What Lives In Your Mattress And How To Prevent Them

The answer to what lives in your mattress includes five kinds of bugs. However, the emphasis is necessary that some of these insects are more commonly found in some areas more than others. Still, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the different critters that might be lurking on your bed. 

Some are not included in this list, like lice, but you can expect that they might be present if someone who uses the bed has them. But before you get scared and overthink what lives on your mattress, we’ll also talk about below what you can do to eradicate them.

What Lives In Your Mattress


What Kinds Of Bugs Can Live In Your Mattress?


Dust mites

The first and perhaps the most common bug that can live on your bed is dust mites. They can be an issue if they collect on your mattress because some people are allergic to their droppings. You might even develop an asthma attack from their presence.

These tiny insects tend to thrive if the environment is warm and humid. They’re also one reason why one must maintain proper mattress maintenance and hygiene, such as vacuuming the surface and ventilating the bed outdoors to the sun. If you suspect dust mites on your mattress, please wash or freeze your bedding immediately. 


Carpet beetles

A less common mattress critter is carpet beetles. They don’t typically live in beds, but it’s easy to confuse them with bed bugs. They thrive best if you’re using animal-derived fabrics like fur and wool, so always be mindful with your bedding accessories. 

How do you get rid of or prevent them from living in your mattress? The usual mattress cleaning, like vacuuming and washing the sheets regularly, should prevent them from occurring. You can also spray surfaces with vinegar to deter them from feeding into your mattress and materials in the bedroom. 



Is your pet itching more than usual? If he loves to lounge in your bed, you need to check for fleas. Fleas can live in the bed for up to two weeks without a host to feed on. 

While it’s not common for them to bite humans, you can check for bites or their droppings in the mattress. It’s also best to consult your veterinarian and have your pet checked to address the issue as quickly as possible. Once confirmed, there are many plant-based solutions to exterminate this itchy jumper. 


German cockroaches

German cockroaches, particularly their nymphs, can take up residence in the bed as well. You might also confuse them with bedbugs, primarily upon a glance at nighttime. Keeping your bedroom area tidy and neat should prevent them from living in the mattress. 

You also want to check everything you bring into the room where they might hitch a ride on. But what should you do if you find German cockroaches? You can bait them with food or use an insecticide with essential oils and spray them directly. 


Bed bugs

The last bug that can live on your mattress is, of course, bed bugs. They are pretty annoying if they are present because they tend to bite people actively. If you notice bloodstains, dark spots, or a musty odor on the mattress, it might be because of bed bugs.


What Kills Bed Bugs On Mattresses?



If you noticed bed bugs, gauge the infestation’s severity to know if you should hire an exterminator. For minor infestations, you can start by washing all the beddings and accessories in hot water and then dry them in a high heat setting to kill the bugs. But since you can’t wash the mattress itself, you want to scrub the seams with a stiff brush and then vacuum it throughout. 



Once you’ve done the initial practice above, you want to cover your mattress and box spring to prevent the bugs from having new hiding areas and reinfestations. You can also place sticky pads under the frame legs as an additional removal practice. Overall, early detection and addressing of bed bugs should prevent infestations. 

In some cases where there are too many bugs to handle, and infestation tends to reoccur, you may need to treat your bed and bedroom with chemicals to kill all the bed bugs. However, always check if the product label allows it for use on the bedding. It’s better to hire a pest control professional for your safety and avoid damaging the mattress with chemicals. 


What’s Lurking In Your Mattress?


Mold and mildew

Besides bugs, fungi can also thrive in your mattress. You have a higher risk of encouraging mold and mildew growth if the bed is not dried correctly. Fungal growth is also more common in humid environments. 

But what is the difference between mold and mildew? Mold creeps deeply into surfaces while mildew does not. Therefore, mildew is easier to remove than mold. 

A sign of mildew on the mattress is if it has black dots throughout. On the other hand, you’re dealing with mold if the bed appears fuzzy. It’s essential to prevent fungal growth as much as bugs because they can also cause health issues.



Are you noticing weird spots on the bed and even bites on your body? Then it’s time to familiarize yourself with what lives in your mattress. They include bed bugs, dust mites, fleas, and even those that are not so common, like German cockroaches and carpet beetles.