Apartment Therapy has ended the suspense with the seventh installment of their “Bed bugs Take Manhattan” report on Amanda’s bed bug saga.
Amanda has now had (apparently) one treatment and one follow-up treatment from Metro Pest. (Their protocol is listed here.)
Apartment therapy’s Maxwell has the idea that “you have to keep the clothing out” of the apartment “for three weeks.”
This was my response to the notion of putting back clothing:
I don’t know about keeping clothes out of the apartment. On http://bedbugger.com we tell people to wash and dry on hot, bag in XL ziplocs, and keep those ziplocs in the apartment. But don’t return stuff to closets and drawers.
I am not sure where Amanda sent her stuff for three weeks, and I’d be really interested to know. But her PCO’s protocol appears to require stuff be not just bagged but out of the way, making treatment easier.
People should be aware that washed clothing should stay bagged and out of closets and drawers until bed bugs are LONG gone. Many people require more than two treatments, so be warned. Needing 3-4 is not uncommon. And the stuff should be bagged until there are no further signs of bed bugs, bites, fecal specks, etc.
Richard Cooper, a pest control expert in NJ, says in this article that it takes 55 days of “bug-free, bite-free time” to know the bed bugs are gone for good. It sounds extreme, yes, but if Amanda is already putting clothing and stuff back in drawers and closets, three weeks from the beginning of treatment, I personally think that doing so is foolhardy.
Maxwell also shared this scary story:
Meanwhile, in other bedbug news, we recently heard that another friend and her boyfriend lost their apartment in Brooklyn due to bedbugs. Away in Vancouver for the summer, they had sublet to folks for 4 months, but had pulled a rug in off the street just before leaving that let bedbugs out on the subletters.
Freaking out, the subletters fled the apartment and our friends lost the rent and were then liable for the cleanup cost. Needless to say, they are now considering staying in Vancouver for the long haul.
Subletting is hugely popular in NYC, especially in the summer. Artists, students, people with summer homes or travel plans, commonly rent out their apartments for one week to three months in the summer. Some people rent theirs to multiple subletters in one summer!
I regularly get forwarded offers via email to rent people’s apartments. And I gotta tell ya, lots of people are going to be coming home to bed bugs or unknowingly taking bed bugs home with them. Subletting in this city is not going to slow down, but it is a great way to spread bed bugs. And you don’t even have to drag an old rug in off the street to get them. Remember, the neighbor who dumped the rug in front of your friend’s building had bed bugs. If they live in the same building, your friends could have got them anyway!