Bed Bug Mattress Encasements

by nobugsonme on June 10, 2008 · 82 comments

If you have bed bugs, many pest management professionals and entomologists recommend encasing your mattress in a high-quality encasement that is designed and tested to keep bed bugs in. If you do not yet have bed bugs, an encasement may be a good preventive measure for keeping bed bugs out of your box springs and mattress.

The use of encasements is not without controversy. We are aware of several highly respected UK bed bug experts (namely Richard Naylor of the University of Sheffield and David Cain of Bed-bugs.co.uk), who don’t recommend encasing mattresses. However, at this writing (8/2011), I can’t think of any North American PCOs or entomologists who generally recommend against encasements.

The design of beds may play into this: keep in mind that UK beds tend not to have US-style box springs, and that box springs are notorious for harboring bed bugs. And British-style divan beds tend to have wheels attached, which makes them impossible to encase.

The argument for encasement use:

  • Secure encasements may protect the value of a mattress and box springs.
  • While encasements will not prevent bed bugs from harboring on top of an encased mattress or box springs, encasements can make it easier to inspect the mattress or box, and remove bed bugs from the surface.
  • Box springs (or torn mattresses) are very vulnerable to becoming bed bug harborages, and it is difficult to inspect them or eliminate bugs which may be inside them.
  • If bed bugs are in your box springs (or torn mattress), a secure encasement should keep them inside and prevent those trapped bugs from biting you.
  • If bed bugs are not inside your box springs (or torn mattress), a secure encasement will prevent them from setting up harborage there.

The argument against encasements:

  • Some styles of bed (e.g. UK-style divan beds with wheels attached to a kind of box spring — see this photo for an example) can’t be encased.
  • Encasements do not prevent bed bugs from biting you in bed.  They can still live on the encasement or live elsewhere in the room and climb onto it.
  • Bed bugs should not be able to live inside mattresses unless they are torn or otherwise damaged.  (This does not apply to box springs, however.)
  • Poorly designed mattress or box spring encasements, or those which are torn, can give a false sense of security, and may allow bed bugs harboring inside to continue feeding.
  • If cats with claws are present, they may tear encasements, rendering them useless and creating the scenario described in the previous point. (Note that cats may also make it more likely your mattress itself has tears in it — and that is also a problem.)

Click the following link to read discussions tagged as being about “encasements” on our forums.

My own sense gathered from the input of various experts is that the vulnerability of North American-style box springs means they should be securely encased.  (As you’ll see below, some experts recommend this be done with mattress encasements, which may be better-designed in some cases than those marketed as box spring encasements.)

And while using a mattress encasement does not prevent you from getting bed bugs in your home, if kept intact, it will keep them on the encasement surface and prevent bed bugs from harboring on and leaving fecal stains on the mattress itself — and the staining in particular is something many people would like to avoid, especially on a nice or newer mattress.

If your pest management professional does recommend encasement use for your box springs and/or mattresses, make sure you are using ones which have been independently tested to keep bed bugs in or out (more on that below), make sure they are installed correctly and carefully, and inspect them regularly and carefully for tears.

On the other hand, if your pest management professional does not agree with encasement use, and they seem to know what they’re doing, then I would recommend you follow their protocols.

A good encasement should:

  • Keep bed bugs on your old mattress or box spring inside the encasement and away from you;
  • Keep bed bugs from infesting a new mattress or box spring;
  • Ensure any new bed bug activity is outside the encasement, and therefore more easily spotted.

You need to encase both the mattress and the box spring (if you have one).  North American style box springs are even more vulnerable than most mattresses to harboring bed bugs. (Bedbugs can get “inside” a box springs, whereas they will only get inside a torn mattress.)

You should obtain encasements before the pest control operator comes to treat your home, but I recommend not putting them on until treatment occurs; many PCOs will want to treat/remove bed bugs from your mattress before it is encased.

Keep in mind that you need to be careful with any encasement to avoid tearing. If you have a bed frame with sharp edges, put tape or felt around them to avoid having them poke or rub against the encasement fabric.

While encasements are available at all kinds of retailers (and from many pest control operators), they are not all alike.

A few years ago, Richard Cooper performed tests comparing six encasements which were being marketed for protection against bed bugs: Protect-A-Bed AllerZip with BugLock Zip, National Allergy Elegance (which as of 2010 has undergone major design improvements; please see below!), National Allergy Classic, Mattress Safe, CleanRest and Bed Wetting Direct. You can watch the videos and read more about the tests here.

To summarize, in the first experiment, Cooper found that all six encasements kept first instar nymph bedbugs (the smallest life stage) from escaping through the zipper teeth of the encasement.

In the second experiment, only three encasements (Protect-A-Bed, National Allergy Elegance, and Mattress Safe) kept first instar nymphs from escaping from a completely closed zipper end stop (the place where the zipper closes). National Allergy Classic, Bed Wetting Direct, and Clean Rest encasements failed this second test.

And in the final experiment, only one of the encasements, Protect-A-Bed’s AllerZip, kept bed bugs from escaping even if the zipper was not completely closed. This gives added protection, since even if the zipper is open by one to two teeth, bedbugs will be kept in.

In fact, Cooper says in the third video (here) that the Protect-A-Bed encasements have to be opened 3.5 inches or more in order for bed bugs to escape. Otherwise, the BugLock (TM) design feature keeps bed bugs in.

Important notes:

There have been some developments since those tests were conducted.

MattressSafe encasements has a zipper mechanism which it did not seem to have during the tests described above.  Mattress Safe has passed independent entomologists’ tests, which you can consult here .

National Allergy BedCare Elegance encasements have undergone significant design changes since Richard Cooper conducted the tests noted above. The tests were carried out by Snell Scientifics (who also conducted studies for Mattress Safe and BugStop) and you can view the results here.

Any encasement can tear. No matter what brand of encasement you use, you must be careful and take steps to guard against this. Here are some suggestions:

  • Consider padding sharp edges (such as those on the corners of a metal frame) with felt or duct tape, to avoid poking the encasement. Don’t try to move an encased mattress.
  • If you have a cat with claws, consider how you will prevent it from poking holes in the encasements. Keeping cats off the bed is recommended. A thick mattress pad on top of the mattress encasement, washed weekly, coupled with regularly trimming cat’s nails, may make it possible for you to use an encasement.
  • John Furman (a.k.a KillerQueen in our forums) recommends purchasing two Protect-a-bed AllerZip mattress encasements for a bed, rather than an encasement for mattress and a box spring encasement, because he feels the mattress encasements are more sturdy than the ones for box springs.

