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advice for 3rd treatment

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  1. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 16:52:45
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    Hi All,

    As you can probably read by the title of this thread, I am seriously debating going for the "3rd times a charm" treatment. To give you a brief update, we had two treatments and our last one was 10 days ago. The PCO used Dragnet spray and dust the first time and just sprayed the second time. He did the whole house and mattresses, etc.

    It's been really difficult to tell if the bites have lessened, but my reaction to them seems not as severe. So, this could either be a case of my reactions changing once again, or I am still getting bites (the black hat wearer in me says "yeah" to the latter theory). Also, my husband woke up with three beauties two days ago: the perfect breakfast, lunch and dinner format that I started out with way back when. This was 8 days after our second treatment. And, I woke up with our second bloodspot/fecal spot just this a.m. So sad, but also glad because that IS evidence, no? But, it's creeping me out nonetheless. Ha, be careful what you wish for, I guess; as stressful as it was to not find evidence, finding it brings in a whole new stress.

    Anyway, I'd be very grateful for your thoughts on when one says, "yup, need a third treatment."? It hasn't been quite two weeks since our second, and things haven't gotten worse and I would argue they are slightly better (foregoing the husband's bites and bloodspot - hah, doesn't sound better, does it?). I guess I am trying to keep on the two week cycle, but don't want to not give enough time to let a treatment work either.

    Also, Lt. Dan if you are reading this, I read in another thread that your third treatment was with an oil-based product. We have a company here that sprays with one of those ("Wilson" chemicals, discussed in another thread). I'm wondering if it's worth it to switch companies and try that. Frankly, I am wondering about switching for other reasons too.

    Thanks again everyone!

  2. paulaw0919

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 19:36:25
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    HI Kit. Personally, if anyone is still experiencing any bites or seeing any other signs you should get another treatment as close to the two week interval that you can. If the company you are using is very thorough, that's good. These bugs don't die easy and it takes time. Keep that in mind before you switch companies. If there are other reasons for switching, just make sure that they are willing to come back every two weeks, are very thorough in what they are doing and have some sort of warranty. It's not unusual for it to take sometimes even 4-5 treatments before the bugs are gone. (depending on how bad the infestation is and/or how scattered the bugs are) Good Luck.

  3. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 19:55:04
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    Hi Paula,

    Thanks for the feedback. I think a third treatment is inevitable. I was sort of mentally prepared for it not being an easy battle. Still, I find it a bit confusing to my weary brain that they sprayed our mattresses and box spring and bed frame (2x) and we are still getting bitten in bed. If these poisons are supposed to last (i.e. are residuals) then it makes one think they don't work or the bug could be resistant (but why go down that dark path right now?). I also find it confusing that these supposed residual poisons have to be resprayed every two weeks to catch the newly hatched nymphs. My logic (which is usually flawed says, wouldn't the vulnerable little nymphs succumb to the original poison once they hatched and came into contact with it?

    I am not terribly happy or unhappy with our PCO. He's not that thorough as far as inspecting, (only takes an hour to do a 1,000 sq.ft. house and furniture?) but I think he does do a good job of spraying. Really, he must be the world record holder for speedy spraying! But, we can see the remnants of the spray everywhere in the right light. Still, there's no gaurantee with this PCO (beyond the 2x) so that is why I was considering switching to the Orkin monster (i.e. good gaurantee, on paper, that is). Plus, a bit different chemical is used which might be good (i.e. a "forced powder spray"). An almost as large battle for me right now is convincing my husband to not use our DIY chemicals and to continue to pay for a treatment that appears not that effective right now... He's been pretty awesome throughout, but his patience is wearing a bit thin, understandibly. Anyway, thanks so much again for your thoughts. I'm right on track with them. If it takes 10 times, well, so be it.

  4. bummedindenver

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 20:30:11
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    Kit, I had (have?) the same initial feeling about Orkin, HOWEVER, at least in Denver, they use a steam/insecticide/dust combo approach that I am regretting, at this point, not doing. Something to consider.

    I went with a company that I am not at all happy with, and they did pesticide only (3 treatments). They did not do a thorough inspection, etc....but I've already written about that.

