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Has anyone tried a mattress encasement for their sofa?

(18 posts)
  1. madrecluse

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 7 2014 16:42:35
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    Hi. I'm new on here. First bite happened 33 days ago. Those bites don't seem like the 'typical' kind I've read about (in a straight line, 3's, welt, etc.) It was one on my hip, one on my ankle, and one on my toe... In the past 33 days, I've been bitten a total of only 9 bites - I think - because strangely, after those 9 'medium-sized, itchy, red bites' I've since only had teeny tiny red spots that I have absolutely not scratched at all! Even my dog had been bitten 2 times on one occasion. (The exterminator told me it is a myth that BBs bite dogs IF THE HUMAN IS AVAILABLE. He said pets are bitten if the bug is "starving".

    I still have never seen one and my mattress is spotless...my landlord doesn't believe I have them - though he did hire an exterminator to come (as a prevention). After my first bites, I put the original plastic packing covers on my bed & box. The exterminator said to keep them on, but to also put tape (clear) over 100% of the plastic - to catch them when they try to get out and bite me during the night. I have to say, having done that, I'm only getting those teeny tiny red dots.. So, to be safe I have ordered BB encasements (BugStop brand from the AllergyGuy). Fabric for the bed, vinyl for the box. I plan on leaving the original plastic/tape covering on the mattress & box and putting the encasements on top of it (extra protection, I guess).

    I'll be getting my mattress & box encasements in a couple of days. But, then I decided to buy another encasement to put over my love seat/sofa. The king size I bought was $50 - as opposed to $199 for a cover specifically for a sofa. I will be receiving that in 6 days..

    **Has anyone else ever tried covering their sofa in a mattress encasement?**

    If I experience an improvement, I will update the community.

  2. madrecluse

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 20:13:17
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    Here's my update: The mattress encasement I bought for my loveseat is too large (I ordered a King - not sure what I was thinking, but a Queen would have been better), so I've had to double-over the seating cushions. I'll have to keep checking to see if there are any bb's harbouring under there, but overall, I am so glad I did it because it gives me peace of mind that my sofa is safe. If I ever move apartments, I know my sofa will have been saved. My bed & box too - those brands fit extremely well. I was so relieved that they were easy to put on and there are no folds in either of them. The Allergy Guy was extremely pleasant to speak to and very helpful, too.

    Now, the task at hand is to apply transparent silicone caulking along my bachelor's baseboards and also to fill in the gaps of the hardwood flooring. After speaking with an exterminator - he told me to wait until the guy has sprayed the baseboards first. Once the spray is dry - then do the caulking. After the caulking, put down some DE - it will take a long while to actually kill the bugs, but eventually they will die using DE. He also suggested using Bedlam (in a spray can) to put along the baseboards, as well.

    The exterminator comes in 4 days... so far I've put CatchMaster Glue boards under all 4 bed legs, and DE under the bed (the floor) and in-between the bed & box. Hopefully, the glue boards will actually provide me with PROOF of their existence in my apartment.

  3. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 19 2015 14:51:35
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    Hi Madrecluse,
    Any follow-up on your situation?
    And since you spoke with the Allergy Guy, I am assuming you are in Canada (as am I), so I was wondering where you found Bedlam (if you did) that was available to consumers. My PCO suggested this, too, but I can't find it for sale in Canada (I am also looking for BedlamPlus, for those resistant buggers).
    Thanks, and I have my fingers crossed that yours is a success story.

  4. madrecluse

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 20 2015 8:20:55
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    I'm in Montreal too. After the 2nd treatment from the PCO, I caulked the baseboards. I haven't been bitten since the end of Dec 2015. I found out that Bedlam cannot be sold to individuals - only to PCOs.

    I kept my vacuum wrapped in 2 clear garbage bags and set it out on the fire-escape all winter and into the summer. When I checked on it, I did find a dead (or frozen) bed bug inside the plastic bag. Because it was such a cheap vacuum, I ended up throwing it away because I won't take a single chance I bring one back into the apartment!

    Also, I bought those zipper bags, from Dollarama and stored EVERYTHING in them! I bought a plastic 3-drawer set from Walmart and put the clothes and towels that I use most often in there. The other zippered bags are hidden in the front closet and under the kitchen cupboards. I have no carpets anymore, and whenever I take a bus/metro ride I make sure to remove my clothing and wash/dry immediately! I take no chances that I've picked one up from public transportation, restaurants, libraries, etc. Oh, and I never use the laundry in the building! I go to the nearest laundromat.

