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Is there a medium that bed bugs don't like?

(2 posts)
  1. ChicagoBedBugs

    Joined: Apr '09
    Posts: 4


    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Apr 25 2009 14:50:01

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    I have a feather bed on top of my mattress. I live in a fairly large studio apartment with little storage so my bed is on plastic risers (after reading the other posts, I will fill the resevoirs with Murphy's Oil Soap until I can get a PCO here) and I have items being stored under my bed. I have not found any signs of the bed bugs inside or even on my mattress or box springs. Could it be possible that the feather bed is a barrier for the bed bugs? I know it sounds crazy but I haven't found ANY signs of them, droppings, stains or actual bed bugs near the mattress. Could bed bugs not like the down feathers or am I just lucky the infestation hasn't spread to the feather bed yet?
    I also have a leather couch. Do bed bugs avoid the leather too? I am almost positive they were in the blanket I took off my bed and to the couch but I haven't gotten bitten on the couch since I vacuumed the couch, specifically between the non removable leather cushions, washed the blanked and not moved the blanket off the bed again.
    I just officially found the bad boys yesterday night after returning from a trip. I'd been searching the mattress and feather bed for almost 2 weeks with no avail until last night. I found the larve, droppings and 4-5 live ones in the corner of my sheets/ quilt, hidden in the small extra flap of fabric on the seam and not anywhere on the fitted sheet or feather bed. (I don't sleep under the sheets or quilt...I am to lazy to make my bed every morning so I just pull another blanket over me when I sleep. :-)) I proceeded to strip my bed, launder everything but the feather bed in the hottest water and dried it all on the hottest dryer setting for an hour....Thank goodness it was 11pm on a Friday and noone in my building was doing laundry!! I noticed small larve in my cloth/ colapsable laundry hampers so I washed those too. I vaccumed my apartment, searched the mattress, box spring, metal bed frame and anything possibly sticking out of from under the bed finding nothing. I sprayed Raid Home and Garden bug killer all over my bed and carpet surrounding the bed area. I searched then moved the night tables away from the bed. I plan on vaccuming, spraying and scouring my bed for more of the critters the next few days.
    I am a flight attendant and I think I brought the bed bugs home with me from a hotel in Orlando a few weeks ago. I can't prove it was Orlando but I am almost positive it was since that's when noticed my first set of bites. It's really annoying because I have a luggage stand at home that I set my luggage on but I think I set my tote bag on my bed while swapping out clothes.
    I hate these suckers!! I can't sleep at night because I feel itchy and like my body is crawling with bugs which I understand is just my body's psychological response. I wish hydrocortozone cream came in gallon jugs because it's the only thing that seems to work for my itching. Some of my bites swell up to the size of golf balls.
    Apparently the news just had a story about how there has been a 500% increase in bed bug infestations in Chicago. Lucky me, I was a chosen one. Instead of bed bugs, why couldn't I be chosen to win the lotto!!!

  2. buggyinsocal

    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431


    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Apr 25 2009 22:19:36

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    When you say that you sprayed your bed with Raid, do you mean that you sprayed the mattress and box spring?

    Because that's a dangerous practice. Most pesticides are not labeled for use on fabrics that we sleep on for 8 hours. In fact, I think there's only one that I know of that is.

    Generally speaking, most people around here will advise people not to attempt to treat bed bugs on their own. Bed bugs are a very persistent pest that can be very hard to get rid of. Pesticides are less effective on bed bugs than on many other insects because unlike ants or roaches bed bugs do not groom themselves and cannot be baited in their food (since their food is pretty much only us). There are no pesticides on the market that reliably kill all bed bug eggs (although there is at least one that has some effect). In addition, the eggs are cemented to things with a substance that makes it pretty hard to remove them through mechanical means such as vacuuming.

    I'm not saying this to upset or distress you. I am pointing these things out because many people on the fora here who have self-treated have inadvertently made their infestations worse and harder to get rid of by self-treating (esp. with techniques such as foggers).

    As for the feather bed, no. A feather bed isn't going to be a barrier to bed bugs. In fact, a feather bed might prove to be an excellent harborage site if it can't be washed in hot and dried on hot and/or dry cleaned.

    Since you're someone whose work requires frequent travel and frequent hotel stays, it might be worth investing in a Packtite, which is a small unit that heats up your luggage and its contents to kill bed bugs.

    However, that will only take care of any stragglers you bring home from future trips and/or allow you to treat items in your home that can't be washed and dried on hot or doused with a contact killer like 91% rubbing alcohol. It's possible that you got really lucky and got rid of whatever stragglers you brought home. But it's more likely that your attempts to get rid of them yourself did not get rid of whatever infestation has settled into your home. Esp. since you're often away from home for days at a time, because of your job, it may take a while to figure out whether they're gone or not.

    My advice would be to see if you can find a good PCO in the Chicago area, one with experience with bed bugs, and get that person out to inspect your place ASAP. Until you're 100% sure that your apartment is bed bug free, you run the risk of taking stragglers with you when you're at work.

    If you rent, it may be that your landlord would be responsible for the costs of treatment. People from Chicago may be able to say more about that.

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