Eliminating Bed Bug Phobia – yeah, right

by bugzinthehood on December 21, 2006 · 52 comments

in bed bugs, humor, misinformation

Here’s a new way to make a buck. Changethatsrightnow devoted to curing many kinds of phobias offers to take care of your mental Cimex problem.

Our board-certified team specializes in helping individuals overcome fears, phobias & anxiety of all kinds, and is particularly focused on problems such as Bed Bugs Phobia. With a success rate close to 100% we offer a lifetime guarantee to our clients.

And when you’re mentally okay, and at peace, you won’t mind thousands of them crawling all over you, because you’ve learned how to cope. Right?

1 jessinchicago December 21, 2006 at 12:07 pm


***banging my head on my desk as I type***

2 parakeets December 21, 2006 at 12:33 pm

I went to a Center for Anxiety in Boston that shall remain nameless. To help me deal with my feelings about bedbugs, the therapist told me things like “Look, we all have little bugs crawling over us that we can’t see.” Arrgh. She had absolutely no idea. She was soooo completely wrong. I left that center and found someone else to help me.

Do NOT–hear me, do NOT–let a therapist treat your feelings about bedbugs as a phobia. You should be treated for **trauma,** as if you had been mugged (yeah, in your own bed) or otherwise attacked. Also, once the bedbugs are gone, you can also get PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. It is not a phobia if you have bedbugs.

A dermatologist did not recognize my bedbug bites (luckily my gynecologist from Thailand did). A therapist did not recognize my bedbug trauma for what it was. We really have to get the medical field on board. I am gravely concerned that as bedbugs continue to rise, there could even be a bedbug related suicide attempt from someone who is just so overwhelmed by the problems that it all becomes too much for them. I know how terrible it has been for me–and I have physical heath, financial stability, no children in the home, and a great support network of family and friends. What are people doing who don’t have the blessings I have? I can hardly cope sometimes. Where can others turn? If they go to a doctor or a therapist or read the Village Voice article, they will think they are going nuts and making it all up.

I reach out to everyone with bedbugs. If you are reading this, you are not alone and you are not over-reacting. We are here for you. We understand. You are courageous and we applaud you. Hang in there.

3 nobugsonme December 21, 2006 at 1:17 pm

Parakeets is right. We are here. And this can seem like a really dark time, but it will not last forever.

Not only does it often feel like it will, but people will imply you are crazy or imagining things. The person I live with did so many times. The difficulty in catching the culprits makes this a problem that others often don’t believe is real.

There is a condition called delusional parasitosis, but most of us are being bitten by real bed bugs. Some of us may actually have bird mites, which are even harder to see, but bite and cause skin reactions just the same.

By the way, not only are bed bugs not scabies, but contrary to the website Bugz linked to, drugs ARE a good idea if you have scabies! Scabies requires medical treatment.

4 Anonymous December 21, 2006 at 2:14 pm

The thing, however, is that delusional parasitosis can be precipitated by a real infestation … in other words, once you get rid of an infestation, you can will yourself into thinking that you still are infested. That is what the problem for bedbug sufferers primarily is, at least IMHO — the inability for those poor souls to shake it off and move on with their life without fearing re-infestation from every nook and cranny out there.

5 Bugalina December 21, 2006 at 3:32 pm

Anonymous…Bed bugs love every little nook and cranny…that’s the problem. And they are on the upward rise. So the odds of a re-infestation are getting greater all the time. Just look at the statistics. The fear of re-infestation comes from the knowledge of knowing how horrible an infestation is.. So I assume that you have not lived with bed bugs in the wild…I might be wrong, but anyone who has had them knows that advoiding getting them again is liken to walking across a field filled with active land mines. NYC is such a field. I will remain a “poor soul”…for two reasons…one because my infestation practically wiped my savings out and cost me a all of my beautiful feather filled sofa and chairs and distressed wood bookcases etc. and secondly because I don’t want them again..and I will do whatever I have to do to not have that happen……”Spoken like a true bed bug sufferer”..Deb

6 Bugalina December 21, 2006 at 3:38 pm

Another comment…don’t go to any therapist for “bed bug phobias”..call your politicians and demand something to wipe these monsters out. Write to your newspapers…call in to radio talk shows, get the word out that bed bugs are a life ruinous pest. If you need emotional support stay on these blogs..we all need each other. And Parakeets is right on…it isn’t bed bug phobia..it is bed bug trauma !!! No one who hasn’t lived with them can even begin to understand what they do to a body, mind, and soul….no one…

7 nobugsonme December 22, 2006 at 1:19 am

I have no doubt that some people are suffering from a post-infestation delusional parasitosis.
But many other people are not able to eliminate their infestations (especially people in multi-unit dwellings, where pest control experts will tell you it is often very difficult to eradicate the problem).
As you can imagine, people with real bed bug problems get a bit touchy when you suggest they’re imagining it. Most of us with real bed bug problems have witnesses — others who’ve seen or experienced the problem too. I feel bad for people without witnesses, because it’s easy for them to believe it when others suggest they’re imagining things.

8 buggedinbrooklyn December 22, 2006 at 6:07 pm

I’ve wanted to post a few times about a few things, so this might get long, sorry in advance….

9 nobugsonme December 22, 2006 at 6:39 pm

Hey Bugged, it was actually super short! Anyway, feel free.