    The bed encasement on my sofa is great. I cover it up with a Queen size bed sheet, so I'm not sitting on the actual encasement itself - besides, I don't want a reminder it's there - it's also a new way to change the "look" of my sofa whenever I want.

    So, I guess you could say I'm a success story, but I live my life in constant awareness when outside my home. For me, that's easy to do since I am retired.

  5. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jul 31 2015 3:27:19
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    Hi Madrecluse,
    Thanks for the update, and glad to hear that you have remained BB-free! About the vacuum cleaner -- I, too, was advised to vacuum often, but I never considered that BBs would hide in there, too (I wash filters and attachments in the bathroom sink with Dawn dish soap and hot water after every use). Yikes! Maybe I should wrap the thing in plastic after every use?
    Thanks for the heads up on the zipper bags and Walmart furniture - I have been using Ziplock XXL and XXXL (?) bags, which I found at Walmart and Canadian Tire, respectively. Your solution is likely more cost-effective.
    About the gaps in the notoriously gappy Montreal hardwood floors -- what product did you use? I had already caulked most of my baseboards to block out neighbour smells and seal up cold-air gaps, though I couldn't get to some areas under/behind radiators, but other than Murphy's Oil Soap to clean the floors, I don't know how I am going to seal up the substantial gaps in the floorboards once the PCO gives the all-clear.
    I know what you mean about checking everything and everywhere for BBs, though -- I have become hyper-vigilant and super-sensitive, and every fallen hair and speck of dirt has me jumping with my flashlight and 90% isopropyl alcohol. I have heard/read the BB post-fight mindset compared to PTSD.

    re: encasement on the sofa -- maybe I will get some after all and cover it up with several layers of thin sheets to keep my cat's claws from getting into the encasement. I had been thinking about tossing the thing, but your solution might offer me some peace of mind - thank you!

    re: laundromat -- I worry that those are more likely to have bedbugs, since people from all over can use them, versus the limited number of people in one building. How do you protect yourself there?

    BTW, I happened to notice at Walmart that Hart Ultra Guard Flea and Tick carpet powder has active ingredients at somewhat similar concentrations as in Bedlam:
    ---------------d-phenothrin--------------N-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide
    Hart ---------0.5%-------------------------- 1.18%
    Bedlam----- 0.4%---------------------------1.6%

    I wonder if I can use this as a post-treatment crevice dust?

    Anyway, thanks again for the follow-up, and the inspiration. I hope your landlord believes you now -- or at least appreciates that you did what you could to keep the entire building from becoming infested...

  6. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jul 31 2015 7:32:49
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    Bed Bug 101 -- Do not treat until you have actual evidence. Do not turn your life upside down by encasing everything and caulking until you have evidence. Bites are not evidence.

    EDIT: From follow up posts I see the OP has already treated and considers this a "success story". But I'll keep the "stop sign" up for anyone else reading this. DO NOT TREAT WITHOUT EVIDENCE. I have significant doubts that the bug found in the vacuum was a bed bug, but even if it was that doesn't change the advice. And if the advice seems counter intuitive, that means you haven't read the FAQ's here and/or done your homework.

    Richard

  7. jim danca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jul 31 2015 8:15:40
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    Encasing a couch is really counter intuitive to stopping a bedbug problem.

    [Admin edited post to delete quoted message with images]

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Aug 1 2015 16:23:56
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    Jim, please see my PM.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 3 2015 23:12:53
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    Hi Richard -- just wondering if the Stop sign and advice was meant for me?
    To clarify, I wasn't thinking of encasing my couch during treatment, but ad a preventive afterwards. Not quite a success story yet, as I am awaiting a final inspection by the PCO (it's been almost a month since the 2nd treatment; not sure if I have new baby bites or just normal summer mosquito bites and sensitivity to other insects).
    I would never "go rogue" and self-treat; just was wondering if the Bedlam the PCO advised I use could be replaced with that flea carpet powder, as Bedlam is not available to consumers in Canada.
    Thanks!

  10. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 4 2015 7:17:43
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    Hi Richard -- just wondering if the Stop sign and advice was meant for me?

