Bed bugs are flat and very small in size. Their small size helps them in hiding from view during the day, and this is also the time when they are not active. They an hide in all places, including bed frames, pillows, mattresses, bedding carpets, furniture, baseboards and bedroom clutter. Mostly, they are found inside the box springs and seams of mattresses. However, it’s not necessary to locate a specimen to identify their infestation. You can also identify them from their excrement stains (brown to black) on pillows, mattresses and linens. Sometimes bloodstains are also visible when they have been accidentally crushed.
Mostly, bed bugs are transported from one place to another within luggage, allowing them to spread far and wide at any place where humans settle. Infestations can become problematic in homes, dormitories, hotels, apartments, and offices in Singapore. Due to their tiny size and propensity to speedily hide within furniture and mattresses, it’s difficult to control bed bug infestation.
Can bed bugs hide in my pillows and mattresses?
Bed bugs are mostly found hiding in crevices and cracks in bedrooms. Pillows and mattresses are their potential habitats. Pillows can also host their eggs, making them a potential point for severe bed bug infestation.
Sometimes infested pillows, comforters, mattresses, mattress covers, and cushioned furniture may show bed bug fecal stains, which are actually their dried excrement. Maturing bed bug nymphs shed or molt their skin during their developmental stages and this skin is sometimes found around the infested material. Bed bugs themselves can be visible if you examine the source closely. You should also check seams of your mattress cover or mattress for these insects.
A possible sign that many bed bugs have infested your pillows may be appearance of bites. Although some people might not experience any reaction to these bites, but mostly these bites may develop into red colored bumps within 2-3 days. These bites are also known as wheals or papules, and they mostly appear in a row.
If you experience any bed bug bit, you should check your pillows closely. Dark and small spots of bed bug feces are firm indicators of their presence. A musty, sweet scent may also emanate from the infested pillows, sheets or mattresses, as well.
Mostly, over-the-counter sprays are not effective in treating bed bug infestations. Sometimes, laundering at very high temperatures can provide short-term relief, but if bed bugs are there on pillow and on mattress covers, then they are also present within the pillows and mattresses, and elsewhere in the house.
Can I protect my bed pillows from bed bugs?
Infested bed pillows should be immediately washed when you suspect infestation. In normal routine, they should be washed once a year using hot water and high heat cycle to kill bacteria and bed bugs. However remove pillow protectors and pillow cases before washing them. All pillows of the down alternative or down varieties can be washed. However, you won’t be able to wash garneted polyester pillows.
You can try using pillow protector for your pillows. They come with a zipper closure mechanism and go over your bed pillow to protect it from daily wear. There are different types of pillow protectors ranging from bed bug resistant covers to high thread count natural cotton covers.
Generally, natural cotton is the best material for pillow protectors because it also allows your pillows to breathe. Sometimes high thread count can block dust mites so you there’s no need to pay more for one that says it is dust mite proof. If your house is infested with bed bugs, then you have no option but to invest in covers that are bed bug proof.
When your pillow is properly protected, it can be washed once a year. You can wash you pillows when you do weekly linens, or every alternate week. For your protective bedding like feather bed protectors and pillow protectors, you can wash at high temperature and dry at high as well. This can kill most of bacteria that may accumulate in your sleeping area.
Laundering your pillows and pillowcase may offer temporary relief from bed bugs. Also, bed bugs infest many other locations in your house and cannot be exterminated by your personal efforts. If you suspect bed bug infestation, you should call a pest control professional to arrange for inspection and extermination.