Bed bugs need to stay close to their food source—you—and can often be found infesting mattresses and bedding. Due to this habit, encasing your mattress can form an important part of your bed bug control strategy. Here are four things you need to know about mattress encasements.
What are mattress encasements?
Mattress encasments are bed bug-proof covers that encase both your mattress and your box spring. These encasements have very tight zippers, so there's no way for bed bugs to pass through the cover. Even freshly-hatched bed bugs aren't able to get past a good encasement.
How do mattress encasements help?
Mattress encasements help your bed bug control efforts in a couple of ways. First, they keep the bed bugs that are infesting your mattress and box spring from escaping. When the bugs are trapped inside the encasement, they can't bite you, so you can sleep in your bed without fear. This is important because if you abandon your bed and start sleeping on your couch, the bed bugs will follow you, spreading the infestation. In this way, the encasement helps keep the infestation from getting worse.
The encasement also keeps more bed bugs from taking up residence in your mattress. Any bed bugs that crawl onto the bed will be easy to spot since they can't hide inside the seams of your mattress or other hard-to-reach places; they can be easily identified on the outside of the smooth cover.
The bed bugs that are trapped within the encasement are separated from their food source, and eventually, they'll starve. This is an easy and safe way to kill the bed bugs that are infesting your mattress; it saves you from needing to buy a new mattress or treat your mattress with dangerous pesticides.
Are mattress encasements enough on their own?
These encasements are important, but they're not enough to get rid of a bed bug infestation. While bed bugs need to stay close to your sleeping area, that doesn't mean that they're all living in your mattress. Bed bugs can also hide in areas around your bed, like in your bed frame, head board, base board or night stands. They may also hide in your bedroom curtains, closets or even your clothing. A pest control operator can help you find and destroy all of these secretive bugs.
How long should you use the encasement?
You'll need to leave the encasement in place until all of the trapped bed bugs have starved. While you may have heard that bed bugs can survive without food for an entire year, this isn't true unless you keep your house very cold. At normal room temperature (23°C or 73°F), adult bed bugs can only survive for two or three months.
If your bedroom is infested with bed bugs, purchase a mattress encasement to help your control efforts. For more information, contact Garrie Pest Control or a similar company.