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Mattress Protectors???

(6 posts)
  1. Gia

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 26 2010 13:10:21
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    I went to Target yesterday and they didnt have that great of a selection of mattress protectors. They only had it for some bed sizes and only 2 kinds: The 1st was specifically for bbs and mites, allergens, water, only had 2 sizes available, much to big for what I needed, and it was $35 bux. The 2nd one was a more generic kind and it had a lot more variety of sizes. Its a vinyl zippered mattress protector but it says its for waterproof protection and that was $7 bux. I bought the cheaper one bcuz it had the size I needed but now I'm wondering, is that one good enuf to keep out the bbs or should I return it (still in package, unopened) and look at Walmart for a better a one? Does it have to specifically say its for bbs?

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 26 2010 13:51:32
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    As with many things, sometimes the price being higher reflects that quality construction that goes into an item. (sometimes not.)

    The $7 ones are probably vinyl, not fabric. Vinyl is more prone to tearing than the fabric ones.

    The ones that have been specifically rated and tested for bed bugs--the ones linked to from this website's tools for fighting bed bugs section--have been lab and field tested to make sure that the areas of most vulnerability are going to withstand ongoing use. I don't remember the specific two brands, but if I were using them in a battle against bed bugs, I would go with only one of those two brands. There may be others out there that work, but they ones that are likely to work aren't that much cheaper than those two brands.

    In most mattress protectors, the weak spot of the protector is the zipper. Since nymphs can be very, very small, it's very easy for early stage nymphs to get out through any gap between the zipper.

    As a result, the only protectors I would trust are the expensive ones that you have to order. (Incidentally, they're probably more comfortable. I had a cheapo vinyl encasement on my futon before treatment,. Since it didn't breathe--at all, sitting on that on a hot summer day meant that I had one sheet between me and the sweat I was marinating in. Not pleasant in the long term.)

    All of which is to say that really which encasement you should go with depends, in large part, on what you're using it for.

    Many PCOs do not use bedding encasements as part of their treatment plan. After all, in order for encasements to be effective, they have to stay completely, 100% sealed everywhere for a minimum of 18 months to kill all bed bugs inside them off. If you have cheap encasements, the chance of an encasement tearing during that time is very, very high.

    One reason I didn't go with expensive encasements (aside from not being able to afford them on top of the cost of prep and thermal) is that I have a cat. The chances of her putting a hole in the encasements, rendering them useless, was just too high.

    As a result, I ended up going with a middle of the road encasement well after treatment was over. I put a middle of the road encasement on the bed to make it easier to flip and inspect my mattress and make it less friendly to bed bugs getting into it. At the time, passive monitors were not available. Now that passive monitors are becoming more widely available, I will likely keep that encasement on since it works for dust mites too, but I'll use the passive monitors as a prevention and inspection strategy. (Since I had thermal, all the bugs and eggs did indeed die during treatment, so I'm not worried about that. I left the encasement off the bed for well over 6 months after treatment.)

    So:

    Which encasement you go with depends on what you're using it for.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of using encasements until you're bed bug free. Trying to keep one 100% sealed for 18 months under actual living conditions seems pretty darn daunting. Cats, daily use of the bed, and keeping that zipper enclosure perfectly sealed, accidental tears to the encasement when flipping or inspecting the mattress and the covers on it or the box spring come into contact with the frame all seem like pretty routine occurrences that could result in starved but not dead bed bugs harboring inside the mattress or box spring being freed to reinfest your place sound like very, very likely possibilities.

    If your PCO is suggesting or requiring the use of them, I would ask the PCO what the plan for killing off bugs inside the encasements is. Make sure you're putting encasements that are 100% sealed everywhere--including the weak point of the zipper--on both the mattress and box spring. If you don't encase both, you're not doing any good.

    If you're planning on using them temporarily until the PCO comes in, then, by all means, choose whichever option you want as durability and comfort are not pressing issues in the way that they would be if you're planning to sleep on top of them for 18 months or more would be. If you only have to sleep on it for a week, $7 is the cost effective way to go.

  3. Gia

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 26 2010 14:32:12
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    Well heres the thing: I'm not yet a 100% positive that I have bbs, but but my sisters house is absolutely infested and a bb fell out of her sons sweater recently when they were here! I saw it with my own eyes! Then I found one in my sons crib a few days ago (got it in a jar) and my sister and her son were here the day before that. My son has bites on the bottom of both feet, maybe 6 or 7. I haven't got any new bites, got about 7 total, and other then that, I haven't seen nothing. I've taken all the neccessary precautions, and I vacum 1-2 Xs a day, I inspect his room, the couches and nothing. Even when I took all the bedding off his bed when I found the one, as I put it in the hot water in the washer, I looked at them and once again saw nothing. Its driving me nuts but this site helps A LOT. Currently I have my sons bed wrapped in big black garbage bags (its a crib, hes almost 2 yrs old) and that was just temporary till I bought a real matterss protector, but you say maybe I shouldn't put it on just yet anyway? I don't know bcuz this is all fairly new to me and I just know what I read on the internet. I think I'd be fooling myself to think I don't have them at this point tho. Its a pretty expensive process towards getting rid of them sounds like.

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 26 2010 14:57:21
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    If you're trying to find out if you have them, I think that using something like ClimbUp interceptors on all the beds, including your son's crib/bed is a much better plan than going to mattress protectors.

    It might even be cheaper.

    Climb ups go under the feet of beds so that if bugs are traveling from somewhere else to the bed, they get trapped in the device. It also preserves the bug so that you have proof to give to a PCO for professional identification and treatment.

    Do keep in mind that bed bug bites can take up to 9 days between the time a person is bitten and the time the bite shows up on the skin, esp. early on in a person's exposure to bed bugs. I now remember your post about the bug in the sweater, but if you or your kids have been in her house any time in the 9 days leading up to when you first saw bites on you or your kids, you might have been bitten there and not in your own home.

    Monitoring to see if you've got a problem is probably the best plan right now.

    I just want people to understand how to use encasements effectively. They won't prevent an infestation. Bed bugs don't always harbor in beds. They like to be close to a food source, so beds are a good bet, but they'll also harbor in nightstands, dressers, even clock radios if the bed isn't accessible to them for some reason.

  5. Gia

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 26 2010 15:08:06
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    Yeah, I read they will pretty much hide in anything, scary thought. I have not been to my sisters place in months, its them coming here. Not much nowadays bcuz the bbs but my neice and nephew called and want to come stay for the week. Not sure what to do. If they do come I told them their clothes are going straight into hot water in the washer, they can wear clothes around here in the meantime. Would that be good enuf or is it best they don't come at all?

  6. eddydaniel

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon May 28 2018 20:38:09
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    Let’s face it. When you have allergies, it can seem like every single thing in your house could be the source of your discomfort and suffering. What is the best mattress protector for allergies that you can suggest ?


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