    It was in reference to your post 7 months ago, where you said in part:

    The exterminator comes in 4 days... so far I've put CatchMaster Glue boards under all 4 bed legs, and DE under the bed (the floor) and in-between the bed & box. Hopefully, the glue boards will actually provide me with PROOF of their existence in my apartment. You also mention caulking, etc., but not sure how that fit into the chronology.

    At that point, my understanding is that while you had bites, you didn't have a confirmed bed bug infestation but were already starting the treatment process with DE, etc.

    I later realized that this was an old post, but left the "stop sign" in anyway, as explained in my "edit".

    Lastly, I'm a little confused about your chronology.

    You first treated seven months ago but you now say your 2nd treatment was a month ago? Six months between treatments? And you're still not all clear? Did your PCO ever find a bug, cast skin, egg or fecal, or did they just treat based on bites?

    Richard

  11. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 4 2015 21:04:20
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    Hi Richard --ah! I see the confusion: this thread was begun 7 months ago by Madrecluse, not me. I simply posted a comment/query a week or two ago. So madrecluse was doing all that treatment way back when, whereas my ordeal (and PCO inspection + treatment) began only in June.
    I guess we Montrealers all look alike.
    Regardless, your time and expertise are very much appreciated. Thank you.

  12. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 5 2015 8:19:26
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    Montrealer2:

    Hi Richard --ah! I see the confusion: this thread was begun 7 months ago by Madrecluse, not me, (Montrealer2)

    Let me try and clear things up. Yes, My STOP SIGN and subsequent comments were addressed to "Madrecluse", not "Montrealer2". As far as I can tell, "Madrecluse", not "Montrealer2", did an awful lot of work and treatment (some self) without any evidence at the time. Some time later, unclear when, "Monttrealer2", sorry mean "Madrecluse" says he found a frozen bed bug in the vacuum, but nowhere is if mentioned if this was confirmed by a pro. Madrecluse, sorry again, meant "Montrealer2', meanwhile, states he would never go "rogue" and treat like "Madrecluse", so this is good. But the advice stands, whatever your name, or where in Canada you come from, don't treat unless you have real evidence. It's that simple. Another lesson is to make sure your coffee and reading glasses are stong enough when a "Madrecluse" posts and a "Montrealer2" answers that post 7 months later

    Richard

  13. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 10 2015 0:23:23
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    Ha! Thanks, Richard. On behalf of all we Canadians, may the strength of both your coffee and glasses always be as pronounced as your good humour (note the Canadian spelling, ay?).

  14. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 10 2015 0:29:32
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    (P.s. I can't speak for Madrecluse, but I am definitely not a "he." I'll chalk that one up to the coffee/reading glasses scenario, with a little Web blindness factored in.)

  15. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 10 2015 6:56:41
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    As per the original title, there are encasements made for sofas, so mattress or box spring encasements don't have to be used. The point of an encasement is to not have harborage areas produced by the encasement itself. If encasements are used, you should provide some form of "harborage" or monitor so they will become obvious due to being detained in a place where they can be easily seen.
    And following the rest of the post, don't treat if there really aren't bed bugs.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  16. Montrealer2

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 14 2015 16:12:41
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    Lou, thank you. Offering a controlled harbourage area that can be monitored was a point I somehow missed.
    Jim Danca (sorry, missed your earlier post), is this what you meant by encasements being a bad idea in general?
    re: don't treat before confirmed bugs
    Agreed. I, for one, would never undergo this treatment/monitoring ordeal just for ya-yas.

  17. Bugginuts

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Sep 30 2018 17:26:43
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    I'm confused as to why it is counterintuitive. I am thinking about encasing my couch in plastic and tape and throwing a canvas dropcloth over top. It would be easier to find signs of bed bugs this way because my couch is dark brown leather. It would also give my dog somewhere to lay without getting eaten alive. I'm pretty sure I have bed bugs, even though I've only seen bites, and my pillow had a few blood smears on it. I'm sure it'll feel even worse when I confirm it, but not being sure is driving me mad.

  18. Bugginuts

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Sep 30 2018 17:28:03
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    I'm confused as to why it is counterintuitive. I am thinking about encasing my couch in plastic and tape and throwing a canvas dropcloth over top. It would be easier to find signs of bed bugs this way because my couch is dark brown leather. It would also give my dog somewhere to lay without getting eaten alive. I'm pretty sure I have bed bugs, even though I've only seen bites, and my pillow had a few blood smears on it. I'm sure it'll feel even worse when I confirm it, but not being sure is driving me mad.


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