How to Kill Bed Bugs

Do I have to get rid of my mattress?

By Caryn Solly

Bed bug sufferers can work with their exterminator to determine whether it is necessary to discard mattresses and other furniture. A good exterminator will be reasonable and understanding about the expense of beds and other furnishings, not to mention any special sentiment people may have about it, and offer sensible advice.

The determination will largely be based on whether the item is likely to have bugs or eggs inside it; if yes, it will probably need to go. If it is an item that can be cleaned and sprayed, it might be able to stay.

If a mattress has signs of bed bug infestation—live bugs on it, excrement stains—and it has holes or tears in it, it should probably be thrown away because the insects could be living inside the mattress.

When discarding furniture, deface the item to deter any of your neighbors from picking up what otherwise might look like a nice mattress or couch. You can also label it “Bed bugs” to make it extra clear.

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