Additional information:

Protect-a-Bed:  This article about bed bug-proof mattress encasements from the Wall Street Journal describes the tests the Protect-a-Bed AllerZip encasements were put through:

It’s important to buy a good-quality cover, one with a zipper that stays in place and doesn’t have large gaps between the teeth, scientists say. The Protect-A-Bed, made by JAB Distributors Inc., of Northbrook, Ill., uses a zipper with tiny teeth and a “bug lock” system, a fabric channel with foam backing that keeps bugs inside even if the zipper pulls open slightly.

In developing the Protect-A-Bed, JAB first tested fabric to make sure bugs couldn’t bite through (they couldn’t), then hired an independent lab to put starved, live bedbugs inside the zippered covers and tempt them with a human leg at regular intervals. For the lab test, JAB made three-foot-long test replicas of its encasements, with foam serving as “mattresses.” No bedbugs escaped during the monthlong test, and the company says the full-size versions it sells are made to the same standards as the models.

MattressSafe also fared well in Cooper’s tests and in independent entomologists’ tests, carried out by Snell Scientifics.


National Allergy BedCare Elegance encasements have undergone major design changes since the tests described above were run by Richard Cooper. National Allergy encasements now have what the company calls “The Bug Shield System”, with two design features aimed at keeping bed bugs inside or outside the zipper end stop:

The BugShield Zipper-Lock locks the zipper tab in place so that it will NOT backtrack to leave small openings that bed bugs could get through.

The BugShield Bug Blocker is an added measure that closes the last inch or so of the zipper from below to doubly ensure that bedbugs will not be able to get in or out of the encasing. The BedCare fabrics and seams have always been impenetrable to bed bugs as well as dust mites.

These design features address the only aspect of BedCare Elegance line which did not pass Cooper’s tests described above. The encasements, like their predecessors, are proven in independent entomologist’s tests to not allow bed bugs to pass through or feed through the fabric or zipper.  The tests were carried out by Snell Scientifics (who also conducted studies for Mattress Safe and BugStop) and you can view the results here.

BugStop Elite encasements (sold in Canada by the Allergy Guy) have also passed independent entomologist’s tests (also conducted by Snell Scientifics).  See this PDF.

Since we have affiliate advertising relationships with Protect-A-Bed, US Bed Bugs, National Allergy, and The AllergyGuy, your purchase via the links below support the running costs of Bedbugger.com, at no additional cost to you.  (See our disclosure policy.)

You can click here to buy Protect-a-Bed Allerzip encasements.

US Bed Bugs also sells Protect-a-bed Allerzip mattress, box springs, and pillow encasements, as well as BugZip products and Climbup (R) Interceptors.

Click the banner below to order. US Bed Bugs offers free shipping on orders over $50 or if you enter code BBFREE in the coupon code box at checkout.

AllerZip Bedding Encasements at USBedBugs.com

In Canada, The Allergy Guy sells Elite BugStop Mattress Covers.  You can read test results for these here (PDF) and a Bedbugger forums discussion about them here.

Elite BugStop Mattress Covers

Last updated 04/2014.

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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandy Prudy July 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Just wanted to mention that you don’t have to pay full retail for the encasements, which can be quite expensive. We found ours on ebay and it really did save us some money. Money to put towards the exterminator.

2 nobugsonme July 24, 2009 at 10:13 am

Sandy,

I am all for saving money. But buying bed bug-related products off of eBay (or Craigslist, or getting them free from Freecycle) is problematic, since the items may have been exposed to bed bugs.

I would not want to buy a bed bug encasement from someone who may have or have had bed bugs.

The site advertises North Shore Care (see ad in the top of the sidebar at right) which has an excellent deal on quality encasements from Protect-a-Bed’s AllerZip line. They also offer you free, fast shipping if you enter the code in the ad.

There are other sources (though I am not sure you’ll find a better deal), but please take care not to buy from a source which may introduce bed bugs into your home.

3 DAM July 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm

The National Allergy links for discounts aren’t working.

4 Michael July 29, 2009 at 11:14 am

I work for the Baltimore City Health Department and am crafting a Request for Bids that details the bed bug treatment services we would like a company to provide for us. We would like them to provide mattress and box spring covers, but I don’t know what quality standards to require.

Do you have any thoughts?

thank you

5 nobugsonme July 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comment.

Encasements should be tested by an entomologist and data should prove bed bugs cannot get into or out of the encasement, nor bite a person through the fabric (for example, if encased inside it). Particular area which poses trouble: the zipper close. Protect-a-bed Allerzip and Mattress Safe have designed various solutions to the zipper coming open. Also: any encasement can fail to protect if it develops tears. Careful installation and inspections, are recommended.

6 jeremy August 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

encasements are very beneficial, especially if you can’t afford to buy a new mattress or if infestations occur frequently in the place you live from cross contamination from neighbors. BUT, beware once you get the encasement on your mattress taking it off to wash is just as difficult as putting it on especially if you mattress is queen or kingsize. plus taking off the encasement will allow whatever is inside to escape, possibly re infesting. make sure the encasement you do buy is strong enough to wash in a machine in hot water and be dried in a dryer and endure multiple removals.

7 nobugsonme August 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Hi jeremy,

If anyone places an encasement on their mattress during an infestation (or suspected infestation), it absolutely should not be removed for 18 months. This is the longest period anyone has suggested that bed bugs can live without feeding.

8 bbfiend September 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Does anyone know anything about Allergy Luxe® Bed Bug Mattress Protectors from Bed Bath and Beyond? Is this a good encasement? Actually, we are buying one to encase our couch, which is a love seat, not to encase our mattress (was bitten by a bb on the couch 2 nights ago after a month of not being bitten!). We’ve had a few treatments by a PCO in the past 2 months.

Any reviews or opinions about the Allergy Luxe® Bed Bug Mattress Protectors?

Thanks, appreciate feedback!

9 nobugsonme September 4, 2009 at 1:56 am

HI bbfiend,

I have not been able to track down test data on this product. I would want to see that the product had been tested in terms of whether bed bugs can get through the zippers, the fabric, or the zipper end stops.

I am not saying the data does not exist, but I have not found it and have searched on the internet. There are many references to the product online, so I was unable to filter through all of these to find such data if it does exist. I would be happy to look at it if someone provides a link.

10 Exis September 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I tried to take care of my bed bug problem myself but it’s not working, so I called a professional. I have a mattress cover and I found a hole in it today. Should I take it off while they spray, wash it, then put it back on after? Thanks for any input anyone can give. I’m going crazy here!

11 nobugsonme September 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Exis,

If your PCO wants to spray the mattress or box with a product labeled for this purpose, then follow their instructions. Nothing should be sprayed on the mattress which is not intended for this purpose, and mattresses must be completely dry (inside and out) before being encased.

Any encasement with holes must be patched. You might use duct tape and keep checking it to ensure it stays patched. Some people might choose to replace it. However, this is expensive. Any encasement can develop holes or tears, and you need to be super careful when putting them on or moving the mattress or box. Sharp corners on the box/frame should be duct taped to make them less of a danger.