    My husband and I actually have decided to sink a small fortune into our own steamer. It should arrive tomorrow. And, per the Australian Code of Practice for bed bugs:
    http://medent.usyd.edu.au/bedbug/bed_bug_cop_v1.pdf

    we are going to steam our house ourselves. THEN, maybe, I'll call Orkin and have them come out and do a pesticide application.

    According to the Australian document, steam followed by insecticide is more effective than pesticide alone. And in an old house like mine (and yours, I imagine), with so many wood floors and cracks and crevices and gaps, it seems like a good approach. So we are going for it.

    P.S. Good question about the effectiveness of these "residuals". I think there is nothing flawed about your logic. I mean there is residual a la DDT--which we don't allow anymore, and there is residual a la the current pyrethroids that they are using in our houses now. I thought those were residual beyond a couple weeks, but apparently they aren't residual "enough". Bottom line. If we all need to be sprayed every two weeks, then the stuff isn't residual enough or it is not in the place it needs to be to kill the bugs or it just isn't working. That's my take on this, anyway. Thus, the multi-prong approach seems very wise to me.

    We will post our progress here.

  5. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 21:16:09
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    Hi Bummed,

    Thanks for message. Good for you both for being proactive and biting the bullet. I think the steamer sounds like a solid plan and probably is something we should invest in sooner than later, but we just dropped far too much on a vacuum, so will have to wait. I do think the multi-pronged approach you mention is the way to go.

    Your Orkin sounds pretty promising, but I also know how difficult it is to make the call (i.e. which PCO to hire) when in the thick of it. At least you have that as a back up now. Orkin in Calgary just uses a forced powder spray (does anyone have experience with this?). That's it. I'm a bit unsure of that, but at this point, anything that is even slightly different sounds good. Nine out of 10 places I called use one approach and I went with the only company I could find that said they used a powder and spray (only to have the guy show up with just the spray so I had to turn him right around in hot pursuit of the dust).

    Yes, the whole residual idea seems kind of like a farce at times. Our PCO said it was "good and strong" for a minimum of 3 months and should last up to a year! I'm not buying it. To be fair, I try to remind myself that things have not gotten worse, really, so that is at least something to be grateful for. Now, if we wake up with more bloodspots or bites increase, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll have little problem maxing the credit card for that steamer! Thanks again for the input and do let us know how it goes. Take care.

  6. pleasehelp

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 21:46:47
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    Hi bummed, could you please tell us which steamer you decided to get? Thanks!

  7. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 0:07:25
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    Oh I am so jealous of three treatments. I have one and only one.

    My landlord, the landlord's area manager and the local Orkin PCO won't treat a second time let alone a third. Even tho the Orkin Head Office says it's policy. On top of that I have to pay but I have no say and have been given heck for even calling the PCOs head office. Between the treatment cost and my own cost I can't afford a second PCO from another firm in or a lawyer to fight it.

    In our jurisdiction tenants are obligated to pay unless they can prove another suite has an infestation. The admittedly inexperienced PCO supposedly did a cursory inspection of only two adjacent suites and found nothing. The tenants in those suites are mostly non-communicative about this.

    BC, Canada sucks as a jurisdiction for dealing with BBs and landlords and my little town sucks even more with no bylaw or policy. Of course the BBs suck the most!

  8. bummedindenver

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 2:22:42
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    Yes, I'll tell you what we decided to get. And no, we can't afford it, but we are so tired of being given misinformation and being jerked around by "experts" who don't know any more than we do at best and a lot less sometimes.

    We want more control over the situation. I'm tired of letting some guy with a tank of pesticide make all the decisions over what happens in my house, over what gets treated when, how it gets treated, and how thoroughly.

    We ordered the Ladybug steam cleaner from the Allergy Buyers Club. Yes, it was very expensive, but at this point I don't care. I never care until the bills start arriving. But that is another story.

    On another note....let this be a lesson on the importance of having the SAME PCO for all treatments if possible. I had to bring PCO #2 up to speed on what happened with PCO #1 who had moved away, and it was never clear to me that he really heard/listened to what I was saying.

    Hey, for those of you who aren't willing or able to go into debt to buy a steamer.....what about renting a "dry" steam cleaner? I mean, it seems you can rent almost anything if you look hard enough. Easier, I guess, for those of us living in bigger cities. But it's a thought. Maybe it is possible and might be worth looking into to give yourself some more control.

