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:
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.
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.
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.)
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.