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The Importance of Mattress Encasements

Adult Bed Bug - Cimex Lectularius

The presence of bed bugs in commercial and residential dwellings is on the rise.  As the bed bug problem continues to grow in the Unites States the pest management industry is becoming increasingly effective at handling bed bug problems.  More and more companies are increasing their knowledge and experience to successfully deal with bed bug infestations.
  • Hospitality and housing professionals should adopt a bed bug inspection process to assist in prevention and early detection of bed bug infestations. 
  • Housekeeping and maintenance staffs should be trained to recognize the signs indicating the presence of bed bugs. 
  • Early discovery can prevent a bed bug infiltration from becoming a significant infestation.
  • A bed bug treatment program is best selected on the quality of the pest management company and not on price. 
  • Mattresses and box springs can be treated and encased.
  • Bed bugs can survive for long periods of time without feeding.
Adopting the use of a Bed Bug Detection System (BDS), or other such bed bug traps, may aid you in finding bed bugs early on before a large scale and significant infestation occurs by acting as a proactive bed bug monitoring measure .

Bed bugs are an “equal opportunity infester”.
They do not discriminate between properties based upon location, type, or quality.

Bed bugs are "hitch-hikers” and dependent upon man to travel from place to place.  It is possible for bed bugs to be transported to other rooms, floors, or locations during the regular servicing by maid staff, maintenance staff, bellman staff, or other services.

Bed bugs are an “equal opportunity infester”.  They do not discriminate between properties based upon location, type, or quality. Due simply to their nature, logistics, and other factors, every lodging location and multi-family property is subject to bed bug infestation.

Bed bugs prefer to hide in undisturbed areas.  Headboards are close by the bed and are seldom disturbed or moved.  Bed sheets that are changed regularly make the mattress a less desirable place for bed bugs to hide.  Bed bugs are capable of traveling from one location to another at night to feed.

Resolving a bed bug infested room cannot be accomplished by simply putting the room “out of service” in order to starve the bed bugs.  It is not necessary for bed bugs to feed every day or every week.  They can "lie in wait" for the next host for surprisingly long periods of time.  Under certain conditions, research data indicates that bed bugs can survive up to periods of about one year without feeding.

It may not be necessary to simply discard mattresses and box springs indiscriminately just because of the presence of bed bugs.  Mattresses and box springs in otherwise good condition may be suitably vacuumed, steam cleaned, or treated for bed bugs and further protected by suitable encasements produced for this purpose.  Use high quality mattress encasements or covers that are Bed Bug Certified (BBC) to seal bed bugs in and take away the multiple hiding places.

Commercial dwellings that are experiencing a bed bug infestation need to have a public statement prepared to tell guest that inquire as to the status of bed bugs within the location.  This should be part of the overall bed bug management program.

Portions of content provided by:
Entomologist Paul J. Bello, PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC. - Author of "The Bed Bug Combat Manual"