Share your tales of Bed Bug Woe

by nobugsonme on December 27, 2006 · 40 comments

in bed bugs, Tales of bed bug woe

(Updated 1/10/2007):

BuggedinBrooklyn requested a place to tell your personal stories of ongoing battles with bed bugs. These stories begin below.
Comments are disabled below, but after you read this thread, you can continue the conversation by clicking here to read the latest post in the “Tales of Bed Bug Woe” series.

1 buggedinbrooklyn December 27, 2006 at 6:46 pm

I’d like to say a few things before I start…

first, I’m going to use the list provided, and copy/paste them, and try to anser them in the order given, SO THAT THIS DOESN’T GET SOOO LONG WINDED AND BECOME JUST SOME “WALL OF TEXT” that no one would want to read.

also, I am no expert on bed bugs, and I’m sure that for everything that I’m doing “right”, there are a few things I’m doing “wrong”.
by having outsiders read this, hopfuly, I’ll get some feedback as to how or what I’m doing.
this was the “original” aim that I wanted to tell my story here.

but, above all, I wanted to share my story for all the people who might be thinking that they have a problem, and not know what is going on.
also for all the people who are fighting this horror show, there is an end to this madness, I hope both you and I find that end.

1) Name: buggedinbrooklyn

2) Where are you: I live in Brooklyn.

3) Home situation: (apt/house/dorm, roomates, significant others, family: who else was bitten?)

I live with my 86yo father, whom I help take care of. we live in a CO-OP APT.
both my father and I have been bitten…I’ll give more info soon.

4) When did the problem start? Any idea where it might have come from?

over 6 months ago my sister had a bed bug problem. we alowed her to stay for 2 days till her PCO (pest control operator) came to her house.
at this time, she slept on our couch.
her infestation was great and took over 6 visits from a PCO that I can remember…at least 2 different PCOs were used for my sister’s NYC apt.
she is only bug free for a month at best.

at first, my father and I had no bites for month…maybe 2 months.
if we were bitten, we showed little to, no signs.
then the summer started, and I would get a “mosquito” bite every other day or so.
they were NOT 3 bites in a row…AKA: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
all bites were single.

for the most part, I lived with my girl friend over the past 4 or 5 months, and only stoped by my dad’s house to help with cleaning or other things that are needed…cooking, cleaning, shopping, what ever.
I had no idea what was going on at this time…and, yes, my dad was getting bit.
my dad had no idea why he was so itchy and his arm was red and inflamed.

it was not till I got sick, that I had to sleep at his house.
my lady has canser, and I was comming down with the flu.
it’s bad enough I had to be sick, but to wake up on the couch 2 nights later wit 30 to 40 bites on my right arm was nothing less then tramatic.
over 2 weeks later I still have the scars and they don’t stop itching.
cortizone has little effect and the scars run deeper then just my arm.

it was only my right arm that was bitten, so I looked inside the armrest of the couch and I found 4 large bed bugs with my blood in thier fat bellys.
I saw nothing else.
no small ones.
no eggs.

I thought I had fleas, or ticks, but after going on the web, and seeing pics, yes they were bed bugs.
omg, yes, bed bugs are in my house…HELP!!!!!!!

5) How many bed bugs have you seen and where?

5 or 6 in/around the couch….1 of the 2 areas that are mainly infested.
plenty in my fathers bed…2 since the first PCO visit.

6) How did you verify they were bed bugs?

from many web sites, as well as the PCO that I used said what they were bed bugs.

7) Were you seen by a doctor, and what happened?


8) What have you done to treat it? What have others done? When did a PCO come, at what intervals? Are you still being bitten or seeing bugs?

the first visit from the PCO that I used (mitebuster) came just 2 days later and sprayed my beds, the couch, the dressers, the carpets, walls, inside and outside furniture, the bathroom that included the hamper.
an enzyme solution was used, like kleen free.
the PCO incased the beds, and a second visit was just done on Sunday, Xmas eve.

I have also treated my apt 4 days after the first visit with Drione dust w/hand bellows, as well as I treated the inside of the couch with D-Force, and Bedlam is used around the beds and items that can’t be washed or dry cleaned.

I also have a bottle of the enzyme stuff to spray the bed, shoes, hats, coats…and I’ll be treating my car with this starting tonight/tomorrow.
this stuff should not have any residue effect, but it kills quite well when wet.
and is fully safe for kids and pets…and smells nice.

What did you do, if anything, to keep bed bugs to yourself?
I will not let anyone visit me, nor did I go to family for the holidays.
yes, it’s sad….real sad.

9) What’s your plan now?
most of my stuff is bagged up.
my shirts and pants, and other stuff is limited, in zip lock bags and is washed in hot water and dryed for over an hour.

new sheets are being used and recerculated.
the same with laundry.
vacuuming is almost every other day.
I’ll be retreating my couch in a day or so with an other can of D-Force.
Drion will line the crown moldings of my walls.

too much more to say now, I’ll have to update soon.