12 Exis September 8, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Thanks nobugsonme. I have another question…I have all my clothes in plastic bags. Will the bed bugs (if any, I saw no evidence of them in the drawers, etc) suffocate? And the eggs?

13 Daniella September 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Hi I have a problem with bed bugs, about a month ago my husband found like six of then in our matres, so we kill them and we spray with something that you can buy over the counter. Also I call a pest control people but they had no found any bugs. He gave me a stiki plates to put some hand wormers in it and do that for a week, he say that beg bugs are atracted to the worm and when they tried to run to the hand wormers they will be trap. I did that for a week just to see if we had more but i did not found any. Now we are sleeping in our bed again for 3 days and today I wok up with 2 bites. I don’t know what to do ???? please help me and give me some advised ASAP!!!! . I will be waiting for your response thank you .

14 nobugsonme September 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Exis,

I apologize for the delay in responding.

We do not know how long it takes bed bugs to suffocate, but it does not happen quickly. We also do not know how long eggs can survive in a plastic sealed bag.

—-

Daniella,

Some people have been successful with the hand warmer trick. However, it’s tricky. It could take a very long time, especially with a smaller infestation. We don’t really recommend this method since some useful and cheap products have come out since we heard about it.

You might consider ClimbUps which are placed under the bed legs (if you have a bed with legs) to catch samples. They will ONLY catch bed bugs when they choose to climb off or onto the bed — and it may take a period of time before they need to do this. Each bed bug feeds about once a week and if it is biting you in the bed or sofa, it may not need to climb on or off. Be very patient.

Please read the FAQs. If you need more support please come to our Bedbugger Forums.

15 Alexandria November 11, 2009 at 6:14 am

I recently discovered what I believe to be a bed bug in my bed the other night. After researching more about them I looked for evidence and found traces of blood stains that they leave behind after their feedings on my mattress. I haven’t, however, found any reactions of their bite marks on me. Is it possible that a person can have no reaction to these pests? Also, how quickly do the pests spread and what can I do to get rid of them? Thank you for your help!

16 bedbugsornot? December 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm

my son started with bites a lil more than a month now and then i began to have just a few my husband and other son have not been bitten i did some searching and think that i saw only two bed bugs no blood stains or piles of left overs my son coverded from head to toe with bites and trying to decide whats next treatments to our home may not word since we live in a complex any suggestions as to what to do before we have more problems?

17 nobugsonme December 12, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Hi bedbugsornot?

If you have seen two bed bugs (and are sure this is what you saw), then you probably have a lot more. It is rare to see them.

Keep in mind that people can be bitten without reacting to the bites. Bite marks or itching are allergic reactions but you can also be bitten and have no idea.

You need to find out the laws where you live. It may be the landlord’s responsibility to treat your home for bed bugs. You need someone who is knowledgeable and experienced with bed bugs to inspect your home and units attached to yours on all sides, above and below, and to treat all which show signs of bed bugs. An experienced pro may see signs where you do not.

It may be that the infestation was brought into your son’s room first, and you are now also being bitten, but your husband and other child may have been bitten without reacting.

Good luck and please come to the forums if you want more feedback or to follow up. You will get more responses there.

18 Yesenia Reyes December 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Hi Nobugsonme,

I found this website after searching the net for an encasement for our bed. We recently moved into a studio apartment and since the first week we were here i woke up with bite marks and was itching. Shortly after we started to see them on the walls. We called the management office right away and they sent a PCO twice but they would reappear in three days. It has been over a month now and I don’t know what else to do i have a 1 month old baby that woke up with bites too. We have bought over the counter sprays and we even had to throw away our bed because we found a nest in it. Now we could only afford an air mattress and they continue to bite us. The managers say they can’t do anything else about our situation and the PCO did not check if the apartment adjacent to us or above us is infected since we do see them often high on the walls. Please help us I’m worried about our baby girl and we are a young couple we can’t afford another apartment at the time. Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

19 nobugsonme January 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Hi Yesenia,

I am sorry you are going through this. Over the counter sprays are unlikely to solve the problem, and it sounds like serious one.

In some places, the law says the landlord has to get rid of a bed bug problem in the home (not just try to, but do it).

This can be difficult and usually requires repeated treatments (the usual space between treatments is 10-14 days) and you need to keep having treatments until the problem is totally gone. The landlord’s PCO should be checking attached units (on all sides, above, below) to make sure all infested units are being treated.

My first suggestion would be to verify the laws in your city/state (this may help).

My second suggestion would be to contact local officials. In some areas, the housing department takes bed bug complaints for tenants. In other places, you can try to call the board of health. Some people have had positive results from trying to organize their neighbors and demand treatment (it’s likely you are not the only one with bed bugs). Some individuals or groups of neighbors have called the local news media (journalists, tv stations) and gotten a journalist to cover the story. If you want to try that route, you might consider finding a journalist who has previously done a local bed bug story — many are linked from this site.

Finally, if you would like more feedback, please post to our Bedbugger Forums, where you will likely get more responses (and probably quicker ones too!)

20 Angela Owen February 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm

We offer 100% organic cotton 440 thread count, brass zippered, barrier covers. I am wondering if the bugs can penetrate this as we are marketing it as a bed bug protector and I want to make sure it is effective. Our East Coast clientele are panicked looking for an alternative to plastic based protectors as our customer base is looking for all organic bedding. Please let me know if you have done any testing on these.

21 nobugsonme February 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Hi Angela,

Whether bed bugs can get through the actual fabric is one thing. (Bed bugs are 1 mm long at their smallest life stage, and very thin.)

Whether they can escape the zipper or the zipper end stop is quite another thing. Most “closed” zippers probably have a gap which is big enough to allow a bed bug to pass through. For this reason, Protect-a-Bed and MattressSafe have designed encasements to prevent them escaping in those areas.

You should not assume your encasements are bed bug proof unless they have been carefully tested by an independent entomologist to prevent bed bugs biting through the fabric, getting through the fabric, getting through the zipper, or escaping in the gap at the zipper’s end stop.

If you are wishing to find an entomologist to do such tests, we may be able to suggest some (see the Contact Form).

22 John March 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hi Nobugs,

What do you know about LUNA zippered bed bug encasements, They seem to have better reviews on Amazon than the protectabed, but I don’t see them mentioned anywhere on this site? their description of product is also very similar to protectabed and they seem to be a little bit cheaper.

thanks!

John

23 Tammy Fried March 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

My disabled hubby and me are infested. We think they came from our neighbors that got bunkbeds from a guy that said he’d had bedbugs. When we told the guy we have bugs, he doesn’t come around anymore. Hmmm? We live in Las Vegas, NV. Our problem is – we have cats (not supposed to, but we had them before we got this apt. We would get evicted if he knew about them!). Also, we live on a fixed income and can barely afford to pay our bills. He is bitten up so badly on his arms. We have bought OTC sprays, can’t afford to throw out our bed, but CAN’T afford the encasements at all. I got a steamer at a thrift store; thats on hold (steaming) until we protect the bed. PLEASE HELP- now what?

