Adjacent studio apt. has bugs, taking preventative measures, but got a bite(4 posts)
My next door neighbor has bugs. He told me this past Monday, the same day that the exterminator came to treat his apartment. He's blind, and says he'd been getting bitten for at least two or three weeks before his friend noticed visual evidence of bugs (what kind of visual evidence, I'm not sure.) My building manager is being very secretive (scolding my neighbor for telling me, yelling at me for asking about it, etc.), and PCO wouldn't discuss the infestation with me.
I'm moving cross-country in August anyway, (taking no furniture) so I immediately dryer-treated a whole bunch of stuff and got it out of the at-risk apartment, discarding a huge amount of clutter along the way. I also encased my mattress and box spring, moved my furniture away from the wall, vaseline'd the furniture legs and the wall sockets, and put DE along the baseboard of the adjacent wall.
This morning (Sunday) I woke up with two bites on my arm. They are both small, about two inches away from each other, and one is rather larger than the other. They hardly itch, and are already fading away. I get bit all the time outside in June (flying bugs love me and I have sensitive skin) but I fear I hadn't noticed getting these particular bites yesterday. EFF.
I hadn't gotten any bites before, and at no point during the cleaning and laundering process did my mom (who runs a residential treatment program and thus deals with bbs all the time) note any visual evidence.
Obviously, I have a lot of questions, but I'd like to start with the most urgent one first. (And maybe put some follow ups in the replies). After a LOT of hustle, I got my landlord to get the PCO to inspect my apartment this coming Monday (tomorrow) when he returns to retreat my neighbor's unit. How should I prep for his arrival?
Should I leave the sheets I slept in (and possibly got bit in) last night on the bed? I have some pieces of wood furniture that I haven't finished de-cluttering yet- after decluttering, should I be cleaning them off or keeping them dusty so that there's a better chance of him finding any evidence? Should I skip vaccuuming till after he comes? Also, my apartment is tiny, and moving everything away from the wall makes it difficult to navigate. How big a problem is this for a PCO inspection?
The aim of this PCO inspection is to present a clean, and easy to inspect unit, WITHOUT hoovering up any evidence, as no evidence = no treatment.
Thanks so much!
p.s. I haven't spent every night at my apartment, and thus have not had a whole week's worth of chances to get bit. Taking appropriate precautions, of course, I spent a few nights at my mom's.
Hello all- I need help on how to prep pretty urgently, as the PCO is coming to inspect tomorrow. I realized that I didn't highlight the question I needed answered in my original post, but I can't seem to edit, or post a new topic.
So please, PCOs, how can I can clean and declutter w/o destroying the evidence I might need to get my apartment treated?
Call the PCO. Self treating and hyper cleaning will remove perhaps necessary evidence to confirm bed bug presence, especially if they bring in a k9.
When they inspected my place two months ago, they requested I remove curtains and sheets, bag all linens and put them in the bathtub, leaving the mattress outside of an encasement. They requested a floor clean of clutter, including vacuuming. They also requested I not smoke in the apartment, burn candles or use any fragrance air freshener or cleaning supplies specifically for the dog.
I'd take off the encasement and sleep in your bed. Encasements are for after chemical/DE treatment as a method of trapping living insects and eggs inside to be killed off/starved out. If ever treated, I'd leave the encasement on for 18 months as a safety if the PCO does confirm BB presence.
After confirmation and first treatment (they SHOULD treat your place since they are treating your adjacent neighbor), you're going to have to wash your sheets and mattress pad/comforter/pillow cases on a daily or semi-daily basis on hot/hot. For your own sake, I'd live out of bagged clothing for the rest of the summer and begin to closely inspect/isolate objects you're taking with you after a first or second treatment.
Really, though... there's no reason for them to not do a preventative treatment on your place... aside from cost. Many states have laws regarding adjacent unit treatments, especially states with big urban areas.
If you find a bug or casing, index card/scotch tape it and put it in the freezer for the PCO to inspect. If you have a very minor infestation, visual inspection is close to impossible without a k-9 to target areas.
Short version if previous is tl;dr:
Take off encasement so PCO can inspect mattress
Inspect sheets and pillow cases/pillows for smears, blood spots, and signs of insects. If none found, bag and put in tub.
Bag and place in tub linens to be washed
Vacuum if there is dust around.
Clear off floors and tables of clutter
Empty dresser and keep drawers open for PCO
Empty closet floor for PCO
Sleep in uncovered mattress tonight so as to draw out any potential pests. If bites are present tomorrow, show PCO.
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