10 buggedinbrooklyn December 22, 2006 at 6:51 pm

ooooops, hehe, my friends kid hit the submit tab.
anyway, here was what I wanted to say.

it’s nice to see I’m not the only one here that looks at a bedbug infestation as an “attack”…
in mind, body, and spirit, it is definatly a traumatic attack.
anyone who says otherwise has never had bedbugs.

with that said, I’m glad we have advice and ideas from reliable people here to help solve problems and maybe help others from getting a reinfestation once they get rid of the vampires.

while it’s nice that we have someone here to give ideas on new furniture, I wonder how many can just up and get rid of it all?
now maybe I’m off base, but I’m not the only one who lives here in this house/APT…and my 86yo dad would just not understand why we would have to get rid of furniture such as a $3000.00 L shaped leather couch that is just over 2 years old.
what if with all the PCO and I do, we can’t save the couch?
this 86yo man that uses a walker to walk, just cant sit on a folding chair.

what I’m getting at is that while new furniture sounds good to people who have the money, and the lack of an elderly man who will fight tooth and nail about any change in his home.
we have plenty of WOOD funiture and I just cant see us getting rid of anything as I just can’t deal with the fighting that will happen to get rid of the stuff.
so instead of giving ideas about what would make a good desk or chairs, how about teaching us better ways of saving what we have?

now, there are always this that just can’t be saved, like someone’s headboard that I read here, but what about some of the easyer stuff?
are you telling me that sprays like D-force and powders like Drione just can’t help?
is it truly hopeless, and I’m doomed to glass computer desks and hard plastic chairs?

on a different topic…
while for the most part this site always has the best facts and help, I saw something that nomorebugsonme wrote, saying that bedbugs don’t normaly go in peoples hair (fogot what thread).
well, when my sister had bedbugs, she always said that they were in her hair…and I have found 1 bug in my hair the day before the exterminator came to my house.
also, I always see conflicting facts on if bedbugs are hitchhikers or not.
I say that bedbugs are nothing less the pros at hitching a ride to a new house/home or work place.
why do some feel that they are not?

finaly, I was wondering if it might be a good idea for a section on peoples storys about thier fight against bedbugs?
in this section located here at this site, we could tell our story, the name of the PCO used (or a total list of all companys used if there was more then one), list what chiemicals are used, and finaly say what they personaly are doing each day to combat against the vampires from hell.
people can reply with questions or advice, and updates can be posted to show just what is happening.

maybe this just isn’t the place for such an idea, but I think that it would be both valuable to the newcomer, and a stress reducer for the original poster.

well, I just bought a new vacuume and it’s time to get to work.
hmmmm, $400 for the PCO, $110 on some cans of bug spray and drione powder, over $300 on new beddings (pillows, sheets, and stuff), and now $110 for the vacuume…it’s starting to add up. 🙁

anyway, I hope this didn’t sound like a rant.
and I hope that all is well with everyone now that the holidays are here.


11 buggedinbrooklyn December 22, 2006 at 6:54 pm

oh, and an edit tab would be nice for all my spelling mistakes. lol


12 Bugalina December 22, 2006 at 9:29 pm

buggedinbrooklyn…rant away…that’s what we are here for , no passing judgements. The reason I had to throw so much furniture away was because I had to move. I couldn’t take the infested furniture with me. Some of it is in storage. So, I refuse to replace my furniture. I now am only buying utilitarian stuff, replacing my furniture with things that are less bed bug friendly. I have a lifetime of stuff in storage. My infestation was like the perfect storm. I think , I hope, I pray , you can salvage your furniture. Only you, and your PCO can make those decisions. As for peoples stories, well, people seem to come and go from here. I have stuck it out because I have really found so much support from other sufferers. You can email me anytime. As for the chemicals used, the PCO’s in NY all use the same stuff. Suspend, Drione, DE, ..what I think is most important is to treat every two weeks..because of the egg hatching cycle…If you email me I can tell you the name of a man who is willing to give you some free product to try out. We are at the mercy of the pest control industry…and the government…you should be augmenting your PCO treatments and also using some of your own products…that seems to be what everyone does .I think you can’t be proactive enuf…deb

13 hopeless December 22, 2006 at 11:09 pm

Hi buggedinbrooklyn, I hope things have improved a little for you?

I can understand what you’re saying. What I think you may not realize (because I didn’t fully realize it in the beginning as well) is that there are people who have been living with bedbugs for a long, long time. (I am not one of them, only been in this fight since October.) Their fight is particularly difficult for various reasons–perhaps they are in a multi-unit building where the conditions for a successful extermination do not exist, like mine, and they are financially or ethically unable to move without first solving their problem. I have looked hard at my own likely probability of joining their ranks and, well, you know me as hopeless for a reason. But, the point is, for people in for a long fight, or for people who have recovered but are understandably traumatized and want to never have them again, thoughts of useful and “safe” furniture, getting and/or furnishing a new place, etc. (to judge by the way I’m starting to think)… these thoughts are like obsessions! A life after bedbugs is all we think about. So, I know you will understand our longings. But you are absolutely right, there has to be more said about how to save the things of value that you already have. I’ve noticed PCOs and entomologists who contribute to discussions frequently sound puzzled by all the throwing away of stuff that new sufferers do. But, as essential as their contributions are, they are, in the end, non-sufferers. And, like you said, if you don’t have them, you don’t understand. I think the heating-truck solution will eventually become widely available, simply because at the rate that bedbugs are spreading, more businesses will be formed to serve the afflicted. New Yorkers, ever the early-adopters, will be prime consumers of new solutions. But this doesn’t solve your problem now. I am so sorry, buggedinbrooklyn, but you seem to be doing everything right; just keep going and try to get as much professional help as you can afford. Hiring a competent PCO may make the difference. There are many people who have succeeded.

Best holiday wishes…

14 nobugsonme December 22, 2006 at 11:54 pm

Hi BuggedinBrooklyn,

You’re right that there’s a lot of conflicting information. I said that “bedbugs don’t normally go in peoples’ hair” because that’s what I’d read in multiple sources. I don’t doubt that they sometimes do. It sounds like that’s been the case for you and your sister.

