Investing heavily on purchasing a high-quality mattress is a big step towards improving your sleep health. However, it is disheartening to come across some holes on your new mattress, say, while cleaning it after using it for a few months. These holes might leave you with a sagging mattress which may promote unhealthy sleeping patterns, back pains, and spinal misalignment.
These holes may develop due to severe infestations caused by bugs and mice. Sharp objects near the bed and tossing and turning can also cause holes that may compromise the mattress's even surface. So, if your mattress starts sagging, it may be because of these holes, thus compromising your sleeping comfort. Continue reading to find out more about the causes of such holes and how to repair a sagging mattress.
See also our blog on signs your bed is causing back pain to learn more about how to fix a sagging mattress that’s causing you back aches and pains.
Causes of Holes in Mattresses
As already hinted, several factors can lead to the formation of holes in mattresses. Some of them include the following;
Mice are the primary rodents that burrow into a mattress or a box spring. Fortunately, detecting mice invasion on your mattress or bed is relatively easy. One tell-tale sign is a chewed mattress cover. Mice must chew the mattress fabric and other materials to burrow into the mattress. Surprisingly, these rodents can squeeze through tiny holes as small as 0.5 inches.
The presence of mice urine and droppings on the mattress indicates a mice nest inside your mattress. The surrounding of mice nests is usually messy with the wastes of what they've burrowed into in conjunction with their refuse. So, expect to find foam pieces and gnawed wood around your mattress.
Mice don't like burrowing in box springs or mattresses under constant use. Instead, they prefer a secluded area where they can feel safe raising their offspring. So, if you're keeping a mattress or mattresses in a room that no one hardly goes into, that'll be their target.
How to Keep Mice out of Your Mattress
Mice typically like settling where they can find a decent amount of food, leftovers, water, and warm shelter. An isolated store room with mattresses is the perfect target.
Aside from the leftovers, some of the most severe infestations by bed bugs, dust mites, and fleas may also attract these rodents. In fact, some pests may be huge and can make a good meal for the mice.
If you find mice already residing in your mattress, there is not much you can do to save it since mice feces and urine shall have damaged it. The solution is to dispose of such mattresses.
More importantly, look for entry points through which mice make their way into your house, then block them. Remember to use materials mice can't chew through. If that doesn't work, you can use humane traps or ultrasonic alarms. Use traps that don't kill mice; instead, capture them and release them far away into the wild, away from your home.
Using Mattress Protectors and Proper Mattress Storage
Another solution is to encase the entire mattress with a thick, knitted polyester zippered cover. Alternatively, you can use a mattress protector made of any other material to protect your mattress against these rodents.
Immediately after purchasing a new mattress you don't plan on using soon, it's best to store it in a mattress storage bag made of rodent-resistant fabric.
These beetles may not bite by in heavy infestations; they can chew their way through the mattress sheets and fibers. In fact, the soft mattress foam makes a suitable environment for this beetle to lay eggs and hatch larvae.
A carpet beetle is oval or flat shaped, plus it has a hard outer shell and spotted calico pattern with white and yellow body scales. On the other hand, its larvae are yellow-brown with hundreds of hair. A carpet beetle can be as large as 1.2cm long. Though they can live on your mattress, these beetles don't like residing in the same place with bed bugs.
Vacuuming Your Mattress and Washing the Beetles off the Bedding
Washing your bedding linen with warm water can help remove these mites, their larvae, and eggs. Since dirt stains on bed sheets and pillowcases attract them, there are high chances you'll find their larvae or eggs on the bedding.
Once you've noticed carpet beetle larvae on your mattress, you should vacuum the entire mattress as well as the room. Also, don't forget to clean your bed frame and disinfect used mattress with a disinfectant such as rubbing alcohol.
Frequent Turning and Tossing on Bed
Too much tossing can significantly erode the top layer of your mattress. Overall, this may compromise your mattress's life span.
Kids frequently jumping on the bed can also cause the mattress to lose its structural integrity due to the formation of holes within the layers. You can opt for a permanent solution which is purchasing a new bed, or a temporary fix which involves using mattress toppers and pillows as discussed below;
Fixing a Sagging Mattress
Typically, the holes created in the mattress may leave the mattress sagging. This may strike a disproportionate balance between comfort and support, leaving you still exhausted when you wake up. You may also experience some of the effects of a bad mattress, such as back and hip pain, headaches, and daytime sleepiness. Some of the quick fixes include the following;
Rotate the Mattress
One quick fix you can try to even out the mattress surface is flipping it. Remember, this only applies to a flippable sagging mattress. Also, you can simply rotate the mattress so that your feet are where your head is or the other way around. Since your weight is primarily on the upper body, this will help offset major indents and mattress sags. This technique can also be beneficial in extending the life of your mattress.
