Son of “Share your tales of Bed Bug Woe” and success stories

by nobugsonme on January 3, 2007 · 49 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, information and help, signs and symptoms of bed bugs, Tales of bed bug woe, tools and weapons

(Updated 1/10/2007): BuggedinBrooklyn requested a place to tell your personal stories of ongoing battles with bed bugs. These stories began here. They continued below. And there are yet more. To read the latest tale of bed bug woe, start with the one on the top of this page. Comments below are disabled so we won’t have three simultaneous discussions on the same issue. Editor’s note: if you had bed bugs and already beat them, we have a special thread for you.

Please click here to read the original bed bug success stories threads on the blog, then read the hundreds more success stories on the forums, and post your success story there so people will be sure to see it.

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1 Hitachi January 3, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Where are you:I live in my room with a matress imported from somewhere in europe was sold to me CHEAP from a doctor in philly.

Home situation: (apt/house/dorm, roomates, significant others, family: who else was bitten?)Its only me that is getting bit WTF?

When did the problem start? Any idea where it might have come from?Uhh im guessing they were there when i bought it i started noticing bites the first night i slept in it .

How many bed bugs have you seen and where?I’ve seen one and i’ve seen the shell of another one, one was black (the live one) and the shell was red brownish

How did you verify they were bed bugs?Google image search 😀

Were you seen by a doctor, and what happened?I havnt talked to any doctors or my school nurses yet.

What did you do, if anything, to keep bed bugs to yourself?Wash my clothes no one goes into my room cept my step mom sometimes cleans it even though i tell her not to.

What’s your plan now?BURN IT BURN ITT!!!!!

What was the one thing you wish you knew when this first came up?That it was infact bedbugs

What tool or product has been most helpful?Matches. :]

Did you do anything you wish you hadn’t? NO. oh except for buying the mattress.

2 jessinchicago January 3, 2007 at 8:19 pm

Answer to question posed on previous post of similar name:

Hey Guys-

How appropriate that we got this pic from Lou today! I was going to have a hard time explaining what I meant otherwise. Alright, here goes. See the big fat red suckers all over? That’s what most of the pictures I saw looked like. I also saw some pics of the unfed nymphs (like the one in the Wikipedia picture Nobugs posted). ***Had to edit my own comment here- That *looks* like what my idea of an unfed nymph is, but bloody hell, as you can tell below, I have NO IDEA :)***

The only things I ever saw or collected looked like the small-ish dark bugs (one up in the right hand corner of the colony). They were uniform in color (not partially clear and partially dark or red) and they were dark- not red or even reddish, but brown.

I do believe I must have tricked myself into believing (wishful thinking, I’m now sure) that what I thought were adults were actually much smaller versions. Sigh.

Hope this helps!

Jess

3 jessinchicago January 3, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Nightshirt-

Glad you found us and I’m really glad Nobugs found and salvaged your comment!

You sound so much like me. I can hear the anger and frustration in your words and believe me, I can relate. We all can, unfortunately. I did the math once, too, and I figure I lost a good 5 or 6 thousand dollars in this whole process. I feel an incredible sense of loss sometimes. Now, I mostly feel a sense of strength, but there are moments when I feel overwhelmed, sad and most of all PISSED OFF.

I hope you write again. I’d love to hear some of that humor.

Keep fighting the good fight. You’re on the right path now. I can tell you’ve done your homework and have learned the tricks of the trade (unfortunately, like myself and many others, the hard way).

I hope you continue to use your experience to help others avoid mistakes. It might just help you heal, like it has for me.

Jess

4 jessinchicago January 3, 2007 at 10:21 pm

Hi Hitachi.

Welcome. Just wanted to say that there are other (safer) methods to rid yourself of bedbugs besides matches and flames! Hehehehe. I’m sure you probably know that already.

Many of us are the only ones bitten in a household. Yes, it sucks, especially when you’re trying to convince the others that there is a problem (a big one) and they don’t seem to understand the urgency of the matter, because it is not affecting them.

I hope you read through the FAQ on this blog and ask us any questions you have. I’m sure someone here can recommend a good PCO (Pest Control Operator) in your area.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Jess

5 nobugsonme January 4, 2007 at 1:00 am

Hey Hitachi,
Jess is right– fire is dangerous (the fumes from these synthetic fibers, not just the flames, dude.)
I hope you get help ASAP and that you’ve either gotten rid of that mattress (labelled carefully and hopefully slashed up as unusable as possible) or bagged it in heavy-duty allergen-proof and bedbug-proof covers.

6 buggedinbrooklyn January 4, 2007 at 3:34 am

wow, I had no idea this type of thread would take off like this.
I only thought a regular member might tell thier story, besides me.
boy was I wrong, and I’m glad that I was so wrong.

anyway, welcome Hitachi and Nightshirt.
there are great people here to anser all your questions and help in any way they can.

fire is not the way, but it does sound nice…right Hitachi? lol

well, it’s time for sleep for me right now.
let’s see if I get any new bites…I hate this part of the day/night.

buggedinbrooklyn

7 nobugsonme January 4, 2007 at 10:11 am

Belle wrote, on the “Success” thread (so I moved it here–to get more of a response):

January 4th, 2007 at 2:21 am

Yes, I’m still in hell, but fighting. I’m living in a small town near Yosemite National Park, and NO ONE here has ever heard of anyone getting bedbugs. Local PCOs have been less than worthless.

Did I mention that I just bought my dream house and lived here just three weeks before I slept in a hotel in the Bay Area (where I just moved from) and that’s where I got got bbs? I am NOT going to let them ruin my life. I sunk every dime I own into this house and I am NOT leaving! I’m going to kill every f**ing one of them!

