Pest Control

Do Termites Eat Mattresses? (Do You Really Want The Truth !?)

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Yes, Termites eat mattresses. Imagine you are coming home and sitting in your bed trying to relax and suddenly notice the termites, how irritating it would be ! 

Termites are fond of cellulose. Hence, they can damage wooden beds as well as your cotton mattress and the bedsheets. The substances made from cellulose are prone for termite damage. For example, cotton flax , hemp, ramie, jute and rayon are prone for termite damage. Termites do not have any harmful effect on humans. However they can bite humans. You  will feel the Termites stings the same way you feel the mosquito stings. 

The stings will vanish in two days’ time.  If Termites have invaded your bed, you should not sleep on it simply because they will not sleep you peacefully. In case if you do not attend to it, they will spread among your furniture and the rest of the structure of the entire house. If you were suffering from this issue and were wondering how to get rid of this menace, this article will be useful for you.

I will be covering the most common signs of the Termites attack on a bed, ways of getting rid of them this article.

Termites Eat Mattresses

Can termites live in a mattress?

Termites eat mattresses and live in a mattress. Especially if it is made using plant fiber. Termites would prefer to live in those areas. If termites live in a mattress you can ascertain that by the following signs. If you can spot any pinholes in the bedsheet or in the mattress, it could be due to termite invasion. In addition to wood, termites can invade the mattresses well. 

You can find cellulose in materials such as cotton rayon, ramie, jute, flax and hemp. Hence termites are tempted to eat those. 

When they start to feed the cellulose on these fabrics, you will see how the small holes start to appear in the mattresses. This is what you call pinholes as per the pest control language. Apart from the above, if there are discarded wings on the bed sheet or mattress it could also be due to termite attack. 

When the termites lack food and space they come out and try to come out and end up mating at that time itself. This will leave discarded wings on the mattress. Hence if you spot any discarded wings on the bedsheet , you can presume that termites are present in the mattress.

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Apart from the above, if you can spot any sawdust mounds on the mattress, that could also be due to termite attack. 

If you could spot any sawdust, it could also be due to a termite attack on your mattress. However, keep in mind that termites will not directly land on the mattresses. Instead, they will first attack the wood bed, ceiling or any other older wooden structure at  your home.

How do you get rid of termites in your bed?

If there are Termites on your wooden bed, mattress or on your bed sheet, you can overcome this naturally.

Use Sunlight

Termites are fond of moisture. Hence exposing them to sunlight is an easy way of getting rid of them. Whenever you spot any Termites on your bed sheet, the mattress you can leave is exposed to sunlight for 4-5 hours. However, you can do this trick only if the Termites are in the bed only. if they have invaded your walls, furniture and ceiling, it is very unlikely that you can overcome them.

Use Vinegar

You can use vinegar which contains acetic acid to repel termites. Hence best is to use white vinegar. The white vinegar which is available in the stores for consumption contains 3- 4 % acetic acid only. 

However, in order to kill Termites, there should be 15% – 20% acetic acid.

Those white vinegar are usually meant for cleaning purposes only and those are not appropriate for consumption. When applying, you have to take half of a cup of vinegar and mix it with  two parts of  lemon juice. After that  apply it on the infected areas.

Sodium Borate or Borax Powder

Usually, we use Borax powder for laundry and you may use them to kill the termites. You can follow the same steps which you do with the vinegar method when applying the sodium borate.( Borax powder).

Orange Oil

D-limonene is harmful for termites and orange oil includes that and it will help to eliminate the termites. This element draws the moisture in the Termites body, and it would make the termites die. All you have to do is to  apply it on  the affected areas.

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Nematodes

Nematodes are a set of worms, and you will mainly spot them as natural pests in organic farming. These could be fatal on the Termites. Nematodes will feed on the Termites and will reproduce as well. They will eat all the Termites and ensure there is not a single Termite left. You can get rid of the Termites within 2-3 days if you practice this method. You can try this method to overcome the Termites attack on your wooden bed. However, avoid using this for bed sheets and for mattresses.

Can termites eat bed sheets?

Termites eat the bed sheets as many of them are made out of plant fibers.

Do termites eat furniture?

To your surprise not all termites do not eat furniture. However, dry wood termites can infest furniture.

Can termites eat metal?

Termites do not eat metal. Metal does not include the cellulose which termites are fond of eating. Hence, they avoid eating the metal. Having said that, Termites can reach the wood through a  small, compromised area of metal by crawling. You may find Termites as unstoppable pests which you cannot overcome easily. However, if you practice the above steps, you can overcome the Termites menace.

Do termites eat food crumbs?

Termites do not eat food crumbs. However, they breed and make nests on the food though. They do not eat food stains, food or even your breadcrumbs.

Do termites eat foam?

As per the research  conducted by the experts , Termites do not eat the foam. However, they will tunnel through them though.

Are termites and bed bugs the same?

Termites and bed bugs are not the same. However, they have a lot of characteristics  in common. Both these are tiny, and it is very unlikely that you can spot them to your naked eye. Both these try to hide from the humans. In fact Termites try to occupy the walls and bed bugs try to occupy the mattress.

Termites can create damage for your interior and exterior structure of the home as they prefer to depend on wood. 

On the other hand bed bugs could bite you and your family members when they are asleep. They will wake you up whilst making itchy skin. One more common feature of these two is that it is very difficult to get rid of them easily. Both Termites and bed bugs are pervasive. 

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It is challenging to overcome them as they are adjusted  and have become resistant towards the  traditional methodologies  of getting rid of them. On the other hand, people do not like to have many chemicals in the house , hence the options you have in eliminating them is very limited.

If you wish to get expert advice  in getting rid of them, you need to consult a termite exterminator and get their advice before it gets further worse. 

If it is a bed bug attack, you need to consult a pest control company

What do termites eat?

Termites mainly eat the wood in the homes and in other structures. What makes them tempted to eat wood is their substance called cellulose. Termites are so attractive for this element. Further they find this element included in the plant materials and in the stuff which is made from plant material. Hence it would be mainly the wood that Termites would depend on as they have cellulose included.

What do termites hate the most?

Termites hate cedarwood geranium and tea tree oil smells. In addition to that they hate clove buds, cinnamon , garlic oil etc.

What time of day are termites most active?

Termites’ most active season is spring. You could commonly spot them after a heavy rainfall as well. Besides, Termites are active at night around light.

What is the natural enemy of termites?

Termites’ natural enemy is ants.  Their colonies try to be hostile whilst encountering one another. Further ants are known for raiding the termite colonies and using them as a food source.

Can I vacuum termites?

When the swarming termites drop and die, you can consider vacuuming them up.

Reference

  • Sellers, H., 2017. Termites. Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art18(1), pp.9-23.
  • Quarles, W., 2007. Bed bugs bounce back. IPM practitioner29(3/4), pp.1-8.
  • Foss, C.R., Daniels, C.H. and Antonelli, A.L., 2004. Household insects and their control.
Credit to : silvermica

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.