Unless you live in the Tropics, you should not fear large bugs in your bed. From microscopic bed bugs to cellar spiders, also known as daddy long legs, beds will attract insects. The reason is simply that your body sheds skin cells every day, and night, which become a midnight snack for some critters! Sweat, pollen spores, dander and other secretions accumulate over time and become a smorgasbord of delicacies for insects. Over 10 years, a mattress can weigh twice as much as the day you first bought it due to this accumulation. So, lengthen the life of your mattress by following a few simple steps.
Use a Mattress Protector
By far the best way to keep bed mites from setting up shop in your mattress is to use a mattress protector. On laundry day, just easily remove and throw it in with the sheets in hot water.
Vacuum Your Mattress Weekly
On a weekly basis, you should also do a thorough vacuuming of the surface of your mattress. Make a solution of baking soda and several drops of lavender or sandalwood or a mix of your favorite essential oils which are known to destroy bacteria. Using a mason jar shake up the mixture and sprinkle directly onto your mattress or by using a sieve, and wait about an hour or more before you vacuum. Tabitha Blue from the Fresh Mommy Blog shares with us how she does it.
Clean Your Bed Frame, Headboard, and Footboard
A regular cleaning of the bed frame, headboard and footboard is always a good idea. Using a water bottle with a mister, mix lavender and tea tree essential oils in water and spray the entire bed and surrounding area, especially if you have wall-to-wall carpet. This will not only smell heavenly but repel insects from crossing the perimeter. Make enough to last the week and spray it nightly. If you enjoy sleeping with an open window, a little spray around it will help keep insects such as ants, flies, and spiders at bay. Adding chamomile essential oil to it will also encourage a restful sleep. Double duty solution! Here are some recipes for a natural insect repellant from Tasty Yummies and Wellness Mama.
Although essential oils are natural and aromatherapy is used regularly in alternative health and well-being, allergies can always exist. Essential oils, when used to sanitize, should always be diluted with water. Make sure that these are safe for you before use. Never apply directly to your mattress or pillow.
I must stress that bed bugs are not your average insect (ant or spider) and may require professional help. Natural solutions are always best for the environment and your health. When an infestation has taken over however, always consult professionals. Make these habits part of the regular maintenance when purchasing your new mattress, to increase its life expectancy as well as to keep you healthy! It’s not too late for your older mattress but, be sure to pick up a new mattress protector and follow the steps above.