As far as the hitchhiking, I have heard some say they weren’t great hitchhikers, but no-one who has suffered an infestation has, to my knowledge, said so. Several folks I know have moved them from home to work, or to a new home. We at Bedbugger don’t doubt their ability to hitchhike.

As far as saving furniture, it’s my understanding that PCOs will spray furniture with pesticides when they treat your home. They may also tell you what to use to spray. I was not trying to imply that you can never save wooden furniture; I am sure you often can. I would seek a good PCO’s advice/help.

But you have to understand that the site is meant to help people at all stages of this problem. I sometimes forget that something I say in a post might mislead people into thinking this is for everyone, or is the only way. However, quite often, I also find myself repeating over and over the same basic advice. And every post can’t cover all the same ground.

I’m happy to try and make this site more useful and I welcome suggestions. We don’t purport to be experts on bed bugs, except that we’ve suffered from them and know a thing or two. Some people who do claim to be experts are a great source of wisdom, but they also have their limitations. Often one of the PCOs involved in this or the yahoo group will say something that contradicts what one of us has experienced. I’d caution you against thinking ANYONE knows all there is to know about bed bugs. I have not met this person yet. I also think a lot of our advice might come across as extreme. And yet the stories people tell here should give you some idea why we often go to great lengths.

As far as personal stories, I opened a thread for this once, and there were no takers! I would be happy to do so again.

If we move the website to a host that supports discussion forums, I will put one in. Then anyone who wants can register and edit themselves. Until then, since anyone can comment here without registering, there’s no function for that.

I am glad you’re participating and hope you’ll continue to, and that we can make the site more helpful. But remember we are just volunteers, providing what we can.

15 nobugsonme December 22, 2006 at 11:57 pm

One more thing– I wanted to add that–precisely because we are trying to share worthwhile information– I’m not in a position to teach anyone how to save furniture, but if anyone else is, especially the PCOs who are reading, I’d be glad to post something someone else writes on this topic.

16 Bugalina December 23, 2006 at 8:46 am

I would like to share a thought I had last night. Everyone’s infestation is different. Some people are single, some married, some have children, some are older and have more possessions,some are younger and have financial concerns, some are paying for extermination themselves, some have to rely on landlords to do so, some are more sensitive to bites, some are elderly, on and on. Every person’s infestation story is different. We have to work hard at recognizing this. Nobugsonme is right on when she states that NO ONE knows everything about bed bugs. We all know we want them dead. We know that they prefer to live close to their hosts, that is why they are called Bed Bugs, but obviously they don’t only live in beds ! We know that exterminating them costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time and effort. We who have infestations KNOW that they absolutely can be catagorized as a serious HEALTH issue. Not being able to sleep, having your blood sucked , having BUGS IN YOUR BED, DEFINITELY CONSTITUTES HEALTH DAMAGE . The authorities are trying to downplay Bed Bugs because they say they are not a health issue. We all know better..nothing has effected my health in recent years , as much as my bed bug infestation has…bugalina

17 buggedinbrooklyn December 23, 2006 at 11:01 pm

thanks nobugs, and others for some c larity on many of the subjects I touched on.

please understand, that I’m only looking for help and suport at a time that I’m not getting much sleep…and not thinking straight.
I’m also glad that there is help for all stages of bedbug problems.
sorry if I seem to think some things were odd, it’s realy because of the lack of sleep.

Bugalina, I’m unable to see or find your email addy, so here is mine.
also, yes bugalina, I’m using D-force, bedlam, and drione dust besides what my PCO is using.
what the PCO is using is a safe enzime, but I fear that it has little to no residue effect.
that is why I’m also treating my CO-OP APT with some harsher stuff.

I will say this hopeless, that while I have gotten new bites (2 or 3?), I feel that my problem has gotten much better.
I have only seen 2 live bugs since my first visit from the PCO, and he’s comming tomorrow to spraw the seconed time.
I have seen alot of dead bugs under my couch when I went to vacuume, and under/around my dad’s bed….maybe a good sign?
I’m also getting alot more sleep compared to the beginning.
ok, it’s still the begining, but you know what I mean.

I still feel like I’m always getting bit from them, but I think that it’s mostly in my head as I get the wort reactions and scratch up a real bite till it bleeds.
cortizone has little effect.
so, again, it seems like it’s getting better…at least I hope.

anyway, to all, thanks for being here.


18 hopelessnomo' December 24, 2006 at 12:31 am

Happy holidays, buggedinbrooklyn, and everyone at bedbugger! I’ve decided that there is hope, actually, you just have to look very carefully for it (with your bedbug loupe!), check out my new tag.

All the best…

19 nobugsonme December 24, 2006 at 9:54 am

Hey Bugged, No worries– we all know what it’s like (sleep? What is this thing you speak of?) But it’s okay to disagree too, you’re among friends!

Hopeless– yay for you.

Bugalina– definitely a health problem, even just for the lack of sleep and the depression so many of us suffer from this scourge.

Happy holidas though–Hopelessnomo’ has the right idea.