Pillows can also offer you more support and sleeping comfort. Simply place a body pillow or a flat pillow over the sagging areas to help ignore the indentations.
You can also counteract the indentations on the surface by placing a pillow underneath the sagging mattress. However, it'll take some trial and error before you make the mattress surface even.
Using Mattress Topper
Another temporary solution to fixing a sagging mattress is using a mattress topper. A mattress topper may help your bed's surface regain its original shape but not entirely. While using a mattress topper to adjust your sleep comfort, it's best to plan how to ditch your old mattress for a new one by setting aside some cash.
If your need additional support, it's best to pick a firmer mattress topper. But if pressure relief and extreme comfort are what you're after, consider going for the softer options. You can also try a flippable mattress topper if you prioritize comfort and extra support, all in a single package.
Types of Pests Living in your Mattress
Generally, there are lots of pests that can potentially live on your mattress. Some of the most common ones include;
Like bed bugs, bat bugs primarily survive on a blood meal, but from bats. From their name, it's apparent that these bugs usually nest where bats roost, like in the attic. Since these bags attach themselves to their hosts, they may move along with the bats to areas near your bedroom or guest room. Eventually, they may crawl their way to your existing mattress.
Aside from bats, they can survive on a human blood meal, and their bites can be too itchy. However, they don't transmit diseases to humans. On the naked eye, a bat bug and a bed bug look pretty much the same. However, one striking difference between them is that a bat bug's flat shape allows it to hide inside crevices in the wall cavity. Additionally, a bat bug is a beige or transparent tan pest that turns dark brown after a blood meal.
Eradicating the Bats and the Bugs
Note that these bugs are relatively more challenging to get rid of than bed bugs. The first step to eliminate them is to get rid of the bats. An excellent recommendation is the Supreme IT insecticide which you can use to eradicate bat food sources around your house. Their primary food source is insects. So, without food, bats tend to travel to a newer roosting with sufficient food, water, and shelter.
Note that these mites aren't readily visible to the naked eye. However, they can thrive well in warm and humid places like upholstered furniture, carpets, and mattresses. Unlike bed bugs, dust mites majorly feed on dander, dead skin, bacteria, and pollen. These mites are known for triggering allergic reactions and asthma attacks, courtesy of their microscopic dropping, which can easily float in the air.
Dust Mite Control
If your bedding is harboring these pesky microscopic mites, wash them right from the pillowcase to the mattress cover in hot water. 130 F (54.4 C) hot water is the right temperature for killing these mites. Moreover, it also helps get rid of allergens (the dust mite refuse).
You can also freeze the non-washables for 24 hours. The downside of this is it won't remove the allergens. Consider installing a high-efficiency air filter. And remember to go for the filter with a 10-12 Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). With the air filter on, switch on the fun on for efficient air filtration. Advisably, remember to replace the filter after every three months.
Related Content: How to get vomit smell out of a mattress
Unlike rodents and the carpet beetle, bed bugs can't burrow inside your mattress–meaning they can't live inside it unless there are openings like those made by a carpet beetle. Bed bugs can reside on and in any mattress regardless of the type, whether latex or memory foam. Notably, these bugs are nocturnal creatures whose activities usually peak before dawn. Their bites may cause you restlessness and sleeplessness.
Bed bug eggs are also another nuisance aside from bed bugs themselves. As you try to get rid of the bed bugs, it might not be easy to completely get rid of their eggs due to their tiny nature. Also, if you have a memory foam mattress infested with these bugs, rest assured your sleep will be less comfortable due to the emission of an unpleasant odor.
How to Exterminate and Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Eradicating bed bugs might be labor intensive, but at least they're visible though small. If you're looking for an effective permanent solution to this problem, begin by cleaning the places infested with bed bugs. You can check out the vital steps you need to take to clean your bedding in our how to clean your mattress guide.
Since hot water kills bed bugs, use it to clean curtains and bedding. Washing clothes—you've found within the infested area—with hot water can also help exterminate these bugs completely.
Before vacuuming the bed, scrub the mattress seams using a stiff brush to remove bed bug eggs and even the bed bugs. Though placing a mattress under direct sunlight can help kill some pests, the same isn't true for bed bugs. The ideal temperature for killing bed bugs ranges between 117 and 120 degrees.
Overall, it's better to know when to ditch your mattress for a new one. Holes can cause a mattress to lose its structural integrity and reduce its overall comfort. Depending on the type and quality of your mattress, you should change it after about 8 to 10 years.
The holes in the mattress may best costly financially and health-wise. While a new mattress can be expensive too, it's worth it in terms of comfort. Check your mattress regularly for any holes and remember to keep it tidy and clean at all times. Another precaution to keep the tiny bugs at bay is dressing it up with a plastic mattress cover. Also, don't forget to store a mattress you're not using in a mattress storage bag.