by Chandler Warnick
Bedbug problems are on the rise, and so are bedbug solutions. Mattress covers in particular are often marketed as a way to prevent or eliminate bedbug infestations. It's more than just hype: mattress covers (specially designed mattress covers that encase your whole mattress) can actually help reduce and prevent bedbug infestations. However, doing a bit of homework on mattress covers, also known as mattress protectors, can help you understand just how effective mattress covers are so that you'll be satisfied with your purchase. Keep reading for the answers to frequently asked questions about bedbug mattress covers.
Will a mattress cover actually protect my mattress from infestation?
Yes, it will. Although mattress covers can't protect your whole house, they can certainly protect your mattress from infestation. Bedbug mattress protectors, which are designed to tightly encase your entire mattress, will keep bedbugs from infesting the nooks and crannies of the mattress itself, which gives bedbugs one less place to live and keeps them from living in the place that's nearest to your skin at night. Keep in mind that even with a mattress protector, bed bugs can still get into your bedding. If you suspect you have a bedbug infestation or if you're worried that some may have come home with you after you've traveled, be sure to wash your bedding, mattress cover included, in hot water (120 F).
If I have a mattress cover, does that mean I don't have to worry about bedbugs?
Unfortunately, it does not. Bedbugs will readily take up residence in any of a number of different nooks and crannies in your home and bedroom, from wicker furniture to dresser drawers. Their bodies are very flat, which allows them to fit in tight places, like behind loose wall paper or in a picture frame. What this means for you is that bed bugs can find places to live in your home that simply won't be protected by a bedbug mattress protector. The best way to prevent a bedbug infestation is avoid picking them up when you travel.
Can a mattress cover eliminate an existing bedbug infestation?
Yes and no. If you know you have an infestation, call an exterminator. The careful, repeated use of pesticides by a licensed exterminator is the only method that's been proven to entirely eliminate bed bugs from your home. That said, placing a mattress protector over a mattress with a bed bug problem will both block the bed bugs from getting to you at night and eventually, after six months, kill them. After all, if they can't get out and feed, thanks to the mattress cover, they will eventually starve to death. It's not a complete solution, but it certainly helps.
Should I buy a mattress cover?
A mattress cover won't solve all your bedbug problems, but it can solve some of them. Bedbug problems are unquestionably on the rise, and every bit of extra protection, from checking hotel mattresses for bedbugs when you travel to encasing your mattress and box springs with mattress protectors, can help.