24 nobugsonme March 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Tammy,

Some pesticides aren’t good for cats, and it sounds like the landlord should not see the cats. So if you’re going to treat with pesticides (which it sounds like the landlord would do if you weren’t trying to avoid him/her seeing the cats), do you have anyone who could watch the cats for a few days?

That way, you can get the landlord to treat (assuming it’s the landlord’s responsibility in LV, which I am not sure of). And then the cats can come home (until the next treatment, which should be about 10-14 days later). It may take 3 or more treatments to get rid of the problem and all affected units must be treated simultaneously.

Cheap encasements exist ($12 at Target) though they did not work well for me, even with the zippers taped, though some others have had luck with them. To be honest, I think even the quality encasements won’t survive cats’ claws, and so the cats can be a problem. Steaming the mattress directly and slowly may be helpful to a degree (though may not affect bed bugs or eggs which are deep inside it).

The box spring is likely an even bigger culprit and if you can get rid of it entirely (sealing it first in an airtight fashion, for example in a “banana bag”), this may help. Then you could try to steam or encase the mattress only.

If landlords are responsible for pest treatment in Las Vegas, I really think this may be your best bet. Getting a friend to watch the cats for a few days while the landlord has the place inspected and treated each time would go a long way if it allows you to have professional treatment paid for by the landlord. The pro would know best about how to deal with the bed.

Keep in mind some local shelters or rescues will foster cats briefly for reasons such as this — rather than see you give them up. So that may be a resource for you if you do not have friends or relatives who can help.

I hope this helps and please come to our Bedbugger Forums if you would like more support. You’ll get more responses there.

25 nobugsonme March 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Hi John,

We have not heard of the Luna encasements. We have not heard any entomologists or pest professionals recommending Luna. We have not seen any independent testing data on Luna’s ability to keep bed bugs out or in.

On the other hand, we have seen test data for MattressSafe and Protect-a-Bed, and have seen both recommended by entomologists and pest pros. This — as well as the reports from users — is the basis for our recommending them.

26 Kris March 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Hello,

I started waking up with bites about two months ago, maybe one every other week. I thought maybe they were spider bites at first but started to get them more frequently so i took my bed apart to look. There was no evidence of bed bugs on the mattress but inside the edge of the box spring i saw very tiny bed bug (babies i believe) I immediately took the room apart and threw the box spring out, sprayed alcohol everywhere and vacuumed everything. I threw away my bedding and bought mattress covers. I also took all of my clothes from drawers and closet and wash them in hot water. An exterminator came after all of this and said he couldn’t find any evidence of live bed bugs. He did a preventative treatment to my room. I’m afraid to take my clothes out of the bags to put them back in drawers. If the exterminator said he doesn’t think they’re here anymore, should I believe him? (i’ve had bad allergic reactions that took me to the doctors office because of these bugs…so i’ve become paranoid) Help

27 nobugsonme March 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Hi Kris,

The one “plus” to suffering bed bug bite reactions is that it may serve as a signal your bed bugs — assuming that is what you had — are still present.

I am curious about the idea of a “preventive treatment.” In many places, it’s illegal for a pest control firm to treat without evidence of bed bugs. It may be that you removed all traces of them in your aggressive cleaning/tossing out.

It would help to know how long has elapsed since the treatment and whether you’ve had any bite symptoms since then.

Also, how many bugs did you see? Did you compare them to our photos of bed bugs (see link in navigation menu at top of this page)?

Bed bugs need to each feed about once a week. If you had more than one bed bug, it would make sense that you were getting at least as many bites per week as there were bed bugs present.

28 ms mora baby March 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm

dear nobedbugsonme, i have a pco comming out this week and i have the encasements but i just bought very expensive furniture less then a month ago and it is and awkward shape and im starting to see them in myliving room now and getting bite.is there a way to get rid of them in my couch and if how i really can not afford any new furniture. please help

29 nobugsonme March 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm

HI ms mora,

How long have you suspected you had bed bugs? Have you seen any? Is there any chance they came in with the new furniture?

Your PCO will need to determine how severe the bed bug problem is, and whether they’re in your upholstered furniture.

If you’re not sure they’re in the furniture now, one thing you can do is stop sitting on it. The reason I suggest this is IF they are elsewhere in the home and not yet in those items, then staying off the items will probably (though isn’t guaranteed to) help avoid bed bugs setting up harborage there. If you sit there, you’re attracting them there.

Beyond that, let your pest pro assess the situation and make suggestions. Furniture often does not need to be replaced; the PCO may be able to treat it.. If you’ve had the furniture a month, things may not be too bad at this point.

Also keep in mind that thermal treatment and Vikane (gas fumigation) will kill bed bugs and eggs in your home and furniture. It can be expensive, but it’s an option.

Please repost your question (and feel free to respond to my comments) in the forums where you will get more feedback!

30 MBcowboy March 24, 2010 at 9:53 am

nobugsonme said

“I am curious about the idea of a “preventive treatment.” In many places, it’s illegal for a pest control firm to treat without evidence of bed bugs.”

I would be very concerned about the ethics of any pest control company who would treat for an unidentified pest in a preemptive strike scenario. Simply, you do not treat if you do not identify. There are various effective bed bug monitoring devices on the market. Spraying chemical at phantom pests is dangerous.

Great advice on the heat or gas eradication on furnishings. Yes, it can be expensive in most cases. But it is also extremely effective in the case of heat eradication (we have not had any practical experience with gas treatments for bed bugs in our markets). Only on the rarest of circumstances have we recommended discarding of furnishings. I suspect that unless the bed bugs in her home are as thick as kernels on a cob of corn, the couch can be effectively treated with heat (or gas as the market allows) as we know chemical application on furnishings either contact or residual is, in most cases ill-advised and against label recommendation.

Educate, educate, educate yourself.

31 nobugsonme March 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for your comments MBCowboy.

Thermal is a great tool. And I agree that it can be cost effective — especially if traditional treatments might need to be repeated a number of times, and since it renders furnishings bed bug-free, along with the structure.

Unfortunately, many of our readers have no say in which types of treatment they receive, because they rent a unit from a landlord. Many landlords treat units piecemeal, as complaints come in. They often don’t know much about bed bugs, and assume they’re easily treated. Some do not seem to give much care to the firm they hire or the type of treatment chosen.

And some landlords, frankly, are probably right to forego thermal or Vikane treatments, because they may be aware that some tenants are not cooperative in terms of avoiding future infestations. We hear stories of tenants who’ve been educated about their building-wide bed bug problems, and how to avoid reintroducing the problem, who nevertheless collect secondhand items from the curbside even as their buildings are being treated for bed bugs. It does not take more than one person doing this to foil a landlord’s careful building-wide thermal treatment.