After the last PCO took my money, hardly did anything I asked him to and later told me that it was his opionion that I don’t have bbs at all, but suffer from “delusory parasitosis,” I realized that I was on my own. I swear, there was a day there when I really wondered whether I WAS nuts. That was a low point. I did make my feelings clear and he sent back my money, so that helped.

I sent away online for a professional bb killing kit, an expensive respirator and goggles. They’ve finally arrived and I’m ready to do battle.

When I sealed up the area between my baseboards and (new!) hardwood floors with silicone, the bites went from 15 a day to one a day to none. But I wasn’t fooled –I knew they’d be back.

I’ve had my $3500 Sleep Number bed and my gorgeous antique queen mahogany bed isolated to a storage building about a hundred yards from the house, and now I’m sleeping on a raised aerobed. (Here’s the joke — it’s incredibly comfortable and my bachaches have all but disappeared!). I’ve been running all my bedding through the hot cycle on the dryer for 90 minutes and then sealing them up in “space bags”– the vacuum-them flat ones you see advertised on TV. Not nearly as easy as they make it seem, but it does keep the good sheets safe until I can put them on the bed.

I’ve sent away to the National Allergy Foundation for their impermeable pillowcases and mattress protectors, and they’re cool as far as they go and I HIGHLY recommend getting them (relatively cheap), but the bbs just climb over what they can’t crawl into so they’re not the answer to your prayers (sorry). They do however keep you from having to wash the pillows and comforters — you probably know by now what a misery that is.

Does anyone out there have any cautions about using different chemicals in the same room? I have cats and I love them dearly and don’t want them developing cancer, etc. Not to mention that I don’t want to either.

Thanks, and best wishes for a bb-free 2007.

Belle

8 nobugsonme January 4, 2007 at 10:11 am

Belle,
I moved this to this here “Son of Share your tales” thread because the success thread might not attract the feedback of sufferers in the same way.
How awful. I think its terrible that you could not find a PCO experienced with bedbugs in the Yellowstone area, and are havng to do this yourself. The good news is that eradicating them in a single family house will be very do-able, from what I’ve read.
I have not donned the respirator and raised my own spraycan, so I will leave that advice to them that know. But I applaud your attitude and proactive stance.
Aerobeds better for your back than a sleep number bed? Oh, you hear something new every day on Bedbugger.
I love the National Allergy mattress and pillow cover. Thanks for letting us know the comforter cover is good too. But yes, they are not cure-alls. Just one more gap sealed in this war.

9 nobugsonme January 4, 2007 at 10:02 am

Maybe we should call Hitachi “Hibachi.”
Fire.
Hee hee.

10 buggedinbrooklyn January 4, 2007 at 11:10 am

Bell,

welcome, and know that we will not abandon you like some retarded PCO.

I too think that you should be able to get rid of the bugs easy in such a free standing home.
but since your forced to do it your self…please, safety first!!!

I’m also using products from a pest control site.
as such, I have some safety tips, and thoughts on the mater…please read everything as my replys can be long at times (man, I just know that nobugs is going to charge me for web space one day…:-) ).

—————————–
I first copy what I said on respirators here:
please people, safey 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 sugical 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

11 buggedinbrooklyn January 4, 2007 at 11:12 am

oooops, I’m so sorry to call you Bell,when your name is spelled Belle.

I’m so bad with spelling…sorry

buggedinbrooklyn

12 Bugalina January 4, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Belle and all others…I see myself in all of you…I too had a sleep number bed..its in quarantine…I think caulking every crack and crevice is a good idea..get yourself a good caulk gun and caulk away …then I think that the Suspend must be applied no less than every 10 days…If you use a PCO thats good but you must augment their treatments with your own stuff…buggedinbrooklyn is right on about the respirator…..Drion is a really good mechanical killer…buy the hand bellows to apply it and always use the respirator when applying it…but its good..vacuum all of your window moldings…I bought some of that compressed gas duster stuff in a can…blow it into your electronics…it is treated with a bitter herb so to make it unattractive for stupid kids who use it for something to get high, but I think its good for blowing out your computer and TV areas…then vacuum all around…and apply a light coating of Drione…the whole thing is to create as unfriendly an environment for them as possible….Clear the clutter…caulk up the cracks and apply chemicals…..and keep doing it…Staples sells shrink wrap…you can shrink wrap some of your things and if the bugs are inside they will eventually die if the shrink wrap is really applyed tight..its a good tool to store stuff onsite…get the longer rolls…and check ALL picture frames and don’t let any wall paper come loose…I too am sleeping on an aerobed…yes they will crawl anywhere but the idea is to give them less space to hide in…Are you putting your bed up high and greasing the legs ??.Belle have you told the hotel who gave them to you ??? I would try and get some compensation from them…I am very tired so I hope this makes sense..I moved today from an apt. to my new home

13 nobugsonme January 5, 2007 at 2:24 am

Hi Bugalina and congratulations on your new home! A single family home sounds like a really good way to avoid this roblem (I know it isn’t a guarantee–Belle’s case proves that, but it sure does help.)

Belle, Buggedinbrooklyn and Bugalina have great advice. One thing I want to add to Bugalina’s words–while I agree with everything else she says, a lot of people are starting to question the “bag everything” theory. I think everyone agrees that all clothing and linens should be washed on hot, dried on hot, and sealed in bags until they’re used. (Not returned to dressers, closets until you are at least a month bug-free.)

What the jury is out on is bagging everything else. Some PCOs were recommending this and many of us climbed on board that train. But here’s the deal: if you do bag, shrinkwrap or seal everything besides washed linens, you are very likely to seal in live bugs and/ or eggs. Adult bed bugs can live for up to a year (and some sources say 18 mnths) without a meal. For this reason, if you do bag everything, you’re signing on to keep it sealed for 18 months.

