Bed bugs are terrifying and disgusting little creatures. Once discovered, you'll want to eliminate them immediately! But, before your skin starts to crawl, it might be helpful to know if a mattress cover can prevent bed bugs. We've researched these little buggers' lifestyles and whether mattress covers and encasements can deter them from snuggling into bed with you.
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Simply put, mattress covers do not prevent bed bugs. If you already have a bed bug infestation, you need to contact a professional pest control company specializing in the treatment of bed bugs. Mattress covers and/or encasements do not solve nor eliminate the bed bug problem.
Before we begin, you should be aware that there are some big differences between mattress covers and mattress encasements or protectors. Mattress covers only stretch over the mattress's top and sides, while the encasement covers the whole mattress. The encasement or protector can sometimes encase your box spring completely, using a zip closure. Stay with us as we now delve into how to best use mattress covers and encasements to mitigate a bed bug outbreak.
Bed Bug Prevention Using Mattress Covers
A mattress cover would not help much when it comes to preventing bed bugs, but an encasement most definitely would not hurt. As far as prevention goes, neither will stop nor prevent your bedroom from getting infested with bed bugs. If you purchase a new mattress and decide to encase it with a protective cover, that will protect your new mattress only from ever becoming infested with bed bugs. It still cannot stop an infestation if the bugs are trying to take over your home because bed bugs can, and will, live in many other places in your home.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
If you are not sure if you have bed bugs yet or not, here are a few tips to try to identify them. Bed bugs love to snuggle into pillows and linens. They do not fly and can lay hundreds of eggs. To begin identifying them, bed bug bites are an obvious symptom and incredibly irritating. Bed bugs only feed on human blood. The bites can result in rashes, allergies, and blisters. The bites can appear in only a few minutes and will generally be incredibly itchy. The bites can also cause some phycological reactions and problems.
Secondly, the bed bugs can sometimes be difficult to locate visually. There are six stages of bed bug growth, and between each stage, they molt into the next stage and leave a translucent exoskeleton. You can see those on your mattresses or pillows, and so on. When looking into the crevices on your mattress, you can see adult bed bugs. They are almond-shaped and reddish-brown in color. They do not have wings and are approximately 5-millimeters in size.
Younger bed bugs are hard to see with the naked eye. If you see that you have bed bugs in your home or identify speckled signs of fecal matter or blood, we would highly recommend getting a new mattress and calling a pest control company that knows how to exterminate bed bugs. Now, if you see the bugs on your mattress, it will not hurt to encase the mattress so they cannot get out.
Top 5 Mattress Protectors and Encasements
Based on written reviews, and star ratings, here are the top five mattress protectors and mattress encasements that may help protect your home and your family. If you are looking to purchase a mattress encasement to help prevent bed bugs, it is recommended that you also protect your box spring. Bed bugs actually prefer hiding in the box spring over the mattress, so there is no question that it would be worthwhile to protect both the mattress and box spring in your home.
1. Luxury bamboo mattress protector by Cosy House
This hypoallergenic, bamboo/polyester blend mattress encasement protects your mattress from spills and reduces bacteria and dust mites. Zip enclosure creates a secure fit, and the fabric is waterproof. Click here to see it on Amazon.
2. Premium bamboo mattress cover by Freshfit
A snug, elastic fit keeps this mattress cover secure on your mattress. The ultrathin bamboo blend fabric repels water, yet remains incredibly soft for a comfortable feel. This cover has a lifetime warranty. Click here to see it on Amazon.
3. Waterproof mattress protector by Casper Sleep
Breathable polyester protector guards against stains and spills while remaining breathable for a comfortable sleeping surface. This is a snug cover with elastic skirting. Click here to see it on Amazon.
4. The purple mattress protector by Purple
This incredibly durable protector comes backed by a 10-year warranty. Waterproof fabric is flexible for comfort without any crinkle and guards your mattress on the top and sides. Click here to see it on Amazon.
5. Premium mattress protector by Ghostbed
This waterproof mattress protector with elastic skirting boats a griping surface to keep it neatly in place. Knit fabric provides a comfortable top surface. Comes with a 10-year warranty. Click here to see it on Amazon.
There is no completely effective way to keep bed bugs from infesting your home because they don't just infest the mattress. But it is agreed upon, if you can keep them from feeding on humans, they will eventually die.
Do Mattress Encasements Prevent Bed Bugs?
If you do find that you already have bed bugs in your mattress, you can put an encasement around it, and that will seal them into the mattress where they will eventually die. However, it could take up to a year for the bugs to starve to death. Trapping the bed bugs in the mattress can prevent them from feeding on more victims and from leaving the mattress to mate.
On the contrary, mattress covers do not trap bed bugs. The cover only protects three sides of your mattress and cannot keep the bed bugs from breeding and living in other previously mentioned areas of your home. If you can encase both the mattress and the box spring, it could help eliminate your bed bug problem as long as the bed bugs aren't hiding in any other furniture or items in your room.
Can Bed Bugs Live In Pillows?
While bed bugs love mattresses and box springs, they like to hide in many other places in your room, such as headboards, bed frames, wall hangings, mirrors, and electronics, as well as nightstands and other bedroom furniture. Bed bugs can also infest and thrive in your pillows. Pillows are a common area for bed bugs to lay their eggs.
How Long Do Mattress Covers Last?
You should change your mattress every 7 to 10 years. If you have a mattress encasement or protector, you should change it every year. Ideally, you should change your pillows yearly as well.
Hopefully, this article has been informative and can help you decide how you would like to prevent and/or treat bed bugs. There are many helpful methods to help prevent and assist in the treatment of bed bugs, but when all is said and done, a mattress cover cannot treat or exterminate bed bugs. What you should be looking into is a mattress encasement. They can go a long way in helping protect your home and family.