Anti-bedbug products: Useful or useless?
With the rise of bedbugs comes the onslaught of new products to keep the pests away. Board-certified entomologist Wayne White tells us whether they're wasteful or worth it. (Items are sold through such online retailers as USBedbugs.com and Bedbugcentral, or big-box stores including Walgreens, Sears and Bed, Bath and Beyond.)
Mattress and bed spring covers: White advocates the coverings as a first line of defense. About $70 for mattress cover, $35 for box spring.
Pillow protectors: Unnecessary. Bed bugs typically don't chill out in pillows, where there are too many disturbances for their taste. From $15.
Insect interceptor monitor: White, a fan of the multi-ring dish that fits under the legs of a bed, suggests packing a set in your luggage. ClimbUp charges $22 for a box of four.
Ziploc bags: Choose the sturdiest models with the best seal. About $5 for a dozen of the two-gallon variety.
Portable heating unit: PackTite's hot box fits the whole hog - luggage and personal belongings - and eradicates any interlopers inside and out. But with a price tag of about $300, it's a big investment.
Dissolvable laundry bag: White recommends the laundry bag made by GreenClean (from $17 for a 10-pack), which disintegrates in the wash. Caveat: The bugs can often survive the washer, so to be extra cautious, you need to toss it in the dryer first.
Luggage pesticide spray: White says to skip this unproven product. From $15.