Another theory is that you should either not bag the non-clothing/linens, or bag it only for the first treatment. If these items are not sealed, bugs will come out. If you are not using pesticides which repel them (which I understand you should not), and are using the kinds they have to walk through to die (I think Drione is one, DE and NIC325 definitely are), then leaving the items unsealed allows the bugs to try to come to you, to eat. Whether they succeed or not in reaching that goal is a moot point IF they walk through the stuff and die.

You have to be the bait of course.

Anyway, this theory has kind of got me convinced. Windy City Mike (see links) sealed for the first treatment and then unpacked. But I am not sure that process of initially packing makes much difference.

This is all by way of saying that we’re trying to find the best way to deal with this but no one is really sure. Even the PCOs have wildly different methods. Good luck and keep commenting here!

14 Bugalina January 5, 2007 at 10:04 am

Yes…I agree with you about the bagging process…The good thing about the Shrink Wrap is that it is clear..and if there is activity inside it might be able to be seen…also it doesn’t allow oxygen in…if done correctly..but I agree ..try to only bag things that have been washed and dried thoroughly BUT I found many bags to have small holes in them…I held them up to the light…SO I suggest always double bagging them…or using the ziplocks but making absolutely certain they are closed properly…..its all experimentalll..but the whole idea is to “smoke them out”…clear the woods and give them as few places to hide in as humanly possible….then inspect EVERYTHING….and feel sorry for those who are frail, elderly, have lots of kids ..have too little money to afford the expense of costly exterminations…..these are the people I feel need the help of government to address this awful bug epidemic….we all need to have acknowledgement of the trauma this bug causes……

15 buggedinbrooklyn January 5, 2007 at 11:22 pm

update:

while no new bites last night, I got 3 new bites (in a row…breakfast, lunch, and dinner) on my face…just above my right eyebrow.
this is not only the first triple bite I got, as all seemed to be single ones in the past, but the first on my face/head.

the bites were from my couch.
again, last night, I got no new bites.

guys/gals, this sucks.
tell me it’s getting better.
I know it is, but I need to hear it.

them bastards bit my face!!!
at least it doesn’t itch, and it almost is not noticable…somehow it seems like it’s even going away fast.

also, it seems like I’m starting to feel like they are cralling all over me every time I’m in my dad’s house.
I know it’s just in my head, but it’s been like 10 days since I felt like this.
remember all the jokes, and fun I’ve been making? well I’m afraid that my mind is feeling a little blue lately.

come on gals, chear me up.
tell me it will get better.

feeling like crap,
buggedinbrooklyn

16 nobugsonme January 5, 2007 at 11:29 pm

Buggedinbrooklyn, Ugh–how frustrating. It can’t be easy fighting it in more than one location at a time.

It has gotten better, right? You went a night without bites. It is not cured. But it is getting better. Keep fighting. You are turning a corner on this.

How are you treating the sofa again?

It’s hard to know what to say to cheer you up except to say as long as you’re fighting and fighting smart, it can only get better.

17 hopelessnomo' January 5, 2007 at 11:45 pm

Hi buggedinbrooklyn, I’m so sorry to hear about this downturn but it’s probably normal; you can’t sustain cheer in this situation. You have to keep treating aggressively and keep your focus on that. And be prepared to change your strategy if it seems not to be working. I believe you are using an unconventional PCO? If it’s working, great, but if not, maybe you need other professional methods in addition to your self-treatment? I wish I could say something helpful about that but maybe you need more experienced advice.

I have thought about the crawling and biting sensations a lot. I think that with time, your skin’s response to the bites can change, and the bites of nymphs vs. adults present differently at different times. I believe the late-afternoon crawling and biting sensations are most likely delayed reactions from the bites and bedbug activity of the night before. Also, I really think that your skin reacts to dead insect particles or matter you may come in contact with around the house and that it especially reacts to the very insecticides you are using. Remember that insecticides can produce skin reactions, perversely, that feel like prickling sensations and crawling. In other words, this is the crazy-making stage of the situation, is it a nymph bite, is it your head, is it the pesticide? Please take care of yourself, seek the comfort of your family and your girlfriend, and give yourself a little space to reconsider your overall strategy.

All the best…

18 jessinchicago January 6, 2007 at 1:40 am

Brooklyn-

It IS getting better. You know it’s true.

I’m so sorry you got bit on the face, for crying out loud!

Keep fighting the good fight. YOU ARE WINNING. You’re just biting back in a much more calculated way!

Thinking of you.

Jess

19 nobugsonme January 6, 2007 at 2:06 am

Hope said: “Also, I really think that your skin reacts to dead insect particles or matter you may come in contact with around the house and that it especially reacts to the very insecticides you are using.”

Lou Sorkin, the AMNH entomologist active on the yahoo group, has confirmed that the former happens, and I think he’s confirmed the latter too.

There’s actually a known condition where people experience “bites” identical to real bed bug bites, long after the bugs are gone. One theory is they might be reacting to bugs in the current environment (old dead bedbug skin particles in the home dust, or even chitin or other bug “products” used in vitamins! Yuck!) In other words, bed bug bites are an allergic reaction and something can trigger it.

On the other hand, I think its likely you are still being bitten. And I think sofas can be well tricky. And you have two bed bug-infested homes to work on. You will get through this. It is getting better.

We’re with you in spirit.

20 hopelessnomo' January 6, 2007 at 2:36 am

Hey buggedinbrooklyn, sometimes it helps to laugh at or feel sorry for someone else. So here’s hoping this does both.

Two nights ago my air mattress deflated–it developed a leak that I couldn’t fix (desperately trying, breaking out the duct tape, etc.)–too late to run out to Target to get a new one. So I stayed up as much as I could but just had to at least get in horizontal position around 4 am–and for the next two hours “slept” in a rapidly descending and engulfing sheet of plastic, to the sound of psssssss.