10) What was the one thing you wish you knew when this first came up?

no idea

11) What tool or product has been most helpful?

well, I think that the bed bugs have gotten alot better.
maybe 80 % are gone since the virst visit and my first self treatment.
I personaly only got 3 new bites since then.
I also started vacuuming alot after getting a new one…lots of dead bugs are in the dust and dirt when I clean the canister.

to be honest, everything has helped, but this site has helped the most.
it has given me suport and understanding, and tons of information.
I am truly lucky to have found this site and the wonderful people here.

11) Did you do anything you wish you hadn’t?

not sure, as it’s too soon.
I still have lots of work to do.
when will all the laundry be done? maybe never.

there is so much more to say, but I’ll have to give an update later.
any advice or thoughts are welcome.

thanks for reading such a long post,

2 jessinchicago December 27, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Your story has truly touched my heart. Please ask any questions that come to mind, okay?

It sounds as though you are handling this to the absolute best of your ability. Please be so careful with that Drione. I hope you’re wearing a mask, because it made me sick before and I know of others who have had problems after using it. Also remember that clumps are not your friends and the bugs will avoid them if they sense them. A very fine layer is all you need, at least that is my understanding and experience.

One more thing: Remember that clutter is the root of all evil in this game, and so organization is key. The fewer places the bugs have to hide, the better off you are.

I’m so glad to hear the situation has gotten progressively better. It will continue to do so as long as you are vigilant.

Be careful and know that there’s a person in Chicago thinking of you and wishing you success across the miles.


P.S. I frigging hate laundry now, too.

3 jessinchicago December 27, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Okay, here is my story, in the bits and pieces I am able to share. I can’t really write this anonymously, as I have chosen to make public much of what I’ve been through. I have to omit some things because of continued threats from the landlord here, but I wanted to share the things I could so as to help others avoid the mistakes I made.

Name: Jess

Where are you: Chicago

Home situation: First apartment was in a house. I rented the upstairs apartment, and the landlord lived downstairs. The second apartment is in a complex.

When did the problem start? Any idea where it might have come from?

I first noticed signs of the problem in July of this year. You can read my anonymous post on Craigslist that details the beginnings of my infestation, which Nobugs has referenced and will hopefully link for you (because I am entirely technologically inept and cannot copy the link to save my life). Be warned that it is vulgar in nature and not for the weak at heart. When I wrote it, I believed that my infestation arose from a used mattress I took from a coworker. Now, I’m not so sure. It could have been that, or the bugs could have been in my vacant apartment since the last tenants moved out. I also could have contracted them from a work seminar I attended in early May, although several of my coworkers stayed in adjoining and adjacent rooms at the hotel and had no problem, and I never saw signs of bites while I was there.

How many bed bugs have you seen and where? In the first apartment, I saw one live bug in my bed. I found a couple carcasses there, too. At the new apartment, I have found many live bugs in the kitchen, which is in close proximity to the bedroom, as well as in the bedroom and in the hallway leading from the living room to the bedroom. I have found carcasses here in every room since treatment.

How did you verify they were bed bugs? I had three different PCOs identify them. The adults, particularly, did not look like the pictures I’ve seen on the internet, but were identified by a tech, an inspector and a regional manager for a reputable company.

Were you seen by a doctor, and what happened? Yes. I was seen by an ER doc, before I knew I was being bitten every night, because my throat swelled almost completely shut for no apparent reason after a few weeks of unexplained allergic reactions. I was put on Predisone and sent to an allergist, who diagnosed me as “allergic to myself,” even after I pointed out the red spots on my ankles that I woke up to every morning. I was prescribed Allegra and an Epi-Pen for the allergies. I also saw a therapist after the second infestation, because I was not sleeping and was barely able to keep my job. She suggested that the bedbug infestation was akin to her daughter bringing home head lice, and then wanted to address what was REALLY making me unhappy in life. I was prescribed herbal tea before bedtime and another costly session to “review my life goals.”

What did you do, if anything, to keep bed bugs to yourself? Wash everything on hot and dry on hot every night. This is hell on a down-filled coat, by the way. In fact, doesn’t work at all! Once the clothes for tomorrow are clean, they immediately go into a zip-loc bag. Purse and shoes stay outside at all times. Everything I own (not much anymore) is wearing thin and falling apart.

What was the one thing you wish you knew when this first came up? That bedbugs are as easily transmittable as they are. That throwing out everything and moving was not only detrimental to my mental health, but also not a good solution at all. That calling the first exterminator I found in the book was not the best idea. That researching would have told me that bug bombs and spraying contact kills would NOT work for my PCO. That I should have stayed and fought for my apartment- that I should have gotten as strong and tough as I am now and battled not only my landlord, but also my PCO. If I could go back in time, I would change my mental attitude from victim to warrior, and I would fight for my rights and insist on proper treatment. I would learn all that I have now, and I would make sure that my PCO treated properly. Period.

What tool or product has been most helpful? Number one is Deb, who helped me find my strength and courage and gave me the support I needed to fight. I wouldn’t have met her if it weren’t for the Yahoo support group. Number two is protecting my bed. It’s probably the best thing I have done for myself throughout this entire ordeal. Do it, and you will sleep at night. See the FAQs here for a great step-by-step virtual manual on how to do it.

Did you do anything you wish you hadn’t? I think I already mentioned all of it!


