Last updated on 6 Aug, 2023

Can Bed Bugs Live On An Air Mattress?[ANSWERED]

– By Eric Smith

can bed bugs live on an air mattress?

Can bed bugs live on an air mattress or not? Everyone gives their opinion on this topic. Which sometimes creates confusion in the mind of the reader as to whom to trust?

The person who has suffered from bed bug infestation can answer this question better. And unfortunately, I am one of those who have suffered a lot from this bed bug infestation.

So, here I will share my personal experience and what you should do if you encounter bed bugs.

But before that, let’s see can bed bugs really live on an air mattress or not?

Can Bed Bugs Live On An Air Mattress?

Bed bugs are those tiny and sneaky insects that nobody wants as roommates, can bed bugs live on an air mattress? It’s most air mattress owners’ question. However, the answer, unfortunately, YES.

Bed bugs are resourceful creatures. They thrive in places where they have easy access to their favorite meal: Human Blood.

can bed bugs live on an air mattress?

While traditional mattresses provide plenty of hiding spots, air mattresses, on the other hand, might seem like a less favorable environment, all thanks to their inflatable nature.

Air mattresses can develop creases, seams, and even small tears over time. These gaps offer bed bugs potential shelters, where they can avoid detection and emerge during the night to feed.

Moreover, if the air mattress is in a room with a bed bug infestation, these unwelcome guests might hitch a ride and make themselves home.

What Do Bed Bugs Eat?

What do bed bugs eat Bed bugs are one of the tiniest creatures like lice that can grow up to 7 mm long. However, this small size is more than enough to spoil someone’s sleep.

Like I mentioned earlier that bed bugs don’t care about the place they are living. The only thing they care about is the meal which means blood.

And, this blood can be of any animal, mammal or human. Researchers say that they prefer human blood (especially child or toddler) over any other animal.

Some people have misconceptions about bed bugs food. They think that bed bugs also eat something else other than blood which is completely false.

I know some insects in our home feed on food crumbs, dead skin and even drink other insects blood to survive, but in the case of a bed bug, these are just misconceptions and nothing more.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

how long do bed bugs live

The most debatable question about bed bugs is that how long do they live? Some people say they can live up to 1 year even without food, and some say it is not even possible as their average life span is around 6-8 months.

But one thing that is 100% true about bed bugs are that they are capable of something called diapause.

What Do Bed Bugs Hate?

Bed bugs of any stage die in under 10 minutes if exposed to temperatures above 46°C (115°F).

Even though the bed bugs hate the heat, you can’t just light your air mattress on fire. However, if you really want to kill them with heat, just leave your airbed in sunlight, making sure that bed bugs come in direct contact with the heat; otherwise, they can still survive.

Can Bed Bugs Climb On An Air Mattress?

A typical problem arises here: can bed bugs climb an air mattress? The answer is not comforting. Yes, bed bugs possess the uncanny ability to climb surfaces, and an air mattress is no exception.

These tiny pests have specialized claws that allow them to grip various materials, including the slippery surface of an inflatable bed. If you’re hoping that the air-filled design of the mattress will keep you safe, you need to think twice.

Bed bugs are determined creatures, and they can crawl up the sides of the mattress to reach their desired feeding source, human blood, which technically means YOU.

While constructing an air mattress might make it a bit more challenging for bed bugs to establish hiding spots within, they can still make their way onto its surface. They could be carried from other infested areas or even climb up from the floor.

What To Look For Bed Bugs on an Air Mattress?

bed bugs

Bed bugs can become an unwelcome presence on your air mattress. Being aware of the signs can help you catch an infestation earlier. Here are five critical points you must keep in mind.

1. Reddish-Brown Stains:

Keep an eye out for tiny reddish-brown stains on your air mattress. These stains may resemble dots or smears and could be from bed bug droppings or squashed bugs that have fed on blood. Paying close attention to seams and corners can help you find their common hiding spots.

2. Tiny Dark Spots:

Regularly check your air mattress’s folds, seams, and creases for tiny dark spots. These spots might be bed bug excrement, which is essentially digested blood. Finding these tiny, dark stains strongly indicates bed bug activity.

3. Unpleasant Odor:

If you notice a sweet, musty odor around your air mattress, it could be a sign of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs release pheromones that creates a distinct smell. While not always intense, this odor is a potential red flag.

4. Shed Skin:

Bed bugs discard their outer layers as they mature. The presence of these abandoned shells indicates the existence of a thriving bed bug community.

5. Itchy Bites:

Waking up with itchy, red bites, often arranged in lines or clusters, is a common sign of bed bug bites. These bites usually appear on exposed skin which often leads to discomfort. 

Look for mild swelling and small, red welts, especially if the bites occur predominantly while sleeping.

How Do Bed Bugs Get onto Air Mattresses?

Bed bugs are infamous hitchhikers, and they can easily make their way onto air mattresses, even in the cleanest of environments sometimes. 

Finding how these pests hitchhike onto your air mattress can help you take preventive steps them keep them away.

1. Infested Luggage:

clear the luggage

Now that you know, bed bugs are experts at sneaking into luggage, bags, and clothing. If you’ve stayed in an infested place or come into contact with infested items, these bugs can get a ride and end up on your air mattress when you unpack and inflate it.

2. Shared Spaces:

Public places like buses, trains, and even airplanes can sometimes be hotspots for bed bug transfer. If you place your air mattress on these surfaces, bed bugs from infested seats or compartments might get into your inflatable bed.

3. Contaminated Secondhand Items:

Purchasing used air mattresses or borrowing them from friends can also pose a risk. If the mattress was infested, bed bugs could hide within its folds and seams.

4. Nearby Infestations:

If your living space is already infested with bed bugs, they can easily migrate to your air mattress. Bed bugs are experienced travelers and can move between different areas within a home.

How To Treat Air Mattress For Bed Bugs?

bed bug

1. Clean Your Mattress:

Whether it is an air mattress or a regular foam or latex mattress, bed bugs can live on all of them. So, cleaning the mattress becomes the first priority to kill and get rid of them.

Cleaning regular mattresses can be tricky and time-consuming, but cleaning an air mattress is quite simple, and you can do that in 4 mind-blowing ways.

2. Sprays Can Work:

DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane) was one of the best chemicals to kill pests but worst for humans and pets as it was responsible for male infertility, miscarriage, liver damage, developmental disabilities in children and breast cancer in females who were much exposed to it.

And since it was banned, we don’t have many options available that can help kill bed bugs. However, some sprays can really work if used in the right way. 

The sprays should be applied directly to the insects to kill them, and don’t use the mattress for at least 2 hours once applied.

3. Bathe Your Pets:

Maybe your pets are the reason why your room is getting bed bugs again and again, even after a deep clean.

Bed bugs can easily hide in the hairs of dogs and cats and will not leave until they want. So, shower your pets and comb their hair with a lice comb. 

It will take out all the hidden insects such as lice, fleas, ticks and bed bugs from their body and keep them away from the effects of harmful bites.

Wrapping Up - Can Bed Bugs Live On An Air Mattress?​

Here you’ve got the complete answer to can bed bugs live on an air mattress.

Exterminators are good, but they are much expensive and can cost you up to 500$ for a one-time treatment. However, if you know how to get rid of these types of insects, you can save lots of money.

Whenever you see bedbugs in your home, it is essential to take some action instead of ignoring and letting them enter your home, feeding on you or your baby’s blood.

About Eric Smith

eric smith - content writer

With 4+ years of experience dealing with air mattresses, Eric has gotten really good at making useful and interesting stuff for you to read. He loves helping people find the right air mattresses and fix any air mattress-related issues.

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