What Pests Could Be Lurking in my Mattress and how to get rid of them

David Bennett

Lisa Smalls is a freelance writer from the States who regularly covers sleep health content for Mattress Advisor. She loves taking care of her home, and that includes dealing with pests. When she isn’t writing, she is most likely rearranging furniture or walking her pup.

Title: What Pests Could Be Lurking in my Mattress (and how to get rid of them)

The average person sheds enough dead skin cells in one day to feed over a million mites. But mites are only part of the problem as larger creatures can occupy your mattress at any given time. From ants, bed bugs, and spiders to the opportunistic rats who carry mites and feed on other creatures, your mattress is one of the most important parts of your home to keep clean.

What’s lurking in your mattress?

While mites are tiny, they can live up to 60 days with a female laying anywhere from 30 to 60 eggs during her lifetime. In addition to dust mites, other common mattress-dwellers are bed bugs, fleas, and even ticks. While bed bugs can lay about 200 eggs in their lifetime and fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, they are relatively harmless leaving for some minor redness and itching, while causing little to no sign of biting on others. Larger pests such as spiders, ticks, ants may attract rodents. While rodents prefer to avoid humans, we are only in our beds for about 30% of the day, and that leaves a lot of feeding time for opportunistic rodents.

Why mattresses are great breeding grounds for pests

Considering your home’s humidity, perspiration, and the dead skin cells that you and your family members shed, mattresses, fabric furniture and linens create the perfect environment for these little creatures. While mites feed on dead skin cells, due to their size they have few predators. However, that doesn’t stop other creatures such as rats, your cat, and dogs from creating a small depository for these and other small pests. From “food” such as dead skin cells and the small folds that make for excellent small-pest homes, your mattress, sheets, and box spring make for a great environment.

How to prevent pests from getting into your mattress

So, whether you are trying to protect your bed from permanent dwellers such as mites and bed bugs or keep away those occasional occupants such as spiders and rodents, the key is cleanliness.

Use a mattress protector: A mattress protector will help create a barrier between your perspiration, dead skin cells, and your porous mattress.

Wash sheets regularly:Not only do clean sheets make you feel more comfortable in bed but washing your sheets at least once a week will also prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and manage pest infestations.

Vacuum your mattress: Cleaning your sheets is only part of the plan to keep pests out. The fact is that it doesn’t take long for creatures to get into your mattress. So, regularly vacuuming your mattress helps to minimize the problem.

Air out your mattress: Airing out your mattress can be as simple as turning on a fan while your mattress cover and sheets are being washed. This is a great way to keep your mattress dry and less a haven for mites and bed bugs.

What do you do if you have pests in your mattress?

Many of the preventive treatments for your mattress and sheets are also equipped to remove a pest problem. However, there are times when the problem gets out of hand. Sometimes the only sure way to get rid of a pest problem is to start fresh with a new mattress and bedding, with a focus on prevention. Though, when all else fails, it’s time to call in a professional!

Tags: Infestation, NPMA, NYPMA, Pest Control, PestWorld2019

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