4 hopelessnomo' December 27, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Hi buggedinbrooklyn, so glad to see your progress. Remembering your question about furniture, I just wanted to mention in case you didn’t already know that there are some accounts of people having success cleaning their wood furniture with Murphy’s oil soap, full strength. (I know you mentioned the leather couch but not sure what other furniture you are also trying to clean and save.)

This Murphy’s oil soap strategy seems to require a pretty meticulous effort, taking apart and putting back together if possible, but is reportedly effective in killing bedbugs, with the caveat that I don’t know if it damages the finish on certain woods or if it’s veneers, who knows… so many variables and I have not tried it myself. But perhaps you might consider it. Obviously, reinfestation of something you clean is always a possibility until they are completely eradicated from your apartment. I think you can find this person’s account re the Murphy’s soap on the yahoo group.

Take care and good luck as always.

5 hopelessnomo' December 27, 2006 at 11:00 pm

Jess, that craigslist post was you? Wow. For others, something wrong with the link, try this:

I am most sorry about the medical mistreatments! What a true nightmare. Your warrior mentality is an inspiration, thanks.

6 jessinchicago December 27, 2006 at 11:09 pm

You liked it, HNMO? It was the best thing to come out of this nightmare yet for me! Hope you got a laugh or two.


7 jessinchicago December 27, 2006 at 11:09 pm

And thanks for linking it!

8 hopelessnomo' December 27, 2006 at 11:13 pm

Rather than share my story (much better above), I thought I’d write about one aspect of having bedbugs that is so messy and troubling and that is telling others.

Telling people who are close is very hard. But telling strangers is easier and sometimes satisfying. While looking at an apartment, I asked the realtor a question about the building’s bedbug HPD violation I found. There was another prospective tenant also looking. She ran to catch up with me when I left and asked me if bedbugs were like cockroaches. I tried to answer calmly but I think I ended up freaking her out anyway. Still, one less person in NYC who knows nothing about bedbugs.

On the sadder side of things, the other day I had the impulse to tell a very nice lady in my building who has children (but lives on another floor) of my infestation and the other infestations I know about. I intended it as a low-key warning. I know the worst thing about encountering bedbugs is not knowing anything about them. Actually no, the worst thing must be to encounter them with young children under your responsibility. Anyway, I regretted telling her instantly when I saw the panic in her face.

Two weeks later we’re riding the elevator together again and she stands well away from me, eyeing my coat nervously and not smiling like before. But she tells me she searched her bed and found a bedbug! I felt so bad, and not just because she probably thought I gave them to her.

I think I may start yammering about bedbugs to perfect strangers now.

9 hopelessnomo' December 27, 2006 at 11:18 pm

Yes, Jess, the wit and courage of bedbug sufferers like you, I mean warriors, :), nothing like it.

10 nobugsonme December 28, 2006 at 12:00 am

The Craigslist piece is the best thing I’ve seen written about bed bugs, anywhere. It should be in print, and Jess should use her real name on it and become famous.

11 buggedinbrooklyn December 28, 2006 at 1:03 pm

ok, ok, I don’t live in an APT so to speak.
I live in a CO-OP apt, and we own a share of the building/APT we live in.
as such we are responsable for such treatment.
yet we do have a PCO that does treat for roaches/water bugs on call, but I don’t think he would know what to do for bedbugs.

now, I’m in no way saying that mitebuster is THE place to call or use, but they seem to be the only one to vacuume the beds, and put on dust mite covers for you, ( vacuume/steem clean carpets for an added price), and the thought of using a harmeless enzyme with a 86yo father sounded good.
this enzyme BTW has the same ingredients as kleenfree.
it is hypoallergenic, and ecologically safe.
by no means am I endorsing it.

for good or bad, they seemed to have the best type of service from all the places I looked up.
also, Gianni, was a pleasure the 2 times he was at my house.

I have not had any problems with the site being down…and can always reach them by phone.
Gianni and one other seems to work almost only in Brooklyn, so in manhatten or other places you’ll get someone else.

if, I had to rate this PCO on the knowladge and work done I’d give it an 8 out of 10 sofar.
the 2 points I can’t give it is due to they realy should start thinking of doing caulking work and other stuff that some, but not all PCOs do.
they care, at least Gianni cares.
but they need to start thinking outside the box.

mitebusters do a great job for what they do.
no, an out standing job, that I’m sure most don’t.
just don’t be fooled into thinking that they will do more then they say.
they will not patch up any holes or cracks, they will not use harsh chemicals.
they will vacuum beds, spray, and cover your beds.
spray your house and furniture with that enzyme stuff.

matbe they are not the best PCO to deal with bedbugs.
maybe they are highly underrated.

again, it’s too soon to tell.
but I would recamend them to anyone who is looking for such service.

any more questions? feel free


12 buggedinbrooklyn December 28, 2006 at 12:09 pm

I wanted to update a few things, as I left out a few things I wanted to say, and to address some comments that were aimed at me….

jess, thank you for your kind words, and I’m sorry to hear your sad story.
it was one of the first storys that I read when I looked up bedbugs, and to reread it, touched me again.

yes, I am using a mask/resperator while I spray or dust.

please people, safty should always come first when using any chemical.
I don’t care how safe you think something is, use gloves (like dishwashing gloves), masks (resperators with filters are better) (and a good tight seal is a must when using a mask, more in a sec), have pants on/not a dress or skirt, long sleave shirts, a hat might even be a good idea…don’t forget to have shoes/boots on.

