steam Cleaning For Bed Bugs
Although steam cleaning is the best and quickest way of cleaning your bed off bed bugs, it has its constraints. There are possibilities that the stream temperature may not be high enough to kill bed bugs with deeper hiding holes. However, let’s see other methods that you may like to try out.
Treatment with Traditional Insecticide
This method is also called chemical treatment. It involves using bed bug insecticide or pest control to get rid of the bed bugs. The treatment time varies with the chemical as some pest control manufacturers schedule a follow-up of about two weeks. This is to ensure complete elimination as many insecticides treatments hardly kill the eggs.
However, bed bug eggs take 6 to 9 days to hatch. That is why it’s necessary for a follow-up treatment.
You can decide to get rid of the bed bugs yourself by buying all the necessary things professionals use. However, it may take a longer time. You need to learn how each material works and how to use them. Regular and thorough treatment is also necessary. Remember that missing only one spot is enough to make all your efforts fruitless. Yes, a DIY method of eliminating bed bugs is not easy and takes time, but it’s possible.
This article on how to steam clean a mattress for bed bugs is important for all homeowners. It gives a step-by-step guide on how you can rid your bed of bed bugs altogether. Although other methods like using insecticides or chemicals for bed bug treatment exist, steam cleaning seems to be the best.
The process kills both the bed bugs and their eggs. It also removes other dirt, odor, and bacteria, etc., from the mattress.