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"Couch" Bugs?

(18 posts)
  1. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 19:20:43
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    Been fighting these things for what seems like forever (since January) and every time I think we are getting somewhere it back fires. The bugs are only in the couch. The PCO sprayed twice and said we shouldn't have any problems with them again. I got bit pretty badly approximately four or five days after the second time. The PCO called me crazy. I put DE deep in the couch in all the crevices I could reach. It was either that or torch everything. Kept the couch covered with a huge sheet for a week and then swept the DE up. I was bite free for almost three weeks. I was bit 6-7 times last Friday and my brother was also bit 10 times last Friday between 9:30-11pm. We repeated the process. My brother fell asleep on the couch from 3-5pm today and woke up with 15 bites down his whole side. 25 in a week. The PCO is coming back on Thursday to treat the cushions since we are pretty sure they're in them. The couch is a newer style. Has the recliners on the side with one middle cushion. I've had all of the stuffing out of the back of it and shifted every part of it around that I can. Unfortunately the actual seat cushions are each a large piece of foam. The only way to get the cushions out of the seat will be to rip the fabric and tear the foam to pieces because the foam is large and fits tight. With the way the past two treatments have been with the PCO I'm not going to hold my breath on him being any help. The couch isn't even a year old yet so I'd hate to go all Freddy Krueger on it and slice it up or burn it but I don't know what else to do without mangling it. Anyone have any tips? And yes they have been IDed as bed bugs and not something else. Unfortunately I have not seen any bugs (live or dead) since right before the first treatment. However I react within an hour or two of being bit.

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 19:50:14
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    There are encasements for couches - may be useful for you. keep the DE in the couch and enclose the whole thing. What makes the PCO & you think that the bed bugs are only restricted to the couch?

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  3. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 20:14:48
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    I've looked at the ones called Sofa Safe and I haven't bought one because of the price tag but I'm looking at them harder. When the PCO came the first time he treated the whole house but only found them in the couch, two recliners and a couple on my bed frame but the rest of the house was good. The bites stopped instantly everywhere but the couch. He came the second time and treated the couch and recliners again but never saw any in the rest of the house. I was being bitten on the couch and my dad in his chair. Everywhere else was good. The bites stopped immediately in the chair but not the couch. Then I did the DE and absolutely nothing for almost three weeks until last Friday and today. Both of the chairs are bug free...absolutely no biting going on in them. I'm getting concerned because my brother has never reacted through this whole thing and it didn't bother him knowing they could be biting him until he started reacting last week. I don't know if that means he's becoming more sensitive or they're worse than they were. But if they're worse than I can't see them ignoring me laying on the couch for three weeks.

  4. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 21:04:32
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    Hi,

    If you don't have a cat, the encasement may be worth it.

    David Cain and others have said bites reactions change over time and chemicals/DE/etc. can make your skin mores sensitive.

    Hoping you are BB free soon!!

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  5. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 21:26:56
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    I actually have four cats and they enjoy laying on the couch but very rarely scratch it since we keep their nails trimmed fairly short. I'm guessing the cover would have to be left on for 18+ months?

  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 21:40:34
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    That's my guess, too (18 months) but I'm not an expert. Maybe Paul Bello or Jeff White would know?

    Good luck. I've read your posts and you've been a real trooper!

  7. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Mar 31 2012 22:04:33
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    Fabulous....ugh. I can deal with an ugly couch over my body looking like a war zone. Thank you lol. I'm barely hanging onto my sanity. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 1 2012 4:28:17
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    If I was going to use an encasement with cats, I think I would put something over it (blanket, etc.) just to be safe -- even with short nails.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 1 2012 5:40:37
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    Bed bug bites don't necessarily have to change over time. Sometimes there is a delay from the time of being bitten to when the reaction materializes. Since I've been rearing them for 15-20 years, my reactions still occur but they still remain at a certain low level and have not disappeared. See these images of the reaction from single bed bug bites http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/6915713621/in/photostream
    Read the text for the picture, too. There are some people who get bitten but have never reacted and this has gone on for years. If you have DE there and use an encasement, they can't feed and they can't crawl out and they can't crawl in, those inside will not be able to make it 18 months, probably all will be dead in weeks. Did you ever see any bed bugs, either small 1mm long nymphs or 5mm long adults?

  10. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 1 2012 13:07:06
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    Yeah we would definitely use a blanket on the cover. Not only for the nails but try to make it look a little homier (sp).

    I will definitely try to look at those pictures. I will only be able to view sites on my phone for a few days so hopefully they're compatible. I'm sure my brother has been bitten this whole time but just now started reacting. Thankfully I have reacted this whole time...I just wish they weren't so severe. I live in a small town surrounded by small towns and bbs are not very common in this area. Actually I'm sure they are since I've had my eyes opened so to speak but its one of those taboo things that's not spoken of and that's sad. Back in early January I was treated for hives but a few days later my cat caught an adult crawling beside me on the couch. I found one crawling in my hair (it's long) trying to get to me on the couch and my dad found either four or five in one corner of his chair. We saved them all and were all adults or close to it. We haven't seen any since.

  11. BugsSkeeveMe

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 1 2012 13:38:32
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    Has your brother been bitten before? I wrote about this on another thread recently. I just tossed my furniture. After having what I thoguht was a reinfestation I had to go back to the ER. They ended up biopsying some of what we thought were bites, turns out they were re-occurances of old bites that flared up from pesticides. I could have tried to use couch slipcovers to reduce the sensativity but I opted just to toss them. Since doing so, I've not had anything that even looked like a bite re-appear. Its amazing how much these hypersensenative reactions look and feel like new bites. Could this be a possibility?

