When it comes to bed bug remediation, you know all of the ins and outs of how to handle a situation that is more than daunting for the average person. You know where to look, what to look for, and what the next steps should be. And hopefully, part of your standard protocol is to offer encasements to all of your customers. But do you know what you should be looking for in an encasement other than proven bed bug protection? Below are five other features that have become increasingly important to PMPs as the rate of bed bug incidents continue to climb.
We have spoken with what seems like an immeasurable number of PMPs to learn about their process of bed bug remediation and their views on encasements. While the majority of professionals have discovered that building the cost of an encasement into their bed bug packages makes the most sense for their business (and reputation, but more on that later), there are still quite a few of you out there that look at encasements as an upsell. If that’s the case, you need to arm yourselves with as much selling power as possible in order to get your customers to understand the importance, and value, in mattress and box spring encasements. That’s why choosing to stock an encasement that has a waterproof layer is so important. Not only will it salvage the bed from bed bug harborage and a possible return visit from those little blood suckers, it will also protect against any stains and spoilage. This is important for two reasons: first, for your residential customers, having a stained mattress voids the warranty on it. For your commercial clients, like hotels, it is even more important. Major mattress manufacturers estimate that hotels throw out 5% of their mattresses annually just due to spoilage alone! Not only would you be saving them money and a reoccurrence of bed bugs, but you would help extend the lives of their mattresses due to guest spills and accidents, as well. Having a hard time proving out the ROI with actual numbers? We have an app for that!
Strength and Durability
This one may or may not be more obvious, but you want to make sure the encasements you choose to sell are durable enough to withstand a commercial setting. This becomes especially important with box springs. Look for encasements that are made with a woven fabric; non-woven fabric is paper-like and can have a hole poked right through it. You want to make sure the encasement has some stretch to it and is made with a tight, quality weave, so that it can withstand the friction of rubbing up against bed frames. You want to have confidence that the product won’t rip or tear and reintroduce bed bugs into a newly remediated environment. That only hurts your reputation and leads to more callbacks and angry customers!
Ease of Installation
Time is money. As old as the adage is, it rings truer today than it ever has in the past! People are busy, life is crazy, and bed bugs are on the rise. No one has time to wrestle with a rigid, hard-to-install encasement on a bed bug job when you have 3 more lined up that day alone. When deciding on what product to carry on your shelves, make sure it’s one that makes your job easier. Again, looking for an encasement that has some stretch to it is important. A stretchy sidewall will decrease the amount of time it takes to slip on the encasement, so you can move on to your next job all the more sooner!
We don’t have to tell you that the most vulnerable point on an encasement is the zipper. That’s why you should be using encasement products that go the extra mile in protecting the zipper closure. In addition to encasements that are made from fabric that has been tested and verified to be bed bug entry, escape and bite proof, look for ones that have added zipper protection. You want the zipper to stay in place regardless of whether or not it’s a residential or a high-occupancy hotel with constant turnover. The zipper-locking mechanism has to be absolutely foolproof, otherwise you risk all of your hard work being undone and your reputation being tarnished.
This one is a biggie. Choose encasements that are backed with a significant warranty. Bed bugs are, at best, an overwhelming ordeal for the average person. Not only are there significant financial consequences, but there have been several studies that show psychological effects of a bed bug infestation. You want to be able to give your customer peace of mind that you’re following the best protocol and using the best products so that they can begin to move on with their lives, and stop obsessing over every itch and scratch. If a company is willing to stand behind their product, then it makes it that much easier for you to be able to offer that same confidence to your customers. BUT! It’s also important to realize that not all warranties are created equally. Some products on the market only carry a residential warranty and not a commercial one; or, the number of years vary drastically between residential and commercial settings. Take the time to compare the warranties and learn about what’s covered and not. This will save you much aggravation down the road.