    Just knowing this thing is coming makes me feel better.

  9. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 3:18:58
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    Our PCO has been using Tempo SC Ultra, (along with BP 50 the first time) and said that the labels for Tempo indicate a residual for (I think) 6-9 months. But he said, "So in the real world, that works out to be more like 1-3 months."
    But, like others here, I'm wondering if there is a residual of any kind, and our entire mattress, frame, and boxsprings were sprayed with it (3 times) why are we still getting bit as much as we are? My only thought is resistance to the pyrethroid elements of the sprays.
    My little boy has only gotten bit about 4 times in two weeks after our third Tempo treatment, but his number, as well as mine are starting to increase. I woke up with the crawlies about 4:30 this morning and turned on the light to "sleep" and sat and jealously watched my husband soundly sleep for awhile. I had to laugh as he would suddenly jerk a little and grab/scratch somewhere on his body or vigorously run his hand in his hair....(all while soundly sleeping, mind you). Guess I wasn't the only one last night.
    But, I called our PCO today and he came over for a fourth treatment. We tried Phantom this time on all the baseboards. He'll be coming next Friday to try some Bedlam on other places. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will work since their ingredients are different. Have any of you out there had experience with Phantom or Bedlam?

  10. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 13:17:39
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    Current, if I had only known others were up at 4:30 a.m. with the heebie jeebies, I might have found enough solace in that to fall back to sleep. Sounds like a rough night for both of us. I also witnessed my husband doing the suddenly-scratch-in-his sleep dance. He woke up this a.m. and announced, "I got chewed up last night." This about did me in. I hate seeing him get attacked too... I mean, I'm no martyr, but really, isn't one already wellbitten bod enough?! Anyway, good that you got that 4th treatment and are trying something different. I don't know anything about Bedlam or Phantom, but I am sure someone here does as the names sound familiar. I am calling our PCO this a.m. to discuss using a different chemical (after I collect my very frayed nerves). Otherwise, I go with Orkin.

    Speaking of Orkin, NotSoSnug, I thought they're whole schtick, and what set them apart, was their great guarantee: they come up to 5 times, if need be, in 45 days or something like that. That's what I am told on the phone here in Calgary. The only catch I see is that you need to provide evidence of more than bites for each treatment(not a problem for you). So, can the local rep really ignore the national policy? That is not right. It's misleading, to say the least, which borders on unethical for Orkin whom I'll be checking in with later today and you can bet, grilling them on their "guarantee." Anyway, yes, this takes a pretty heavy financial toll and that really is so heinous given how inneffective the treatment often seems... I'm sorry BC is so bad. Is there some kind of tenants' union or something that could help? In the meantime, hang in there and keep up the good work as far as adding to your collection.

    Bummed,thanks for the suggestion to rent a steamer. That is something I might do prior to this next treatment.

  11. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 13:32:41
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    NotSoSnug, I think I misunderstood your Orkin post. It sounds more like your landlord(s) are standing in the way of retreating and if they weren't, the Orkin PCO would treat again? Sorry for jumping to any conclusions.

  12. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 20:39:52
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    The Orkin PCO said he would treat twice if a second inspection showed signs, but then never came back. The Manager and his boss, the Area manager figure the PCO knows best. But the PCO admitted he has little experience withy BBs. I called the Orkin head Office in Canada and they advised that always for Bedbugs there are at least 2 treatments two weeks apart.

    The landlord gave me supreme heck for calling the Orkin head Office telling me I should leave it up to the 'Manager'. So even though the policy is treat at least twice, and even though the payment covers 3 months guarantee, that's it. It's been almost 5 weeks now and no sign of the PCO again. I've argued several times with the landlord and he is adamant to leave it at that. Woe begone the next tenant!

    The only sign I have seen is a few bugs that crawled out of hiding and died on the tile floor. Otherwise I haven't seen anything. But with all the tongue in groove here, there could be a zillion hatchlings and I'd never spot them. I don't think I've been bit but I don't know if I'd react to a baby nymph bite.

