Can Mattress Covers Really Control Bed Bugs?

The mere thought of a single bed bug is enough to ruin a good night's rest, especially since mattresses and box springs are favorite hiding spots for the blood-sucking critters. Mattress covers are commonly touted as an effective way of containing and controlling the spread of bed bugs. Do these covers really live up to the hype? Read on to find out.

They Can, But Only When Used Properly

As it turns out, mattress covers aren't just a gimmick. A good mattress cover can help control a bed bug infestation, but only when they're used correctly. The interesting part about mattress covers is that they can be used as part of a proactive or reactive approach towards controlling bed bugs:

  • The proactive approach prevents bed bugs from getting inside your mattress, effectively stranding them on the smooth outer surface of the encasement. This makes it much easier to spot and control bed bugs.
  • The reactive approach traps bed bugs inside the mattress, stranding them from their feeding source while keeping them confined until they eventually die out. It also limits the spread of bed bugs to other areas.

Of course, mattress covers should be used in conjunction with other methods of combatting bed bug infestations, including the use of professional treatments from your pest control specialist.

What to Look For in a Good Mattress Cover

It's not enough just to purchase any old mattress cover. Any cover that's used to trap bed bugs must be specifically designed for the task. Here are a few good qualities to look for as you search for the right cover:

  • Bite-proof materials: Most covers are made from vinyl, polyester or terry cloth, as these fabrics are too dense for bed bugs to feed through.
  • Escape-proof zippers: A juvenile bed bug can be as small as 2.5 millimeters in size - small enough to escape through a closed zipper's teeth. Having escape-proof zipper teeth is important for keeping bed bugs inside.
  • Zipper end stops: The gap left behind at the end of a closed zipper can allow bed bugs to escape. This gap can also widen over time due to ordinary movement. A zipper end stop holds the zipper closed as tightly as possible, preventing the cover from coming loose accidentally.

Mattress covers that are chemically impregnated with pesticide may seem effective at first glance, but they usually have little to no effect on bed bugs. Most bed bugs require continuous contact with pesticides before they succumb to the treatment. For more information or advice, contact a pest control service.