For an insect that is only a quarter inch in length, the bed bug is starting to cause bedlam in New York. Bed bugs have been discovered in places one would never expect to find them—like Victoria’s Secret, Nike and, allegedly, the Waldorf Astoria.
Bed bugs are more often found in mattresses and box springs, which provide a safe haven and easy access to their food source–you. “Stopping them in this location is the essential defense against bed bug infestation,” says Chris Denny of BedBugHealth.com.
“One of the easiest things to do is get what is known as mattress encasements,” says entomologist Mike Deutsch, technical director for Arrow Exterminating Company, “which is not just a mattress cover, but is actually designed to completely enclose the mattress and the box spring where bed bugs are often found. If there are any inside the mattress or inside the box spring if you use the right cover they can’t get out.”
“A lot of the encasements designed for allergy sufferers come in high quality cloth, says Cornell University entomologist Jody Gangloff-Kaufman. Don’t choose vinyl. “If vinyl is your only choice, she says, “make sure you have duct tape with you.” Vinyl can tear and sometimes bugs can get through the openings of the zipper.
Protect-A-Bed is a brand that has been tested to make sure bed bugs can’t get in and out of the zipper or bite through the material, says Kaufman. Entomologist Jeff White, who evaluates bed bug products for Bed Bug Central, also finds it to be one of the best. The Bed Bug Protection Kit is water- and stain-proof and features BugLock® three-sided zipper and Secure Seal® which completely locks the encasement in place making it entry, escape and bite proof. The kit includes one AllerZip® Mattress Encasement, one Box Spring Encasement and two AllerZip® Pillow Protectors. From $159.00 (Twin) to $239.99 (California King).
From Comfort House, the Sleep Defender Bed Bug Mattress Cover has a white poly-satin zipper and high temperature polyurethane barrier for waterproof and allergen protection. The 12″ deep cover starts at $62.99 (Twin) -$ 115.99 (California King) and the 9″ deep cover starts at $59.99 (twin) – $99.99 (California king). The Sleep Defender Bed Bug Mattress Cover is available at ComfortHouse.com.
Bed Bug Mattress Cover 16″ Deep is waterproof zippered and fitted for use on mattress or box spring. Available in four sizes from Twin ($24) to California King ($43).
O.K. Uniform’s Bed Bug Mattress Covers are made of polyurethane, and are the same as products used in hotels to control and prevent bed bugs, dust mites and allergens and are available in four sizes. 9″ (from Twin ($30) to King ($49.99) and 15″ Twin ($32) to King ($52.99). O.K. Uniform Company, 253 Church Street, New York, NY 10013. 212-791-9789. 866-700-5765 (toll-free).