Bed bugs are nasty little critters that no one wants inhabiting their home anywhere. Not the couch, not the bed, not pillows, mattresses, nothing. They're parasitic, about the size of a grain of rice, love to suck your blood at night, and hide themselves in during the daytime because they don't like light.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live?
The first thing that you have to understand about bed bugs and mattresses is that they don't actually live inside the mattress. They'll live in the tufts, folds, underneath buttons, and underneath the mattress itself. If you have a box spring, they'll live inside of it if they can get into it. They like the dark, cracks, crevices, and anywhere else they can fit.
How Can I Tell If I Have Bed Bugs?
It's easy to spot if you know a few simple signs of their presence:
1. Dark spots and stains – that's bed bug poop
2. Eggs – about the size of a grain of rice and the same color
3. Shed skins
4. Dead adults
5. Red spots & stains from squished bed bugs that have fed
Can They Live In Memory Foam, Though?
The answer to this is tricky. Because bed bugs generally don't generally live inside any mattress, we can say that they don't live in memory foam mattresses, either. They're more likely to be living inside a box spring, but make no mistake; if your mattress has holes or tears where they can gain access to the inside of the mattress, they will definitely take up residence inside it.
What is true about memory foam mattresses, though, is that they are usually manufactured have less places for bed bugs to hide themselves. They don't have as many tufts and folded spots as regular mattresses nor do they tend to have buttons and seams like regular mattresses do.
In this sense, memory foam mattresses are better if you're worried about bed bugs. They'll still get inside the mattress, though, if the cover is torn in any way.
The best way to prevent bed bugs from taking up residence inside any mattress you own is to purchase a mattress protector that's impervious to bed bugs, dust mites, that is waterproof, and then getting a box spring protector to match it if that applies to you.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs If My Memory Foam Mattress Already Has Them?
Burn the house down.
… ok, we're joking. In all seriousness, bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of. If you have them, there are a few different things that you can try.The first step is washing your bed sheets, blankets and pillows. If your pillow is memory foam, we have a guide to cleaning them so you don't mess up your pillows.
Use A Strong Vacuum
Vacuuming up the eggs and live bugs initially can do a great deal towards getting an infestation under control. Vacuuming regularly will help, as well. Do the mattress, carpet, baseboards, and headboard.
The only thing about this method is that once you're done, get rid of the vacuum cleaner that you used. It's likely still contaminated with bed bugs or their eggs and isn't worth the risk of re-infesting the house. Throw it away.
One of the best ways to kill bed bugs on a memory foam mattress is with a steam cleaner. While it won't physically remove the bugs or the eggs, it'll definitely kill anything that the steam can get to.
Also known as just DE, this is a dry, dusty powder made from plant material. Sprinkled around the carpet and mattress, it puts a light coat over the bed bugs and dehydrates them to death. It gets stuck on their legs and they instinctively lick it off. Once it's inside them, it works its magic from inside the bugs and they just die.
This is a remedy that's been around for a lot of insects for a very long time. It's a powder similar to the DE we just talked about and it's poisonous to both humans and bugs. Humans have to be exposed to extreme amounts of it to get sick, though. It's best to apply this in a room you don't plan on using for a bit.
Get Rid Of It All
If you've done the above and still have a problem, it might be time to go nuclear. This means getting rid of everything; the carpet, the mattress, clothing in the room, etc. It's an extreme measure, but some infestations have to be dealt with this way.