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31 May 2012 @ 09:45 pm
Bed Bugs  
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.
Mandyr4wrdinosaur on June 1st, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)
Are you sure they are even bed bugs? I work in a hotel, and the majority of laypeople can't identify bedbugs themselves. People tend to freak out prematurely. Not that I don't think you should start taking steps, but I would wait until you get official word from an exterminator before driving yourself in insane.
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 1st, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Pretty sure about it. I've matched it up to photos online. It's not a fed adult, and I believe it's female because it has a pointed tip at the end, rather than being round. It does not match other red bugs, and is not a clover mite.
Northern Bellenephelite on June 3rd, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
It sounds like a tick. Tick season is really bad this year, every where.
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 3rd, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
No, it's definitely not a tick. There's no resemblance at all.

Currently also wondering if it's a swallow or bat bug. I can't seem to find any sign of infestation in my room or the living room, but there are birds nesting outside on the front porch area because the lady who lives below me likes them around. My room and living room face the front porch, and this being an older house, critters can get in through the windows. I don't know though.
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 3rd, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
I edited this entry to add an update. I also linked to a forum post I made elsewhere that has pictures.
Medaria5324 on June 1st, 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
Bed bugs really do tend to stay around the bed... also behind any pictures that are hanging on the walls around your bed. Do you sleep on your couch? Have you travelled recently?

Getting rid of furniture doesn't help the situation once they are in your home. A good exterminator is key. They need to spray - you won't be able to be in your place for a few hours afterwards, and they need to do this multiple times.

Remember, they aren't the end of the world... but just a serious pain in the ass (like lice).
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 1st, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
That's what's odd. I don't really use the couch at all except to lean against when I eat dinner. I have a low coffee table, and I prefer to sit on the floor to use it. The cats use the couch more than I do. I haven't been anywhere recently. If I picked it up from school, none of my school gear was left on the couch.

I'm waiting on my landlord to call back and I'm going to do intensive cleaning around the couch. I did the bed last night and found nothing.
Medaria5324 on June 1st, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
It doesn't really sound like them to me. It might be something else - I wouldn't worry it's bed bugs unless an exterminator says so.
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 3rd, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
I edited this entry to add an update, which includes a link to a forum post I made elsewhere with pictures.
whorishnesswhorishness on June 1st, 2012 10:50 am (UTC)
Try dusting your furniture with Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade), leave it on for a couple hours and then vaccum off. It won't cause harm to your pets (unless you start dusting your pets mistaking them for a couch) Also, for identification purposes, go to an exterminator with your baggy and double check. They will usually identify for free and then try to sell you their services. When they do that just ask for their card and say you have to tell your landlord first.
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 1st, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
I ordered some of this from Amazon last night that will be here tomorrow. It's supposed to do well, as long as it's given time to work. I'm going to put it around the baseboards and I may put it on the couch and leave it there for a few days, as long as the cats won't bother it. I was thinking of putting it on and putting something over the couch so that the cats would leave it alone and the dust could be kept contained to the couch. Once I hear back from the landlord and see what he says, I'll check into an exterminator. He was supposed to talk to one so we'll see.
Aaerusibylla_aaeru on June 3rd, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
I edited this entry to add an update, and posted a link to a forum post I made elsewhere with pictures. I also got my DE today and have so far put it around the legs of the couch, the areas behind the couch, and the baseboards nearest that. The cats don't have any interest in the stuff thankfully.