What to Look for in Bed Bug-Proof Encasements

If you have bed bugs, encasements are an effective and economical way to save your mattress and your sanity. (See our June 28 and 30 posts.) Be warned, though; not all encasements are equally effective.

To protect yourself from bed bugs, you need more than the simple zippered plastic mattress covers sold at discount stores. These are designed to keep mattresses from getting wet or to help allergy sufferers. They ARE NOT effective in battling bed bugs. If you already have bed bugs, or if you want to prevent bed bugs from getting into your mattress and box springs, you need a specially designed encasement, one specifically constructed to be bed bug impermeable.

Stern Environmental Group sells the only mattress and box springs encasement product created specifically to combat bed bugs by bed bug extermination professionals. We carry Protect-A-Bed’s BugOff encasements which are impermeable to bed bugs. If you have bed bugs, these encasements will keep them trapped inside so they die, preventing them from attacking you or spreading to other parts of your home. If you don’t have bed bugs, BugOff will protect your bed, making it impossible for bed bugs to creep inside and set up house in your mattress or box springs.

What makes Protect-A-Bed’s BugOff a superior product?

  • BugLock. The BugLock zipper is unique to BugOff encasements. It is reinforced on all sides so that bugs can’t escape even if the zipper slips open.
  • Smooth fabric. The fabric on BugOff encasements is smooth, soft, breathable and crinkle-free for your ultimate comfort. These encasements are meant to stay on a mattress for life and are never supposed to be removed or washed.
  • No bug hiding places. BugOff encasements have no seams, pockets or folds where bed bugs can hide or lay eggs.
  • Miracle membrane. Unlike other products, BugOff encasements are coated on ALL SIX SIDES with a polyurethane-based bed bug bite-proof and escape-proof Miracle Membrane.
  • Zipper design. Smaller zipper teeth on BugOff encasements prevent bed bugs and bed bugs eggs from slipping through the zipper teeth.

For more information on how our encasements outperform the competition and to order, click the post title. Prices start at a reasonable $69.99 for standard twin-size encasements. For a limited time we’re offering free shipping with orders up to $140 in value. Click here to order.

Encasements Can Help Control Bed Bugs

Last time we talked about what to do if you already have bed bugs (see our June 28 post: What to do if bed bugs are biting you.) One of the most effective ways of controlling bed bugs in your bed is to encase the mattress and box springs in specially designed bed-bug proof covers, called encasements.

  • If you already have bed bugs, encasements will trap the nasty insects inside an impermeable barrier. They won’t be able to sneak out or bite their way out and will eventually starve to death. (Many victims feel this is apt revenge after having served as the midnight smorgasbord for the little buggers and their friends.)
  • If you don’t have bed bugs, encasements will prevent them from moving into your mattress or box springs. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your bed is as protected as bed linen science can make it.

A mattress/box spring set costs a pretty penny. There’s no reason to throw them out if you get bed bugs. In fact, getting rid of your bed — as much as you might want to — can spread the problem. And it’s most likely that the nasty buggers will move right into the new bed and start the noxious cycle all over again (see our June 28 post). Encasements also increase the efficiency of your pest professional’s control and eradication program. They trap live bed bugs and eggs inside where they can’t hurt you and make spotting and removing new bugs easy. Since the bugs can’t get into your bed to hide, they’re easy to see and remove from the cover. If you have or want to prevent a bed bug problem, your smartest move is to protect yourself and your bed, now and for the future, by encasing your mattress and box springs in encasements.

You should know that not all encasements are created equal. You can’t just run down to Wal-Mart and buy a couple of thin plastic mattress covers. You must purchase encasements specially designed to be bed bug impermeable. Next time we’ll talk about how to select encasements that work.

For more information on bed bugs and encasements, visit the Stern Environmental Group website. We are the bed bug experts and will get rid of your bed bugs — guaranteed! Call us today if you suspect you have a bed bug problem. You’ll sleep well tonight when you get “Stern” with your pests.

What to Do If Bed Bugs Are Biting You

What can you do if you already have bed bugs? First, don’t panic. Sure, I know it’s what you want to do. After all, living with bed bugs is gross, disgusting, itchy and embarrassing. But falling apart won’t get rid of the nasty things. You need to take control! Take action! Get back in charge and get rid of the darn things! We’re going to tell you how.

