Can Bed Bugs Live on Air Mattress: A Fully Guide

Suppose you’re unfortunate enough to experience bed bugs on your air mattress. In that case, you’ll already know how much these pests can interrupt your sleep and life.

Let’s not forget the fact that they’re pretty unpleasant, and the thought of sharing your slumber with six-legged critters is enough to give you nightmares.

On the other hand, you might be blissfully unaware that you’ve got a bed bug infestation but keep waking up with red rashes and inflamed spots all over your body. If this is the case, chances are a family of predatory bed bugs has invaded you.

Whether you’re unsure if you have bed bugs or not, it’s best to use prevention methods to keep them at bay, which is what we will look at in this guide.

We will also cover what attracts them, where they come from, and how to eliminate the pesky problem.

Let’s get into it.

Bed Bugs on an Air Mattress

Bed Bugs on an Air Mattress

Believe it or not, getting a bed bug infestation in your air mattress is possible, especially if you travel a lot with it.

The plus side is, if you have them on your air mattresses, they’re usually easier to get rid of due to the material and lack of fabric for them to burrow into.

However, it can happen if you place your air mattress somewhere with a bed bug infestation, and if you’re not careful, you could take them home with you.

Exterminating Bed Bugs From an Air Mattress

If you think you’ve got a bed bug problem and are waking up with bites after sleeping on your air mattress, there are a few steps you can take to eradicate them listed below.

  • Pesticides: In persistent cases of bed bugs, there are pesticides on the market (this one on Amazon is great) specifically designed to eradicate bed bugs. They’re commonly sprayed directly onto the surface.
  • Steam Clean: Steam cleaning is a popular option for removing bed bugs. The heat from the steam can kill the bugs and the eggs, and because the steam particles are microscopic, they can get into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Vacuum: Most people use a vacuum to remove bed bugs. However, this must be done thoroughly, including all surrounding walls, corners, carpets, and anything else bed bugs can attach to.

Where do Bed Bugs Come From?

Where do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs have been around forever, well, at least for a few thousand years, according to science.

A bed bug’s primary diet consists of, you’ve guessed it, blood, blood which they get by biting sleepers while they’re resting in bed.

The tricky thing is, as these bothersome bugs are only a couple of millimeters in size, it’s impossible to see them with the naked eye in most instances. But if you could see them, you’d notice they’re usually brown or red in color.

What makes them even more tricky to see is the fact that they live inside the creases and cracks of your mattress, in places such as the seams, and as they’re nocturnal, they only come out when it’s dark.

You can pick bed bugs up from other places and bring them home on your clothes, which is how you often end up with them in your home, and once you’ve got them, they aren’t easy to evacuate.

Spotting the Signs of Bed Bugs

As you can’t see bed bugs with the naked eye, it’s essential to look for signs that you may have an infestation.

1. Bite Marks

Bite Marks

Waking up with bites all over your body, especially around your back and sides and the backs of your legs (if you’re a back sleeper).

2. Blood on Your Sheets

You may notice small red or brown stains on your sheets if you have a bed bug infestation, your own blood can leave these marks after being bitten, or it could be feces left by the pests.

3. Eggs


Suppose you look really closely, preferably with a magnifying glass. In that case, you will see eggs or remnants of eggshells scattered around the edges of your mattress.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Infesting your Air Mattress?

If you’ve followed the steps above and evicted the bed bugs from your air mattress, you’ll want to ensure they never return. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to avoid the comeback of the vampire bugs.

  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning and maintenance is the best way to keep bed bugs from returning to your air mattress. After use and before packing away, ensure all the seams and surfaces are wiped clean.
  • Vacuuming: It’s recommended to vacuum your air mattress regularly to keep bed bugs at bay. You can do this while the mattress is inflated.
  • Pesticides: Regularly applying pesticides to your air mattress will banish the bugs and help stop them from returning. 
  • Mattress Protector: You can protect your air mattress further by covering it with a protective layer such as a mattress topper and bed sheet.
  • Freezing: When your mattress is not in use, fold it away and place it inside a freezer; eggs and any live bugs will be killed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s see what other air mattress users have been asking after encountering problems with the dreaded bed bugs.

How can I prevent bed bugs from infesting my air mattress?

Regularly inspect your mattress, keep it elevated, use mattress encasements, and avoid placing it near infested areas.

Can bed bugs survive on an air mattress?

Yes. Bed bugs can survive on an air mattress, as they are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide. However, given the material, it’s more difficult for them to survive. Regular cleaning and vigilant inspection can help prevent infestations. 

What should I do if I suspect bed bugs on my air mattress?

If you suspect bed bugs, isolate the mattress, wash bedding in hot water, vacuum thoroughly, and consider professional pest control if the infestation persists.

Addressing Bed Bug Concerns for Good

In conclusion, even with an air mattress, you can still battle bed bugs. However, the material and lack of crevices make their survival more unlikely.

You can prevent the recurrence of bed bugs on your air mattress by following steps such as rigorous cleaning, freezing, and using mattress covers for an extra layer of protection.

If you think your bed bug problem is out of control, and after following all the above steps, you still wake up with bites, consider calling in a professional exterminator.

Sarah Wagner

I'm Sarah Wagner, and I founded Sweet Island Dreams in 2022. It's a blog dedicated to helping people mental vacation virtually anytime they want. By providing information about the best sleep of your life, I help people drift away to paradise without ever having to leave their bed!