Can bed bugs infest plastic mattresses?
As everyone probably knows by now, bed bugs feed on human blood. This makes them especially irritating because once they get in your bed, you’ll wake up in the morning with red, itchy bumps on your skin. Not only is this annoying, but it’s pretty gross.
One popular tactic that many people have found successful in stopping this daily bloodletting is to encase their mattress in a plastic cover, essentially turning it into a plastic mattress. This often prompts the question, “Can bed bugs live on plastic mattresses?”
Using Plastic Covers for Bed Bug Prevention
The biggest reason people will use a plastic mattress encasement is to keep bed bugs from reaching them at night. Any bed bugs that are hiding within the folds of your mattress will be trapped. Since these covers don’t have any holes, they won’t be able to reach you or your loved ones. This is why some people will take one of these plastic covers with them when they stay in a hotel.
Using Plastic Covers to Kill Bed Bugs
Using a plastic mattress cover can prevent bed bugs from getting to you at night, and it’s also effective in killing them. Trapping them within the plastic can deprive them of oxygen, but the main reason why this technique will kill bed bugs is because they’ll be cut off from a blood supply and will starve to death. Just keep in mind that bed bugs can live without food for several days, so this is a somewhat slow process.
Plastic Covers Are the Best Choice
As you’ve probably already surmised, bed bugs cannot live on these plastic mattresses, nor will they survive very long when they’re trapped inside. There are cotton mattress covers on the market, but they’re not nearly as effective in preventing bed bugs from getting to you because there are small spots where they may be able to crawl through and escape. Plastic is non-porous, and once it’s been zipped up, they’ll be completely cut off.
Other Methods to Prevent Bed Bugs
Plastic mattress covers are a wonderful way to protect yourself from a bed bug problem, but this will rarely get rid of an infestation. Your best tactic is to use multiple methods that will help you prevent bed bugs from getting into your home in the first place.
Here are some simple tips that you can follow:
Watch for Warning Signs
To begin, you should always be aware of the warning signs of a bed bug infestation. Aside from bed bug bites, you may also find red blood stains, brown feces stains, a musty odor, or — most obviously — a physical specimen.
Close Cracks and Gaps
Although bed bugs sometimes get inside by hiding in suitcases and clothes, they just as often enter your home through small cracks and gaps. The two most common areas where this can happen are around doors and windows. Seal any problem spots using weather-stripping, spray foam, or caulk, depending on the size and location.
After a Trip, Wash Your Clothes
We’ve given plenty of tips in the past on how to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride back home during a trip, but never take this for granted. Even if you’ve been especially careful, it’s always best to take all of your clothes and run a cycle in hot water to kill off any adults, larvae, or eggs.
Inspect Used Furniture
Whether you purchase a piece of used furniture at a store or pick one up from a guy on Craigslist, you need to inspect it for bed bugs. Grab a magnifying glass and latex gloves for a thorough examination, including flipping it over so you have access to the underside.
Contact an Exterminator
If you find any evidence of bed bugs or believe that’s what you’re dealing with, contact an exterminator to take care of them. They’ll typically use some sort of organic pest control method, such as a heat treatment, which will kill all the bed bugs in a very short period of time.
For bed bug removal, contact ProHealth Pest Control.
Now that we’ve answered the question of “Can bed bugs live on plastic mattresses?” you may have other questions. ProHealth Pest Control can answer these questions and help you get rid of a bed bug infestation or any other pest. If you’d like to know more about our residential or commercial pest control methods or are in need of our services, reach out to us at (727) 310-0521 today for a free consultation.