Individuals may be reluctant to use thermal because they are in multi-unit apartments and suspect neighbors may have untreated infestations. This can be very tricky if the management or condo association does not somehow force neighboring tenants or owners who haven’t noted (or in some cases admitted to) a problem of their own to comply with inspections and/or treatment.

Education is key. In my opinion, we need building management industry groups and perhaps even local governments to do more to get word out to landlords so that they understand how to address bed bug problems properly, inspecting all adjacent units (or preferably, in many cases, entire buildings), and aggressively treating all infested units at once. When the message comes from PCOs, they may write it off as “just trying to sell them more inspections or more expensive treatments.”

32 Cathy April 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I really want to encase my box spring but there are wheels attached to it. Do you have any suggestions fot this type of situation?

33 nobugsonme April 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

No — that’s tricky. I suggest posting your question to our forums for more responses: http://bedbugger.com/forum

34 Alicia May 7, 2010 at 4:26 am

I have some questions,first my son’s room was infested with bedbugs at first we had no clue what the bites on him were, the doctors confused it with chicken pox,hen fleas but having cats i knew we weren’t dealing with fleas the flea bites are totally different and they don’t itch as bad as bedbugs until i finally found bedbugs on his bunk bed must of admit IT FREAKED ME OUT so the first thing i did was grab a cockroach spray and kill them, they actually died..we got rid of the bunk bed,and encased the mattress, fogged his room and sprayed the carpet. they were also in my room so we did the same thing, this was about a month and a half ago,always fearing they are gonna come back because they are very hard to get rid of as i read so many blogs and websites, my problem is that financially we cant afford a exterminator, and i know that iam being bitten again, this morning i woke up and was biting by my breast and arm, feels so uncomfortable, i breast feed so i have a new born and iam afraid he’s gonna get bitten..what can u suggest my son’s room have shown nothing yet but i know im gonna get them there again..i just have a box spring and a mattress in my room i encased both, and we bought a metal bunk bed in his room but not sure if that was the right decision..do you have any suggestions? help please…

35 dreadthebugs May 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I need to know if bb can find their way into a mattress even though all seams have been checked and mattress is new with no holes. Also can a bb get into a pillow even if all seams are tightly sewn and fabric tightly woven?

36 nobugsonme May 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Alicia,

I am so sorry I missed your comment when you left it. I hope you see this:

Please come to the forums and respost your questions there. You will get many more responses, and get them faster.

If you are on a low-income there are some methods you can use. We have FAQs on steamers and diatomaceous earth (linked under “specific methods” here), both of which can be useful tools. You have to take precautions to use them safely, and you have to know how to use them effectively. Spray pesticides may also help, but you need to do your research and get the right ones. Some pros on the forums may be able to advise you on this but I am not an expert on pesticides.

Foggers are a very bad idea. They can make the bed bugs spread further in your home, and do not get rid of them. Please do not do this again.

dreadthebugs,

It really would depend on the design of the mattress. My own had “holes” built into the fabric design so the fabric could breathe, and they could probably infest such a mattress. Buttons or seams may also leave large gaps. Remember, first instar nymphs are 1 mm long (look at a ruler for an idea of how small that is) and very thin.

I would personally use a good encasement on mattress and pillows. I know of at least one pest pro who does not recommend them, but most do (you can discuss this and get more feedback in the forums).

It’s especially important to encase a box spring. Take precautions to make sure the encasement does not tear, especially at the corners, or where it sits on the frame. (Some recommend using mattress encasements because they’re stronger than box encasements, but even good mattress encasements can tear.)

Remember also, bed bugs can harbor on an encased mattress or box spring. The encasement should help you see them and remove them more easily, but does not keep them away entirely.

37 GIANA May 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Hi, we realized we were being bitten about 2 week ago, and 2 days ago we realized we had bedbugs!, we actuallu saw them in the mattress. I was devastated. It was late at night and after doing some reserch online, we headed to wal-mart (the only place opened 24/7) and bought a bedbug fogger, 2 mattress encasements – one for the boxspring (wal-mart brand I guess…cant remember now since I threw the boxes already), encasements for the pillows, bed frame (metal- we didnt have one, the box spring was on the floor), new bedding, doublesided carpet tape and the portable shark steam cleaner. We spent over $250.00 that nigtht and went home and did the fogger, waited 2 hours and steamed the mattress, the carpet where it meets the walls, the furniture, then put the encasements on both the mattress and the box, we installed the frame and applied tape all over the legs of the frame. We couldnt sleep becasue where paranoied, but we did not get new bites. I wonder if all we did is enogh? i wonder if we should spent more on the protect a bed encasements, i wonder if the ones we put can be taken out and if are washable, or shoul we just get a profesional exterminator? we dont know what to do? we dont want them to come back. We washed the old sheets too in hot water. Please help me, im also not where I can find a profesional in bedbugs in my area. the ones that i can find specialized in termites, ants and most common insects….thanks!

38 nobugsonme May 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm

GIANA,

Unfortunately, foggers are a very bad idea where bed bugs are concerned. They can spread the problem within your home and do not get rid of it.

I recommend reading the FAQS. After you have done so, please post your questions to the forums. A professional with knowledge of bed bugs is usually your best bet, and someone in the forums may have recommendations in your area. Please do not use the foggers again. If you must self-treat, there are methods which are effective.

Again, please follow-up in the forums where you will get more and prompter responses and support.

39 Tuck Dower June 5, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Hi, we realized we were being bitten about 2 week ago, and 2 days ago we realized we had bedbugs!, we actuallu saw them in the mattress. I was devastated. It was late at night and after doing some reserch online, we headed to wal-mart (the only place opened 24/7) and bought a bedbug fogger, 2 mattress encasements – one for the boxspring (wal-mart brand I guess…cant remember now since I threw the boxes already), encasements for the pillows, bed frame (metal- we didnt have one, the box spring was on the floor), new bedding, doublesided carpet tape and the portable shark steam cleaner. We spent over $250.00 that nigtht and went home and did the fogger, waited 2 hours and steamed the mattress, the carpet where it meets the walls, the furniture, then put the encasements on both the mattress and the box, we installed the frame and applied tape all over the legs of the frame. We couldnt sleep becasue where paranoied, but we did not get new bites. I wonder if all we did is enogh? i wonder if we should spent more on the protect a bed encasements, i wonder if the ones we put can be taken out and if are washable, or shoul we just get a profesional exterminator? we dont know what to do? we dont want them to come back. We washed the old sheets too in hot water. Please help me, im also not where I can find a profesional in bedbugs in my area. the ones that i can find specialized in termites, ants and most common insects….thanks!

