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normal Bed Bugs and Latex

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25 Aug 2016 13:25 #1 by odrunr

OK, I am freaking out. My wife and I have bedbugs in our bedroom. The kids rooms seem ok.

We have a Pure Talalay Bliss mattress, with a membrane cover.

Is my matress safe? Where do I start. I am SO freaking out and itchy :ohmy:

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25 Aug 2016 14:27 - 12 Nov 2018 02:49 #2 by WillyG

I have not had to deal with bed bugs but I have dealt with fleas, roaches, and recluse spiders. I bought the necessary pesticides from www.domyown.com/ Their website has lots of info on getting rid of the pests and usually a number of chemical options from nuke it and come back in a few days to spray and sleep there a couple hours later.

I am not associated with the above-mentioned company, only a happy customer.

Last Edit: 12 Nov 2018 02:49 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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25 Aug 2016 16:15 - 12 Nov 2018 02:52 #3 by Phoenix

Hi odrunr,

I'm sorry to hear about your bed bug issue.

As you have discovered there is no mattress and no home that is immune from a bed bug infestation because they are generally hitchhikers into your home.

From Wikipedia here ...

Dwellings can become infested with bed bugs in a variety of ways, such as:

-Bugs and eggs inadvertently brought in from other infested dwellings on a visiting person's clothing or luggage;
-Infested items (such as furniture, clothing, or backpacks) brought in;
-Nearby dwellings or infested items, if easy routes are available for travel (through duct work or false ceilings);
-Wild animals (such as bats or birds)[15][16] that may also harbour bed bugs or related species such as the bat bug;
-People visiting an infested area (e.g. dwelling, means of transport, entertainment venue, or hotel) and carrying the bugs to another -area on their clothing, luggage, or bodies.


There is a lot of good information on the web about getting rid of bedbugs and a couple of the better sites are here and here .

Another one of the better sites I've found about bedbugs is here . They have some good information about encasements and some brand testing here and there is also an active and informative forum here .

The initial steps I would take are ...

I would call a professional pest control service that is experienced with bed bugs unless you are completely confident that you can deal with it on your own using the suggestions in the websites I linked.

If you live in an apartment I would also call the owner or management right away because they will likely need to disinfect any other apartments that have bed bugs as well.

Remove all your sheets and bedding and pillows from your bed along with any clothes and other smaller items that could be hiding bedbugs in the infected room and any surrounding areas that you suspect may also be infected and put them in sealed plastic bags.

Washing and drying on the highest heat cycle will generally kill bud bugs and their larvae and eggs and what can't be washed and/or dried on the highest heat setting will need to be disinfected in one of the other ways that are suggested on the sites I linked or thrown away.

I would purchase and encase your mattress in a mattress encasement that is bed bug proof and keep it on the mattress until all the bed bugs and larvae inside it are dead (possibly over a year). This will keep the bed bugs in your mattress from biting you and will prevent any additional bed bugs from getting into your mattress.

I would carefully inspect and vacuum all the areas in the room and surrounding areas that could be hiding bed bugs and then seal the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag and throw it away.

After this I would follow the additional steps in the websites I linked or follow the instructions of the pest control company you contact.

Phoenix


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Last Edit: 12 Nov 2018 02:52 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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22 Oct 2016 18:40 - 22 Oct 2016 18:54 #4 by steelwindmachine

Any updates on this?

I'm about to make a mattress purchase and have been dialing in on latex mattresses. I am now concerned about the recommend layer rotate/flip maintenance schedule is going to negate the integrity of a bed bug encasement. Since to perform this maintenance you have to open the encasement. Protecting the mattress from the constant threat of bed bugs (my wife takes public trans to NYC every day) is absolutely necessary for us. Opening the encasement defeats the protective purpose.

Unless someone can comment to the contrary, it seems like the advantages of a multi-layer Dunlop or Talalay split/mono layered mattresses don't seem to play well with the point of a bed bug mattress encasement.

My alternate go-to is going to be a Shovlin Tri-Zone inner-spring mattress with a separate 2"-3" Talalay or Dunlop topper. This will allow me to encase the mattress for the duration of the encasement's and/or mattress's life-span. I can still carefully rotate and flip the mattress without having to open up the encasement.