  13. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 20:59:00
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    Yikes! Sounds like you have your hands full with that landlord, let alone bedbugs. You would think that the landlord would be appreciative of you doing some leg work (i.e. phoning the Orkin head office). I'm not sure I understand though... Did the local pco come back and even take a second look? It doesn't sound like it which is strange or flaky... Either way, it's bad business. Well, thank goodness it doesn't sound like it is getting worse for you. It actually sounds like the treatment is working?. But oh I can relate to having way too many good hiding spaces for them. In any event, would you be able to tell me what treatment the Orkin man did use? Sorry if that's posted elsewhere and I missed it. Here they use a forced powder spray only and I am not familiar with that method. Okay, I am off to do my evening inspection ritual armed with trusty red flashlight and a bottle of beer (for me, not the bugs). Take care.

  14. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 21:16:24
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    The local PCO did NOT come back to check. I think he has his hands full covering a very large territory, I won't give more details for legal reasons. The PCO and the manager were not inclusive of me in their plans so I can't tell you what he used. As it was I had to be fairly pushy to participate to any extent or they would have excluded me entirely.

    I can tell you he used a liquid to spray the murphy bed and tile floor, which I am sleeping on, and a dust for all cracks in the murphy bed that he could dust rather than spray and he also dusted along some baseboards. He also dusted the two padded leather pieces of furniture, but not the two upholstered kitchen chairs. That's the extent of it. To my knowledge he didn't treat other areas with tongue in groove or spray ceiling corner moulding/fixtures. I live in a one room bachelor suite.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 6:47:43
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    Kit, good luck with the third treatment. I'd absolutely say anyone still experiencing ANY bites or signs should continue to get treatments at appropriate intervals.

    Two other dry steamers recommended by readers are linked from the Shop for Useful Stuff button below.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  16. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 11:27:35
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    Kit,
    Yes BP-300 I was told is a petroleum based product, I read above that someone used a BP-50, that sounds like it could be a Whitemire product like BP-300 is. I am reading that people are receiving more bites after treatments,
    this could be because the bugs are being stimulated bt the chemicals and/or people have a reaction to the chemicals and/or reactions to old bite are now happening. This is the big question, do we continue to spray chemicals in our environment even though we do not find bugs or skins or poop. I do think that more sprays are needed in most cases that two. Do one more and than use DE and a DYI product like Bedlam and eventually steam. It has been 10 months since I have found evidencs other than skin reactions and that was a dead third instar but I am experiencing skin reactions. I did find a couple of fleas on my dog three months ago and the dog is on one of the flea products. The vet said to me that fleas and ticks are building up a resistance to chemicals also. I still to this day not 100% that I do not have bbs because of a skin reaction or two every now and then. Could they be in the walls or floors? Maybe but I have not seen anything and I inspect all the time. So the skin reaction thing has me stumped and I still wonder if bbs still exist in my home or is my skin and immune system screwed up for good.

  17. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 14:15:01
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    Thanks for getting back to me, LtDan. It's interesting to hear that your skin still reacts at times. I mean, not good for you, but it helps me better assess my situation, as I am sure it does others. Regarding the petroleum-based product, yikes!--the last thing I need is more bites. However, in another post you mentioned that this product was used as the third and final treatment for you and may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. I guess my question is, did things get better for you after that, or is that when you had to take matters into your own hands and steam, steam, steam, because things didn't improve? Anyway, thanks again for replying.

    Nobugs, thanks for the links to the steamers and your vote of confidence to keep treating. I do have good news as far as our current PCO goes. Though they don't guarantee their work, they agreed, without any arm-twisting by me, to treat a third time for free. I was really pleased. Now, I am not overly optimistic that a third treatment will work, especially given the first two don't seem to have done much and they are using the same chemical(s), but certainly can't complain about the freebie. Plus, they are quite sympathetic and kind which is refreshing. Unfortunately, that doesn't always translate to effective treatment though.

