Category Archives: Mattress Covers

Bed Bug Mattress Covers for Hospitality – The True Cover Up

In theory, mattress covers sound like a good idea if you own or run a hotel.  But in practice, and without the marketing hype, the story is a bit different.
  1. The functional purpose of a mattress and box spring encasement is to keep bed bugs away from the person sleeping in the bed. The encasements for each are unique and should not be switched.
  2. If the room was previously infested it will cover up old unsightly stains (for the guest) and provide a “clean slate” for future pest control inspections.
  3. You can use them to protect your bedding investment before or after an infestation.  There is one called “protect a bed” – note, this does not mean “protect a guest”.

However:bed bug

  1. They can be a huge investment if you have lots and lots of beds.  Prices range from $20.00 for a vinyl box spring cover to $150 for really nice, fully lined mattress covers.  Inexpensive ones are not durable and once ripped they must be replaced.
  2. They do not and will not stop a bed bug infestation!  Bed bugs are brought in by your guest and can live anywhere in a room, not just the mattress.
  3. Savvy guests tend to suspect that a mattress cover means the room has been treated for bed bugs at some point in time.  It is a red flag.

I rarely recommend these products to hotel clients but there are situations that warrant them.   If you would like to explore the options for your establishment we are happy to help guide you in your purchase.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

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Bed bug best practices released by NPMA – Well Done!

The National Pest Management Association released its Bed Bug Best Practices Handbook in January 2011.  There are two versions, one for the pest management professional and a more user-friendly one for consumers.  The information is great and I am proud to say that ALL of their recommendations are already standard operating procedures for The Bed Bug Answer.   They have been in place from the start of our company.

A few highlights:

  1. Disposal of infested furniture is not necessary
  2. Mattress covers are a control mechanism but not a solution
  3. Infestations should be confirmed
  4. Canine teams are particularly useful in detecting bed bugs
  5. Multifamily should inspect surrounding units of an infestation (note, they did not say treat)
  6. Chemical treatments can fail due to pesticide resistance

They also included great content for the Pest Management Professional on:

  1. Client Agreements
  2. Canine standards for certification and use
  3. Technician Training
  4. Methods of Treatment
  5. Health and Safety Considerations for Techs and Consumers

News Flash! – Bed bugs don’t live IN your bed

I am constantly surprised by this issue and the “ah ha” moment when I explain it.  Most have just told me, with pride and confidence in their eyes, that they have just bought a mattress cover.  They think the cover will prevent and solve their bed bug problem.  If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

Mattress covers do two things.  First they can protect a clean mattress from an infestation.  Or second, they can trap bed bugs that are already there and prevent them from reaching you for a meal.

However, mattress covers fail to address two important issues:

  1. Bed bugs are called such because they EAT you in your bed, not because they LIVE in your bed.  It is more than likely that they have found other locations besides the mattress and box spring for a more permanent residence.   You will likely see evidence of them ON your mattress but they don’t usually burrow down INTO the fabric for a hiding place. The headboard, the bed frame, the bed side table, the alarm clock, the base boards, the wall vent, the wall outlet or the picture hung on the wall are all easier and more inviting locations for them.   Bed bugs don’t like movement and will find a permanent residence that does not shake, bump and shift.
  2. Bed bugs are not created from nothing.  Everyone does not have them, like dust mites.  YOU must introduce them into your own environment.  So a mattress cover will not prevent them from making a home in your home.  You must be vigilant in keeping them out.

However, if it will give you peace of mind and you choose to buy one anyway, here are a few thoughts.

  1. Buy the most expensive one you can find – a flimsy, ripped cover will truly spoil your bed bug removal efforts.  (Personally I do not relish the idea of sleeping on a bed of starving vampires.)
  2. As a bed bug removal expert, your mattress cover will make my job easier.  It will show me more easily that you have an infestation and it will prevent bed bugs from harboring in your box spring, which can make it hard to find a live one.

Lastly, if you have an infestation, mattress covers and/or throwing out your mattress wont solve your problem.  In fact a heat treatment can help you save EVERYTHING you have in your home or business without contaminating your space with pesticides.  Heat will sterilize all the furniture, the rug, everything.

Ashley, www.bedbuganswer.com