20 Bugalina December 24, 2006 at 11:07 am

Buggedinbrooklyn my email is deblynntshirt@yahoo.com , I think it is so very important for us to be totally tolerant of any and all views on this board. You are going thru bed bug hell, and you deserve to be totally understood by us, which you are. Remember , the only good Bed Bug is a DEAD ONE !! Bed bugs are like gall bladders….completely useless…keep vigilant and the fact that you are finding dead ones is GREAT !!! Just keep vigiliant…Do you have a hand bellows? And a Chapin magnifier”…these are two great tools in your fight against bed bugs. I can’t live without mine…Isn’t is great that we have had each other ! Parakeets has reminded me that it will be almost a year since the bedbugger blog came up..I just ask everyone who has success to keep letting people know .. just like every infestation being unique, every success story is unique. Some people seem to get rid of them fairly soon and others have a harder time. We need to know about all of them..We have to give hope, based on factual information. We have to educate each other. Information and education along with good, knock down chemicals, will be the key to winning our battles…and for those who win, you must keep online to support those whose battles are harder…..God Bless everyone…Love Deb

21 nobugsonme December 25, 2006 at 2:18 am

Hi All,
Just a correction–the Bedbugger Yahoo group has been up almost a year. The Bedbugger blog (where we are right now) is under three months old. We’ll hit 40,000 visitors before we hit three months.
Thanks to you all!

22 jessinchicago December 26, 2006 at 10:30 pm

Hi Everyone,

Wow, I missed a LOT while I was away for Christmas! It’s so nice to see people talking and sharing ideas and concerns here. I know that what saved me, mentally, was meeting people like me and being able to form bonds with them. I hope we all continue to make the effort to reach out to each other and help ease the burdens we face on a daily basis.

Hopeless- I love your new moniker. Good for you!! I’m grinning from ear to ear.

And buggedinbrooklyn- You ask some great questions. In terms of furniture: You have some options. If you believe the furniture is infested, you can make sure your PCO is aware of this and ask for suggestions. Make it clear that you want to salvage it at all costs. My PCO steam cleaned both couches and then ripped the mesh on the undersides and treated with Suspend and Drione. This has been repeated multiple times and I believe it has worked. Also, I have heard of people removing their furniture and isolating it (in a truck of some sort) and fumigating or bombing it. I think this is effective, but you have to take some measures to ensure that the furniture will not be reinfested upon returning it to your apartment, which would mean using Vaseline or risers filled with oil on the legs.

And as for the mobility of bedbugs, well, I have had some traumatic experiences that have led me to believe that they are highly mobile and proficient hitchhikers. I moved from my original apartment after two inadequate and costly exterminations that only scattered the bugs. I took nothing with me but clean clothes, and the bugs somehow came with me to a friend’s apartment. I’ve spent the last three months ridding the new place of the bedbugs. Also, a close friend visited me way back in May at the original apartment. This person spent four days there, before there was any sign of the bugs. This person is now infested and dealing with extermination. So, I do believe bedbugs are incredibly efficient at travelling, but my case could be rare. I sure hope so!

Again, I’m so glad to see all these questions and answers. We’re all in this together, and I know that if we keep up the comments on the blog, we will help each other make it through this.

Happy holidays to all.


23 hopelessnomo' December 26, 2006 at 11:02 pm

Hi Jess, thanks and happy holidays to you.

May I ask you a very nervous question? Do you think it possible that you reinfested yourself in your second apartment from a secondary source (like your job)? I am planning to move (an inalterable choice I’m afraid) and am obviously extremely concerned. Still not sure exactly how I will do it, whether I will decide on something along the spectrum from nothing but the clothes on my back (with a stop to change somewhere) to only bringing clean clothes like you did to actually bringing sealed (not to be opened for two years) valuables (photographs, keepsakes, documents). Leaning towards nothing right now, but perhaps there is more you can say on this subject? I know you’ve previously written a comment to me about this when I was more of a basket case but I didn’t realize that you yourself had moved with only clothes and managed to reinfest yourself. I know you may not care to revisit this topic or remember such details. But if you do, I would be so grateful for any information about what you think may have gone wrong. And I apologize if the question is unwelcome or inappropriate here. Thank you in any case.

24 hopelessnomo' December 26, 2006 at 11:05 pm

Oh, and just so you know, I have given this serious thought and I think how and where things are packed is as important as what is packed–if things are packed! And computers, cellphones, even eyewear are particular weak points in my view. Not to mention the regular contents of one’s handbag and shoes. Any thoughts from you on this would be so useful to me. Thanks.

25 nobugsonme December 27, 2006 at 1:06 am

Can I just throw something in here: if bed bugs are in computers, cellphones, etc., would it be possible to make a little ring of DE, NIC325, drione whatever dust, around the objects and leave it/replenish it until the BBS will surely have come out, walked through and croaked? Surely they won’t stay in your electronics, when you– so much good eatin’– are sitting right there? Maybe one of our PCOs knows? Or another Bedbugger has tried this?

26 Bugalina December 27, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Moving is dangerous…I did it and wound up infesting my mother in laws home. If you can stick it out where you are, I would. But I understand if you can’t. I couldn’t stick it out because I was renting a home from a woman who never would have cooperated in the extermination process. She had the first floor filled from floor to ceiling with antiques and junk, and there were rodent problems. And she was cheap. The house was 200 years old and full of charm, but the cracks and crevices were everywhere, as I believe the mice were. So I put most of my stuff into storage. But if you can stick it out it might be better…because of the “unknowns”…unless your apt. is impossible to treat…then it’s totally understandable to move….

27 jessinchicago December 27, 2006 at 2:15 pm

Hey Hoplessnomo’ (I smile when I type that!),

First, any question to me is welcomed and I will always do my best to respond.

Yes, the reinfestation was incredibly traumatic, and that’s why I’m always quick to try to point people in other directions. However, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. I think your question about my reinfesting from a secondary source is a good one, and it’s one that I’ve pondered many times. I don’t believe they are at my work, as I have had no bites at all for over four weeks now, at the apartment or at the job- anywhere. When I was getting many bites a day, I could never be sure that they were coming from only the apartment, but now it seems pretty clear that I was only getting bites there.