    It's still a big mystery to me as to where the heck these little bbugs are. I was sure they were in the walls behind the baseboards and/or in our floorboards (both doused with poison, mind you). But, last night we used double-sided carpet tape around our upper mattress too and over the top sheet and slept like cocoons so the blankets wouldn't drap over the edge at all and mess with the system. And, I am pretty sure I still woke up with new bites. I say "pretty sure" because there is part of me that wants to believe it is old bites or reactions to chemicals, as LtDan suggests. But, it sure feels like new ones. Our pillows are so sealed up in their encasings that I can't believe they are the culprits... There is the ceiling, which I am getting more and more suspicious of. Yet, if they are of the airborne division, then where are they in the bed? Is it possible they are making it back down through the tape and poisoned mattresses and poisoned bedframe, poisoned floor and baseboards only to ready themselves for the next attack? Ha, okay these are just the a.m. ramblings of one very tired gal. As always, thanks for all the support and input.

  18. jennifer09

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 14:54:53
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    Hi,
    Is there any way at all to tell if it's a new bite? Because I, too, am so confused as to whether I am itching from a new bite or if it's an old bite?

    I've been marking my white sheets, putting circles around the blood/fecal spots. Only a few but it helps me keep track. Haven't seen ANY new spots in 3 weeks.

    I wish I could do the same on my body! LOL. Circle with pen the old spots. I'm almost half serious.

    I woke up this morning itching a bite...but I sort of recall having a bite there before...I just wish I knew!

  19. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Fri Dec 14 2007 15:43:11
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    jennifer09 says: "I wish I could do the same on my body! LOL. Circle with pen the old spots. I'm almost half serious."

    now THAT is a good idea. i was half tempted to do this myself, and if some of the bites weren't on my neck/face i probably would. imagine me walking into work with spots on my face circled in pen? hahaha...

    i found three itty bitty spots below my ear this morning, it's sooo hard to see up close, but they look suspiciously like breakfast/lunch/supper to me. i can't tell anymore what bites are new or old, and how long they might have been there before i noticed them. someone should invent some kind of bite identifying gadget that could confirm (somehow, this is a fantasy so humor me,) what the bite is from (bug species) and how old it is (maybe based on the anti-coagulent stuff the bug injects?). man, an invention like that would make a ridiculous amount of money.

  20. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 17:53:49
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    You could circle bites with eyeliner or pen that washes off, then take a digital photo of yourself. Then save it as a nite archive. If you are good and close, you could use freckles and moles as landmarks to see if it is in the same place.

  21. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 18:32:47
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    I HAVE marked my bites in the past! I tried permanent marker...and that works unless there's lotion involved, then it tends to smear. But the ball point pens seemed to work just fine. The only problem I found with it is that it seems to wash off pretty easy....and with me taking more showers than usual it got too hard to keep them marked...especially as I got more and more bites. But a daily photo might be a great way to compare without so much hassle.

  22. (deleted)

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    Fri Dec 14 2007 23:57:35
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    Kit-

    Are you the person who chose not to encase the mattress? I would encourage you to review that decision. What does your PCO say about that? David, who advocates not encasing, works in another country with other pesticides and puts a premium on very detailed inspection! In North America, the pesticides are different (read: sometimes ineffective) and there are just other wide differences in methods.

    Everyone-

    If I had seen Kraystone's video when I was getting bites, I would have totally taken a page from it and literally drawn bites on a figure, with dates and descriptions (itchiness, appearance, duration, flare ups, the works).

    You are all keeping a diary of some sort, yes? Treatment dates, pesticides and other materials used, bites, evidence seen or found and locations, etc. Expenses!

    I actually did not keep very detailed records. Part of it will be temperament and how organized or stressed someone is, but the dates of treatment, dates of bites (locations if possible) and evidence, and materials used by the PCO at a minimum are crucial to keep a record of.

    (If you think you won't want to keep an actual notebook--I remember I didn't want to carry much of anything around--and want to keep your notes online, so that you can, for example, make a point of remembering to add to them when you are reading the forums anyway, I would recommend a free web app like Backpack: backpackit.com or whatever works for you to actually keep your records!)

    bummedindenver-

    The Australian Code of Practice is in its second edition now. You may want to check the new version to see if anything useful was added to the steam section: http://medent.usyd.edu.au/bedbug/bedbug_cop.htm

    There's also a short section on steam in Dr. Potter's article which is linked in the laundry/steaming/vacuuming FAQ.