And of course, whether it's a foundation or box spring, it'll get it's own encasement that stays on for life unless removal is absolutely necessary.

I'd love to just go for an all latex mattress, but if the layer integrity will be compromised by not being able to internally rotate/flip, then it might be a no go, no?


- Dan G.
Last Edit: 22 Oct 2016 18:54 by steelwindmachine.

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23 Oct 2016 15:33 #5 by Phoenix

Hi steelwindmachine.

I am now concerned about the recommend layer rotate/flip maintenance schedule is going to negate the integrity of a bed bug encasement.


This really wouldn’t be an issue, in my opinion. A true encasement for bedbugs prevents bed bugs from getting into or out of the mattress once the encasement is on the mattress. Most latex manufacturers don’t recommend rotating on a monthly basis (although you certainly could) – it less frequent than that. For the few times a year that you would want to rearrange your latex layers (or even if you rearrange the layers for a personal preference change), you’ll be just fine.

If you’re concerned that you have bed bugs all around your mattress, I would remove all of the sheets and do a vacuum cleaning on the mattress (which should already be encased in your bedbug encasement), as well as all around the mattress. Unzip your cover (there are bedbug covers that allow just the top panel of the encasement to be removed and these are the easiest for maintenance), rearrange your latex layers and then zip the cover back up. That should take all of five minutes. If a bedbug fell into your mattress, it wouldn’t be able to escape and bite you once you zippered the cover back up and it would eventually perish.

Personally, I wouldn’t have a concern once I had acquired the bedbug encasement and started using it.

Phoenix


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23 Oct 2016 16:04 - 23 Oct 2016 16:12 #6 by steelwindmachine

Firstly, while maybe not recommended by all latex mattress retailers, Spindle specifically gave an external rotate and internal layer rotate/flip schedule: "Our mattress cannot be flipped. We recommend you rotate the mattress every 3 months; open the mattress and rotate the top layer every 6 months; every year, unzip the top, hang it in the sun and rebuild your mattress. The mattress will feel different than it did the night before and not necessarily bad." Their mattress utilizes Mountain Top Foam's Dunlop.

Secondly, while we don't have bed bugs now, we just want to be sure to protect our mattress and box spring/foundation from a potential re-infestation. Any time the encasement is opened up, you're exposing the inside of the mattress to potential contamination by eggs or larvae if any are present. However, since studies have shown that bed beds can survive for nearly 400 days without having had even a drop of blood, anytime we open the encasement within that period is a potential time for live bed bugs to escape and go places where they can get more food...from us. =\

Also, vacuuming up is yet another PITA since then the vacuum needs to be decontaminated. It's just a tedious chain reaction of quarantine and control when or if anything minute is detected.

I'm probably just being overly paranoid, but if you haven't gone through the experience, it may be hard to relate. It's terrible and everything and anything you've touched, used or within proximity to an outbreak becomes either a treatment victim and if it can't be treated, then it's likely trash.

If by chance we did have another infestation, I'm also wondering whether or not the bed bud treatment chemicals might damage latex if sprayed. We had to use Bedlam aerosol spray along with a professional applied liquid spray and essentially saturate most of the mattress seams and the entire box spring. The Bedlam contains:
3-phenoxybenzyl-(1RS, 3RS, 1RS, 3SR)-2, 2-dimethyl-3-(2-methylprop-1-enyl) cyclopropanecarboxylate - 0.40% ,*N-Octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide - 1.60%

I just haven't found much in the way of peoples' experiences with bed bugs and latex mattresses and want to be confident in purchasing a mattress system that not only is comfortable, versatile and long lasting, but also is manageable when it comes to dealing with pests.


- Dan G.
Last Edit: 23 Oct 2016 16:12 by steelwindmachine.

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23 Oct 2016 22:46 #7 by Phoenix

Hi steelwindmachine,

Firstly, while maybe not recommended by all latex mattress retailers, Spindle specifically gave an external rotate and internal layer rotate/flip schedule:


You are correct that some manufacturers recommend more frequent rotations of their latex foam layers. Some recommend none. You certainly won’t hurt the product by taking it apart and “freshening” up the layers by rotating, and this can certainly extend the comfort life.

Secondly, while we don't have bed bugs now, we just want to be sure to protect our mattress and box spring/foundation from a potential re-infestation.