I remove the mask at the end of my spraying or dusting taking care not breath while doing so, as powder might be on the out side.
I wash the gloves before taking them off , then wash my hands.
remove all itemsI have on, and wash them.

ok, about a mask or resporator.
a sergical mask has been recamended by others, but I’ll tell you right now it doesn’t help.
I was in the U.S. Army. I have had the pleasure of having to train with the use of REAL gas masks.
I understand the importance of a tight “seal” this mask must have to work.
unless, a dust mask, or a sergical mask has a tight seal, any powder or fume, will just go around the mask…by a path of least resistance.
now tell me, what dust mask or sergical mask gives you a tight seal on your face?
please don’t fool your self thinking that you are protected.
only a resporator, a mask that can give a FULL, TIGHT, SEAL on your face…
covering your nose and mouth, forcing the air to pull through filters will help.
I’m not going to go into the importance of proper filters, but most resporators at least have mechanical filters, that will prevent drionedust from entering your lungs…as long as you have a proper tight seal.

if you can not take safe measures, then please don’t do any pest controle by your self.
let others who know and understand that this stuff is harmfull and dangerous…and not to be taken lightly….deal with doing any added pest control in your house.

there is a proper way of putting on such a mask.
most never do this, but follow my advice and you will have a proper seal.
put the resporator on, and pull the straps tight.
yes ladys, if it hurts your nose or face a little, it’s tight…do not loosen.
tighter is beter, pain is good.
next, on the outside of the filter(s), there should be an intake hole.
place the palm of your hand on said hole, and breath out ..letting most of any air out of the mask around the sides or exhale holes.
(this also lets any dust or substance out of the mask, and not stay traped inside the mask to go in your lungs)
now take a deep breath while your hand(s) are still on the filter(s), this will force the mask to SUCK against your face tightly…it should look a feel like it’s concaving into your face.
you now should have a tight seal and can start using any dust or sprays.
oh, please remove your hands now, and breath normaly…lol

ok, ok, I got that out of the way.

hopless, touched on my furniture issue, so I’ll reply about that now…
as for the merphy’s oil soap…this eems like alot of work for little gain.
it might help, but I am not attached to any table or what not made out of all can go for all I care.
BUT, most stuff has been doused/flooded with that enzyme stuff from the PCO.
I also lightly dust and spray most of the wood stuff a few days later to help.
if this small amout of work helps, good.
if not, then maybe I might have to toss out a few things.

as for the leather sectional…
the leather recliners part of the couch is the most infested part.
the corner piece showed no signs, and the bed part was never used and showed no signs of bugs also.
while the bed part and corner part was lightly sprayed by my PCO (and me a few days later), the recliner part was doused/flooded from the inside with that enzyme stuff.
when we turned that piece over to it’s proper place, you can see all the liqued enzyme stuff dripping between any gaps.
this stuff was safe with leater…how many other products are safe on leather?
no stains, or any other defects were done from the enzyme.
I might have had to wipe with a damp cloth in some spots to clean up, or prevent stickyness…but it seems fully safe on leather.

I had our second visit from our PCO this past sunday…Xmas eve (talk about service).
again, I’ll respray D-force in the couch in a day or so.
I’ll dust some more in places I’ve missed or in places that were washed away from the PCO’s enzyme cleaner/stuff/whatever.

no bites sofar sine the seconed visit…but it’s still too soon.
I sleped on the couch last night…I was waiting to get bitten. I didn’t. wow.

treatment for my car is next.
a 2007 hyundai sonata, purchased in Aug, is getting it’s first oil change as I type this.
I’ll spray the car with the enzyme stuff when I get it back.
I don’t think I have bugs in it yet.
but I will spray the floor mats, and my seat.
might even do the pasanger seat while I’m at it.
and a light spray of the back seats should be cool to.
I would like to spray with harsher stuff, but I’m not giving up that new car smell and I don’t trust D-Force or Bedlam on new cloth seats.
Bedlam might be ok, but it too smells like bug spray….not giving up that new car smell. I’m not. I’m realy not, so don’t tell me that I need to.


anyway, again, any questions or comments are welcome.

bless you all for taking the time to read this.


13 nobugsonme December 28, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Bugged, it sounds like things are getting better. Don’t let up until the bites are gone (remember, when it started, you had only one per day, and then how they multiplied…).

How’s your dad? My heart goes out to you, your dad and your lady, having to deal with all this. But you will succeed. It’s a shame that your dad has to be ill at this time of life.

One question: what’s the deal with mitebusters? They seem to be part of a national chain and they advertise cleaning for dust mites and bed bugs, using vacuuming, steaming, and enzyme cleaners. Their website keeps disappearing (it’s gone right now or I’d link). They appear to franchise. Is this the company you are using? I know you’re treating yourself with pesticides, but is there any reason you or your landlord chose mitebusters?

Thanks Bugged!