  23. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Dec 15 2007 16:15:27
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    Hi Hopelessnomore. Thanks for the reply. Got the National Allergy encasements standing by! We have kept our box spring encased (vinyl) but not our mattress. Our third treatment is Monday, and he will treat encasements so we will place both in the NA covers this weekend (leaving the vinyl on the box spring and placing the N/A over it). I guess I was hoping that if they settled in the mattress they would be living in poison, (and yes, off us) and die. But, the best laid plans...

    Really, we have gone over that darned mattress with a fine tooth comb and found nothing. Still no sightings of bugs, fecal spots, skins, etc. Well, except my pillowcase now has two bloodspots or fecal spots, etc. But, I know the wily critters are there somewhere and probably staring back up at me with sinister grins. I am still on the fence about totally isolating post treatment. I hate to think of them going after our cat or elsewhere to get us (although I think they probably have had plenty of time to do that already). Anyway, thanks so much for your input.

    Oh yeah, I was laughing so hard reading the "marking your bites" posts above. I did that! I thought it was a great idea until showering time came, and eventually it became too difficult to keep up anyway. The real clincher came at a holiday party last month when someone asked what was on my neck (i.e. a nice blue ring ;). Darn that turtleneck for not covering up more! Seriously, of course I had to tell the whole story and I can tell you at least 10 more people are a lot better educated about bbugs now then before my blue circles gave it away ;). The most interesting thing is that I had to work so hard to convince them it was real.

  24. (deleted)

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Dec 15 2007 20:35:07
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    Indeed, those who have pets think hard about isolating the bed out of concern for them. But one can still encase and not proceed to full isolation.

    You really should investigate the bed frame. Depending on what type of frame you have, see if you can take it apart for a thorough examination, cleaning or treatment or if you can caulk or otherwise seal its cracks and crevices.

    Good luck.

  25. bummedindenver

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    Sun Dec 16 2007 21:02:09
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    hopeless, thanks for the link to the updated Australian document. I missed that, and am happy to see the updates. It doesn't really change much with respect to steaming.

    We have started, so we'll see what happens. We definitely won't be getting our whole home done in one or two (or three) days. It takes a long time. But it does feel really good to see that steam and thinking about any bugs that might be dying.

    Too bad we don't know where the bugs really are.

    We steamed the whole metal bed frame last night and re-encased the mattress. We saw a small blood smear on the existing encasement, and we both ended up with bites after doing it.

    Talk about a mystery. We saw nothing except the blood smear, and yet, after the whole process of steaming the bed frame, and the space between the carpet and baseboard (we had earlier caulked the top of the baseboard where there was a gap between it and the wall), we had fresh new itchy bites. What the heck!!??

    Makes me wonder if the Gentrol they used the first time really DID work. Is it possible we just have teeny weeny bugs that are so small we can't see them because the Gentrol worked and the bugs aren't growing bigger? Then the bugs weren't killed because the PCO didn't do a good job?

    Just more thoughts....

    Good luck all.

  26. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Dec 16 2007 21:57:25
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    Hopeless, thanks for the head's up on the bed frame. I do think it is has good potential as a harborage, unfortunately. We will be taking it apart early tomorrow a.m., pre-treatment. It's the basic metal model, but I am still not sure we can take it all apart, but will give it our best. Our PCO has been treating it, but the wheel wells are way too inviting and I would think difficult to reach with a spray.

    Bummedindenver, I can't believe they are biting you as you steam! Sheesh. I am sure you are well acquainted with your bite reactions/patterns, but could they be from earlier bites? I find my reactions have varied quite a bit from when this "adventure" began. Or, maybe your bugs are so miserable as you blast them that biting you is their last hurrah. I hope that is the case for you. Also, I am interested in your theory that perhaps there are just very small bugs left. I was under the impressoin that the nymphs would succumb sooner than adults to poison? Anyway, yes, good luck to you and to everyone.

  27. (deleted)

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    Sun Dec 16 2007 22:09:14
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    Hi bummedindenver,

    I'm glad you started! I am hopeful that you will succeed.

    (I'm not sure that if Gentrol did work, that is what you would see. I think it would render the adults sterile or cause reproductive deformations or cause deaths or some combination thereof but perhaps not that it would cause nymphs to not grow past a development stage, save when it caused them to die prematurely. But I'm hoping someone knowledgeable sees this and clarifies what the intended effect would be. I just know I would personally ask my PCO not to use it!)

