5 Ways To Safely Get Rid Of A Mattress With Bed Bugs

by | Bed Bugs, Insects

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To get rid of a mattress with bed bugs, ask your local city council where to drop it off or if you can leave it out for the next curb pickup. Otherwise, take the mattress to a landfill yourself, hire a dumpster, or get a professional furniture removal company to pick it up.

In this post, we’ll find out how to prepare a mattress with bed bugs for disposal and 5 ways to get rid of it responsibly.

It’s better not to throw out a mattress just because it has bed bugs. Getting rid of the mattress won’t get rid of the bugs – it could even spread bed bugs through the house and to other people’s homes.

The truth is that it can take years and many tries to get rid of bed bugs, even if you use a combination of methods to kill them and get professional pest controllers in to help you. Don’t give up.

That said, it’s time to get rid of a mattress with bed bugs responsibly if the mattress is badly stained, torn, full of insecticide residues, or is no longer safe or comfortable to use.

There are several ways to get rid of such a mattress. You’ll need to choose the best option for you, based on what you can afford, how much time you have, and what’s available in your area. Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of each option…

How to prepare a mattress with bed bugs for removal

Before removing a mattress with bed bugs from the bed, seal it in a thick plastic storage bag. Here’s a furniture storage bag on Amazon, but similar ones are available at Lowes, Home Depot, and hardware stores.

You could use a mattress encasement designed for bed bugs instead of a storage bag. An encasement keeps bed bugs sealed in the mattress like a plastic storage bag does, but an encasement costs more than a plastic bag.

Photo showing an encasement on a mattress
This photo shows an encasement that covers the mattress and is zipped closed. Bed bugs get trapped inside and eventually starve to death.

Wrapping the mattress is very important so you don’t make the infestation worse for yourself and others: It keeps bed bugs in the mattress, so they don’t drop off and spread as you transport the mattress through the house and on to its final destination.

It’s best not to use kitchen plastic wrap or garbage bags to wrap the mattress because:

  • It tears easily
  • It leaves far too many gaps for bed bugs to get through, and
  • It doesn’t last long enough to kill the bed bugs inside before they can escape and infest a new area (bed bugs go into diapause, a type of hibernation, and can live up to 400 days without food!)

After covering the mattress, take a black marker and clearly write “infested” on the covering. This ensures that anyone who finds the mattress knows that the mattress should not be taken home and used.

If you’re wondering where you should sleep when your mattress has bed bugs in it, find out here.

Where to get rid of a mattress with bed bugs

Below is a list of all the places and ways to dispose of a bed bug-infested mattress:

Ask your local city council about solid waste services

City councils use the term “solid waste” to group together mattresses, furniture, and other non-liquid items that don’t belong in the garbage or trash.

Visit your local city council’s website and search for solid waste management or solid waste removal. If you find it, you should get an answer on what to do with the mattress.

Infested mattresses cannot be recycled or donated, so look for options that either collect the mattress, or places to take the mattress to be dumped or destroyed.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact the council and ask what options there are to get rid of solid waste. Tell them you have a mattress with bed bugs that cannot be recycled, or they’ll send you to a recycling center that won’t accept the mattress when you get there.

Put the mattress out for curbside pickup

If offered in your area, you may be able to get rid of a mattress with bed bugs by wrapping it in plastic and putting it out for curbside pickup.

Don’t put the mattress out without sealing it in plastic first or you could spread the bed bugs in your home and to your neighbors.

Many councils offer such a pickup service for free, especially if you contact them to arrange a junk pickup appointment beforehand. Some councils refer to this as “bulky items” to be picked up.

Don’t dump the mattress outside and hope it gets taken away. This is illegal and you could get a fine for it.

Take the mattress to a landfill

If you can transport the mattress, seal it in plastic and drop it off at a local landfill. If you don’t seal it first, bed bugs could drop into the vehicle and survive in your car.

Be aware that there might be a small fee to leave the mattress at the landfill because mattresses take up a lot of space and take a long time to decompose.

Rent a dumpster

Search the internet for a small dumpster to rent in your area, at a cost of about $75 per week.

The company you rent the dumpster from will drop off the dumpster at an agreed time and date.

You can then fill the dumpster with the infested mattress and any other furniture you want to get rid of, remembering to seal it all in plastic storage bags first.

After a week, the dumpster company will collect the dumpster and take the mattress away for you.

A small dumpster, like this one, can be rented for a few days. The company you rent the dumpster from will drop it off and pick it up a few days later, and take the mattress with them.

Furniture removal company

There are companies that offer junk removal services, which include mattresses with bed bugs.

Do a search online for “junk removal service near me” to find one in your area, then contact them for a quote. If you are just wanting them to pick up the mattress, it could cost you around $110 to $160.

Alternatively, look for individuals offering these types of services on websites like Airtasker, where you might be able to negotiate the price for such a service.

Always be honest with the company or individual. Tell them that the mattress has bed bugs in it when you hand it over sealed in a plastic bag. You don’t want them taking it home or donating it to someone without knowing, and then spreading bed bugs.

I'm Monique. I love gardening and spending time in my backyard growing things. Here's where I share what I know about backyard pests and what to do about them, so you can enjoy your yard too.

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MONIQUE

Monique loves gardening and spending time in her backyard, where she grows flowers, succulents, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Monique spends a lot of time researching how to protect her backyard from harmful pests and trying to attract beneficial insects and animals.

She shares everything that she learns and tests here at Backyard Pests.