14 nobugsonme December 28, 2006 at 12:15 pm

Bugged– one more thing: about the car. Even if you (or someone reading this) wanted to spray pesticides in the car, they should get professional advice. Cars are enclosed spaces–moreso than homes–and it could be dangerous. Our readers and participants PCOs Sean or Howard might be able to say what’s possible in a car, though I’m sure they’d recommend we not do this ourselves.

Thanks for the respirator information, it is absolutely essential that people know what they’re doing when they use pesticides.

15 jessinchicago December 28, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Hopelessnomo’- I think it was incredibly brave of you to tell your neighbor and I commend you for that. I hope you think of the trouble you probably saved her- imagine how long it might have taken for her to notice her infestation, and how many more bugs there might have been then! I know it’s so difficult and scary to put yourself out there like you did, but you did a good thing, even if it was on impulse.

I’m glad my story inspired you. I hope others learn from my mistakes and make the effort to be strong and wise, instead of scared and uninformed, like I was. We are, after all, human beings and they are, after all, just bugs. It’s going to be our ability to reason and comprehend useful information that allows us to win this war. That, and the strength inside we never dreamed we had (and I’m not just talking about mental strength, here, either, because it takes a heck of a lot of physical effort to rid a home of bedbugs!).


16 jessinchicago December 28, 2006 at 10:39 pm

Nobugs- You made me cry, in the best of ways. Thank you.

17 jessinchicago December 28, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Bugged- I’m glad to hear that you’re aware of the hazards of these pesticides. And your instructions for the respirator are appreciated. I knew right away that those surgical masks would do nothing to protect me. I hope others do, too! Thanks for taking the time to tell us more about Mitebusters and to give your opinion. It will help others in the future, I’m sure.

I do wonder about the enzymes used, though. Is there some sort of residual value with these? I was under the impression that it was essential to use a residual in order to eliminate an infestation, as bedbugs hide easily and many will not be contacted by spraying of a non-residual enzyme. You are using residuals (Drione) on top of the enzymes, but I’m not sure other people would know that it takes more than just a contact kill to get rid of bed bugs. Just a thought.

And I know my story was sad, but it is not sad anymore. Now it is like a trimph to me; a test of heart and will and mind, and, to be honest, I think I like myself a whole lot better now that I know what I am capable of.

I echo Nobugs in the hopes that your dad and your lady are okay today. You sure are dealing with a heavy load, aren’t you? You are in my thoughts again tonight.


18 buggedinbrooklyn December 29, 2006 at 12:39 am


yes, the enzyme used by mitebusters is just a contact killer…AFAIK.
it s basicly the same as kleenfree, do a google on it.

again, it is totaly safe, but I would not drink it. lol
and I’ll swear up and down that it is a better contact killer then bedlam.

just now I found a bug on my dad’s bed, and since I had a can of bedlam in my hands (from spraying around some bags of undies that my dad riped open with his walker) I sprayed the bug.
well, after spraying the bug, I touched it to see if it was dead…
and he gave me the finger and tryed to run away. no joke. lol
well I had to spray him again, and he died.
with that kleenfree enzyme stuff his body would have more or less exploded.

with that said, I knew little to nothing about picking a good PCO for bedbugs at the time I called them.
but with added research, I found what chemicals help kill bedbugs and how to use them.
soooo, I got some kit that had a hand bellows, drione dust, 2 cans of bedlam, and 1 can of gentrol…I also got 2 cans of D-Force as it was highly recamended by many.

I was asked by my girl, “what has helped the most, the PCO’s spraying or all my work?”
I would have to say that the enzyme has killed a ton of bugs…no dought in my mind.
but I have helped contain the bugs in the small amount of areas and I’m sure I’ve helped kill off alot too.

I have to say that I feel that there is a place for Mitebusters for bedbugs.
if you have small kids, pets, or elderly people in your house, you might want to think of using such a safe enzyme product and PCO service.
yes, it might not be the most deadly service to use against bedbugs, but it will be the safest.

as I have a 86yo father that uses a walker, I don’t dust in areas that he might walk near or have his walker scrape against.
such as the hallway that leads to the bedroom and bathroom from the living room….his walker almost always scrapes aganst the crown molding as he walks by, and would spread the dust all over the carpet, and maybe getting on our skin or it could get kicked up and get breathed into our lungs.

so I only dust behind stuff like tables, computer desk, couch, dressers, beds…and so on.
never out in the open to be disturbed by me or him.
again, safety first guys/gals.

I know I have gone on and on to anser a few questions.
yet I also hope that with all this added info, that others have something to learn or compare to.


19 bee December 29, 2006 at 7:01 pm

I don’t have air conditioning in my house, which turned out to be a godsend. I had read that bedbugs die at temperatures over 97 degrees farenheit (some die at that temp, and all of them do if it’s over 100), but I was dubious. Sure enough though, ever since there was a heat wave last summer that lasted about a week, with temperatures over 97 degrees, I have not seen any sign of bedbugs nor been bitten. I’m knocking on wood that they’re gone for good.

(And I’m sure I had them, I could post pictures of the dead ones!)

20 hopelessnomo' December 30, 2006 at 1:04 am

Hi bee, I confess I’m surprised at your story. Is it possible? I thought that you needed a temperature *well above* 100 and really closer to 120-140 degrees to effectively kill bedbugs, especially if they’re hiding in insulated places. I hope you are right in thinking you have been successful, what a relief. Just very puzzled. How hot did it actually get and for how many hours?