It did occur to me, however, that they may have been in my CAR. I took my laundry back and forth from the laundromat all summer in that car. I spent three months getting in and out of my car without even knowing I was infested. So, I’d venture to say it’s likely that they were in the car and they hitched into the apartment either on me or on my bags of clean clothes. This occured to me about one day after I found the first bedbug at the new place, and I have not set foot in my car since. I don’t think I ever will again!

I’m not certain this is what happened, though, and after the pain of dealing with this second infestation, I am VERY wary of moving and taking any belongings. You’re going to be taking a risk, but if you are careful, I think you can do it. I would take into consideration the level of your infestation at this point. Does it seem to be active or somewhat controlled? When I moved, my infestation was highly active. In fact, I believe that the random spraying of Steri-Fab with no residual as backup by my original PCO probably encouraged the bugs to hitchhike whenever possible. Also, yes, keep in mind that what you move things in is also important. I believe that if you bag and double bag and wash on hot and dry on hot and take no chances, you could probably pull it off, especially if your infestation is controlled. As for the little things (like makeup, glasses, etc.), it seems to me that those could be double bagged in zip-locs and put into a freezer for a long period of time, but I could be wrong. Is storage an option for you? I would also consider putting the valuables you mention into a small storage unit for a LONG time (18 months or so). Yes, this is somewhat costly (around $60.00 per month for a small unit), but it also means you can save the things you’ve worked for and cherished your whole life. It would be worth it to me, mainly because I threw away everything I ever owned. I regret it.

And Nobugs- I can attest to the fact that YES putting Drione around electronics does, in fact, kill the bedbugs that come out to feed. I have found carcasses around the plasma TV and speakers and can only assume that they were travelling to or from their cozy little home when they croaked, since there was a fine layer of Drione surrounding those objects. I can’t say how effective this method is, because I wonder how many are still in there and whether or not they’ve sensed the dust and become dormant as a survival tactic, but I do know that the ones that have ventured out have been killed.

I hope I haven’t forgotten anything and that I’ve helped somewhat. Let me know if you have any other questions.



28 hopelessnomo' December 27, 2006 at 9:35 pm

Nobugs, Bugalina and Jess, thank you for your generosity.

I live in a terrible building. While the situation in my apartment has improved, the situation in the building is steadily deteriorating, and not only on the bedbug front but in the most basic upkeep, so I can’t stay. I know I don’t have the strength. Before I knew I had bedbugs, I wanted to move but thought I couldn’t afford it. If only. It’s either this or some unanswerable hole of depression.

But the logistics of actually doing it, something else altogether. Thank you for helping me. What Jess wrote makes me realize that the trauma of ‘losing’ everything I own will be terrible. I thought that if I did bring anything that I wanted to keep, in not more than 1 container, I would keep it under seal in a closet and not unpack it for the recommended 18 months. But even that is so risky. (I did not want to consider a storage solution because I’m not sure where in my stretched budget the fees would come from, but I will rethink this, thanks Jess.)

I think the dusting around electronics strategy is sound–if I dared bring something and were even more daring in actually unpacking it. In my case it’s only a cellphone and charger (the charger is more likely to be infested) which I think I can afford to replace with new ones just for peace of mind and a laptop which I cannot afford to replace but simply has too much personal information for me to junk–I’m willing to wait 18 months to use it again so I thought I would seal it and keep it unopened? In my more hopeful moments I think of bringing some books too and also keeping them sealed. But I am so afraid because I really believe that bedbugs do quite easily move between apartments in a building (despite what very knowledgeable PCOs may say about this), and I suspect not only if they are under attack in one apartment, so bringing anything that is potentially infested is playing Russian roulette with your neighbors and not only yourself…

Don’t have access to a good freezer, so I have to think about what to do with small effects, other than throw them out.

Even if I seal something well, and here is the other thing that can go wrong during moving, the bin or bagged box has to be placed somewhere until it is moved and then transported through hallways and elevator. Do you replace the outer bags when you are downstairs before putting in a vehicle and also at the new location? The head spins just thinking about all the possible precautions.

After the move, it is clear that I will keep up the ziploc routine and the DE and the long laundromat hours. I just hope that I don’t end up living in this movie.

I think we all have a potential secondary source of reinfestation we don’t want even to think about it’s so scary: our jobs. I’m going to replace my chair at work at my own expense so that I can throw out the one I’m using. I know this is but a limited measure and pathetic at that but what else can I do? It’s upholstered! I bought a plastic one of the type they use in “clean rooms” and labs. 🙂

Jess, if I had a car I think I would have infested it by going out to sleep in it! And Bugalina, old and charming houses aren’t so beguiling now even for those of us who simply admired them from afar. I know I used to drool over the Country Living aesthetic.

Thank you again. You don’t know how much it means to have your support.

29 nobugsonme December 27, 2006 at 11:50 pm

Hi All,
Jess’s story is sobering. The car may well be the missing link, but who knows.
Anyone who’s considering moving should read Windy City Mike’s and A Big Fat Waste of Time’s stories, both linked under “Personal Stories” on the left sidebar of this site (also in the success stories thread). Windy City Mike gives you an idea how to move WITH your stuff. I think he may have been successful because he did wait until he’s had several treatments (at close intervals). The other thing I found interesting about his procedures was that he packed everything in sealed bags for the first treatment. And then, at a certain point, took it all out–except clothing–so that bugs hiding in books and CD cases would come out to feed, and die in the dust that was laid out to poison them.
Read his account for the details.
I would like to know more about this procedure, since I think many of us are isolating stuff to a detrimental effect: non-clothing that’s bagged WILL preserve bed bugs, because they are secure. Non-clothing that’s not bagged will allow them to come out and die. If you can do this, it has got to be better than storing bed bugs for 18 months until they (hopefully) die.

