Today was the start of summer vacation for teachers, and my afternoon started when I found a bed bug crawling on the couch. I've lived here for almost 3 years now and never had a pest problem until now. I've contacted the landlord and he's going to talk to an exterminator and get back to me, but I think he's kind of clueless. I trapped the bug and have it stored in a ziploc bag for later. I read that exterminators like to see the actual bugs.
I started cleaning up and vacuuming today, but I guess tomorrow starts the real task of meticulously going room by room and cleaning everything and everywhere. I did start in the bedroom and inspected the mattress and box spring, but couldn't find anything. I'm really hoping I've caught the infestation at the start. I ordered encasements for both. I'm not sure about the couch though. There's only one kind of encasement, and it's expensive. I don't think people make it a habit of making their own encasements either, but I was wondering if plastic and duct tape might work. Not garbage bag plastic though. My dad works at a company that makes vinyls and plastics and could get ahold of some for me for free. My couch and loveseat are rarely used except by the cats, so I wouldn't mind having these on there. Plus, they get covered with sheets anyway for shedding. Is this really crazy? Because otherwise the couches may have to go. There's tears in the fabric and I'm afraid bugs may have gotten/will get inside, especially since that's where I found the bug crawling in the first place.
I've found many helpful sites with tips to clean and attack the problem with vacuums and such, and I've stayed away from the sprays. Do you guys have any additional hints or tips to focus on? Anything I could do that I haven't thought of? I do have two kitties, age 3 and 14 so I'm wanting to keep them in mind with whatever I do.
Update 6/2: Still no signs of an infestation in either living room or bedroom. I posted my dilemma to bedbugger.com. This is the post: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/found-on-couchhelp-iding
. Pics are included. I've started wondering if it's a swallow or bat bug due to birds nesting outside. The landlord has called the exterminator, but not heard back. I also called a different exterminator, but have not heard back either. I did tell the landlord that bug bombs are a no-no, and make things worse. So far I've cleaned up clutter under my bed. I did find what appeared to be a dead bed bug in one of the containers, but that was it. The bug in the bag I trapped has stopped moving less than 24 hours later. Is this usual for a trapped bedbug? I also received my order of food grade DE today, and have spread it around the legs of the couch. I will spread it around the legs of the bed tonight. No signs have been found on the bed- no blood stains or feces. I woke up this morning to find a bug bite on my leg, but it only itched for a moment and then nothing. It was red, but that was it. That's all I've got for now.