40 Deanne June 17, 2010 at 4:48 am

Hello. I’ve seen this site and it’s been very helpful to me. This apartment has been battling bed bugs for at least 4 months. They spray and we do our best to keep our clothes and other parts of the house clean and listen to what the instructions of the professionals are, but for some strange reason they keep on coming back at least a month or two later. I’ve heard and read that they crawl through the tiniest of crevices, I’m just wondering if it is the other tenants faulty methods to follow their orders that lead to the return of this parasitic plague? Or are we not trying hard enough? We bag our clothes like they say to do and we open them and wash them a new.

We’re trying our best at our suite, yet I feel as though the others in the apartment has sub-come to this infection. Should we leave this apartment and find a house and get those fancy encasements so they won’t bite us? Or will this cause an out break at another house hold and just make it worse?

I’m in such distress about the whole thing. Lately we’ve found them, on our clothes, crawling on us late at night. I’ve found two already. And my other roommates have found at least one on there clothing or under their garments biting them repeatedly untill they feel them.

I have such a fear of them, I stay up all night worrying about my roommates and why I can’t help them and do better for them. I know there is no quick cure for this reappearance of beg bugs, but I grow weary, thinking that the time they come in and spray and I come back and I think they’re gone, only to have the rude awakening of these red welts on my body. I just wonder if there is something I can do as a tenant to make this extermination go by faster and easier so there “return” does not happen again.

What should I do, it’s late and I know they’re waiting for me to come back to bed so they can bite me. I just need so much help. I eagerly await your reply. Thank you in advance. (Sorry for the life story.)

41 nobugsonme June 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Hi Deanne,

Encasements are a helpful too but will not prevent you moving bed bugs to a new home, because they can be in your furniture and other belongings.

You say you have had bed bugs for four months. How many times has a pest control professional treated your suite?

(Although I am asking these questions here, I strongly urge you to post your original post, and any follow-ups, in a new thread on our Forums. We can link to it from here so people find it.

You will get many more responses there, and this discussion is also going off-topic for this comment thread. Thanks!)

42 nobugsonme June 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Tuck Dower,

I apologize that your comment did not appear promptly — it was trapped in the spam filter.

Few people read the comments here, and they are really intended to be about the post above. Please come to the forums, where you will get lots of input on your various questions from many people (myself and others): http://bedbugger.com/forum/

My initial response to your questions would be yes — try to get a knowledgeable professional in ASAP. On the forums, we may be able to help you find one local to you. Bed bugs are everywhere so I doubt there is no one who serves your region who can help.

Also foggers are a very bad idea for treating bed bugs. They do not get rid of them but can spread them deeper into your home. Make sure you tell the pro that you used them. They may need to treat the area differently because of it.

43 Heather June 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

Hello, I have read about the devices you place in your outlet to get rid of bedbugs. They send out a loud pitch noise so the bugs are repelled from the bed. They also send some sort of electronic vibration in your walls. Do this devices work at all? Thanks so much!!

44 nobugsonme June 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Sorry, Heather.

We’re not aware of any independent entomologist’s testing data showing that any of these electronic repellent devices work to get rid of bed bugs.

(Remember that even if they did work, “repelling” bed bugs can send them deeper into the structure of your home — exactly what you do not want.)

45 bluehamster July 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I recently just bought a waterproof mattress cover from Meijers. Is this sufficient or should I get a mattress cover specifically for bed bugs/dust mites?

46 nobugsonme July 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Hi bluehamster,

Please read the post above these comments.

Encasements not designed to keep bed bugs out (or in) may not do so. Even encasements marketed to protect against bed bugs are not always a good choice — some are really good at keeping bed bugs in or out, and others aren’t. I think you’ll find the post above informative.

47 nobugsonme July 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

ps for more opinions, you can see previous discussions about encasements on our active user forums, or post your own question here.

48 Jessica July 20, 2010 at 4:12 am

500 West European style hotel in San Diego has bedbugs and worse.

49 Worried September 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

Hello nobugs on me,
My daughter and I have been being bitten by bed bugs for over a month. We didnt know what it was but finally found bedbugs in her room. We have thrown away everything that was in her room and my sons room (even toys), I pulled up the carpet in her room and srubbed the floor around the edges and the baseboards with bleach and water. We had the carpet steam cleaners come out and steam clean the carpet throughout the entire house. We washed all washable items even clothes that were already clean and hanging up. My kids have been staying at my mothers for a week so that I can try and get this taken care of. The exterminators are wanting to charge $950.00. I can not pay that, so we decided to move into my mother-in-laws for a few months. I do not want to take them to her house or to our new place in the future. We are going to throw away the couches too, but I do n ot want to have to throw away all of my hardwood furniture or “my” bed. So would it be safe to buy mattress encasements for my bed before moving it into my mother inlaws to prevent infestation at her house. Also, What about my entertainment centers and coffee and end tables? Will it be safe to move those in without worry? Should I scrub them down with bleach and water too? Please help

50 sam bryks September 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Dear Worried,
Leaving the house for a few months may not solve the problem. I am presuming you don’t own the house as you indicate you are moving to a new house..
If you are moving to your mother-in-law’s home, you might see if there is a firm in your area that will do “heat fumigation” in a chamber or if you move in a closed moving van. They need to be reputable and experienced in this work. Not sure of the cost.
Another option for hardwood furniture is to buy a small steam machine and treat every crevice or seam of the hardwood furniture. Bleach and water will ruin finishes, so I don’t suggest that. The steam must be done carefully and slowly.. A domestic steam unit might cost about $130, and an infrared thermometer about $40 to use to ensure you are treating slowly enough ..
Treat the mattress with steam on seams, and the box at seams and corner protectors. Put into the encasements after you have treated. If you see visible infestation, then vacuum first. if you have a wooden bedframe, then steam this too especially where the rails fit into the headboard and footboard and every seam or crevice.
This is a DIY solution without using chemicals. If you do this with care, you should eliminate all the bed bugs. Treating the house would be advisable, but if you can’t afford the cost.. not easy. If your house is vacant, some firms may charge less as they only need to treat cracks, crevices and dust in voids, but if the infestation was severe, baseboards might need to be removed to enable treatment.
It is best to get a good professional firm to do the treatment.
Hope this helps a bit in your situation.
Perhaps Nobugsonme or others have other suggestions.

51 John's mom September 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Any reviews for the “Sleep Safe”mattress zip cover? It is cheaper than the Allerzip (on Amazon) but it is not mentioned in your article. Thanks!

52 nobugsonme September 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Hi John’s mom,

Sorry, I am not familiar with Sleep Safe. I recommend asking the manufacturer for testing data from an independent entomologist. It should show that bed bugs can’t get through the zippers or fabric. Those tests are easier to pass. It should also show that bed bugs can’t get through the zipper endstop. That seems to be more rare and many encasement designers don’t seem to worry about it.