21 buggedinbrooklyn December 30, 2006 at 7:59 am

hi bee,

I’m glad your story turned out great.
I too hope your bugs don’t come back for you.

I will say this, if it was over 97 and I didn’t have any AC to cool my house…
more then just the bugs would be dieing. lol

yes hope, I too think it’s higher, like 115-140 degrees. but then again, a house or APT can get far hotter then the out side temp if the place is not insulated well.

wow, I still can’t get over not having any AC durring a heat wave….

yesterday while spraying my couch with D-Force I saw 1 new bug.
also, I just woke up with 2 new bites while sleeping in my bed.

that’s 2 new bugs and 2 new bites since X-Mas eve.
some might not think this is a good sign, but I think that while the road I need to fight might seem long, it is getting better.

all this means is that I might need to do more work in the bedroom…
I try to use the least amout of any chemical near our places of sleep and rest.

being a warrior is hard, but the bugs will know what my wrath is like after my dad wakes up. lol



22 e.r. January 1, 2007 at 2:56 am

Anyone have a baby and co-sleep? I feel like my story is rather the norm overall, just light infestation and have never seen a bug, just a few droppings found by pest guy, but this baby aspect is different and seems to be complicating matters for us — for one thing, our fellow seems to have suffered massive colds with asthma after treatments. He is prone to this anyway but I must say that after each of the three treatments we had, even when we slept elsewhere for the first night, he got pretty sick.

I am the only one to get bitten ’round here, and that I have avoided skin so soft and other such items because I am deteremined that they bite me and not the baby. I basically lay out my body as sacrifice each night, thinking, JUST SPARE THE CHILD. Then wake with bites, cry, ice, try to get sympathy from never-bitten husband, fail, cry, ice, stumble back to sleep hoping that they will BITE ME AND SPARE THE CHILD.

We just did another treatment while gone for the holidays, came back Friday and last night I was joyfully talking about how I had no bites and NOW I WAKE UP WITH WILD ITCH AND AM QUIETLY SOBBING WHILE HUSBAND SNORES ON COUCH and baby sleeps on, unbitten thank the lordy.

I was one of those who was SHAFTED by Pest Away and then turned to First Rate, recommended by someone from the Yahoo group. First Rate is oppposed to keeping your stuff sealed — they say that it’s better to invite the bastards to come out and walk through the residuals than to risk sealing one away. This makes sense to me and was also a relief, lifestyle-wise, especially because of the baby, but I don’t see anyone else doing this during my endless web searches while up sobbing with bites, so I wonder about it.

We are supposed to move in 2-3 months and I am terrified of taking them with us and of leaving them for whoever buys our place.

23 nobugsonme January 1, 2007 at 1:59 pm


I am so sorry you are going through this. I don’t have a baby and I can only imagine what that’s like. It sounds like the baby is reacting to the pesticides… and if its worse right after treatment, maybe husband and baby can sleep elsewhere just for the first few nights? You are best off staying home as bait, but even if you’re away for the worst of the pesticide reaction, you will be bait when you return.

I do think you have the right idea about making sure you are the one bitten… and although this is probably cold comfort, remember that if the PCO knows what she or he is doing, then being bitten means you are attracting them to their death. But make sure you get follow-up treatments every 2 weeks as long as the biting continues. Some PCOs wait longer: that’s a mistake.

For what its worth, I think not bagging makes a lot of sense… except for linens and clothes. What’s First Rate’s policy on them? Are you still bagging clean laundry? Anything you can tell us on the procedure they’re having you undergo and how it differed from Pest Away is of real interest. Especially how often they’re treating.

I’m not sure what experience you had with Pest Away, but feel free to share. It’s a shame because they do seem to advertise themselves as being more environmentally friendly (not sure if it’s true or how) and they were probably a good choice for a family with a baby. I have heard they often claim to rid the problem in one visit and that people have to insist they return within two weeks for a follow-up (since we know the eggs hatch in 10-14 days and are not killed by their methods).

Just to be fair, I also want to say that lots of people do praise Pest Away based on their experiences. We are really interested in people’s experiences with various PCOs and do not want to endorse or pan any particular company, so we welcome any genuine input from customers, good or bad.

I think you have a good shot at beating this within 2-3 months if you get treatments every two weeks until it’s gone AND assuming you are not in a multi-unit building where they’re simply coming in from the next place. If that’s so (co-op or condo), you’ll need to get the building involved.

Good luck and my wishes are with you to beat this soon. Please write again and let us know if we can help. Perhaps others on the board with babies or other sensitive home situations will have advice.

24 jessinchicago January 1, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Welcome, ER. I’m glad to see that you found us and also the Yahoo group. No doubt you will get some good advice and support, which will hopefully provide you with some comfort.

