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Can an Air Mattress Get Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs. Two words that can strike fear into the hearts of anyone. The time and expense of eradicating them from your home and apartment are stressful, to say the least. Besides the physical reaction to bed bug bites, there are the psychological effects the thought of these pest cause even after they’re gone, such as insomnia, paranoia, and restlessness.

Can an Air Mattress Get Bed Bugs?


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Many people chunk their infested bed, replacing it with an air mattress until their bed-bug situation is under control. Are air mattresses truly a foolproof solution? Here’s the lowdown on bed bugs and whether air mattresses can get them.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are not only insects but also parasites. They measure anywhere from 1 millimeter to 7 millimeters in length. Bed bugs are round, tapered and reddish-brown. While they lack wings, the horizontal ridges on their flat bodies distinguish them from other household invaders like fleas.

Adult bed bugs drop up to five eggs per day. Their eggs resemble specks of salt. After about two weeks, an egg will hatch, releasing as many as ten nymphs, which are yellowish-white. As the nymphs molt and turn into adults, they become reddish-brown.

What Do Bed Bugs Eat?

These parasites only consume one thing – blood. Although bed bugs prefer human blood, they will feed off animals if human hosts are unavailable. This means those who have a rodent problem and a bed bug issue should also treat their home for mice or rats as well as bed bugs.

As a bed bug bites its host, the bug releases saliva. The saliva has a numbing effect on the skin; therefore, people usually don’t feel the bite when it occurs. Typically, a bed bug drinks a few droplets of blood at a time, which takes approximately 5 minutes.

Can bed bugs live on an air mattress?

How Long Can Bed Bugs Go Without Eating?

One of the reasons that bed-bug eradication is a huge ordeal is their ability to long stretches without eating. Nymphs are able to live for several weeks without drinking blood. Even though adults eat anywhere from 5 to 10 days, they can survive five months to 1 year without feeding off a host.

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What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bedbugs flock anywhere they sense body heat. They also seek out carbon dioxide, which the odorless gas humans and animals release when they exhale. When they aren’t looking for the above-mentioned signs of a host, bed bugs search for dark spaces near their host to stay until they are ready to eat.

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

Luckily, bed bugs are not disease carriers. Everyone reacts to a bed bug bite differently. Some people exhibit no signs or symptoms of a bite while others can see a visible mark that itches. Those are the two most common reactions. If someone continuously scratches a bite, they may get a secondary infection from the bacteria under their nails.

However, some people are allergic to the saliva found in a bed bug bite. Those who are allergic may notice a large welt or excessive swelling near the bite. On rare occasions, a bite can lead to anaphylaxis.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Often, people realize they have a bed bug problem when they see and feel bite marks on their body. These marks can develop anywhere from hours to days once bitten. Although bed bugs don’t discriminate as to where on the body to feed, they usually go for exposed parts such as the arms, face, feet, face, legs, and neck.

Depending on the individual’s reaction to the bite, the mark can look like a small flea or mosquito bite. Alternatively, the bite can become a large welt. While a common myth states that bed bugs bite three times in a straight line, this is a misconception. Bed bug bite marks can be in a straight line, singular or clustered.

What Are Other Signs of Bed Bugs?

Bites aren’t the only sign of a bed-bug infestation. Since bites made by bed bugs sometimes resemble those made by other insects, you need to look for other signs of their presence. Infested rooms may have a sweet yet musty odor. If you check your upholstered furniture or mattress, you may see their eggs or molted exoskeletons. Another telltale sign is tiny blood spots, which are actually the bed bugs’ fecal smears.

How Do Bed Bugs Infiltrate a House or an Apartment?

Bed bugs don’t just magically appear in a bedroom. They are transported there. People often unknowingly carry them home in their suitcase after traveling. Sometimes, people pick them up after visiting the house of a friend who has bed bugs.

Movie theaters and subways are other common places to pick up bed bugs. Those who live in an apartment are at risk of getting bed bugs if their adjoining neighbors have them since they can hide out in the building’s electrical wires and plumbing pipes.

Can bed bugs survive on an air mattress?

Where Else Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Any dark or concealed spot is fair game for bed bugs. Since their bodies are flat, they can squeeze into tight spaces. Besides luggage, pipes, and wires, bed bugs can be found hiding in furniture, particularly mattresses, box springs, bed frames, sofas, and lounge chairs. Playpens and baby cribs aren’t immune to bed bugs either.

Places near where people sleep are also popular hidings spots for bed bugs. For example, they may be found behind a picture frame above the bed or under a nightstand. Sometimes, they hide in dressers and baseboards. Although bed bugs can be found in clean and dirty homes, clutter gives them more hiding places. Clutter also makes it harder to get rid of bed bugs.

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Can an Air Mattress Get Bed Bugs?

Can an Air Mattress Get Bed Bugs?

Air mattresses are mainly made of vinyl or PVC, both of which aren’t hospitable hiding places for bed bugs. While air mattresses are unlikely to harbor bed bugs, they aren’t always bed-bug-free sleeping solutions. The flocked top or sides of an air mattress can provide attractive hiding spots for bed bugs and their eggs. Sometimes, bed bugs lay eggs in the seams of the air mattress or wait for human hosts in between the sheets.

Can bed bugs live in blankets?

How Can I Safeguard My Air Mattress From Bed Bugs?

It’s much easier to protect air mattresses than standard mattresses from bed bugs. To keep your air mattress safe from bed bugs, put the mattress in a zippered encasement cover. Get zippered covers for your pillows too. If you don’t use an encasement, check underneath and along the seams of the air mattress daily for signs of bed bugs or eggs.

Refrain from using a gel or memory foam top unless you put the top underneath an encasement cover. Finally, change your bedding daily. When you strip off the sheets, pillowcases, and blankets, make sure you put them straight into the washing machine. Extreme temperatures kill bed bugs, so run hot water in the washer and set the dryer to high heat.

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Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed...
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The Dura-Beam air mattress from Intex should impress any house guests that come passing through town – it is 22″ tall and has more of the shape and look of a real mattress and bed.
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SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with...
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In terms of weight, this is no light air mattresses. Due to the durable materials that were used in its creation, as well as to accommodate for it's internal air pump.
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Last Update: 2022-08-16 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

2 thoughts on “Can an Air Mattress Get Bed Bugs?”

  1. I too, JUST took a brand new “Intex” full dura beam deluxe air mattress out of the box aired it up and seen SEVERAL tiny small bugs that look JUST like baby bed bugs. I INSTANTLY started freaking out (literally started crying bc my anxiety and fear was so bad) deflated it, threw it back in box and set it on the porch and have vacuumed for over an hour now and still don’t feel ANY better about this situation 😭😭.

    Reply
  2. I’m sleeping on one brand new Intex Queen size with tje headboard from Walmart haven’t had no problem until know. I have bites in line and I kill a strange ted
    bug two days ago. I will be checking air mattress along with some bug spray!

    Reply

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