53 Not a fan of bedbugs October 5, 2011 at 4:47 am

Been suffering with these little critters since 2009. Any way to permanently get rid of them? I’m planning to move out and would love to take my own clothes with me out of this hellhole.
Any recommendations how to make sure I don’t bring these critter with me to my next adventures?
Also how do I know if a place is infested with bedbugs when looking to go apartment hunting?

54 Not a fan of bedbugs October 5, 2011 at 4:51 am

I also tried steaming, foggers, the mattress covers, spray glue, tape, super glue, plastice wrapped on the walls….
so far spray glue (the kind for arts & crafts) works right on contact & plastic on the walls keep them stuck in the walls…
i fear that it is temporarily doing the trick though…
but it seems that they are in the walls. in the floor. and in the ceiling. it’s disgusting…and irritating to constantly get bit… help?!
from, san francisco.

55 BeBe October 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Does anyone know whether the standard, non-fabric Protect-a-Bed Bug Lock encasements are as effective at keeping bb’s in and out as their higher-end Allerzip line? They are less expensive, and I don’t care about the protection against allergens, just want confidence in keeping bed bugs out/in.

As an aside, today is my one week anniversary of discovering bed bugs in my apartment and this blog has provided more solace, clear advice, and sense of hope than anything else. THANK YOU!

56 nobugsonme October 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Hi BeBe,
Glad you found the site helpful.

Did you check out our user forums? You might find someone who can answer your question there — I’d recommend copying this and reposting it there.

I personally don’t have any experience with the economy encasements. I would note that even the high end encasements can rip, and at least one NYC PCO (John Furman, known as KillerQueen on the forums) recommends the Protect-a-Bed AllerZip mattress encasement for a box spring, over the AllerZip box encasement, because he says it’s sturdier. Again, I don’t know how the economy encasements are designed.

57 Sick Of Being Eaten Alive! October 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Can anyone tell me were i can buy one of them things in South Australia? Iv been bitten that bad i look like i have chicken pox =( iv even started to get really bad reactions on my legs and arms. Iv been spraying my bed with Mortein high performance surface spray it says on the can that it kills bedbugs but it also says lures ‘n’ kills. Iv also been using a hand held vacume on what ever i can see. Its working slowly im just sick of being a midnight snack for a bunch of bugs. Exuse any bad spelling please. Its 3:15 am were i am and the only reason im up and writing this is because iv been bitten again! Please help me?!

58 MMC October 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Can you tell me if the Aller Ease mattress protectors are any good? Thanks.

59 nobugsonme October 25, 2011 at 1:09 am

Sorry, MMC, but I don’t know much about AllerEase.

60 Paul J. Bello December 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm

12 -02-11
Only those encasement products that have been tested bed bug proof (i.e. entry proof, escape proof & bite proof) are recommended. Mattress Safe & Protect A Bed are constructed such that the enclosed zipper is suitably secure. Retail encasements marketed using the words “bed bug resistant” are not recommended. Sleep Safe, referred to above, is a newly developed product designed to provide immediate relief from bed bug bites in an infested dwelling. Basically, this unit is a bed bug proof enclosure that rests atop a person’s bed such that the person may zip the enclosure shut once inside. The Sleep Safe then protects the person in a similar fashion that a mosquito bed net protects a person from being bitten except that the Sleep Safe fully contains the person within. It’s sort of like a bed bug proof tent that rests on top of a bed. I believe they are available in crib, single and queen sized units. Yours in pest management, Paul B.

61 nobugsonme December 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hi Paul,
Sleep Safe seems to be a line of encasements.
Aren’t you thinking of the new MattressSafe product NiteSafe?

62 Itchy Witchy December 27, 2011 at 1:11 am

Is it likely that bed bugs will only bite one of two people who sleep in the bed?

63 nobugsonme December 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hi Itchy Witchy,

It’s possible. But it’s also common that many people do not react to bed bug bites.

Some people eventually start to react and others don’t.

64 kristie January 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

i moved into an apartment with bed bugs landlord did and does know i need help

65 nobugsonme January 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

Hi kristie,

There are several issues here. First, in many places (but not all), your landlord is responsible for getting rid of bed bugs in your rental apartment. You need to find out the local laws.

Secondly, in a few places, landlords have to disclose bed bug problems before you move in. (In NYC, you see a form before you sign the lease, noting any bed bug problems in the building in the past year.)

Finally, I am not a lawyer but you may have a legal case there.

A local tenants’ organization may be the best place to start in terms of finding out your rights. You may want to consult a lawyer (and legal aid or pro bono options exist if paying for a lawyer is an issue like it is for many of us).

Please come to the Bedbugger forums if you want more suggestions and support: http://bedbugger.com/forum

66 matt January 10, 2012 at 1:22 am

I’m having a hard time finding an encasement for my 6” box-spring. My mattress is 14”. What should I do? I’ve been hoping I could find a large enough mattress encasement that could fit both my mattress & boxspring. I don’t want to have 6 inches of extra fabric all bundled up around my box-spring :\.

67 nobugsonme January 17, 2012 at 2:05 am

Hi matt,

Sorry it took a few days to get back to you.

Some experts recommend using a mattress encasement for the box spring, because they are sturdier than the box spring encasements.

If you go to US Bed Bugs and click the link for Protect-a-bed Allerzip SMOOTH Mattress Encasements, you’ll find the options include sizes for three different mattresses: 4-8″, 7-12,” and 12-18″ tall. The first would seem to be the right size for your box, the third for the mattress.

Note that the Protect-a-bed box spring encasements (you can also find these on US Bed Bugs) are for box springs up to 9″ tall, so at least in terms of thickness, they should work too.

However, since encasements do tear, I would not recommend encasing the box and mattress in ONE encasement. I suspect this would put a strain on the encasement, and make it more likely to rip.

Disclosure: if you purchase through these links to US Bed Bugs, you’re helping support the running of the site at no additional cost to you (see the site’s disclosure policy for more on that). However, we would be recommending this firm even if that wasn’t so.

68 itchymissy September 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Can’t remember how I stumbled onto this site, but, WOW!! It has been helpful. Am finding out how expensive treating bedbugs can be. If only my daughter had told me sooner how she had bedbug problems in her previous aprtment, she could have saved me alot of money and emotional distress. DIY methods are ok but they only work temporarily and will probably cost more in the long run. A PPC can be expensive but will ultimitely be best.

69 wtfbb September 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Tried looking in the forums for encasement info – but they are all very old. Maybe my question is not simple but – I think we are at the beginning. I wouldn’t call it an infestation – only a couple of bites. So I’m trying to be proactive and purchased encasements. However it seems people need to go above & beyond. Should I assume these things don’t, in fact, live in my bed? I was thinking I could hopefully trap them threre & be done. We’re also washing everything hot & drying twice.

