All it takes is a single bedbug to make just about anyone's skin crawl. Finding one usually means there are more hidden in places that are hard or even impossible to check. With bodies roughly the size of an apple seed, bedbugs can easily squeeze through mattress fabric and hide within the mattress and box spring itself.
Mattress encasements are designed to trap bedbugs that are hunkered down inside your mattress. These encasements also make it easier to spot bedbugs on the surface.
How Mattress Encasements Work
Mattress encasements work by sealing the entire mattress and box spring in an airtight cover that prevents bedbugs from entering or escaping the mattress. The encasement prevents bedbugs trapped inside from feeding on human hosts, cutting off their food supply so that they'll eventually starve.
Mattress encasements also prevent bedbugs from getting into the mattress and box spring. Encasements also make it easier to spot and remove individual bedbugs that happen to be on the surface.
Some mattress encasements feature a chemical coating that supposedly kills bedbugs on contact. However, these chemically impregnated covers are rarely effective.
Must-Have Encasement Features
There are several features that mattress encasements must have in order to be effective against bedbugs. These features include a thick bite-proof covering made from terry cloth, vinyl or polyester and escape-proof zippers with teeth small enough to prevent bed bugs from escaping.
A good mattress encasement should also come with zipper end stops. These end stops cover the gap between the end of the zipper and the encasement material and hold the zipper tightly in place. Not only does this prevent the zipper from coming undone accidentally, but it also keeps bedbugs from squeezing through any potential gaps in the encasement.
Measuring Their Effectiveness
Whether they're used as a proactive or reactive measure against bedbugs, a well-designed mattress encasement can help control bedbugs as long as it's used as instructed. If you plan on using your encasement to trap bedbugs, keep in mind that it may take up to a year for your infestation to die down. Bedbugs are surprisingly hardy creatures that can last for months on end without feeding.
Mattress encasements are also effective at protecting brand-new mattresses against bedbugs. This means you won't have to worry about your new mattress falling victim to your ongoing bedbug problem. Encasements also make it much easier to inspect and treat your mattresses. Contact a pest company, like Sentinel Pest Control, for more help.