30 hopelessnomo' December 27, 2006 at 11:59 pm

Agree on questioning the wholesale bagging. When I was considering hiring an exterminator on my own, I spoke to one who was clearly puzzled by my telling him that I would bag everything before he came. I thought he didn’t know his stuff. Maybe it’s the other way around.

31 Bugalina December 28, 2006 at 9:57 am

When I used my exterminator they gave me a sheet of instructions to isolate all of my clothing and to clear out my furniture drawers….the problem is that I think the extermnators are not exactly bed bug experts….the good ones will keep on perfecting the science of the kill..hopelessnome…when you decide on a new apt. you should make certain of the policies to exterminate….This is the biggest challenge for apt. dwellers…and its a big one…It takes so much time , effort and expense to kill bed bugs that one must realize that a good portion of the city population just don’t do the things , or spend the money, that is necessary…thus this epidemic will continue….that is why I believe it is very important to isolate one’s apt. to the best of their ablilites…its really about doing the best you can in a bad situation. Perfecting the isolation strategy is key…and I think exterminators should be spraying the walls…and ceiling moldings…

32 hopelessnomo' December 28, 2006 at 1:22 pm

Totally in agreement Bugalina–and I should add that in no way should anyone construe this doubt about bagging to include any doubts about the standard protocol to clean and isolate your clothing and washable stuff and everything you might wear or use outside the home. This is essential and no one should skip it! Ever. (We’re all counting on everyone to do this!)

It’s the other things in your home that present so many challenges. I think if the environment is cluttered, then bagging everything is the only way to go. Many other circumstances and personal comfort also warrant complete bagging, but I know that if I were to stay in my apartment, I would not bag my books and some other things, because I want to use them, not keep them packed for years.

33 nobugsonme December 28, 2006 at 2:54 pm

Clothing and linens are a no-discussion point, HLNM! I agree.

But I am interested in Windy City MIke’s opening-the-bags-mid-treatments (after the first, or second, but before the last treatment) because it gives you a shot at killing those bugs and not having to bag for 18 months. I am not sure who started the bag-everything-for-18-months movement, but it may have been someone who was not thinking about the wonders of dust (drione, DE, NIC325 etc.) and residuals. Why preserve your bed bugs?

Won’t someone figure this out and hand us a protocol?!?

34 hopelessnomo' December 28, 2006 at 6:44 pm

Uh-huh. And also…

Might not this new knowledge we have that nymphs can only live X number of months without a meal–where did I see that? four months?–be useful too? Couldn’t you inspect something really well (a CD, its case and sleeve, for example) and be reasonably sure that it at least has no *adult* bedbugs, and therefore you need not bag it for the whole 18 months but only the maximum nymph lifespan + one month?


My bedbugs and I have no up-close-and-personal time together when I’m awake, so I can’t say whether identifying adult bedbugs on things is easy or not…

35 nobugsonme December 28, 2006 at 9:48 pm

I don’t trust it. I have not seen one… so I know mine are part of the elite covert undercover squads. If they can hide that well in a room, I would not put it past them to hide well in soft stuff.

36 bugalina December 30, 2006 at 1:47 pm

I am visiting out of town relatives….I just want to say happy “bugless” new years…and make a comment…I think that the whole bagging idea still needs perfecting..my exterminator told me to do it..but they also told me that bed bugs only come out at nite and that they never heard of bed bugs being in a car and that they never heard of bed bugs being in a bathroom…now this was back in May…hopefully they have wised up and are now giving better advice..but we really are at the mercy of “experimental” in this war…until a true killer method comes on the market…this is why this blog is so important…we can help each other…someone needs to invent a better method of kiling these monsters…If our blood is their food source…I keep thinking..is there anything I can ingest that won’t hurt me..but will kill them ?

37 alittlebuggedout August 6, 2008 at 10:49 pm

I was so creeped out when I learned about this whole thing! I was reading on my laptop in bed and the next thing I know something’s on my face! I squish it and look at my finger and I have no clue what it is! I check it out online and I find out what a problem it is! Now I’m so freaked out since I’ve apparently been seeing dead bedbug corpses for a couple years! Must check my entire house for signs! Thank all of you so much for making me more aware of what this is!

38 nobugsonme August 7, 2008 at 1:03 am


Wow–you reinvigorated a thread that’s 20 months old!

(Note to regulars: THIS is the thread where “hopeless” became “hopelessnomo”–and almost overnight.)

Anyway, sorry to hear you have a bed bug. Are you positive the squished bug was a bed bug?

Read the FAQs, and if you have questions, come to the forums.

39 hopelessnomo August 8, 2008 at 11:14 am

Gee, Nobugs, blast from the past. I feel old.

40 nobugsonme August 8, 2008 at 11:29 am

Me too! 🙂

41 Bugged Out August 27, 2008 at 3:06 am

I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one. I have 3 kids, all under 8 years of age. Two of them sleep with me and along with me getting bitten. The bites were so big and swollen, it was horrible. After about 2 weeks of thinking that I must have mosquitos in the house, I discovered they were bed bugs. I did not sleep that day. I cried my eyes off! I am not disgusted by them, I am terrified! To know they were on me, having their “blood meal” off me! Oh no, I went buzzerk!! I ended up sleeping on my sofa with my 3 kids. I lost weight and wasn’t focusing at work. It felt as though my world was crashing in on me. I am crying right now, because I still have them. I had 3 companies come out and perform the “inspection” however, they found nothing. All they said was, “the bites are definitely, bugbites”. But where were they? Just tonite, I was cleaning out one of the rooms and I saw them. I don’t even now how. In my kids bunk-loft bed. Just sitting there in the dark, and needless to say it is currently about 3:05 in the morning. I have to go to work in about 3 hours but instead of going to sleep I cleaned up the living room and kitchen. I still have to take some garbage out before I try to sleep. The treatment will begin tomorrow. One treatment per week for 3 weeks. Lets see how it goes. God has to help me before I go insane. Doesn’t skitsophrenia come from lack of sleep? Yeah well lets hope not! I will get back with progress or resolution.

