What You Should Know About Latex Mattresses And Bed Bugs

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Mattresses made with high-density latex filling are appealing to those who enjoy extra support while sleeping. They are also known to be durable and repel various pests, including dust mites. A latex mattress may also work to deter beg bugs from burrowing, with a few caveats. 

Bed bugs feed on human blood, which is why your sleeping space is the ideal spot for them to dine. Although their bites can be harmless, they can cause a host of issues. According to the EPA, bed bug bites can cause itching and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis. They can also lead to infections, so protecting your mattress — and belongings — is paramount. Latex mattresses can deter these pests, but they won't completely prevent them. It's suspected that latex emits an odor that bed bugs find particularly off-putting. Additionally, these mattresses have a dense filling, which means bed bugs struggle to burrow in the material. However, this doesn't mean they won't live on its surface. They look for tiny cracks and crevices and hang out on your headboard, bed frame, and surrounding furniture, which means you need to eliminate these pests instead of deterring them.

Get added protection with a mattress cover

Although latex may deter bed bugs from burrowing, adding a mattress cover can help keep them off the surface and make your bed even less appealing to pests. Amazon carries special mattress covers at varying prices, and there are plenty of options for less than $40. You'll need a protector that encases all six sides of your bed, or else parts of it will be vulnerable to these unwanted visitors. 

There are other measures you can take to deter bed bugs from invading your mattress. Keeping your home organized is always a good idea, as clutter offers bed bugs a safe space to hide out – a tidy home makes it harder for them to invade. But keep in mind that the best preventative measures won't correct the issue if you already have an underlying bed bug infestation, as pests can make themselves at home throughout your house.

Latex can deter, but not eliminate

If you want to nip the problem in the bud, you'll need to eliminate bed bugs completely. There are hard-to-reach areas where these bugs can — and do — invade. This means that mattress covers and other DIY tricks may protect your mattress to an extent, but you'll need a professional to identify the type of bed bug you have and the best way to evict it from your home. 

Should you have a severe bed bug infestation, do you need to throw out your latex mattress? Not necessarily. If these tiny irritants have already taken up shop on it, professionals can use special vacuums and heat to remove them. Bed bugs are also known to lay eggs inside pillows, but you don't necessarily have to throw them out either. You can heat them in the dryer for upwards of half an hour, using medium or high heat, so long as the care instructions don't contradict this. If they do, then you may need to purchase new pillows. Don't forget to sanitize sheets, blankets, and more. Wash all bedding on high heat for an hour and a half before drying it on high heat for 30 minutes.