This may sound nuts, but does your baby have ragweed allergies? I ask because I am helping a dear friend combat her bed bug infestation, and she has experienced respiratory problems that have grown worse with each PCO visit. She has resorted to sleeping away from home for a week after treatment, only to return to the same breathing problems once back at home. The PCOs had no idea what was going on, as the chemicals they used should have been dry and safe to breathe after a day or two. So I finally called Poison Control to see if they could shed some light, and boy, did they ever. Turns out that the chemicals used were derived from crushed chrysanthemums, and since my friend is highly allergic to ragweeds, she was experiencing severe allergic reactions to the FLOWERS. I couldn’t believe it.

I also want to mention here that the Poison Control Center repeatedly told me that the chemicals used were very non-toxic to humans if applied properly. That made me feel a little better.

I’m wondering if this is what is going on with your baby? If so, I’m wondering if there are other chemicals your PCO could use that are not derived from flowers? I have no idea. Also, maybe your doctor would have some ideas?

I go back and forth on the bagging issue, as I am a bagger (hehe), but I do admit that it makes sense to leave most things unbagged so as to allow the bugs to pass through the chemical and die. I think you’ll be okay with what you’re doing, I really do. I would, as Nobugs touched on above, make sure to bag clean laundry until the infestation is under control, simply because it will help to prevent spreading the bugs to the car, work, etc. Extra large Zip-Loc bags work really well for this, as you can seal and reseal at will.

I know it’s awful to have to go to bed every night knowing that you are bait for something. I also know how frustrating it is to be the only one bitten, and to watch the people you live with snore on in peace while you lie awake in torture. I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I hope you take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and that you WILL beat this.

Stay strong. You are a warrior now, and you will find that the strength you uncover inside that you never dreamed you had will utterly amaze you.

I also think you’ve got a good chance at beating this in 2-3 months with continued proper treatments. Be vigilant and do exactly what your PCO tells you to do.

We’re here for you, so keep asking questions and feel free to vent, okay?


25 jessinchicago January 1, 2007 at 5:59 pm


I think your attitude and resolve are incredible. Good for you.

And I forgot to tell you that I fell out of my chair laughing when I pictured your bedbug giving you the finger and running away after you sprayed it. HILARIOUS!!!! Thanks for the laugh.


26 buggedinbrooklyn January 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm

dear ER,

let me just say that you are amongst friends and the people here will give you the best advice and suport…welcome.

I’m sorry you and your family has to go through this.
it’s sad to hear about your baby.

I’m a bagger.
at least all my laundry was washed and bagged up for safety…
I use a limited amount of stuff that I keep in ultra large zip-lock bags.
the rest of my stuff is keeped bagged up.

while I did bag up a few things, for the most part, my closets are not empty…
I’m alowing any bugs to come and go, maybe even crossing some residual bug killer.
again, I’m only protecting my laundry.

please anser any questions that the others might have, as it’s the only way we can help you and understand more of what is going on.
I’m realy wondering what happened with Pest Away…???


I’m glad you had a good laugh.
let me just say that the first few nights were not so funny to me, and I realy didn’t get much sleep at all.
I would force myself to stay up way past the point of tiredness, hoping to get overtired, and then not going to bed…or my couch to sleep.
no luck, but what are you going to do.
the thought of going to bed to be lunch for a bunch of bugs was nothing short of…bull sh*t!!!!!
(I’m trying to keep this clean…lol)

also jess, just what was used by the PCO that is made with flowers?
you never said, and you got me wondering.

ER, keep on fighting.
it’s the best advice I can give.
in the end, I hope all will be well.
you are in my thoughts tonight.


27 jessinchicago January 1, 2007 at 11:28 pm


Yes, those sleepless nights are the worst! You think, after three nights of no sleep, that your body will take over and you’ll HAVE to catch a wink, right? Noooo, not when you know bugs will be crawling on you and feeding on you!!

Thank goodness that after the first couple treatments, the bites and sitings subside, and the sleeplessness resolves itself somewhat.

If I remember correctly, the Poison Control Center told me that the Drione was a pyrethroid that was derived from crushed chrysanthemums. I could be wrong, but I think that was the product they named. Maybe Sean will comment on this and shed some light.

And I wholeheartedly agree that being “lunch for a bunch of bugs” every night is nothing short of BS!!!!!!


28 James Buggles January 2, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Jess, you wrote: “The adults, particularly, did not look like the pictures I’ve seen on the internet, but were identified by a tech, an inspector and a regional manager for a reputable company….”

What did they look like? Was it their color that looked different from the photos, their shape, something else?


29 nobugsonme January 3, 2007 at 9:43 am

Hey Jess,
I had the same question as James Buggles.

30 nightshirt January 3, 2007 at 4:14 pm

that colony picture is REVOLTING. in a nutshell – yesterday i detailed my bb life and went to submit and lost it all.

first it took me about 2-3 weeks to figure out that i had them after i started getting bit. i was the only one getting bit and therefore the denial. i had recently read about them, knew it was them, knew the work and expense it entailed so i decided it wasnt them. it was. i had my bathroom gutted in sept 2006 and remodeled and i think they were in the walls. someone in my building 2-3 years ago, on a lower floor and at the other end of the hall had them. (DOES THIS MEAN THE WHOLE BUILDING IS INFESTED AND IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME? (TILL WHAT I DONT KNOW).

I immediately did internet research and washed and dried all my clothes. unfortunately i put them back into the drawers. did all that again and BAGGED in clear ziplock XXL and XL bags. they are still in those bags.

