A strange case of bugs(5 posts)
OK! First off. Hello World!
I'm Willheee, moved to Spain about 3 months ago, moved to Málaga about a month ago. My story goes something along these lines...
Moved to my new place, unpacked everything (I don't have much, but certainly a fair few clothes, some books, laptop, various tools etc...) on the second night, I must have been up late from a night out and got back at 3 or 4 in the morning. To my astonishment, I could see the suckers scaling the walls. At first, I wasn't sure what they quite were, but after about 5 minutes of watching them and giving a couple a quick squish on the wall, it became evident that they'd been feeding on my precious life liquid... and I only know of a few insects that do this. Mosquitoes... but they have wings... tiny little spiders, but they have 8 legs that are longer... and Women, but this room certainly wasn't full of them.. (unfortunately).
a bit of background of the room. This is a shared flat, CouchSurfers are in and out and the turnaround of people taking the rooms is also quite high. The ceilings too must reach heights of 14 feet, maybe more. All the walls are white, the floor is tiled, and there is a huge double window leading to a small balcony looking out onto Plaza Merced. The walls are dressed with a small amount of piping, and some electrical trunking, a couple of light switches, and 4 plug sockets.
A single mattress dresses the floor, but other than that, there are no soft furnishings. Furniture includes a tiny chest of drawers reaching only 2 feet from the floor with only 2 drawers and enough space in them for a passport and 30€ in notes (a 10 and a 20 if you're interested to know). A desk with a couple of drawers (which house the copious amounts of cables for various electronic equipments and all of my notebooks).
I confronted the landlord, to which I got "no no no, they're probably mosquitoes..." (in Spanish of course) after pushing a little, I managed to get him to view the room. These guys are cheeky little sods.. they come out in the day as well! Which essentially worked in my favour, because it meant my one eyed Turkish property manager could see the little buggers scurrying around.
"Nahhh no no no..." he says now "They're baby cockroaches".
"Baby cockroaches? are you nuts?" I replied "Do cockroaches suck blood?" I said whilst reaching for a pretty full looking one that was scurrying past at the time, and giving it a thumbs up, then squishing it there, giving a satisfying popping feeling and splattering it's contents on the once clinically clean and white walls.
"Chinches" he says (Spanish for bed bugs).
We threw out the mattress and the bed frame and put a new mattress in (oops! Bad Bug Battle Plan). I bought a pot of plaster and a scraper, and blocked up all the holes I could reach up to about 6ft plus arms length, plus chair height... still not 14 feet though.
I had to return to the UK for 10 days to see my family. Only took hand luggage, and made sure I spent a few hours in the hot Malagueño sun, on the beach to at least kill as many of the ________s (enter appropriate expletive) before I went home.
10 days later, I return. And the landlord has done something about it! He's put a new skirting board around the room! oh wow Mr landlord. You're just excellent, I can't believe you've just solved all my problems! Like hell has he, they still scale the walls at night and occasionally in the day. I start to loose sleep, and start staying up all night reading about the best way to wreak genocidal warfare on this population of plaguing pests.
The landlord gets a "professional" in who definitely does [NOT] know what he is doing. They set off a bug bomb.... The problem disappears for a day, then reappears in my room, and in the next. The landlord is starting not to care about my constant confrontation with him.
"It's cause you have people coming in and out all the time" he says
"HOW THE HELL IS THAT MY FAULT??!! THEY'VE BEEN A PROBLEM SINCE BEFORE I'VE GOT HERE!" (I'd been hearing stories since this had become the main topic of conversation of others suffering and seeing them) is basically the sentiment I give him.. He is no longer interested, because it's not his fault... but it IS his responsibility...
Since the cramming sessions, almost 3 nights in a row, I'd been washing almost everything every day, bed sheets, clothes, everything. But the electricity bill is getting higher, and so is the water bill... I buy bags to bag up my clothes, a plastic cover for my mattress, a ridiculous sized bottle of bleach, a new mop... the list goes on... Every day still confronting the landlord. He still isn't interested. I buy alcohol (rubbing) a spray bottle (plastic) and spray the _____ out of every crease, clevis, cranny, corner and cable run. I sleep well for the next few nights (Possibly with the aid of alcohol and the fact I've been up till 6 in the morning at parties for a weekend, and passing out until the afternoon).
They did disappear. Last night, they were back... The land lord thinks they're gone.. but I've caught a few to show him (sealed in a zip lock and taped at the top. I'm not a biological warfare kind of guy, so these are simply to show him. They will not leave the bag.
My battle continues...
In this situation, with the transient population and the clueless landlord, I would consider if you have other options for housing, to be honest.
I know that may be really hard to do-- you may not have other options. But I would guess ou have neighboring units with bed bugs, also getting bombed, and It does not sound like anyone will be addressing this building's problems properly any time soon.
If you want to move, you will need to take serious steps to kill them in our stuff first. A few hours in the sun is my likely to help; a hot dryer is.
I forgot to add: if you're seeing that many, and in daylight, it is likely a problem which has been going on for some time.
Be careful with the rubbing alcohol. Highly
flammable, obviously, but people have set their homes on fire.
Also, it is only a contact killer (no residual), so it only kills the ones you see and spray directly.
i think it's going that way. I'm guessing i'm going to have to leave everything that i can't realistically put in a dryer (laptop etc...) in the sun, though i'd be a bit worried about leaving them there. I don't have a dryer, and don't really want to run the risk of spreading the problem to the dry cleaners or any of my friend's houses... there are 24 hour self service drycleaners, but they're at least a car ride away... a car that i don't have...
Thanks for the advice
Look into having a pod or truck treated with heat or Vikane gas. It may not be as pricey as you think.
A Packtite may be helpful.
However, I would not rely on the sun.
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