HOW TO GET RID OF A MATTRESS WITH BED BUGS

Getting rid of your mattress because it has bed bugs may not always be the best idea. Often you’ll be able to manage the infestation by using a mattress and box spring encasement cover. So if you would prefer to keep your mattress, then read our in-depth guide How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs.

A common misconception people have about bed bugs is that they are only found on the bed, so they buy a new bed thinking it will solve their bug problem. Wrong! the new bed soon becomes infested as well. Although the majority of the infestation is found in the bed, bed bugs will also be found hiding in areas close by, so treating the infestation is vital.

However, if your mattress is heavily infested, it is old, or you really can’t stand the thought of sleeping on it, even with a mattress encasement and would prefer to get rid of it, then use the simple steps that follow for proper disposal.

Mattress infested with bed bugs disposed of on street.  How to get rid of a mattress with bed bugs
Bed bug infested mattress left on the street for disposal
(image Montreal Gazette (Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE)

DISPOSAL OF MATTRESS, BOX SPRING, BED FRAME & OTHER INFESTED FURNITURE 

  • First, contact your local waste management department or a junk removal company that specializes in collecting furniture. They should give you advice on how to dispose of a mattress with bed bugs, which will probably be the same as below.

  • Rip or deface the mattress and/or the box spring, bed frame, couch or any other item of furniture that has bed bugs so it cannot be reused. This will also deter someone from taking them. 
     
  • It is vital that the mattress/item is encased and sealed in the room where the infested item is before removing.   A thick plastic wrap, such as painter’s plastic or shrink wrap can be used to make sure it’s completely wrapped and sealed.

    Duct tape all folds, creases, and cracks so no bugs can escape.  Another option is using mattress encasements specifically for bed bug use which can also be used when getting rid of it.   

  • If you’re disposing of small items and bedding, then double bag them and make sure they are sealed completely with duct tape.

  • ALL items that you put out for disposal should be labeled or spray-painted in big letters with something similar to “BED BUG INFESTED – DO NOT REMOVE”. Spray paint the item when it is outside only.


If the mattress isn’t encased properly the bed bugs and their eggs will drop off when the mattress is being moved from the room.  The bed bugs will spread to other areas of the home and the infestation will no longer be confined to just the bedroom.

Also, you should consider how you are going to remove the mattress from your property. Be careful not to bang the mattress into walls, or drag it along the floor or down the stairs as the wrap will tear or pull away leaving an area for the bed bugs to escape.

If you are leaving the mattress outside for a curbside collection, whether it is a scheduled pick up by local waste management or a junk removal company, try and time it so the mattress is put out the day or night before. You don’t want the bed bugs to be able to escape, and the longer it’s sitting on the curb, the more chance there is that someone will take it and infest their home.       

When you’ve got rid of your mattress or bed and you’ve got a new one, a mattress and/or a box spring encasement must immediately be put on them to protect from re-infestation, and prevent the bed bugs from reaching you.