Do I have to throw away my bed if I have bed bugs?
A reader e-mailed in this question:
"hi i have just found that my apartmnt has bed bugs in it. they are all over the place and came in from next door. the apartment company is going to take care of it but my question is do i have to throw away my mattress?"
No, you don't - your mattress is expensive, and you don't necessarily need to toss it out just because you have discovered a bed bug infestation. You have an easy option to help you keep from spending more money on a new mattress (which could just become infested again): mattress encasements. These are basically just plastic, bug-proof covers for your mattress that you zip around the outside. It keeps bed bugs from getting into the mattress - and if you've already got them, it traps the existing ones inside. They'll still be alive and in there for up to six months or so (they can stay alive for a long time without eating), but eventually they will die off. And in the mean time, they won't be bothering you. Tests on mattress covers have shown that it is extremely difficult for bed bugs to get through them - it's a simple solution, and it will save you a lot of money. It's a good idea to vacuum the mattress thoroughly before sticking on a cover, to get rid of as many of them as possible. It won't get rid of your problem - they can still live in other places around your house. But it will get rid of their favorite hiding spot and protect your wallet - so go here and buy one online that fits your bed.
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