Hope you at least smile.

21 hopelessnomo' January 6, 2007 at 3:19 am

Bugalina, I hope you are very happy in your new home! May I ask how you moved? No, don’t worry, I’m not moving anything when I move, I definitely don’t need a mover… just curious because I wonder how a real bedbug warrior like you vets a moving company and supervises a move. Very sternly I’m sure. 🙂

Anyway, I’m wondering about those mover’s blankets and all the rest if you care to share.

And Bugalina, thank you for continuing to be so supportive and involved even though you have already conquered. I bet you are the first person to offer kind words to many sufferers! I know I am deeply grateful.

22 nobugsonme January 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

Hope,
I echo your thanks to Bugalina!
Also, the mattress story—ugh. I couldn’t laugh because I am thinking of getting a raised Aero. Was it one? I am wondering if this happens.

23 Bugalina January 6, 2007 at 11:13 am

I MOVED MYSELF !!! Yes , with my grumbling 58 yr.old husband….we carried , what little we have, …we have a pick up truck….I really dont have much…some metal bed frames, some air mattresses…a few chairs..a plastic folding table from Home Depot…and a couch I purchased from a neighbor who I was positive did not have bed bugs…I keep thinking what the neighbors must be thinking…no moving truck !!! They see us assembling wire shelving and carrying in our own bed frames…ALL of my furniture is storage away in a POD…somewhere…I can’t think about it because it gets me too too depressing. The rest of my stuff is in my mother in laws home, her home was infested but I have left it empty since May and treated it several times. I plan on going in there to sleep sometime later this month….So to answer your question..I would NEVER use a mover or their blankets…NEVER…but I have become obscenely paranoid…I can’t help it. DEAR BUGGED IN BROOKLYN ..You are dealing with an overwhelmingly difficult situation…allow yourself to feel down..but please please remember that time is what is needed….depending on how much furniture you have and what chemicals you are using…if you are persistant..and consistent…you will eventually kill them…but it takes time…I think that Franks advice about caulking everything possible is very good…clearing out clutter..caulking every crack possible ..applying DE or Drione…spraying Kleen Free or Bed Bug terminator at nite on sides of the sheets.. …just doing whatever it takes..Given the chemicals we have it takes time to get them down to a zero population…time is on your side…just project into the Universe that you will conquer them…do visuals of their death !! I was bitten on my face…its very debilitating …I think they start biting the face when they get more desparate…you will kill them…don’t stop using whatever tools you can…!! My prayers are with you….Bugalina

24 Bugalina January 6, 2007 at 11:29 am

Thank you for your thank yous….I cannot begin to tell everyone how much I wish I could wave a magic wand and get rid of your infestations. If you take note, it takes at least three months of constant battling for people to conquer them…I moved so you cannot use me as an example, but those who have stayed put and put up a good fight, it seems to take them at least three months…I think one cannot rely solely on PCO’s…One must augment their treatments with treatments of their own…I know people are concerned about chemical use, but these bugs only understand the “chemical kill”…We are exposed to toxins on a daily basis..everywhere …so I don’t think one should give too much worry about them (chemicals) …use them wisely …use them for bugs !!! These bastards are little ….a little DE lightly dusted along the baseboards…some Suspend sprayed on the walls…it won’t hurt us…I grew up in the days when Asbesto was used all around my home…My parents put insulation into the walls of our home themselves…I ran behind DDT fogger trucks in the alleyways of the S. Side of Chicago…I played with toys that had lead based paint…geez probably all of the paint in my home was lead based…I am a little kooky but I am still here …having bed bugs is very debillitating…as I have said, the stress of them is far more harmful to my health than some chemicals I use to kill them….So I really think we must battle them head on…never give in to them !!!! One day you will realize that you have gone several weeks, and then a month and then two months etc, without a bite…It will happen….I promise you…stay strong and keep fighting them..Bugalina

25 hopelessnomo' January 6, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Bugalina, of course you moved yourself, I should have known!! Silly me.

Good for you, I really hope that you will soon feel at peace enough to get more comfortable furnishings, I mean before the year and a half that I assume you are storing your things for. You deserve peace and comfort in your own home. Or have you signed up for the Spartan lifestyle for good?

Nobugs, no it wasn’t an Aero! Gosh, a really cheap one. And the next night I went out to get an equally cheap one because I couldn’t bear to sink more money into this bedbug hell that I’m escaping soon. And still, I have to buy yet another air mattress when I move since I won’t be able to buy a bed. I’m also thinking of a raised Aero.

(However, you should know that, according to the blessed internet, unfixable tears happen even to top of the line air mattresses. You have to factor it in every year or two it seems. My cheapo gave out after barely 2 months. This new one better hold up for just a few more days.)

26 Bugalina January 6, 2007 at 6:42 pm

hopelessnomo…..I really have to laugh at myself…I am pathetic !!! But I am what I am…I can’t help it…Do you know that I recognized my infestation after the FIRST bite !! I realized that today…I knew..but the exterminators didn’t believe me…so I self treated..and they bred…they breed fast .. I have three Aero beds and I haven’t had any problems with them…I get them at Bed Bath and Beyond…..I have used my 20 percent off coupons….they really aren’t a bad sleep…I have put a foam topper onto them..and encased the entire works into a zippered bed bug cover from Nat’l Allergy…and the answer to your question is YES , I am going to continue living a spartan life…until something like DDT comes back onto the scene…we all have to remember that bed bugs were a big problem back before the 1950’s or somewhat earlier….and they were almost completely eradicated with DDT….so….if it happened before it should happen again….something must be invented because hotels are going to lose their shirts and landlords are going to lose their minds and tenants are going to be jumping out of windows !!!! So somewhere down the road…in our “civilized” world …we are going to have to demand an answer to this…People cannot continue down this course…they shouldn’t be expected to….no matter what their income levels…or living standards….no one should be expected to live with them…..I really think , for now, the trick is to “uncover” all of their living spaces….rat them out…soak them with the chemicals we have…vacuum them up…..dust with DE ..Its an exhausting battle but it can be won…with lots of effort…somewhere down the road something has to be invented that doesn’t require such monumental tasks….but for now…we have to do what we have to do…And you will and you can..kill every last one of them…..bugalina