Anyway in mid october i had the first spray. just the tempo. i knew there also should have been dust and an igr but i could afford this. $125 a spray. he did do a thorough spraying just not with the right retinue of chemicals. needless to say i had him back 2 more times. so far $375 just for spraying. about $400 for laundry (including down comforters at $20 each time.) so $775 so far and i forgot to mention about $100 for the baggies and about $200 for therapy and $25 for vacuum bags. you must throw each one out after one use. you do not want the [expletive deleted] crawlilng out and re-infesting.

The amount of times i cleaned floors from the spray residual, cleaned my apartment probably added another $300 for my time.

add in the nights i slept on the couch alone andhusband in the bed (he did not get bit – that he felt anyway) and its been rough to say the least on my marriage.

I read about pest away and called them. they gave me the chemical info that an exterminator should use. they also told me about the bagging.

you cannot cross contaminate. you must be diligent about this. a pair of sweats for living room couch and a different pair for bedroom. im not kidding. after each use of clothing – WASH.

finally got smart and found a exterminator who knew what he was talking about – at least he knew the chemicals to use. 3 times for $400. add that to the rising cost of peace of mind.

my poor little dog was itching too.

funny thing is i never found a nest or anything like that. first and only time i ever saw them was the initial “find” on the mattress tag you are not supposed to remove. there were about 6. never saw one again.

I also bought mattress bags and did that whole thing. add another $175.

so i had my first spray with the new company 3 weeks ago, second one last saturday and so far so good. i will have another one at the end of january. we will see.

I have just started putting clothes back into drawers. the spray residue would kill any bugs before they got into clothes. my closet is rehung and any and all papers are in huge plastic bags, never to see the light of day again unless i need to reference them. i went through EACH AND EVERY picture i have ever taken, each piece of paper i have saved. you must to this shit. if you do it once (and it can take days) you will be able to put your home back together again without worries. doing it half assed is like not doing it at all. all it takes is one egg or adult and you can be back where you atarted in no time. i learned that the hard, expensive way.

the first blog i wrote yesterday had humor in it – then i lost it so this blog is just the facts. so now it is 4 months later. after the last spray i have to wait 6 months and then if im bug free im bug free. this sucks.

31 nightshirt January 3, 2007 at 4:24 pm

lost my comments again.

32 nobugsonme January 3, 2007 at 6:33 pm

hey nightshirt– they’re there (see above). They were caught–for some unknown reason–in the spam filter. (Usually this happens when people mention unmentionable things, name prescription drugs, or include 10 links. You did none of the above! Anyway, I got it back. Sorry for the hassle.)

Your story sounds familiar. Do you mind saying which exterminator you’re using now (the one that’s working?) I am glad you’re on the right track. But I feel so exhausted when I think about cases like yours (and mine) in multi-unit dwellings. Sure anyone can get them again. But in a multi-unit dwelling so much is out of our control. I think the good news is that caught quickly, they can be treated more easily. Maybe that will be some comfort to those of us who’ve been there.

33 nobugsonme January 3, 2007 at 6:34 pm

Please add all further comments to the new link above: started a new thread
(“Son of Share your tales of bed bug woe”.)

34 Bugalina January 3, 2007 at 11:38 pm

nightshirt….if you live in NYC please get involved in our political action group…we need people like you…..believers…. people who know the nitemare..don’t feel bad…my entire life is in storage….I’m looking at a bed bug bill of about 40 to 50 thousand…and counting…..My goal in life now is – How to avoid Bed Bug reinfestations…..Wow….that’s fun…..Bugalina

35 nightshirt January 9, 2007 at 12:09 pm

this is a really funny (if they could be) site. gotta have a sense of humor about this.

i feel that i will do this after the third spray. just in case i see something i can immediately get it. also home depot has a spray with a small amount of the active ingredient prosomething in it. it is not full strength as the full strength is NOT sold in NYS. I bought the home depot stuff anyway. a peace of mind purchase.

also, here is the clincher for me – I am going through HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS! oh how them bugs love(d) me. going through this change of life is physically (and mentally) demanding enough – it is something you hear about your whole life and to have it stomped upon by bb’s is just not right. is there a god?

36 nightshirt January 9, 2007 at 11:33 am

finally i found my blog. it is my first one ever. i do live in NYC bugalina. the new bb people spraying etc. i think are called verison. john is at 718-338-1447. the man who comes to queens is named tom. this place is really well informed and organized and if all their people are like tom who sprayed my home you will be pleased. since we all know how one must prepare for an extermination and how we have to live after i dont feel that there is a need to use pest away. they are 500 for first room, 400 for second on down to 100. do your own prep, make sure the exterminator has the proper chemicals and find a less expensive one.

bugalina – 40-50,000? you gotta be kidding me. how come? i should go back and read your entires. SO SORRY FOR THAT. who knew you would have to spend years of savings on bb’s. i could cry for you.

37 nobugsonme January 9, 2007 at 7:48 pm

You can read more comments on this issue on the “Son of” thread and the permanent thread.
And the final installment is where you should add your tale.

I’m closing comments on this one so we don’t have two or three simultaneous conversations on the same topic going.

Comments on this entry are closed.

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