“I don’t know if they’re going to get rid of them.”

by nobugsonme on July 16, 2011 · 6 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs and people with disabilities, bed bugs and the elderly

The following NBC 10 video report from the Towers East 150-unit apartment complex in Pawtucket, Rhode Island is disturbing, yet all too typical.

It’s not disturbing for the reason so many bed bug news reports are — there is no footage of bed bugs scurrying up the wall or across someone’s skin.

But the story told by these two residents of life with bed bugs is difficult to take in.

The residents live on different floors. John Sullivan’s had four treatments by pest management professionals in six weeks, but still has bed bugs. The 78-year old man gets a few hours of sleep a night due to the bugs.

Linda Bouvier says bed bugs have infested her wheelchair. She’s done the prep and she’s still getting treatments too; particularly painful is her parting comment, “I don’t know if they’re going to get rid of them.”

(If the video is not embedded above, click here to view it on NBC 10’s website.)

You can get rid of bed bugs. However, in a building like this, the response must be aggressive.

If treatments are only done in response to complaints, when they occur, this is not going to be enough to get rid of bed bugs in the building, and prevent their spread.

Every tenant must play a role — all should have careful inspections, because many will not react to bed bug bites. All should be educated about how to avoid bringing the problem back into the building. And everyone with bed bugs needs coordinated treatment.

I hope the Towers East residents are able to get some relief soon.

1 CarpathianPeasant July 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Ah, yes! A clean, tree-lined street in a smallish town and a neat -looking modernish apartment building housing a hundred (or two) people no longer with the able-bodied abilities to move a load of furniture, etc. …

Few people realize how many of those there are in the United States.

You can put two such buildings on a city block or eight or nine houses with limited side yards. Eight houses averaging five people amounts to forty people. Two apartment buildings averaging 150 people amounts to three hundred people — at risk.

In a drive down a street at a modest speed, a city block is passed in near to the wink of an eye. It seems like nothing.

It’s a shame the media can think of nothing to do but interview a couple of residents (tenants) who dare to squawk whether it irritates the landlord or not. 🙁

2 Rafa_gil August 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Sorry my english…
I would like to know how to make sure I’m rid of them…
I moved to a flat in 18 July, and in the same night i started to be bite… And I had a really big allergy… In this month I recieve 3 visits of a PCO, and almost all my stuffs are packed… (but in normal plastic bags, I didn’t know about this special bags…) Well, The last visit from the PCO was a 2 days ago, and have almost one week I’m not being bite… last time I saw one was about 4 days ago…
How can I make sure they gone, or not?!
When can I start back my stuffs to the place?!
Should I do any kind of “check out”?! How?!
I just don’t know if I can be relaxed or not…
Thank you, and again, sorry for my English…
Should I do any kind of “check”?! How?!
I just don’t know if I can be relaxed or not…
Thank you, and again, sorry for my English…

3 Rafa_gil August 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I forgot to say a important thing…
My flat mate told me they had a infastation last year, between april and october, when, next 4 visits from the PCO, they seemed to had gone…
And they just back to bite now, few days before I move…
This is what leave me more worried about!

4 nobugsonme August 8, 2011 at 1:55 am

Hi Rafa_gil,

I am not an expert, but if the bed bugs disappeared in OCT 2010 and reappeared in JULY 2011, there has probably been a new exposure to the pest which brought about the current problem.

5 nobugsonme August 8, 2011 at 2:03 am

Hi Rafa-gil,

I will try to answer your questions. However, I strongly recommend you also post the same messages in our Bedbugger Forums: http://bedbugger.com/forum/

They will be seen by more people there (because people may not be looking at this old blog post) and you will likely get a lot more input.

An important question: did you do anything to treat your stuff before placing it in bags? If not, those bags could potentially contain bed bugs or eggs. If clothing/linens were simply bagged, they can be run through a hot dryer, or if this is not available, a hot washing machine. Non-cloth items are tricky.

Many PCOs prefer to leave items out because then bed bugs can come out of the items, try to get to you, cross poison and die. (In bags, they may be preserved to bite you once the bags are unpacked.)

Since you react to bed bug bites, each week where you don’t have one is a good sign. That said, it’s unusual to see bed bugs, and not seeing them and not having bites since treatment four days ago does not ensure they are gone.

You may also be able to obtain bed bug monitors (there are many designs for active and passive monitors) to help you determine if the problem is gone.

If you are moving, it is essential to try to treat any items you can (with heat as noted above). Carefully inspecting items which can’t be treated may help, but is not reliable. You may move some bed bugs and you should try and employ some monitors at the new place, so that if you do have them, you know quickly — detecting the problem early means bed bugs are easier to get rid of.

Please read the FAQS which should help (http://bedbugger.com/faqs), and again, I recommend posting to the Forums.

6 Diane Smith August 15, 2011 at 6:26 am

Just an update on this story. My dad is John Sullivan and he still has bed bugs and it is getting worse. Towers East is trying to say its not bed bugs because the treatment hasn’t worked so it must not be bed bugs. I disagree with them. Its not working because they are not treating the whole place. And not only that, but if these poor people have a car they think going for drives or anything other then being in their apartments will help. It won’t because most likely their cars are infested too. I live in NC and my hands are tied on what to do for my dad. Anyone have any ideas? I just sent an email to the Health Dept. to see if they can help. I have also left a message with John G. that runs Towers East. Someone please help, I am so worried about my daddys health

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