Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bed Bugs in College Dorm Room Beds?

Question about the product, BugLock® Allerzip, Bed Bug Encasement Mattress Covers .

Q: "Today on the CBS Early Show there was a segment called "Bed Bugs at College." My daughter starts college in a week and I am concerned about how to protect her and her mattress (an extra long twin) from bed bug bites. What do you suggest? Thanks."

Answer: I suggest you purchase a Protect-A-Bed zippered pillow encasement for her pillow and two extra long twin Aller-Zip BugLock® encasements and recommend that her roommates do the same. Ask for the depth of the mattress and box springs. Most in college dorms are 9 inches for the box springs and 9 to 11 inches for the mattress. Your goal is to have the cover fit tightly but not so tightly that the zipper might separate. These covers are comfortable to sleep on. However, we recommend that you add a regular Protect-A-Bed cover over the encasement in case someone spills something on the bed: you want to leave the encasement on the bed always. In fact, abandon the encasement at the end of the school year just in case there are bed bugs in the dorm.

There are many articles on the internet about mattress and box spring encasements. The main points seem to be:
  • Use encasements proactively: prevent the bed bugs from getting into the mattress and box spring
  • Encasements can help control bed bugs in an infested dorm by keeping them inside the mattresses and box springs, letting the exterminators do their work in the rooms.
  • Use only encasements tested and designed to be effective against bed bugs.
  • Leave the encasement in place: use another mattress cover on top if desired.
  • Protect the encasement from tears or punctures from the bed frame by padding rough edges before putting the mattress and box spring back on the frame.
From the article recently in US Today, "Ohio State University has seen "several incidents" over the past 15 months, spokeswoman Ruth Gerstner says, including an outbreak in May 2007 in three rooms of a high-rise dorm. Workers treated 114 rooms."

And "At the University of Florida's 4,000 dorm rooms and 980 apartments, "bad" infestations are limited to a couple of times a year, says Wayne Walker, who supervises dorm pest control. The school treats the problem with extreme heat, steam cleaning and pesticides."

What is advised is letting the experts treat bed bug infestations that do it yourself treatments usually fail and just cause the bugs to be more resistant to pesticides.

Thanks for your question and we wish your daughter the best!

Sincerely, Barbara

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At November 14, 2008 12:06 AM , Anonymous Geri said...

You don't just have to worry about bedbugs in college dorm rooms. There are everywhere, particularly when you travel. If you're interested here's a post that gives some information on how to protect yourself when you travel

At March 30, 2009 1:12 PM , Anonymous Matt said...

A protect a bed cover is a great recommendation. I advise quite a few customers in apartment buildings and dorms to buy them from Goodnight Moon Futon when I sell them futons.



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