  • #1 Contact a professional. Bed bugs are tiny, hard to find, easy to spread and hard to get rid of. If you want to completely eliminate them from your home or business, you’re going to need the help of a highly trained, licensed professional with expert knowledge of bed bug biology, behavior, and the proper use of pesticides. Commercial pesticides won’t do the job and may wind up spreading bed bugs to other rooms in your house. But there are things you can do to help eliminate the pesky insects faster.
  • #2 Kill the bugs. Regularly inspect and vacuum your mattress and box springs. Make sure you dispose of the vacuum bag immediately by tying it tightly in a plastic bag and removing it from your home to an outside container. If you have a bagless vacuum, empty the contents into a plastic bag, tie it shut and remove it from the house. Then wash the canister in hot water to remove any bugs or eggs. If you see any live bugs on your mattress, kill them by crushing them. They may leave a dark stain, but stains can be washed.
  • #3 Eliminate clutter. Bed bugs hide in clutter; it’s their safe zone. Pest control measures and chemicals may not be able to reach bed bugs deep in a pile of clutter. You must remove bug hiding places and make them accessible to treatment if you’re going to totally eliminate the problem. So clean up and clear out the clutter!
  • #4 Nix underbed storage. Bed bugs hang out near their food source. They’re nocturnal, creeping out at night to feed — on you in your cozy bed. You want to eliminate any places they might hide near your bed so that chemical treatments can reach the little buggers. That means eliminating underbed storage.
  • #5 Fire up the washer. Linens should be laundered weekly in hot water and dried on the hot cycle of your dryer to kill bugs and eggs. Eggs may not be visible. They’re very tiny and can be dropped in clusters or singly as females roam around your bed — so don’t trust your eyes. If your couch is infested, toss the cushion covers in the wash every week too.
  • #6 Install mattress and box spring encasements. Not only will encasements trap bed bugs inside so they eventually starve to death, but they’ll keep new bugs from getting into your mattress and box springs. It’s important to keep the encasements on, sealed and in good repair as bed bugs can live without food for many months. Not all encasements are created equal. You need one that is bed bug bite and escape proof. We’ll talk more about encasements in our next blog post.
  • #7 Stay in your bed. This is one of the hardest things you may have to do if you have bed bugs. You will have a strong desire to abandon your bed — the presumed source of your woes — and sleep in the guest room, on the sofa, or even move in with a friend. Don’t. If you move to a different room, the bed bugs will find you and further infect your home. If you stay put, you have a better chance of containing the problem until your pest professional has time to eliminate the little buggers. If you move out, it’s highly likely you’ll take them with you to your friend’s home. Talk about an unwelcome guest! Hard as it may be, you’re best off staying put and sticking it out.
  • #8 Don’t throw away your stuff. Another common reaction to a bed bug invasion is the desire to get rid of anything you find bed bugs on or near — your bed, linens, clothing, etc. Try to remain calm. Not only is it unnecessary to get rid of your stuff, but it will simply spread the problem. As you’re moving things out of the infested area, bugs are likely to brush or fall off items and infest more of your home. The less you disturb the places bed bugs hide, the easier it will be for your pest control professional to annihilate those hiding places and the bugs they harbor. And whatever you do, don’t put infested items on the curb. Anyone claiming your discarded stuff will bring home more than he bargained for.

If you get bed bugs, common sense, patience and an experienced bed bug professional will get you through what admittedly is not going to be a fondly remembered experience. But if you follow these tips, you’ll get through it with minimal damage and in record time. We’ll help you. Stern Environmental Group is the bed bug expert, and we will get rid of your bed bugs — guaranteed! If you have a problem, don’t delay. Give our professional bed bug elimination experts a call today. For more information on the biology and behavior of bed bugs, click the post title. You’ll sleep well tonight when you get “Stern” with your pests.

Scientists Prove Roaches Can Learn!

If you ever took high school biology, I’m sure you’ve heard of Pavlov’s dogs. More than a century ago, Ivan Pavlov was the first to demonstrate that animals could learn to associate food with a noise. Pavlov’s dogs learned to salivate in anticipation of chow time when he rang a bell. Humans are the only other species who can be conditioned to salivate (just think of the last time you saw a burger commercial) — until now.

Japanese scientists at Tohoku University have conditioned cockroaches to salivate when exposed to the scent of sugar syrup. Roaches that can learn! It boggles the imagination! I fancifully envision new breakthroughs in pest management. Perhaps roaches could eventually be conditioned to line up and march to the sound of a flute. Like the pied piper we could come into your home, play a few bars and lead the creepy crawlies outside and far away. I’m sure you’d be willing to help out with flute lessons for the gang in the shop.

Unfortunately that’s unlikely to happen. I can’t imagine what relevance science will find for cuing roaches to salivate on command, but some day it may prove useful. Until then we’re stuck with the tried and true methods of removing these pesky insects from your home or business. If you have a roach problem, don’t delay. Give the insect control specialists at Stern Environmental Group a call today.

Roaches bring disease and bacteria into your home and are a primary cause of the increasing number of asthma cases in our cities, particularly among children. Click the post title to learn more about cockroaches and Stern’s effective pest control program. You’ll sleep well tonight when you get “Stern” with your pests.

Watch Out for Ticks This Summer

It’s tick season. If you’re camping with the family or hiking the trails this summer, don’t let ticks spoil your vacation. Several species of ticks can transmit Lyme disease, a devastating illness that affects the central nervous system.

Unfortunately, Lyme disease has many non-specific symptoms that mimic flu and is often incorrectly diagnosed. If you come down with flu symptoms after hiking through the woods, watch for a “bulls-eye” rash, named for its appearance as an expanding ring. Severe cases of Lyme disease can last for years and be quite debilitating, causing dizziness, fatigue, severe joint pain, facial paralysis and a weakened heart.

To avoid ticks and the diseases they transmit, follow these precautions:

  • Avoid vegetation, especially long grass. Many tick species attach to humans and animals as they pass through long grasses.
  • Wear long pants of a light color (so you can see the tiny black ticks) with the pants tucked into your socks.
  • Do a full body check periodically. Inspect your clothing, body, head and particularly your hair. If you see a moving black spec or a freckle that changes location, it’s probably a tick.

If you find a tick lodged in your skin, remove it by gripping it with tweezers right behind the embedded head and pulling gently. Don’t grasp the body or you may squeeze disease into your body. Touching the tick’s back with a hot knife will also cause it to remove its head from your skin. Put the tick in a well sealed plastic bag or container and take it to your doctor’s for evaluation. (You can pick up tick evaluation kits at your local pharmacy or camping store.)

Have a safe vacation this summer and don’t let the bugs bug you!

Serving Up News on Bugs that Bug You!