27 buggedinbrooklyn January 6, 2007 at 8:59 pm

to everyone, thx for the kind words…and yes, I’m sure it’s getting better.
yes, I go a night here, and a night there with out any new bites.

after all, with 40 bites on my arm on the first night…
about 4 or 5 bites each night after, untill the PCO came…
yes, a bite here or there over a few weeks must be saying that all is getting better.

it’s just hard.
I’m growing tired again.
the vacuuming, the laundry, the spraying, the itching.
it just seems to never end.

wow, never thought I might be feeling that “prickling sensations and crawling” on my skin could be from the cans of spray that I’m using around my desk.
(well I did spray my desk on the inside, outside, and underneath…with D-Force)

about my couch again…
about a day or two after my PCO sprays the inside and parts of the outside of my couch with that enzyme stuff (more or less kleen free), I spray a full can of D-Force inside the couch.
the part of the couch that was realy infested was the recliners.
not to say I never lightly sprayed the other parts, but the area that my dad and I sit, and I some times pass out on is drenched in D-force.

two visits were already made from Mitebusters.
I don’t see a reason to use them or anyone else again after my last visit.
I’m sure I’m doing a great job treating my Co-Op apt and will have a bug free home again soon.
again, it’s just getting old fast.

please keep reminding me and other that it can take 2 to 3 months to be fully bug free.
it seems to be such a long time to have this problem, but it looks like that is what it’s going to take for me to get rid of them.
I’m starting to also see that it is TIME that kills almost as much as all the chemicals, and I can’t cheat time when it comes to bedbugs.

give me a day or two, and I’ll tell another joke.
till then, I’ll keep fighting the good fight.

buggedinbrooklyn

28 Bugalina January 7, 2007 at 10:24 am

bugged listen it is exhausting…..my husband returned home from a trip a few days ago and I still have his luggage in the back of our truck..encased in black plastic bags…just the thought of having to go thru the process of “decontaminating” them exhausts me….It will take you time…You have to get their population down to zero…and that takes time…Do you have any DE??? Are you using Kleen Free or Bed Bug Terminator ??? Have you caulked all around the co-op??? A nice hardware person will help you to pick out a good caulk gun and some good caulk…its really important to seal up any of their hiding places….Do you have someone to talk to ??? Someone who understands the difficulty you are going thru??? You are right when you say that it is time , coupled with the chemicals..Do you have any of your own Suspend and a pressure pump applicator…because I really believe that you must apply this every 10 days…for several months, in order for it to work optimally…You can purchase the Chapin pumper for about $99.. if you want to email me I can tell you how to get Suspend…my email is deblynntshirt@yahoo.com. maybe we can talk….if it would help…Deb

29 Nero January 8, 2007 at 5:40 am

I actually didn’t stumble across this blog until a few minutes ago! I feel a little more relieved that I’m not the only one who’s just being driven crazy by these constant pains! The things that send my mind reeling all the time is the fact that they’re so small and can hide anywhere. Sometimes I ask outloud “Why? Why do these things even exist?!”

Sometimes I’ve felt like the only person who truly goes crazy about these guys in my bed or anywhere in my house attacking me when I’m most vulnerable: when I’m asleep. 3-10 minutes of feeding on me?! ARGH! The thing is, I think this is my first actual time living with these bedbugs; I’ve never had them until my mother was gracious enough to let my aunt move in until she found an apartment. She brought in her infested ( though small) couch, sat it against my (fake) wall (my living room’s divided) and they just…moved in! What makes me angry everytime is the fact my aunt didn’t mention a single thing about it until I started getting bitten. Then she tried to blame my other relatives!

Thankfully, my aunt’s moved out, but she didn’t take her ‘friends’ with her. I’m constantly frustrated all the time about it, and it seems like I’m the only one in my house getting bitten. I almost hate going to sleep now; primarily the reason I go to sleep at weird hours of the morning. I never felt comfortable saying that these bedbugs until I came across this blog during a google search.

I can safely say I want to try and bring the population of these bugs in my house down to zero, before I start college. I can’t start there with issues of sleep, I don’t want to! A week or soago, I couldn’t take the frustration anymore and I cried like a baby for a moment before sleeping in my mother’s room. Now my resolve is to get rid of these things by anymeans necessary. I’ve been reading up on so many products, the only recurring product is the powder that’s suppose to dry the bugs out, and mattress coverings.

And…now I think I’ve rambled/ranted too much. Let me get down to answering this thing.

Name: Nero

Where are you: NYC

Home situation: Apartment with my mother; I’m like the only one getting bitten more than once too

When did the problem start? Any idea where it might have come from? :It started in late August. I know where it came from: the infested couch my aunt brought in while she moved here

How many bed bugs have you seen and where?: I’ve seen a lot. mostly adults. Whatever moves in my room (that isn’t welcome) I kill it, damn it.

How did you verify they were bed bugs?: My aunt told me what they look like and through reports on the news.

Were you seen by a doctor, and what happened?: I wasn’t seen by a doctor because the problem isn’t that bad…but it’s still a problem!

