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Mattress and Boxspring encasement help

(7 posts)
  1. DreDay17

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Mar 11 2012 21:19:25
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    I don't have a whole lot of money to throw around. I have four beds in my home that needs encasements. I'm only able to spend about $20 a piece if even that much. I basically have two twins, twin xl, and king size. I need help on find encasements that will be reliable and with the budget I mention. I understand a king may cost more but please give any suggestions.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Mar 12 2012 4:44:54
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    Hi Dre,

    Please note that I am not a bed bug expert, and my comments here are based on reading what experts say, reading encasement testing data, reading about others experiences with several brands and my own limited experience.

    Many pest management professionals recommend encasements. This is especially true in North America (which is related not only to industry practices but also the design of our beds).

    However, I think most experts would agree that encasements are not all created equal.

    The encasements FAQ goes into some of the issues, but basically, bed bugs need to be prevented from
    (1) Feeding through the encasement,
    (2) Getting through the encasement fabric, and
    (3) Getting through the zipper end-stop -- the hole which is always present where the zipper closes

    #3 seems to be the hardest part.

    Some encasements (Protect-a-bed Allerzip and MattressSafe are two) are scientifically tested to do all of these things well and have mechanisms tested to keep bed bugs from traveling through those zipper end stops.

    Some encasements are not as rigorously tested. Some make claims they can't back up with data. Some companies claim to have data but won't send it to you or post it on their website.

    I would hesitate to recommend cheaper (<$20) encasements or any others not rigorously tested and proven effective. Some tear easily. The <$20 ones I've seen up close have had no way of preventing travel through that pesky zipper end stop. Taping this area is tricky and unreliable by all accounts. (Before I knew better I tried with several $10-$15 Target encasements, and others have reported similar experiences with various brands.)

    You have two choices:

    Spend more than $20 a bed or go without encasements.
    If you go without, you can consider going without on the mattress or box springs or both.

    If you go without a mattress encasement, you may be able to spot and remove bed bugs (and eggs) on the surface of a non-torn mattress. (Note that besides tears, a few styles have "holes" built into the cover, these would be very problematic as it means bed bugs can hide inside. I think a mattress with holes or tears in the cover is probably more in need of encasing.)

    However, going without a box spring encasement, if you have box springs, is very problematic. One way to save money would be to encase only the box springs with good encasements, with the idea that box springs are able to hide bed bugs in a way mattresses can't usually (unless they're torn, per my comments above).

    Even those experts who don't recommend mattress encasements (like David Cain), seem to recommend a secure encasement for a North American type box spring. At least one expert here (KillerQueen) recommends you use a good mattress encasement like Protect-a-bed on the box springs (rather than the box spring encasement), because he feels they're sturdier.

    If you must go without good quality encasements on the box springs, another option would be to eliminate the box springs if you have them (carefully sealing before removal, of course). Lots of bed frames can hold a mattress without a box -- maybe yours can too. This would leave you with a mattress which (if in-tact and lacking holes) would be easier to inspect and keep bed bug-free.

    See the Encasements FAQ for more info.

    (Disclosure: this site runs ads for encasements. We currently run affiliate ads for Protect-a-bed and US Bed Bugs which sells the same brand, and the site gets a small commission if readers buy via those ads, which helps run the site at no additional cost to you. Please see the disclosure policy for more.)

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. DreDay17

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Mar 13 2012 10:47:32
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    Thanks for the reply,

    Though with the protect a bed encasements. Do you just get one for the mattress?. Or are you also provided one for the boxspring?

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Mar 13 2012 12:09:03
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    Hi,

    The priority should always be box spring first on encasement but you may be able to get the same type of isolation / encasement from a roll of pallet wrap, it may in fact be a little more durable than some brands although felting the metal riser would still be advisable. It would certainly fit within your $20 budget.

    However even with that I cant bring myself to use them in treatment and prefer to do quality work rather than encasing work. With the UK services prices being so much lower than the US any branded encasement would add at lest 50% on top of the cost the the treatment and in my experience people are just unwilling to pay that.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.

    "Open minds find faster solutions"

    "Astral Entomologist - because so many people say my ideas are out of this world"
  5. DreDay17

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Mar 13 2012 13:28:26
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    Yeah because I keep hearing that bed bugs can bite through plastic

    Is that true?

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Mar 13 2012 13:50:09
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    DreDay17 - 19 minutes ago  » 
    Is that true?

    No, bedbugs have piercing or sucking mouth parts not biting/chewing ones.

    DreDay17 - 19 minutes ago  » 

    Yeah because I keep hearing that bed bugs can bite through plastic

    I cant recall having seen that once mentioned here or on quality sites. If may be an indication of the low quality of information on a site if you read or hear things like that.

    David

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Mar 13 2012 22:51:17
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    DreDay17 - 12 hours ago  » 
    Thanks for the reply,
    Though with the protect a bed encasements. Do you just get one for the mattress?. Or are you also provided one for the boxspring?

    As far as I know each is sold separately.


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