The same day that we ask, with Rene Laraine, what might be causing his bed bugs to persist despite nine bed bug treatments by licensed PCOs, Nicholas Brown brings to mind similar concerns.
Brown, chronicling his bed bug experience on the Huffington Post, is now well past his seventh week. He has had five treatments (so treatment intervals are not the problem in this case). He is planning treatment six, the last one before he moves.
Again, I would bet money on the neighbors as source.
Like many of us, on this blog that was originally dubbed “Your foxhole, in the war against bed bugs” by its avowedly pacifist creator (yes, people, that’s how much I hate bed bugs), Brown mobilizes the war metaphors for his final assault:
There comes a time in most insurgencies when you should cut your losses and leave. Maybe the enemy was more persistent than you imagined; maybe he was better at hiding; or maybe the weapons you used against him were inadequate. In any case, no one has ever accused the United States of pulling out of a conflict too early. And while I am all for America, I dont wish to repeat her mistakes.
I have returned from the farm and the squalor that confronts me confirms that the bedbugs are winning in our apartment. Yes, we have inflicted casualties. Yes, we have damaged their infrastructure. But at the end of the day, there are more of them than there are of us and we cannot win their hearts and minds. Moreover, there is great suspicion within the building that our downstairs neighbors are harboring bedbugs. Despite several requests, they have refused sprayings in their apartment. The bugs, we suspect, hide downstairs until the toxins in our place wear off and then return in greater strength. We can only assume they have training camps. We are keeping diplomatic channels open, but are not optimistic about pacifying either our apartment or the one below us.
We are calling in one more spraying, but the backbone has fallen out of our effort and we do not expect success. Our departure wont involve an embassy swamped with desperate refugees, but it will involve the horrid logistics of moving, made all the more awful by the necessity of inspecting and poisoning or freezing every item before it is packed away. Its a depressing thought, but honestly not all that much more work than washing, drying and sealing away all your clothing and papers and other possessions. Now come the slow logistics of apartment hunting, brokers fees, and long Saturdays devoted to subway rides and open houses. We are optimistic though. In the neon-lit consumerism of the new American Christmas, minor commercial miracles happen all the time. Uncle Bob might get some nose trimmers from the Airmall catalog; Delores might tip a busboy; and cousin Herbie may finally give in to those Debeers commercials and propose to that on-again off-again cocktail waitress he has been seeing for years. And maybe, just maybe, we will find our own minor Christmas miracle: a small apartment thats reasonably priced, relatively clean, and blessedly uninfested.
Unfortunately, we’ve heard from readers who moved almost nothing, took extreme precautions, and nevertheless brought bed bugs with them. In some cases, they chose new, equally infested quarters. Maybe they even rented a truck with bed bugs. But in most cases, they probably simply managed to move their bed bug despite precautions.
It’s worth moving during treatment, and treating at the other end. Yes, anonymous poster who raves when we mention pre-emptive treatment, we know “preventive” treatment isn’t supposed to work. But we know too many nice people who felt they had to pay for treatment in their new digs. This isn’t preventive, it’s reactive.
Good luck to Nicholas Brown. Unlike Amanda’s saga on Apartmenttherapy, I do hope we get to hear the end of the story.