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?: I’ve purchased some sprays from hardware stores that are supposed to treat the bed bugs; but maybe because of my paranoia, I feel that they don’t work. I’m still being bitten, preferably in the same spot now (weird, no?) and I’m still seeing the little demons.

What did you do, if anything, to keep bed bugs to yourself?: Well, I didn’t do anything. They seem to be fond of my room…and me. There was one that got into my mother’s room, but that was all my fault. I swore to myself I would at least contain them in my room…even though that’s like impossible.

What’s your plan now?: I’m going to convince my mother (who sometimes sounds amused by my freaking out and vast knowledge of the bug that terrorize me, even though she knows how crazy they’re driving me) to buy some of the products. I get the feeling my hardware store might not even have the powder.

What was the one thing you wish you knew when this first came up?: I dunno really. Maybe the fact that my aunt could’ve mentioned something, so my mother could’ve stopped the couch from coming in all together.

What tool or product has been most helpful?: This bottle of spray that I set to ‘stream’ so it comes out as liquid. I grow fond of spraying the corner of my false wall (especially since I finally saw where they were hiding; it frustrated, disgusted, and pissed me off to no end) and letting the product get into the wall corner.

Did you do anything you wish you hadn’t?: No, not really. Well alright, at first I tried to lure myself into believing that they weren’t bedbugs, but maybe mosquito bites.

I’m sorry for rambling and pushing this onto everyone, but it’s about time I let it all out. 🙂 I’m actually glad to see that I’m not crazy, or too hellbent on getting rid of bedbugs.

30 nobugsonme January 8, 2007 at 10:49 am

Hi Nero!

I am so sorry for your troubles, but I am glad you found us. You’re not crazy: you have a GREAT attitude! Many of us were the only ones suffering from bed bugs in our multi-person homes. Your mom may eventually feel the bites too, but for now, I know how hard it is to talk to someone in that situation.

You already figured this out: you CAN’T contain them in your room.
Here’s the thing: if you are seeing a LOT of bed bugs, then you may have a large infestation.

I am not sure if you live in a multi-unit dwelling, but if you do, you must tell your landlord or building manager. It’s not the issue where they started: if your family rents, the landlord is responsible for getting rid of them. And FYI–this should be an experienced PCO with background fighting bed bugs successfully–not the guy who comes every month to spray for roaches, or the landlord, or his buddy who he gives $60 but is not a licensed PCO. (And if your landlord won’t treat, you call 311 and report this as a housing violation, and s/he will have 30 days to fix it, or at least start.)

Second, whether your landlord pays or you’re homeowners and your family pays, you really need to get a professional in there. BuggedinBrooklyn has a background with this stuff and knows what he’s doing. Others, such as Bugalina, supplemented the work of a professional Pest Control Operator. But noobody should be trying to fight bed bugs (especially a large population) without an experienced, experienced professional. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough, and in fact, I am going to paste this to a new post, just so everyone else catches it!

Please keep in touch and let us know how it goes. The FAQs will give you some ideas on things you can do right now to make things better.

31 londoner January 9, 2007 at 11:42 am

Hi all,

I have just come across this website and am having bb woes of my own!

Background:

We moved into a flat in late summer. The week before we were due to move in the current tennant noticed a bug on the wall. Thankfully they were quick off the mark in terms of identifying it and through a recommendation used an experienced PCO. After the 1st treatment and for the remainder of that week there was no further activity. They were advised to wash all their clothes on boil wash incase eggs had been laid in the wardrobes. As it was seemingly a very small infestation it was deemed fine for us to move.

We then moved into the property and called the PCO to ask for advice on what to look for, was it safe to unpack etc. For the first two weeks we did not notice anything but the day that we had the first big clean (had to not vaccuum etc the bedroom for 2 weeks after the treatment so as not to remove it) we both got bitten. In the next few days we were bitten several times and also saw a dead bug and 2 live ones which we killed.

The PCO did a second treatment but the biting continued throughout the two week period and we caught several other bugs. On one particularly horrifying night I was alone and woke dehydrated (it is amazing I was asleep at all to be honest). Got a drink and turned the light on. A few minutes later I spotted an engorged f****r crawling quickly towards me over my pillow. OMFG!!! As if that wasn’t enough as I was sellowtaping it I saw another on the wall! This totally freaked me and I did not get to sleep again that night.

Following that incident my levels of stress and insomnia rose dramatically and I was struggling to stay focused at work and was in a constant state of panic.

At the 3rd treatment the PCO looked at my deg bugs but could not use them for testing as I had squashed them. Apparently they do not escape if you put sellotape over them (unlike fleas) and attach the tape to a piece of paper. They did a treatment and it was assumed that if the bugs returned then they were most likely migrating from a neighbouring flat, but that their gut feeling was that it was a small infestation that had not been eradicated in the first treatments cos of the disruption caused by the move.

After the 3rd treatment we did not get anymore bites and there were no blood residue signs.

We really thought all was well…until today….and that is just over 2 months after the 3rd treatment. This morning I found one by the bed.

Am absolutely devastated. We have not been bitten (for info, 60% of people do not react to bites so many people will have been bitten but maybe don’t realise that they have an infestation) as we both reacted to the bites in the past so we are hoping that it is just a lone bug. But it looks like they are definitely migrating.

My PCO has asked me to post the bug to him which I have done. It should arrive tomorrow and he will test it to see if it has been poisoned or is a new bug. he;ll then call with advice on what to do.

I am starting to think it will be ongoing. We really thought it was over and it isn;t. I don’t think I can go through all the sleepless nights again and the stress and embarrassment. I have done loads of web searching today (and no work) and have found time and time again incidents of neighbouring flats who won’t address the problem resulting in the blogger having to move. I really don’t want to move.

