Bed bug infestations are growing at an alarming rate in the Portland area. There was a time when we thought we had them completely under control, but that time is over as they continue to make a resurgence over the last decade or so. Fighting these pests is not easy task and many of customers have found that many of the methods that they try only seem to make the problem worse. Store bought pesticides just do not have the strength to get the job done and carry a repellent quality that can drive them deeper into voids and even spread them. Really, the only do-it-yourself thing that you can do that works is to purchase a bed bug mattress cover.
First, you should know that putting on a mattress cover is not going to magically fix the problem, but it can great improve the situation. A quality mattress cover will trap bed bugs inside of it and they will eventually die. However, the problem can be perpetuated if eggs have been laid on the bed frame, in wall voids or anywhere else besides the mattress itself.
What kind of mattress cover should I buy?
This one area that you do not want to go cheap in. I have seen mattress covers for about $20 that will just tear when you try and put them on. Go for a good quality mattress cover (about $100) and a good quality box spring cover (about $50). Here are some products that we recommend that can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond.
How long should I keep it on?
Believe it or not, a bed bug can survive for about one year without feeding. That means that they can survive stuck inside a mattress cover for a long time. So, maybe you should just get used to having it on there for awhile.
What happens if it tears?
Any opening on a mattress can allow them to get out, so you must seal it. Usually some good old duct tape will do the trick. It might not look the best, but we are not going for aesthetics at this point.
Remember, a mattress cover is probably not going to completely solve your problem, but it can go a long way in getting you there. Even after a thorough pest control treatment for bed bugs, we will always suggest that you purchase a cover, so why not do it now? If we can help assist you choosing the right bed bug mattress cover or if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call!
Photo Credit: By Content Providers(s): CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki (http://phil.cdc.gov/phil) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons