Bed Bug Mattress Covers

The mattress cover or encasement is a popular item for helping to manage bed bugs.

Management of bed bugs is an integrated process meaning that there are many steps or options available depending on the type of room infested, type of operation (home vs hotel) and other factors. One popular item which helps manage bed bug infestations to a certain extent is the mattress cover or encasement. While these terms are used interchangeably, the only effective way to isolate bed bugs inside the mattress or box spring unit is to totally wrap or encase these components.

These units serve two purposes. First, they prevent bed bugs from finding their way out from the mattress or box spring. If left in place, bed bugs trapped inside the mattress or box spring usually will not survive since they cannot obtain a blood meal. Note, though, that while it is not the norm, bed bugs have been documented as surviving unfed for over a year. The second role of the encasement is to prevent bed bugs from infesting the protected areas. Some encasements use permethrin to control the trapped bed bugs. Any encasement must fit tightly enough so that bed bugs cannot escape through vents or the zipper.

One point must be understood when considering whether to protect the mattress. While infested rooms might have bed bugs in the mattresses, bed bugs can also survive in surrounding areas. If a bed is infested in a room and encasements are put on the bed and box spring, there is no guarantee that those are the only infested areas. Alarm clocks, computers, areas behind headboards, baseboards, electrical outlets, bed frames, and areas behind pictures may be infested as well. In this case, the encasement will not protect the occupants from exposure to bed bugs.

Encasements are a great tool if mattresses and box springs are infested, but encasements will not eliminate infestation points either current or future beyond the mattress and box springs.