Dumb question about encasements(6 posts)
I had a dog last month declare my apartment bed bug free, which was great! Except that I noticed when the pest control company came for the last inspection, they moved my bed around quite a bit (which they should have) but this caused the box spring encasment quite a bit of rippage.
It was one of those encasements they say to use on this site.
So......should I be paranoid that to think that there may have been bed begs or bed bug babies trapped in there that could be set free with the tears?
Or would a dog have been able to spot them?
I'm going to re-encase the bottom boxspring with a new encasement from a different company just in case but wanted to know if my fears were just paranoia or not. I haven't spotted any bugs or babies at all and my infection was not that bad to begin with.
You are smart to think of tears in the encasement allowing possible bed bugs out. But here is my take from what I have observed--any bed bugs that have not fed in a while (such as those who might be stuck in the encasement or bed bugs while you are on vacation) want to feed as soon as the meal (you!) arrives. Hungry bed bugs don't stand on ceremony. So if you haven't been bitten since the dog checked you out as being bed-bug free, I'm sure you probably still are.
I'm sure the trained dog would have been able to smell any bedbugs coming out of the ripped encasement. I know someone who used a bed bug sniffing dog and the dog handler tested the dog by having the dog find and make a positive sign about a plastic medicine vial with bed bugs in it that the handler hid. The dog could smell the bed bugs through the plastic.
Parakeets said : I know someone who used a bed bug sniffing dog and the dog handler tested the dog by having the dog find and make a positive sign about a plastic medicine vial with bed bugs in it that the handler hid. The dog could smell the bed bugs through the plastic.
A better test would have been for someone other than the handler to have hid the bed bug vial with both dog and handler out of sight. I'm not necessarily talking about conscious manipulation here, but more on an unconscious level. In other words, the "Ouija board principle" where the handler could be transmitting signals to the dog on an unconscious level.
Wonder if such testing has ever been done with the dogs?
You've already gotten a lot of good info, but I wanted to reiterate a key point:
Whether or not you need to replace the encasements really depends on what you're using them for.
Encasements can serve a variety of functions. Some people use them to trap live bugs inside until those bugs are starved to death. This takes a very, very long time. I agree with Parakeets. If there were bugs that hungry, and the cover ripped, you'd have been feasted on immediately.
Encasements can also make the bed (if used on mattress and box spring) easier to inspect and/or less hospitable to bugs to make any new possible infestations easier to treat (since the mattress and box spring shouldn't get infested).
However, all those strategies really rely on the encasements staying 100% intact.
Because I have a cat, and because I think declawing is cruel, and because short of declawing, all methods of keeping cats from poking holes in encasements are subject to failure, I decided not to use encasements as a major part of my long term strategy.
I have an encasement--a middle of the road one--on the bed. I keep it on there because I figure increased exposure to dust mites isn't good. It does make inspection of the mattress easier.
I don't have one on the box spring because my cat really likes to use her claws on that, so it would be kind of pointless.
It sounds to me, from the evidence, that the encasement isn't protecting you from hungry bugs. The question then is whether you want to use one as part of a prevention/inspection/deterrent strategy. That's an answer that you're better qualified to answer than most of us, I suspect, as there isn't one universally agreed upon strategy for that.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the help everyone. I haven't re-encased but I haven't been bitten either and I see absolutely no new black spots on the wall so I think I'm safe.
I'm going to buy a new case (maybe a vinyl one since the one on top is vinyl and never ripped) just in case because I'm not sure if my neighbors may have bugs and its just makes me feel better.
Thanks again, love this forum, it's a lifesaver!
The vinyl encasement may not rip but be sure to tape the zipper end stop, as this is a location where bed bugs can enter or exit most encasements.
The ones usually recommended here (such as Protect-a-Bed AllerZip and MattressSafe) have mechanisms preventing bed bugs getting into or out of the end stops, and have been independently tested to keep bed bugs in or out.
They are not tear-proof, however. Any encasement can tear, unfortunately, and you have to take steps to ensure they don't, and to tape them immediately if they do.
Encasements without a mechanism protecting the space at the zipper end stop cannot be relied on to keep bed bugs in or out. Tape works but can come off, and then it's as bad as having a tear.
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