    Please be encouraged by the fact that people have absolutely eradicated bedbug infestations with steam. It is possible and you can do it. And I suspect you will also reap benefits merely by taking this situation in hand yourself. I hope you feel in control and hopeful.

  28. (deleted)

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    Sun Dec 16 2007 22:13:10
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    Kit, definitely inspect and clean it before the next treatment! Assuming some bedbugs will not succumb to the pesticides (the smartest approach) means trying mechanical methods of removal and/or caulking to seal away the harborage sites and/or even possibly DE. Good luck.

  29. (deleted)

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    Sun Dec 16 2007 22:26:34
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    Hey guys you'd think I'd have enough of these bugs with my own problems but after reading through some of the posts I have a suggestion. The bite marks on your body. I myself started taking pictures of said bites as I couldn't tell which were new and which were old. I do the same with my bedsheets. It also provides proof if time dated about how good the treatment is working.

    I can only speak for myself but my protect a bed encasements have definetly helped to reduce any bites I've been getting. The cost a bit more but so far seem to be helping. If I had to do it again though I'd order two of the mattress encasements as the boxsping one does seem quite as thick as the mattress one.

  30. Kit

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    Sun Dec 16 2007 22:44:30
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    Thanks for the feedback Hopeless. I am a big fan of the DE and we've had it around since the beginning (with reapplications every few weeks; it's an arid climate here so lasts a bit longer, I hope). Our PCO said he doesn't think it works, but that it would do no harm either. I think it works because of the other few bugs (not bedbugs) that we have seen coated in it, and dead. I also cleaned out the wheel wells a few days ago but with all the DE and some left over mineral oil and the chemical spray, well, it's difficult to tell what is what. Nothing screamed bedbug, but right before our second treatment we also cleaned the wheels and found what we believed was a cast skin. Anyway, we will give it another thorough going over prior to the PCO's arrival tomorrow. Also, I've really not considered caulking as an option given our house is so old and the floors are orginal wood floors and more gaps than wood... It seems impossible to take on and be successful. However, I read another bedbug blog (recommended somewhere here, I believe) where he took on the caulking challenge (as one part of his fight) and won. So, never say never. Anyway, thanks so much again for your insights!

  31. bummedindenver

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    Tue Dec 18 2007 15:37:00
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    I think we got bit while we were re-encasing our mattress, not when we were steaming. We didn't steam the mattress because it is new and latex and we didn't want to melt it, so we put it on its side on the floor. We were stupid and didn't even vacuum it. We should have done something, but we didn't.

    After steaming the bed frame, we started putting a new encasement on over the existing one. This latex mattress is SUPER heavy and not easy to work with. It was a dumb purchase in the midst of this, but we didn't know it would be so heavy. Anyway, we were all over the mattress, or it was all over us as we tried to maneuver it and put on the new encasement. We weren't wearing much clothing, trying to be as clean as possible, fresh out of the shower, and my shirtless husband ended up with a bite right on his chest/abdomen where he'd been in close contact with the mattress. So I think that is when it must have happened.

    No idea.....It is definitely not clear where exactly we are getting bit these days. I spend way more time sitting in my office than I do in the bed, so maybe my bites come from there....but there was a blood smear on the encasement and I still wake up sometimes with fresh bites. Who knows.

    But we will continue with the steaming followed by caulking.

  32. bummedindenver

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    Tue Dec 18 2007 15:51:21
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    Kit, where are you again?

    You said arid climate. Us too, usually, so that is one reason steam seems to be a good option here. In fact, we bought a humidifier last winter because it was so dang dry in our house. With this steamer going, no need for the humidifier.

    We ARE caulking up everything we can. I eventually will use the steam on the hardwood floors too. When that steamer gets going really hot, it is REALLY hot, and the steam does dry quickly. The plan now is: DE wherever there are gaps big enough to put it, including in outlet boxes (our former PCO didn't do anything with switch/outlet boxes, but we are doing that ourselves), steam, followed by caulking up anything that can be reasonably caulked. I am using clear caulk at the junction of the wood baseboard with the wall,and it really isn't very noticeable at all. I also use it at the junction of the quarter round where it meets the baseboard and then at the junction between the floor and the quarter round. Yes, of course, there are still gaps in the floor itself in some places. And those I plan to steam. I use white caulk on all painted surfaces. That also just is good, mentally. Every time I close off a gap, I feel better.