42 Barelyliving August 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Bugged out– so sorry about your situation. Did you save the ones you saw? Lack of sleep definitely does bad things to you. Hopefully you’ll sleep better after treatment. Good Luck.

43 anne August 29, 2008 at 1:39 am

i’ve been having bedbugs for a couple of days now. not only its affecting my school work, my mood, not being able to sleep at all..my room is just not like my room anymore. everytime i walk into it i think of those disgusting creatures that are hiding everywhere and drink my blood at night. everymorning i wish it was just a bad dream..but no. the bites appear everyday. im starting to suspect that they’re all over my clothes now too.

im so overwhelmed i feel like my life is RUINED. this whole situation is just so stupid yet it really does make me miserable everyday(especially at school considering the tiny little hours of sleep i get)

im so glad i found this place and to know that there are other people experiencing the same thing as me.

with that said, is it common or not that other members of the family don’t get bites? i’m the only one getting them and therefore i cant really convince them to take big actions on it.

are there anything that i could do without using too much money??

44 RJ August 29, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Anne – We had Bedbugs at my house about 3 yrs ago, and we all were getting bitten but only me and my younger brother would show signs of it. Most people to react to begbug bites, some of us just have more sensitive skin. I do recommend though, that you try to convince your family to call EXPERIENCED exterminators asap – its only going to get worse, and you all do not want to see the effects of a heavy infestation – you will never recover from that psycologically, trust me…

Bugged Out – Sounds like what i did when I went through the infestation years ago, I would sleep on the couch in the living room but it was only a matter of time until the Bedbugs moved there too and infested the couch. They’re stealthy so they can be hard to find, as a recommended to anne, make sure your getting companies who are experienced. They know enough that they won’t just look in the most obvious places. They’re called bedbugs, but they can honestly hide anywhere – underneath carpet, cracks in the walls – I’m not saying this to frighten you, I just want you to be informed.

45 nobugsonme August 30, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Anne, RJ gives good advice re: getting a pro in.

Bugged Out– if money permits, a bed bug detecting dog may be of help. Finding bed bugs can be very difficult; some humans also make better inspectors than others. Getting a PCO who knows this and who spends hours searching is possible in some areas too. If you come to the forums and ask for recommendations, you may find some leads:


46 negativenancy October 21, 2008 at 1:49 am

Ok, I just finally realised that what’s been biting me and my husband is not mosquitoes, but bed bugs. We inspected the mattress (which sits on the floor, no box spring, no frame) and all around the mattress, and only found one actual bug. We looked into as many nooks and crannies as possible and didn’t see anything. Also didn’t see any stains on the sheets from their droppings…but I’m still declaring war. If I haven’t seen a whole lot of the little monsters, does that mean it’s not a super bad infestation? I’m praying it’s not. I’m so creeped out, I don’t even want to go to bed.

47 nobugsonme October 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm


Seeing even one bed bug is a bad sign, unfortunately. I would seek professional help from a PCO with experience treating bed bugs.

I suggest posting in the forums if you would like additional support or advice.


48 cantEVERsleep December 22, 2008 at 6:12 am

Ok so this all started roughly a few weeks ago…
I have always had somewhat a fear of “bugs” so to say. One night i woke up with two mosquito like bites one on each calf. (I never even know what bed bugs were or that it was such a growing epidemic, I thought the ol “dont let the bed bugs bite” was just a saying…) However, waking up one day to two random bites one on each calf, I was curious so that is when my research through google begins and this ongoing sleepless traumatic experience..I have called two exterminators in examing my bed, both turned out negative, in terms of no bed bug signs except my marks on each calf which they have ruled out to be bed bugs.
I squeezed one of them thinkin it was pimple… which is now I think infected? The exterminator said it was a spider bite?
I have even went so far as in having CANINES!! canines, come to my house and examing my room, I even ordered a new boxspring and mattress (very expensive) went on allerzip and ordered covers, etc…
the canines “alerted” a sign of a bed bug but havent actually found anything… I was sort of feeling relieved esp since i thought Ok ill jsut order a new bed, and that will be the end of that..

(I have been sleeping in all rooms throughout the house, brothers room, livingroom etc..) I have not had any marks though…
the other nite out of curiousity. and to my suprise, I find two small (sesame seed shaped) blood stains on my brothers lightly tanned sheets! Of course I start panicking, and my traumatic experience begins all over again…

Let me jsut say that, I have made everyone in my hosue crazy, they think i am crazy, hallucinating and need help, I have spent countless nights on energy drinks, fighting to stay up fearing of going to bed… (the one place that someone should feel comfortable is in their own bed!!) I was spent days, nights histerical, in tears to my bf, telling him over and over on how im not crazy. The stains on my brothers bed are their. I did have those marks that one time. No one has physically seen a bug. Am i crazy?

I have never ever had this phobia where i cant sleep, I have always been somewhat icky about them but never restless and crazy like this. I am actually starting to think I am…
I am even considering finding another company that specializes in canine training from that academy in florida (which the first one was also). If there werent any blood stains, I would eventually grow tired and think its all in my head, but its there…
WHen will this stop?I am deathly afraid…and now i am going to be traveling to Europ and have spent 1,200 on a plane ticket, (this was before my whole bed bug experience).
Some advice?
-sorry for the long story.