  12. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 1 2012 14:01:29
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    If he's been bitten before he's never reacted but I don't see how he couldn't have been bit. I was bit 50+ times on the couch after the first PCO treatment so I avoided the couch for the two weeks in between treatment and never got bit but he either sat or laid on the couch every day during that time with no problem. Same way after the second treatment. We were both able to sit on it after the DE but now we are both reacting. Thankfully he was the guinea pig this time lol. I've considered getting rid of the couch but with it being so new everyone wants to exhaust every method before doing that. My PCO mentioned my bites are possibly flare ups of old bites or skin sensitivity from the chemical residue or the DE but all of the bites are identical to the others and they're in new places so I know they're not flare ups...unfortunately.

  13. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 2 2012 0:11:32
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    I wrote about this on another thread recently. I just tossed my furniture. After having what I thoguht was a reinfestation I had to go back to the ER. They ended up biopsying some of what we thought were bites, turns out they were re-occurances of old bites that flared up from pesticides. I could have tried to use couch slipcovers to reduce the sensativity but I opted just to toss them. Since doing so, I've not had anything that even looked like a bite re-appear. Its amazing how much these hypersensenative reactions look and feel like new bites. Could this be a possibility?
    It wasn't necessary to toss the furniture. Items are treatable, but so many people just toss out perfectly good furniture and if it isn't labeled as infested, someone will pick it up and bring it back home and infest their homes. Biopsy wasn't necessary either, but most doctors don't realize this. Yes, bite sites can flare up and may be interpreted as fresh bites to those who don't know.

  14. BugsSkeeveMe

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 2 2012 10:21:56
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    It was 100% necessary for me too toss my furniture because of the severity of my allergergic reaction. There were no bugs in my couches, this confirmed multiple times. I see many people have these 'phantom' reactions. To be clear, no one should just randomly throw away couches here but I gave a clear medical reason why this was instructeded and why this was working for me and still is. Every case is differenent. In an earlier post I showed photos of my neck after laying on the couch. I had chemical treatments before thremal. I have been discussing post treatment for several weeks now. I am just throwing the hypersensativity there as a possibilitility for those expereincing similiar having the same issue as I was up until last week. Once my couches were tossed my 'new' bites stopped appearing and life has been returning to normal. Today I get the stiches out of the biopsys that helped me to determine that these were reactions, not new bites. The recovery period from bb's will involve different steps for different people. Also, my furntiure was not infested, it was me that was having issues with the pesticide reaction. I properly disposed of an infested message earlier in my tale. Trying to shut people down when they are offering a way that helped them get relieft from a BB releated issue isn't really a great way to encourage those to want to share and help others.

  15. cilecto

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 2 2012 10:57:54
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    I would not sweat over trying to get inside of a sewn-shut foam cushion. Focus your inspection and treatment on the exterior surface, seams, piping, tufts, etc.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  16. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Apr 6 2012 9:33:48
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    So I should just keep doing what I'm doing without going all psycho in the back of the couch or in the cushions? I have had the back of the couch off so many times and have inspected the wood and all the seams and have only found just two or three small black dots which could have been anything, but if it was fecal spots then I'm not sure when they were dropped there. Could have been before the first or second treatment. I have checked all of the seams, tufts, corners etc and can't find anything. Nothing moves and there's no fecal spots or eggs, but I'm still getting bit. I have DE in all of the nooks and crannies hoping the little SOBs have to walk through it at some point. The couch is currently sealed up as well as we can to prevent the DE from being blown around or inhaled but it's also thin enough (if that even matters with these things...pretty sure they can survive an apocalypse) they sense/feel our body heat/oxygen when we sit on the cover so they will still attempt to reach us. We've been trying to sit on the couch for a little bit here and there. This worked the last time...or so we thought. This weekend when I have free time I will vacuum all of the DE and hopefully some bugs and do it all over again.

  17. amanda2040

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Apr 12 2012 14:49:58
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    Got nabbed again on Monday while vacuuming the couch. Ugh. I'm not freaking out so much about actually having the bugs. I've came to terms with that. I'm just over the bites. They grow to the size of a quarter and itch for weeks. Side note: After Bite Xtra is a great way to make them go away faster. It took me less than 20 minutes to vacuum the front of the couch and I plopped my lazy butt down to get deep in the crevices and I knew better. Makes the second time this has happened with the first being bit through a hole in my haggard jeans. The PCO still hasn't came back (long story...I feel for the poor soul they send when they do come because I'm beyond irate at this point). I'm looking around locally for couch encasements even though I'm sure nobody sells them since like I said I live in a small town. If I can't find one I'm ordering one within the next few days. If the PCO comes next Thursday and sprays in the early afternoon when will it be safe enough to encase the couch? I read one post where someone said if the encasement is put on while the spray is still wet or damp it could cause mold and I don't want that. I'd also like to apply DE before I encase it as well.

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Apr 12 2012 18:36:45
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    BugsSkeeveMe - 1 week ago  » 
    Trying to shut people down when they are offering a way that helped them get relieft from a BB releated issue isn't really a great way to encourage those to want to share and help others.

    I have to say, if anyone here has bed bug sufferer's own best interests at heart, it's Lou. He generously gives endless amounts of time helping people with bed bugs, and fighting for people in the media to accurately describe bed bugs and appropriate reactions to them.

    In this case, he was simply stating the facts and though you may feel his comments were inapplicable in your case, remember that when we comment here, we aren't just talking to the few people who post each day but also to the many others who read and never post.

    For most people, tossing out furniture due to bed bugs is not only wasteful, but helps spread bed bugs.


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