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Plastic sheeting and duct tape for matresses

(5 posts)
  1. uglybug

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jul 24 2008 21:51:47
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    The cost of gas and food has literally left us broke..we cannot afford the luxury 90.00 matress encasements. I have an idea and don't know if anyone else had luck with keeping bedbugs out of the matress: using plastic sheeting (the big construction roll from home depot) and duct tape to wrap around the matresses tightly and duct tape up, then buy the soft zipper dust mite covers from wal-mart or target that are around 23.00. Does this sound like a good idea. I understand that the most important thing would be to securely tape the plastic sheeting so there are no exit/entry points for the little buggers. I have two twin size beds for the kids, and my hubby and I like to sleep with 2 full matresses and a box spring. Has anyone gone this do-it-yourself route rather than buying the expensive type covers. It would cost me over $400.00 to do all beds/box springs, much more than what my landlord paid for extermination, if I bought those allerzip encasements etc. ...the cost of a bite free slumber...by the way, walmart now has bed bug free pillow encasements for 8.99 for a standard pillow..not a bad price.

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 14:35:10
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    I think unfortunately the only way to find out is to try it. Fighting BB in the middle of a crappy economy just sucks. (I spent yesterday at Target trying to budget carefully enough to get through until the next pay day with enough money for food and toilet paper. If it hadn't been for the unexpected expenses of BB, I'd have been fine, but sheesh, it sucks.)

    I think that the plastic if taped tightly enough could make an airtight seal temporarily. Some people here have probably talked about tape and encasements before;I think people have been concerned about what kind of tape to use to be most effective, so I might search the forums to make sure that duct tape works best. I think putting a soft fabric cover over that might help with the other problem with plastic, which is that it's easily torn.

    I think the only reservation I would have is whether you're going to regret spending the money now on cheap encasements only to be resentful later if you end up having to buy more expensive ones. If you're going into this knowing that *if* your solution fails, down the road, when you've had some time to set some money aside over a few months, you might upgrade (Even having shelled out cash for a temporary fix) and you're okay with that, then I figure something now is better than nothing now while you try to save up for something later.

    Also, keep in mind that wrapping a mattress in plastic can make sleeping on it pretty uncomfortable. I say this from experience. I put a vinyl encasement on my futon where I'm currently sleeping, and since the futon doesn't absorb any sweat, I wake up more drenched in sweat than usual. Part of what the more expensive encasements do is act more like fabric, keeping bugs in but still managing to breathe.

    Again, I don't know the details of your finances, so it's possible that you don't have a choice in terms of comfort right now--that there's just no other wiggle room in your budget, in which case my previous point--something (Even something with flaws) is probably better than nothing stands. I'd be curious to hear how it works out for you--whether it's effective or not. So if you try it, whether it works or not, I think people would be curious to hear about the outcome.

  3. uglybug

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 22:55:54
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    This is what we did: we bought the cheap zippered vinyl matress covers from walmart (10.00) and 23.00 dust mite covers. I hope this works.

  4. reepicheep

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 26 2008 17:09:02
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    My experience with Target dust mite covers was not good. The seams on the covers I bought were machine sewn, and since the cover is part plastic, I discovered that when I stretched the seam a bit I could see tiny holes where the stitching went through, which I think nymphs could get through. I can't say for sure the bed bugs got through them in my situation (they were coming from other places by then), but I used the plastic vinyl covers after that (with duct tape on zippers), and just check them frequently. I'd suggest checking the seams on your covers to see if they have the sewing holes. If nothing else, the dust mite covers might help keep your vinyl covers from tearing as much.

  5. BeeBee

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 28 2008 5:06:56
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    Uglybug:
    I think we all have to do what we can do, and what we can afford. Having bed bugs is bad enough. Adding guilt to the mixture ain't gonna help anyone.
    If you can't afford the expensive mattress covers, you can't afford them, end of story. Buy what you CAN afford and make do. Maybe you'll have to use more tape (I've discovered that package tape works better than duct tape--it's stickier and maintains a longer hold, especially if you run a hair dryer over the top after applying) on the zipper and seam areas, and maybe you'll have to check them for rips and tears more often, but so what?
    The expensive covers are the ideal. Not everyone can afford them nor should they be expected to.
    I bought the Walmart dust mite covers, taped up the zipper areas, lightly dusted the seams and covered them with the plastic covers, and again I taped up the zipper areas and lightly dusted the seams. This has worked very, very well on the beds. It hasn't worked as well on the futon (the mattress is too small for the encasements and there are a lot of folds which encourage the tape to sag in places).
    I'm not sweating about it though. Maybe it will take me longer to get rid of the damned things, maybe I'm being stupid or cheap, but so what? These are BUGS. They basically don't have a brain.
    I'll do what I have to get rid of these Fu*****, and yeah, I'll fork out money for a PCO and I'll buy the plastic bags and I'll do laundry around the clock.
    I'll do all this but I'll be damned if I'll allow them to overdraw my checking account or max out my credit cards.
    They can bite me, but they ain't gonna break me (or so I say tonight. Tomorrow morning I just may be sobbing into my cereal. But tonight, ah tonight I feel pretty darned good).


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