I am worried cos I know the resident below us is funny about stuff. I don’t want to go into details here as am trying to stay anonymous but I think he will be reluctant to admit to a problem or to allow our PCO into the flat to look for signs.

I need hope!!!

32 nightshirt January 9, 2007 at 11:43 am

the name should read “hibachi” LOL

33 nobugsonme January 9, 2007 at 8:05 pm

Hi Londoner,

You’re very welcome, but we wish you weren’t here, if you know what I mean!
It is likely that they’re coming from an adjoining unit. The question, though, is why they waited 2 months to come again.

It can be very difficult in multi-unit dwelings, in part because of the uncooperative neighbor problem. On the other hand your local government (is it a borough council?) should have a policy for dealing with this. There are probably laws about habitability and there may be some way the other tenant’s cooperation can be forced (sometimes in a nice way, someone with trouble dealing with this aided, for example, by social workers).

Here’s another possibility, besides the downstairs neighbor: someone came on a few weeks back with a story which might intrigue you. She had a comforter (a duvet to you) in a sealed bag in a closet for 6 months. She took it out when the weather turned recently, and was reinfested. Is there anything at you you have there now, which has been stored away in the home (sealed) or outside (sealed or unsealed), which had been in your home any time during infestation or treatment? If so, you may have reinfested yourself. You can google “comforter” in the search box to read the postings about that story.

A third possibility: you or someone in your home could be bringing them in from a school, workplace, relative’s or friend’s home.

I know you have a hunch about your neighbor but don’t overlook other possibilities.

We had one UK PCO writing in here for a time and he may be a good resource. I hope you’ll also send us any leads on local laws about bed bugs if you find them. I am trying to improve the FAQ about housing and bed bugs, which now covers NYC, Boston, Vancouver and San Francisco. Bed bugs are a big problem in the UK. See the links to UK bed bug news articles on the lower left sidebar.

34 londoner January 10, 2007 at 9:21 am

Hi nobugsonme,

Thanks for your reply.

OK an update. I sent the bug to the PCO who has now tested it. It was def a BB (well I could have told them that!!) which had not fed for a few weeks but still had some blood in its untestinal cord (or whatever the digestive thing is called). It was an adult bug. And it was not poisoned so it looks to be newly introduced to our flat and not something that we could have packed up or whatever for the 2 month period.

Whilst we could have picked it up externally (bus/tube/work) the PCO thinks it would be highly unfortunate for this to be the case especially so soon after the original infestation. His hunch is that it has migrated from a neighbouring flat as it is not unusual in these cases to have periods of inactivity between migrating infestations.

As far as our flat goes the PCO is not recommending any further treatments at this time but if we notice any other activity (bugs/bites/blood stains) then we are to call him immediately and they will do a treatment. In the meantime we are to thoroughly clean the bedroom weekly and hoover the mattress etc.

What I need to do now is liaise with my landlord and the management company of the block of flats to investigate where the source is coming from. The PCO feels that the management company should have been more proactive at the 3rd treatment (they decided to wait to see if our infestation cleared or not – sigh). My landlady has a load of leaflets from the PCO to hand out to neighbours but what we need to stress to them is that most people don’t know they’ve been bitten as that seems to be the stumbling block in getting people to seriously look at if they have a problem or not.

The PCO feels that wherever the source infestation is that it will be a substantial infestation that would become apparent if they lifted their mattress. If the neighbours above/below/each side are uncooperative we should enquire at their neighbours flats (won’t we be popular lol!!) as they too will probably have a similar problem to us.

Anyway off to call the landlord. Wish me luck! Will update again soon.

Oh, for info the company we are using is excellent. Whilst it is UK based their website is very informative and you may find it useful. They are very fascinated in BBs (guess someone has to like them). They are also really nice guys who are yet to tire of me calling them in a panic!!

http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk

35 nobugsonme January 10, 2007 at 11:14 am

Hey Londoner,

We know them. The guy running it used to be on our Bedbugger Yahoo group (see left side Information links).

Interestingly, the motto on their website “Spread the word not the bed bugs” was taken from our Bugalina, who says “Spread the Word, Not the Bug” (and the bed-bugs.co.uk guy said he liked it and was going to use it).

I think he sounded pretty sound and sharp when he was on our group, but we’re really interested to meet someone who’s using the service. Be sure to let us know down the line how it all ends up.

The landlord should really have the PCO in to thoroughly inspect the adjoining units on every side, above and below. The landlord or tenant inspecting is really not the same. I’d also talk to other adjoining neighbors. You can’t be the only one. Yes–lots of people are bit and don’t notice, or aren’t bit. In the former case, they may still see pinpricks of blood or poppyseed-like feces on sheets, have unexplained bumps (which can range from pimple-like and smaller to large welts, and don’t itch for everyone). Even if not bitten, they may have seen the bugs or a friend or relative may have been bitten in their home.

Good luck with that and let us know if we can help!

36 Bugalina January 10, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Londoner..Have you zip covered your mattresses and boxsprings? Actually you should not be using boxsprings…Have you purchased any of your own products to augment the treatments….you should…Have you isolated ALL of your sleeping areas…you must…have you purchased some enzyme cleaners to spray around your mattress at night ..you should…You cannot rely solely on a PCO..you need to help them along with some self treating products…and isolation of your sleeping areas…if they , bed bugs, get into your mattress …you are doomed..they will just feed, go away and digest and breed, and come right out again…so you have to tightly cover up your mattress..inspect your bed…use DE to dust around the perimeters of your room..etc…maybe you have done this…but if not please read our FAQs and also…I suspect that they are coming from neighboring flats…and another thing…forget about being embarassed or shy about letting the other flats know….it won’t help in your battle…tell them and get the word out…fight them…kill them …..ask us any questions you can !!! Bugalina…