You’re correct. Any time you remove the cover, you expose the product to the potential for the admission of a myriad of items.

I'm probably just being overly paranoid, but if you haven't gone through the experience, it may be hard to relate.


I don’t think having gone through the experience of having bedbugs is necessary to understand your concerns. And it seems that as part of your PPP in selecting a mattress, it is very important that you be able to keep it sealed in a bedbug proof container for the useful life of the product. This is your mattress, so only you can relate what is most important. As I related, I personally would not have a concern for the short period of time my cover was off of my mattress, but your opinion is the one that matters the most in this situation.

If by chance we did have another infestation, I'm also wondering whether or not the bed bud treatment chemicals might damage latex if sprayed.


I’m not personally aware of any studies that have been done on the effects of the chemical you mentioned on latex foam, but, personally, I’d be much more concerned with spraying a chemical upon any foam within a mattress than the potential for things to get in my mattress when removing a cover, not only for the potential inhalation of that chemical over time but for the potential negative impact it may have upon the comfort life of the latex foam. If you chose a mattress that you could keep a cover on for the entire useful life, then you should not have to worry about either getting anything into the mattress or the chemical treatment to the foam.

I just haven't found much in the way of peoples' experiences with bed bugs and latex mattresses and want to be confident in purchasing a mattress system that not only is comfortable, versatile and long lasting, but also is manageable when it comes to dealing with pests.


I don’t know that you are going to come up with too much information about the very specific concern you have about rearranging latex layers and the potential for bed bugs getting inside during the process. I can only relate my experiences with people using bedbug covers and retailers selling them, with many of these people being exposed more frequently to bedbugs (like fire fighters), and I’ve never come across anyone with your specific concern. But just because it’s not a common concern doesn’t mean that it’s not important to you. And that’s what matters most.

Phoenix


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24 Oct 2016 05:53 #8 by steelwindmachine

Phoenix,

Thank you for the reassurance and insight. I really do appreciate it!

Surely your perspective is quite rational and sensible.

I'll need to look into some current encasements and see what I can find where the zipper seals, but would allow easy access to the top of the mattress for layer maintenance.


- Dan G.

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24 Oct 2016 13:11 #9 by Phoenix

Hi steelwindmachine,

Thank you for the reassurance and insight. I really do appreciate it!


You’re welcome!

Surely your perspective is quite rational and sensible.


I like to think so! ;)

I'll need to look into some current encasements and see what I can find where the zipper seals, but would allow easy access to the top of the mattress for layer maintenance.


In case you haven’t already found it, here’s some information about mattress protectors in post #89 here .

I’ll look forward to learning about what you decide to do.

Phoenix


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24 Oct 2016 13:45 - 24 Oct 2016 13:46 #10 by steelwindmachine

To further help allay my concerns I called my pest control technician who was the primary on treating our home for bed bugs to get his insight on the matter.

Basically, since my wife and I are so proactive and regularly check our sleeping areas, furniture, clothing, have a quarantine procedure for new/old clothes, travel paraphernalia and have under-bed frame foot bug detector dishes, we shouldn't have any problems with periodically opening up an encasement to perform latex mattress layer maintenance.

We also deduced that since the ability to open up the mattress was possible, that it could allow for a more thorough inspection and/or treatment when or if necessary. Should anything become questionable, the components could be individually treated or replaced as necessary.

Additionally, since the mattress can be disassembled, it makes it easier to manage than a one-piece king latex or innerspring unit. My back would be glad to only have to wrestle with smaller, lighter components too.

This same ideology would apply to the typical built-up foundations supplied with these mattresses. We had to rip off the felt layer on the bottom of our existing box spring to allow it's guts to be treated. With the built-up foundations, we'd just carefully inspect and remove the cover, treat that, and then easily hose down the bare wood frame.

We currently use Safe Rest Premium encasement products for our inner-spring mattress and box spring. We would use the same brand and model for our new mattress system. They're not perfect, but they're apparently one of the best in terms of features compromise when compared to their competitors. I did read through that post #89.

So thanks to you Phoenix and my bug man Bill, I'm now confident that latex mattresses are in the clear for consideration. I'll just need to explain to my wife so she understands.


- Dan G.
Last Edit: 24 Oct 2016 13:46 by steelwindmachine.

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