70 nobugsonme September 22, 2012 at 1:48 am

wtfbb,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Bed bugs may be harboring on your bed, but if the cover of the mattress is intact, they should not be living INSIDE it. (Though this may be true if it is torn from age or perhaps a cat’s claws!)

However, as for whether dealing with the bed itself is enough– no. Bed bugs are often also in the bed frame, and in other parts of the room or even other rooms of the home. So just encasing the bed and washing and drying linens and clothing on hot is not necessarily going to do the trick.

Sorry for the delay in responding — please come to our active user forums if you have additional questions– click the FORUMS button at the top of the page.

itchymissy,

I’m so glad you found this site helpful! I hope your bed bug problems are gone soon.

71 Bettyel October 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Can one use an electric mattress pad on a mattress encased with plastic?

72 nobugsonme November 7, 2012 at 12:03 am

Bettyel,

Sorry for the delay in responding. You should contact the encasement manufacturer about this question.

73 Njpirate November 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I have hired an ppc and they did a first treatment today while cleaning I found, bed big skin shedding does this mean, there still bed bugs in my apartment or, the treatment is working.

74 nobugsonme November 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

Pirate,
You should not assume the cast skin hasn’t been there a while.
However, if your first treatment was today, you probably still have bed bugs. Even when one treatment is sufficient, it will take some time for them all to cross poison and die. If bed bugs persist, you will need more treatments spaced 10-14 days apart, until they’re all gone. Please read our FAQs!

75 lindy December 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

Millions of these parasites seemed to appear overnight. From the grout on my floors, the attic, these parasites are not only on my clothes, they are inside the legs and arm sleeves. Cast skin, eggs, the odor, the bites, in the stuffing of the furniture, throw rugs, etc …

76 nobugsonme December 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Lindy, if millions of bugs appeared literally overnight, then it does not sound like bed bugs. Please catch a sample of your pest on clear sticky tape (like clear packing tape) or in an empty pill bottle or zipper bag, and take this to a university extension office or entomologist for ID.

If you get a clear photo,someone in our forums may be able to ID it: http://Bedbugger.com/forum

77 Ihatemyapartment November 29, 2013 at 6:32 am

My boyfriend came with two cats who are not declawed… while I’m not necessarily opposed to declawing (depending on how the vet does it – the tendonectomy method strikes me as far more humane than actual removal of the claws) or to coughing up the money for it, Roo is 15 and I wouldn’t want to put him through unnecessary surgery at his age. Dusty is only a year old but verges on psychotic at times – once we move out of our apartment/into a house next May, I’d like to be able to toss her butt outside when she’s driving us crazy (which means no declawing/tendonectomy for her, either).

Our cats aren’t that bad about clawing things they shouldn’t… but the one key exception is their tendency to claw our boxspring. For obvious reasons, that posed a significant problem in our fight against bedbugs. Roo is beyond stubborn and set in his ways – we love him to pieces, but he’s a butt-head at times (when he claws the bed, it’s almost always an act of defiance/expression of displeasure over being told he can’t have something). Dusty’s a sweetie, but ADD as can be – she responds instantly to scolding, but doesn’t seem to remember the lesson you’re trying to teach in the future. It’s not worth the sanity loss to try to train them not to claw the bed when that mission is doomed to failure.

I was really worried about our ability to use encasements in our fight against bedbugs… but then a lightbulb went off in my head – claw caps! I’d heard of them but never used them before – my previous kitty was declawed and with Roo and Dusty, I was willing to accept that they’d occasionally rip into some POS furniture item (right up until the bedbugs were discovered). I’m honestly very pleased and impressed with the caps – I highly recommend them to anyone else who has cats that they can’t or don’t want to get declawed!

My tips for anyone who opts to use claw caps to safeguard their encasements:
~ Do NOT get clear ones! Pick a vibrant color that contrasts with your cat’s fur (and possibly use a pair of nail scissors to trim back some fur around the nail caps to make them extra visible). In other words, stack the odds in favor of you noticing right away if/when one or more claw caps come off (*before* your cat(s) sneak in a claw session on one of your encasements).
~ Wait 4-7 days or so after applying them for the first time before breaking out new mattress/box spring encasements.
I strongly recommend this because the claw caps last 4-6 weeks before naturally being shed/needing to be reapplied… but that’s assuming they’re the proper size for your cat, they’re applied correctly and there isn’t some flaw with the brand you’ve chosen. If there’s a problem with any of those factors, then you’ll most likely discover missing claw caps within the first few days.
Given the cost of high-quality, truly bedbug-proof encasements, it’s in your best interest to ensure that any potential kinks with the claw caps are sorted out before you trust them to defend your investment against your cat(s).

78 helpme January 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I am looking at purchasing couch encasements from a website called mattresssafe. Com and the brand is furniture safe. Has anyone heard of the website before? And is the product a reliable one? I can not find any reviews on them and I do not want to waste hundreds of dollars.

79 nobugsonme January 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Hi helpme,

If you read the article above, it notes that MattressSafe mattress and box encasements fared well in entomologists’ tests. They are recommended by bed bug professionals. I am not familiar with their sofa encasement, but I would expect it would also be of similar build.

Some people on the forums have reported using SofaSafe brand encasements, though again, I have not used them personally.

80 tired February 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Hi!
I have been dealing with this for about 2months. I saw a bedbug on my covers.. killed it and thoroughly searched the rest of the mattress bit by bit ..inch by inch..crease by crease.. pillows. I saw nothing. I removed the covers immediately. I didnt have any bites at the point so I thought that might have been just brought in. 2weeks later I started to get bites. Im extremely allergic. I would have about 3 bites close in range every week. Again I removed my covers.. looked for all of the signs but found nothing. We had an exterminator come in and inspect everything.. he found nothing either. I decided to encase the cover. I threw out my pillows. Did not get any bites for about a month.. but now I just found two bites. I looked all around the casing and found a hole!! I covered the hole up with a massive amount of tape and will putchase a second one. What should I do? Did a bed bug escape? Did it go back in the hole?
HELP PLEASE!

81 nobugsonme February 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Hi tired,
It’s good to be careful with encasements (which can tear) and to seal any holes you find.
That said, remember bed bugs don’t just live on beds. And they can live outside encasements on beds too. So there may be one or more bed bugs in your home.

Bed bug monitors may help you determine if bed bugs are present.

I would not rely on skin reactions. It is nearly impossible to determine what caused them, when and where. Unless fecal stains, bed bugs, cast skins or eggs are found, you can’t be sure bed bugs are present.

Please come to our active user forums if you’d like to discuss this further with myself and others (including experts). You’ll reach more people there and get more and better feedback.

82 How to Control the Termites March 24, 2014 at 11:33 pm

I think mattress encasement is not the right method to get rid of bed bugs. We should hire the pest control professionals and follow their protocols to get prevention form bed bugs.

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