37 Bugalina January 10, 2007 at 2:25 pm

NERO…Here is the website and toll free number of do it yourself pest control….YOU MUST contact a good PCO…but until you do ..call these people and see if you can buy any products to help you until you get some professional help….www.doyourownpestcontrol.com 1800 476 3368 Treatments need to be done at least every 10 -12 days….this is because of their egg hatching cycles…you must be very aggressive in your battle…clear out ALL junk..throw away as much as you can…inspect EVERY crack and crevice and screwhead…and aside from getting a hold of a good pest control operator, buy some of your own products…buy a good caulking gun and start to caulk up any cracks around your baseboards, floors, window sills moldings etc…and DO NOT store anything underneath your bed….if you have carpeting…pull it up around the edges and inspect and vacuum and spray..buy some rubbermaid plastic containers from Walmart or Target..was all of your clothes and put them..immediately, into these containers and shut them tight..and tell your Aunt that she did you wrong…she should be extremely ashamed for what she did…I would be very very upset with her…I am and I don’t even know her !! Bugalina

38 nightshirt January 10, 2007 at 3:39 pm

have no clue where my blogs go so ill just read from now on. although its been 3 weeks since a bite im at work 7 hours so far today and think i just got bitten.

39 Bugalina January 10, 2007 at 4:05 pm

nightshirt…where do you work, not the address but in what kind of place..an office bldg. a hospital ??? Bugalina

40 nobugsonme January 10, 2007 at 4:22 pm

NIGHTSHIRT: your comments go on the list of comments for the post where you put them. You keep responding to different posts, so you do not see the posts again unless you GO BACK to the original post. This is the third time you’re asking, and I keep emailing you about this. Don’t lose heart, keep posting. We’re here for you, but you need to understand how blogs work. 🙂

41 nightshirt January 10, 2007 at 4:31 pm

gotcha no and thanks.

i work in the legal field, im out of touch with all this stuff ie blogs, tags, itunes, etc. so thanks for the patience.

42 nightshirt January 10, 2007 at 4:33 pm
43 nobugsonme January 10, 2007 at 10:55 pm

nightshirt– The comments in the Gothamist piece are fascinating.

Some of them are really funny, some are very sad, and some have very bad advice indeed.

(Updated 1/10/2007):

There’s now a third and final installment: “Bride of the Son of Share your tales of bed bug woe!” Or, make that the “Share your tales of bed bug woe here!” page.
There, you can leave your own story, and read all those posted after 1/9/2007.

Comments below are disabled so we won’t have three simultaneous discussions on the same issue.

44 nobugsonme January 10, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Nightshirt, no problem!

45 hopelessnomo' January 10, 2007 at 9:59 pm

I will be moving soon and I wanted to thank you once again (before I am internet- and computer-less) for your tremendous support. I am here, nervous, sad and sleepless, and very recently bitten!, but sane and hopeful, mostly because of your help and understanding and this community. I will follow the news when possible from work, but I think my last post for a while?

I think everyone should ask their landlords proactively about bedbugs. If current and especially prospective tenants all ask then they will have to think about and articulate policies. A low-key way to begin the conversation is to ask about the building’s general pest control measures. The more these conversations take place, the more people might be educated about bedbugs. It’s actually not difficult to say you bring it up because you find news reports worrying.

I think many of you will find like I did that it helps if, even in the middle of your own bedbug misery, you reach out to others or try to enlighten those people within your reach.

Finally, if you are looking for an apartment in NYC, hopefully in a non-bedbug emergency search since we know the evidence is quite strongly against moving with bedbugs (I am making a very tough choice to escape the quickly approaching slum conditions in my building that I would not make if I saw any hope in staying–is there a special circle in hell reserved for people who throw away books?), a few not very original but useful links: perhaps check for bedbug violations for your address at the city’s HPD site. Most likely you’ll find nothing, but you have to at least check because you might be surprised–although you might be equally surprised by a good and frank answer when you bring it up. Also run the address through The Bedbug Registry to see how close the reported infestations are–and how many. (Those moving to Astoria should be especially wary.) Check your neighborhood at this city map against this NYT graphic to get an overall idea of what you are up against. And talk to your brokers and landlords.

I hope that everyone succeeds in their battles, most of all I hope that parakeets, who has been living with this nightmare longer than anyone should have to, finds a solution she can live with. I don’t even know you parakeets but I noticed your absence and think about your situation often.

You guys are the best, take care. If I move successfully, I’ll come back to let you know, not sure what happens if I fail. All the best…

46 nobugsonme January 10, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Nightshirt, Bugalina suggested you might (and anyone else of course) join the Yahoo group which spawned this blog if you’d like even more support. It’s called Bedbugger too (but here, we call it the yahoo group). Look in the links to the left of this under “Information and Help” and click the link. If you have trouble let us know.

47 nobugsonme January 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Hope,

What you’re doing is not easy, but ABigWasteofTime’s and WindyCityMike’s stories (linked in “Personal Stories” links, left sidebar) give me hope.

You might do a little proactive dusting at your new place (yes, yes, I know, I said no DIY pest control, but moderation, knowledge and caution are the words of the day!) I think you had a friend who was an experienced PCO (do I remember that rightly?) so you may have already decided on this. Your other precautions are likely to have prevented any from travelling with you. I do believe that if (God forbid) you cart one or two of the monsters it may still be abated with such a response from someone who knows what’s what.

Since people surf in every day, often new to the problem and looking for easy answers, I feel like I have to echo Hope’s sentiments about how difficult it is to move without moving bed bugs, and to emphasize the amount of research and preparation I know she’s done to try and avoid it.

I also want to thank you, Hope, for your contributions. I believe you’ll be a success and we want to hear about it. Hope you’ll drop in again when you’re wired at home.

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