How to Dispose of a Mattress That’s Bed Bug Infested 

Learning how to dispose of a mattress that’s infested with bed bugs will not solve a bed bug issue. You can apply the same information to everything that’s infested with bed bugs whether it be mattresses, box springs, or furniture.

Understanding Bed Bug Infestation

Trying to figure out how to dispose of a mattress with bed bugs might seem overwhelming, but we are here to help. A bed bug infestation can be pretty troublesome, but don’t worry, you’re not alone in facing this issue.  

Just know that you can treat any mattress with bed bugs, but if you decide to throw it away, follow these tips. These tips also apply to box springs, frames, and headboards. Box springs, frames, and headboards are even more critical to address as they have more hiding spots than a mattress.

If you have a bed bug infestation, you must dispose of the affected mattress correctly to prevent further spread. Here are some steps to follow:

How to Dispose of a Mattress That's Bed Bug Infested 

  1. Identify the infested areas: Look for live bed bugs, tiny black spots (excrement), reddish stains, and pale-yellow exoskeletons on your mattress, bed frame, and nearby furniture. Learn more about how to check for bed bugs.
  2. Seal the affected items: Use heavy-duty plastic bags, mattress + box spring encasements, or mattress bags to seal your infested mattress before disposal. Sealing the items where you found them will ensure that bed bugs don’t escape and infest other areas during transportation.
  3. Contact local waste authorities: Check with your city’s waste management department for specific regulations regarding the disposal of items infested with bed bugs. Some cities may have designated drop-off sites and particular procedures to follow. In NYC, you can place mattresses or box springs on the curb as long as you seal them in a bag. Check here.
  4. Transport the mattress safely: When moving the mattress out of your home, take precautions such as double bagging it, using a dolly, or covering the length of the floor with plastic sheeting in case the infested item rips.
  5. Hire a bed bug prep company: If you can’t physically handle the task of sealing the mattress and getting it out of your house, you can hire a “bed bug prep” company to come over and do it for you.

Remember, disposing of an infested mattress alone will not eliminate bed bugs from your home. A comprehensive treatment plan is essential when dealing with bed bugs. Hiring a professional pest control service is often the most effective way to ensure the complete eradication of these bloodsuckers.

Precautions Before Disposing of a Mattress

Before disposing of your mattress with bed bugs, taking precautions to minimize the spread is essential. Remember, your ultimate goal is to eliminate these pests while protecting your home from the spread.

First, carefully inspect the entire mattress for signs of bed bug infestation. Look for tiny reddish-brown bugs and small black fecal spots. An inspection will help you determine the severity of the problem and whether it’s necessary to dispose of the mattress or if it’s salvageable through other methods like treatment with insecticides or Aprehend.

Once you’ve confirmed the presence of bed bugs, securely wrap the mattress in a heavy-duty plastic bed bug mattress cover or use thick plastic sheets and heavy-duty tape. This step prevents the bugs from escaping during transportation and potentially infesting other areas or homes.

wrap a mattress in plastic before throwing it away

If you don’t have bags large enough, you can take 30-gallon garbage bags, cut them open, and then begin wrapping and taping.

It’s advisable to double-bag the mattress for extra protection. Please ensure no tears or gaps are in the plastic, as bed bugs are notoriously good at finding their way out of small spaces. Use caution when moving the mattress so you don’t accidentally tear the wrapping.

Finally, if your city doesn’t allow you to put it on the curb, let the proper authorities or waste management services know about your infested mattress disposal. Most communities have specific guidelines for handling and disposing of mattresses with bed bugs. Informing them will allow them to take appropriate safety measures and precautions when handling the mattress.

If you want to avoid calling the city, contact a junk removal place. You’ll need to have the infested items wrapped before they come to pick them up. You want to avoid infesting their truck with bed bugs accidentally. 

Identifying a Bed Bug-Infested Mattress

Bed bugs are a problem that can cause anxiety, discomfort, and even health issues. Identifying a bed bug-infested mattress is essential to address the issue effectively. Here’s how you can spot these critters on your mattress.

First, check your mattress for physical evidence of bed bugs. These tiny insects are generally between 1.5 and 6.5 mm and are reddish-brown. You’ll find them in your mattress’s seams, folds, and crevices. Look for shed skins, fecal spots (small black or brown stains), and tiny white eggs. The bed bug eggs may be in places that are hard to see.

Another sign of a bed bug issue is the appearance of small, red, itchy welts on your skin. You will only see welts or red marks on your skin if you are amongst the percentage of humans who react to the bites.

Sometimes, the bites can be in a line or clustered together, and for those folk who are allergic, they can become quite irritating. If you’ve been waking up with unexplained bites, it may be time to inspect your mattress.

Additionally, keep an eye out for tiny blood spots on your bedding. Bed bugs feeding on your blood can leave fecal stains after feeding. These stains are usually dark blackish and can clearly indicate bed bug presence.

Lastly, noticing a musty, sweet odor around your sleeping area might indicate a more significant bed bug infestation. The bugs’ glands produce this scent, which can become more noticeable as the infestation grows.

In summary, to identify a bed bug-infested mattress, inspect the mattress for signs of the insects, look for bites on your skin, check for blood stains on your bedding, and be aware of any unusual odors. Once you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs, it’s crucial to take appropriate disposal measures and treat your sleeping area to prevent further infestations.

Proper Handling of a Bed Bug-Infested Mattress

Discovering bed bugs around your mattress can be a stressful experience, but dealing with the situation properly is essential to prevent further infestation. Here’s how to safely handle and dispose of a mattress infested with bed bugs.

