The Best Way to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Box Spring

On a search and destroy mission to clear your home of these bloodsuckers? One of the best places to look for bed bugs is the box spring. Bed bugs love dark, undisturbed places that are within each reach of their food source – i.e. you – so box springs make the perfect place for them to hide out.

Make sure you check the underside, even removing the stapled fabric so you can kill the bed bugs hiding inside. And once you find them – here’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs in a box spring, explained step-by-step.

#1. Vacuum

Vacuuming alone won’t entirely eliminate bed bugs from your box springs, but it will suck up a lot of them and their eggs.

Take the time to vacuum thoroughly, paying extra attention to corners, nooks and crannies, since these are among the most common bed bug hiding places.

Once you’re done vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum bag in a sealed tight plastic bag and dispose of it outdoors so none of these bloodsuckers sneak back into your home.

#2. Steam

Steamers get very, very hot and heat is one of the best ways to kill bed bugs. How hot does it need to be? Bed bugs will die at 113 degrees Fahrenheit if it’s sustained for 90 minutes or more. But they’ll die in just 20 minutes at 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

best way to get rid of bed bugs in a box spring

Bed bug eggs are a little more resilient – to get rid of them, you need to expose them to 118 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to reach 100% mortality.

To kill bed bugs with a steamer, you’ll need one that heats up higher than 200 degrees.

A professional heat steam treatment costs $300 to $1,200 but you can pick up a home steam cleaner that you can use again and again to clean and sanitize your house, even after you get rid of bed bugs. We recommend the Vapamore Primo Steam Cleaning System – it produces steam at a temperature of 214 degrees, which will kill bed bugs and more importantly, their eggs. At $300, it is pricey but it’s great quality and also comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Before you being steaming, wrap a piece of cloth around the tip of the steamer to concentrate the heat in the nozzle and to prevent the steam from scattering bed bugs and their eggs across the room.

As you steam, move slowly – at a pace of one inch per second – so you cover all the places the bed bugs are.

#3. Bed Bug Spray

This one is optional, but if you want – you can also spray the box spring with a non-toxic bed bug spray to kill some of the remaining ones on contact. The best one is called Proof 100% Effective Bed Bug Spray and is derived from the neem tree – so yes, it will be very stinky.

what kills bed bugs

Stinky it may be, but it’s also what makes it effective. In an experiment featured in Wired Magazine testing the effect of Proof on 10 bed bug nymphs, 10 bed bug adults, and over 90 bed bug eggs, Proof showed a 100% mortality rate after 7 days for all stages of bed bug life.

#4. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

diatomaceous earth scorpions

This one is a must-do since done properly, it’ll eliminate your box spring bed bug infestation by slowly dehydrating all of them to death. Find out exactly how to use Diatomaceous Earth to kill bed bugs!

To start, make sure is box spring is totally dry and then thoroughly cover it with food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – you want to distribute it evenly across the entire box spring so bed bugs cannot avoid it.

Use a dust dispenser to spread it across the surface of the box spring and a paintbrush it on the corners, sides, and edges.

#5. Box Spring Cover

When you’re done applying the DE, encase the box spring in a bed bug-proof box spring cover.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Box Spring

DE usually kills bed bugs within 24 to 48 hours after contact, but to ensure all living adult and nymph bed bugs – as well as the unhatched eggs – actually make contact with it, keep the box spring sealed like this for at least 4 to 6 weeks.

This should wipe out pretty much all the bastards living, but since there is always the chance that a few may not come in contact with the DE – we recommend you keep the cover on for up to a year.

Bed bugs can live up to a year without a blood meal, so starving any bed bugs that might’ve escaped the DE is a surefire way of making sure you’ve killed all the bed bugs in your box spring.

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