49 Dale E. Weaver June 1, 2009 at 5:32 am

My wife and I live in Middletown, Ohio which is a curse aside from our four month old bed=bug infestation. My wife is also bearing a cross which I can’t ever presume to begin to understand, a cross which my father carried to his grave when I was eight years old………Multiple Sclerosis. She is confined to bed (an air-mattress helps keep pressure sores under control) and is on anti-seizure meds, muscle relaxants, bronchodilators, oxycodone for pain, alprazalom for anxiety, antidepressants, steroids, and temazepam for sleep. She was diagnosed in 1985 and the disease has never given her a day off. We are both on disability (I have CHF and Panic Disorder) and somehow we manage to survive on approximately $1,000 a month. In a nutshell, life has been real stressful, at least we thought so)……………and then the bed-bugs arrived in January of this year (2009).At first I was puzzled because being sure they were ticks made me question why January and why so many. I will shorten a rather long, hellish story by simply saying that these creatures had to have been scraped off the walls of hell. The relentless little *************show neither my wife, me or our cat a peaceful moment. Sometimes they even come out in droves in mid-morning or afternoon. Four days after our small home was “exterminated”, they are back worse than ever. I read many of the preceeding accounts from across the nation and all of you are in our hopes and prayers. Hell’s fury, I’m sure, is paled in comparison to the physical and psychological torment that we are going through. IF we sleep at all our restless slumber is peppered with hideous nightmares and each new sunrise promises another day of agony. To any mental health professional (I was one for twenty years) who would even suggest that bed-bugs are a mere phobia……………….E.mail me. I have about a hundred tiny little gifts for you that will educate you as to what a phobia isn’t. It is 5:19 AM EDT and they are crawling all over me, my wife, our furniture and our steadily waning peace of mind. AS fate would have it, we are watching one of the Cinemax channels and we just saw a movie about some young people meeting our common nemeses in a desert motel. Oh well, the one bright side to our infestation that I can see is that if we don’t make heaven, hell will be simply a long, long boring event after what these little ***********have put us through in just four months. May God be with all of you. Sincerely, Dale and Carla Weaver

50 MPF June 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

cantEVERsleep…are you me?! I have the SAME problems. I hate it! I work in a business where I see these bugs all the time and ever since I saw my first infestation I have been a mess. It gets worse with each infestation I deal with. I am convinced I brought them home at some point. I have torn my room apart but have never seen a bug, though I have seen signs. Well, only one sign and that would be occasional spots of blood on the sheets. It’s awful. When I travel I put my suitcases in large trash bags and examine the room entirely. My whole family thinks I lost it and my husband might kill me because it is all I talk about. I truly feel horrible for people that have dealt with full blown infestations – I couldn’t even imagine.

51 help September 17, 2009 at 1:31 am

I am a social worker and I am constantly in homes with bed bugs. In addition, there has been an infestation at my work place which was “treated.” I was never scared of dirty homes, bugs, germs, etc until I read up on bed bugs. I am not sure if I have them in my home but I am severely traumatized by the possiblity of it. I am constantly (several times daily) checking my matress, sheets, bed frame, etc. I haven’t slept well in over a week and I have been sleeping on my downstairs recliner to avoid my bed. I haven’t found any evidence of them (blood spots, fecal spots) with the exception of a small black bug on my mattress. I tried to catch it to examine it but it was fast and disappeared. I have found tiny red bumps on my shoulders and back (no where else). I cannot tell if they are bites or acne. They do not itch; however, I have scared myself so badly that I feel like my entire body itches when I think about it. I had someone from Terminex come to my home to examine it. It was a pathetic search and I have done a better job myself. They didn’t find anything but to ease my mind they suggested I put down glue boards. I don’t know what to do! I can’t tell if I may have the beginnings of an infestation or if I am deranged and paranoid. I spray my shoes and pantlegs with alcohol before and after being inside a client’s home in hopes of preventing/killing anything I may pick up. I also take my work clothes off in my garage and tightly bag them until I wash and dry them on high heat. Does anyone have any suggestions for me in regards to my fears and preventative measures? The first treatment would cost $400 which would be extreme just to settle my fears; however, I don’t want to have to wait until an infestation is noticable and therefore more difficult to treat. My family things I am going insane and I am – AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

52 s montgomery September 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Yes, I have a suggestion. First, quit thinking it’s those pesky poor people spreading bedbugs (5 Star Hotels have them, too). Second, help your clients file complaints with your state health department. (You are a social worker, right?) Third, take a deep breath. Fourth, my apartment building has them. I am OCD neat and clean, an antique dealer with exquisite taste, and I had a few get into my place. I was horrified. One of the neighbors had an infestation and the old guy never bothered to tell anyone until the day he left and left a note on his kitchen table. Nice, huh? The neighbor upstairs from him has bites, red skin (from an allergic reaction), and is having trouble breathing. Another just has itchy bites. I took matters into my own hands and demanded pest control (which we are all now getting, but the building will have to be tented and fumigated once the prop. manamger figures out he’s putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. Oh yeah, back to taking matters into my hands… I put a thick coating of vaseline around each of the bed frame legs. Bedbugs will not or can not climb through that globby mess. Before each pesticide treatment, I mop with Pine Sol. They HATE Pine Sol. I use Murphy Oil Soap on wooden shelves and baseboards and around receptacles. It kills them on contact. I encased the box springs and mattresses in tightly zipped vinyl casings and taped over the zippers. Perhaps, being the altruistic do-gooder social worker I feel you would aspire to be, that is, once your fear abates, you might share this info with your bitten and trapped clients, some of whom are probably innocent children. BTW, the Murphy soap has a pleasant orange scent. Maybe you should use that on your pant’s legs instead. Now Go Save Those Kids, my man!

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