Begin by containing the problem. Before you can dispose of your mattress, it’s crucial to minimize the spread of bed bugs. You can start by placing a bed bug-proof encasement on your mattress.

The mattress bag will trap any remaining bed bugs on the inside, preventing them from escaping and infesting other areas of your home. Seal the encasement using sturdy tape to ensure it stays in place.

Prepare the mattress for transport. Once the mattress is encased, you must move it out of your home. To avoid spreading bed bugs while you do so, cover the encased mattress with a disposable plastic sheet.

The additional cover will create an additional barrier, further reducing the risk of bed bugs escaping. Secure the plastic sheet tightly with tape, ensuring no gaps for the bugs to run through.

Dispose of the mattress responsibly. Now that your mattress is safely wrapped, it’s time to get rid of it. Contact your local sanitation department to find out the best way to dispose of a mattress infested with bed bugs in your area.

Some cities have special disposal services for bed bug-infested furniture, while others may require you to take it to a specific location. Make sure to follow the waste managment instructions carefully to ensure proper disposal.

Clean the affected area thoroughly. Once your mattress is out of your home, cleaning the entire area where the infested mattress was located is essential. Start vacuuming all surfaces, including the floor, walls, baseboards, and furniture near the bed. Learn more about how to use a vacuum with bed bugs.

Dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag, and wash any bedding, curtains, and clothing near the infested mattress in a hot dryer.

By following these critical steps, you can safely handle and dispose of a bed bug-infested mattress, reducing the risk of further infestation and ensuring you get rid of many bugs.

Elimination: Killing the Bed Bugs

Before disposing of your infested mattress, it’s crucial to kill the bed bugs to prevent their spread. Don’t worry; treating your mattress is a manageable process and can be done using these methods:

  • Heat treatment: Bed bugs cannot survive high temperatures. You can hire a bed bug treatment company to use steam or heat, lethal to the bed bugs and their eggs.

  • Pesticides: Another option is to use specific pesticides labeled for bed bug control, like pyrethroids or neonicotinoids. Consult a licensed exterminator to help you, focusing on cracks, seams, and edges where the bed bugs may be hiding.

  • Natural remedies: If you need a more eco-friendly approach, there is Aprhend (Beauveria bassiana), diatomaceous earth (DE), or essential oils like cedar, lavender, or eucalyptus oil. You will need to learn how to apply diatomaceous earth

Local Waste Management Protocols

Knowing Your Local Rules

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with local waste management regulations when disposing of a mattress with bed bugs. Rules can vary depending on your location.

Some might require the mattress to be wrapped in plastic, while others may have different containment guidelines. Look up your local waste management’s website or call them to learn more about the specific regulations in your area.

Consulting Local Waste Management

Once you’ve learned about your local rules, contact your local waste management to address further concerns or protocols specific to disposing of a mattress with bed bugs.

They will guide you on the best action and might even have special bed bug disposal programs, ensuring proper and safe disposal. Follow their recommendations and guidelines to prevent further spreading or contamination.

Remember, always stay informed about the disposal methods in your community and follow the recommendations provided by your local waste management department. This way, you can safely and responsibly dispose of your bed bug-infested mattress.

Professional Mattress Disposal Services

When handling a mattress infested with bed bugs, it’s crucial to enlist the help of professional mattress disposal services. Especially if it’s too cumbersome for you to lift on your own.

These experts have the experience and knowledge to safely and effectively get rid of your infested mattress. They can also come and pick up other infested furniture. But you should wrap it first.

disposing of furniture with bed bugs

Local Waste Management Services: Contact your waste management department about their mattress disposal policies. Some may offer special pick-up services for mattresses infested with bed bugs. In contrast, others may require you to properly wrap the mattress in a specific type of bag before disposing of it at a designated location.

Junk Hauling Companies: Another option for mattress disposal is hiring a junk hauling company. These companies often provide specific bed bug disposal services, ensuring that your infested mattress will be appropriately handled and disposed of. Call several companies and compare their prices, services, and customer reviews before deciding.

Remember, proper mattress disposal is not only essential for your health and safety, but it’s also crucial for preventing further spread of bed bugs in your community. By hiring a professional mattress disposal service, you are taking a responsible step towards keeping your home and neighborhood pest-free.

Preventing Future Infestations

Now that you know how to dispose of a mattress with bed bugs, it’s important to prevent future infestations in your home. By taking some simple precautions, you can drastically reduce the chances of bed bugs returning.

First and foremost, maintain a clean and clutter-free home. Bed bugs love to squeeze into cracks and crevices, so reducing clutter can help minimize hiding spots. Regularly vacuum your home, and pay close attention to areas around bed frames, couch seams, and mattresses.

It’s also crucial to be cautious about second-hand furniture, as bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on used items. Inspect all used furnishings thoroughly before bringing them into your home to avoid inadvertently introducing bed bugs.

When going to public places or traveling, always inspect your hotel room, or public seat for signs of bed bugs before settling in. Check the bed, including its seams, headboard, and surrounding areas. Additionally, always treat your luggage with a bed bug heater upon returning home

Lastly, learn to recognize the early signs of a bed bug infestation, such as actual bugs, small dark fecal spots on your bedding, or tiny cast skins from molting bed bugs. If you notice any of these indicators, act quickly to treat the problem and prevent it from worsening.

By following these guidelines, you can safeguard your home against future bed bug infestations and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.


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