While it is true that in most situations bugs will be located in areas away from the bed, the majority of bugs will in fact be associated with the mattress and box spring. As a result, discarding the bed is a very effective way of immediately eliminating a large percentage of the bed bug population.
Bed bugs can live for up to a year without feeding on anything. If you plan on using only a covering for your mattress, it would have to be on your mattress for quite some time. Bed bugs are rarely seen in daylight. They emerge from their hiding spots at night. Bedbugs are often found in mattress corners. Inspect those areas carefully.
Bed bug images: photos of bed bugs and evidence of their presence: eggs, fecal stains, and shed skins (cast skins) You can click many of the bed bug photos below and you will be taken to the flickr page. Click "all sizes" and then "large" to get the best view.
Bite Back Against Bedbugs. Professional exterminators should get involved right off the bat—tell your landlord, super, hospital administrator, hotel owner, or you call a professional right up front. The exterminator will locate the bed bugs (which may be found in more than one location) and exterminate as needed.
Pictures of signs of bed bugs on mattresses and other hiding places, including bed bugs, eggs, fecal stains and cast skins. These photos give you a good idea of what to look for and where to look.
Mattresses can be prevented from bed bug infestation by using the bed bug mattress covers or encasements. These are impenetrable to bed bugs outside the mattress. If the bed bugs get trapped in the mattress, they will not be able to escape and will eventually die.