Throwing out your furniture is like throwing out money. It won’t get rid of your bed bug problem, just make you poorer. Throwing out your mattress, couch or chairs is one of the worst things you can do when you have bed bugs. Taking action may make you feel like you’re taking care of the problem, when in fact you haven’t. Sure, the bed bugs hiding in your mattress will find themselves on the street, but that just lowers the competition for your blood. The other bed bugs hiding in your home will be doing the cha cha across the floor and onto your new mattress to feast on your neck, arms, and legs. In a few days, more bed bugs will emerge from the bed bug eggs placed under dressers, in wall voids, and behind floorboards. These almost invisible baby bugs will be happy to join the feast. How many mattresses and other pieces of furniture are you willing to throw out before you call a professional and have the bed bug problem taken care of for good?
Should you install bed bug proof mattress encasements instead of throwing out your mattress? No. Bed bug proof mattress encasements won’t do a darn thing on their own. They are part of a prevention and treatment strategy–not an active infestation cure-all.
If you have bed bugs, here’s what you do:
1. Call a professional
2. Follow the professional’s instructions, which will include installing mattress and box spring encasements AFTER the treatment for bed bugs.
3. If you still want to use bed bugs as an excuse to redecorate your home, by all means toss your old furniture AFTER the bed bugs are gone; otherwise you’ll just be adding new hiding places to an old bed bug problem.
Bed Bug Prevention
When there is no immediate bed bug problem, bed bug proof mattress and box spring encasements make a lot of sense as part of a prevention strategy. They make it impossible for bed bugs to infest your mattress and make bed bug mattress inspections easier to conduct. They do not prevent bed bugs from crawling onto your mattress and biting you…
To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto your mattress and biting you, I always recommend that clients place insect interceptors under the legs on their bed frame. These serve two purposes: they keep bed bugs from crawling up onto your bed (protecting you from bites) and they capture bed bugs so you can quickly identify that you have a problem. Insect interceptors are far more useful than sticky traps as a bed bug “early warning” tool. Different brands of insect interceptors use different containment methods. Some use talcum coated polyethylene, others used specifically engineered plastic to keep bugs from climbing out. Neither type uses chemicals, but both capture bed bugs in a slippery, dry moat where you can easily see them.