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How Effective Are Bed Bug Mattress Covers? Answered

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Alene Schill

Bed bugs are tiny, elliptical, reddish-brown creatures that consume the blood of both humans and animals.

They are active at night and hide in various places, including bedding, furniture, and clothing. 

Bed bug infestations can be difficult to control and eliminate, as they are often resistant to many insecticides and can hide in small crevices and cracks. 

One method often used to help prevent and control bed bug infestations is the use of bed bug mattress covers.

But how effective are bed bug mattress covers?

Do Bed Bug Mattress Covers Really Work?

putting bed bug mattress cover

There is some evidence to suggest that bed bug mattress covers can be effective at preventing and controlling bed bug infestations. 

For example, a study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that bed bug mattress covers were effective at trapping bed bugs and preventing them from infesting a bed. [1]

However, it’s important to note that bed bug mattress covers are not a standalone solution for eliminating bed bugs. 

They are most effective when combined with other control methods, such as insecticides and vacuuming. 

In addition, it’s important to note that bed bug mattress covers are not a permanent solution for bed bug infestations. [2]

They may need to be replaced periodically and used in conjunction with other control measures to ensure that the infestation is completely eliminated.

What Are Bed Bug Mattress Covers?

Bed bug mattress covers are protective covers made to fit over a mattress and prevent bed bugs from getting inside. 

“People are inexterminable – like flies and bed-bugs. There will always be some that survive in cracks and crevices – that’s us.”

– Robert Frost, American Poet

These covers are typically made of a thick and durable material resistant to punctures and tears, and they are sealed with a zipper closure to prevent bed bugs from getting in or out. 

Several bed bug mattress covers are also treated with insecticides to help eliminate any bed bugs that come into contact with the mattress cover. [3]

Check out these steps to eliminate bed bugs here.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Mattress Covers

One of the main advantages of bed bug mattress covers is that they are easy to use and can be applied to any type of mattress. 

They are also relatively inexpensive and can be purchased online or at a home improvement store. 

However, it’s important to note that bed bug mattress covers are not a permanent solution for bed bug infestations and may need to be replaced periodically.

FAQs

Can bed bugs get through mattress covers?

Yes. Bed bugs can get through mattress covers, although it is less likely if the cover is properly sealed and made of a thick, durable material resistant to punctures and tears.

How long do you leave a bed bug mattress cover on?

It is generally recommended to leave a bed bug mattress cover on for at least one year to ensure that any bed bugs inside the cover have been eliminated. 

However, it’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for the bed bug mattress cover you are using, as the length of time may vary depending on the specific product.

In addition, it’s important to regularly inspect the cover for any signs of bed bug activity.

Do mattress toppers help with bed bugs?

Not entirely. Mattress toppers, also known as mattress pads or mattress protectors, are not typically effective at preventing or controlling bed bug infestations. 

To effectively eliminate bed bugs, it is recommended to use a combination of control measures such as bed bug mattress covers and insecticides.

Can bed bugs live on mattress encasements?

Yes. Bed bugs can potentially live on mattress encasements, as they are able to hide in small crevices and cracks and can often find their way into a bed even if there is a mattress encasement present. 

Do bed bug mattress covers work for fleas?

Not really. Bed bug mattress covers are specifically designed to prevent and control bed bug infestations and may not effectively prevent or control flea infestations.

Key Takeaways

Bed bug mattress covers can effectively prevent and control bed bug infestations. 

However, they should be used in combination with other control methods and carefully followed according to the instructions provided. 

While they are relatively easy to use and inexpensive, they are not a permanent solution and may need to be replaced periodically.

References:

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jee/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jee/toac067
  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/bedbugs-infestation

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