    My theories are just grasping at straws trying to understand what is going on. One WOULD think that nymphs would succumb more readily to the poison. But that also assumes an adequate amount was used in the right places.

    My PCO didn't do a good job. But we'll save that rant for another day. I get too upset thinking about dealing with them.

    So, far, things aren't getting worse, and they are definitely better since we threw out the wood futon frame. We kept the encased futon, and my husband (who spends the most time on it), hasn't gotten bitten once on it. He was getting bit when the futon was on the wood frame.

    We are optimistic, and having a greater sense of power over the situation does make us feel better.

  33. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 19 2007 13:58:59
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    Hi Bummed. So glad to read your last line about feeling optimistic. That's great! I am also impressed and inspired by how hard you are working to combat them. I have a feeling we will be following your lead, so thanks for the detailed posts. I'm especially appreciative of your description of caulking because I really didn't see how we could win with that approach given our floor conditions. However, I'm more resolved to the idea now and it's always so helpful to have one more weapon up your sleeve.

    We are in Calgary, Canada. I think Denver and Calgary are sister cities (never quite sure what that means). Ha, how lovely to be sharing bed bug troubles with you ;). It does make steaming seem less worrisome in regards to mold, but I suppose you still have to be careful.

    Our PCO just did the third spraying using same chemicals and some dust in the outlets, etc. Frankly, I can't tell if things have improved or not. I still have bites but really have only been able to point to 2-3 that are actual bites versus what I feel... But, our pattern has been to feel slightly better for a few days after treatment and then to have the situation deteriorate more as time goes on. Our PCO seemed surprised they were still around--he didn't doubt it--but just seemed genuinely perplexed. His conclusion was that they are in our floorboards due to the condition of our floors upstairs. So he blasted our entire floor up there (but let's remember, he did that last time too). Like you, I also spend a significant amount of time in our home office so we had him blast the chair I sit in and desk, etc. I have been suspicious about it, but have checked it and doused it with alcohol so much... Anyway, keep up the excellent work and we will be in touch.

  34. bummedindenver

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 20 2007 13:55:29
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    I am impressed, Kit, that your PCO "didn't doubt it", but just seemed perplexed. That's actually great to have someone on your side, going through this.

    Sister cities? Didn't know that. I knew Denver had a bunch, but I couldn't name a one. I guess this forum has components of "cultural exchange" that would play into the whole sister city thing. We are learning about differences in treatment (not to mention legal aspects of control) across our borders...

    We are like bed bug ambassadors!

    Yippee!

    Edited to add:

    I was inspired to look up Denver sister cities, and I found this program called "City in a Suitcase".

    City in a Suitcase
    Denver Sister Cities International is pleased to announce the renewal of our unique program, "City in a Suitcase"! DSCI presents the spirit of our Sister Cities to area elementary students, transporting Denver area youth around the globe with the sounds, sights, and tastes of cities like Axum, Ethiopia and Kunming, China.

    My comments: Like I said, bed bug ambassadors......the name of the program is what REALLY spoke to me. Ironic, given what prompted me to look up Denver sister cities....

  35. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 21 2007 13:41:05
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    Hi Bummed. Uh, yeah, that "suitcase" bit made me shudder. Turns out Calgary and Denver aren't sister cities; I think I hear so many people here compare the two that I jumped to conclusions. Well, at least we have one thing in common!

    Anyway, I have a quick question for people: we had our third treatment this past Monday and are supposed to leave for a week tomorrow (Sat.) for the holidays. That means we will have spent 5 nights at home post treatment... Is that enough time to lure all the critters out to us? Or should we stay put another night or two if we can? Many thanks!

  36. currentinsomniac

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    Fri Dec 21 2007 13:55:42
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    I think I heard Denver and Salt Lake City are sister cities, but I could be wrong? They sure seem the same climate wise, etc....except the mountains are on the wrong side!

    Kit - I kind of think you'll be alright considering they typically feed every 3-5 nights. I suppose an extra night wouldn't hurt though if you are concerned about it.
    But what products was your PCO using again? We've had the same problems as you and trying a different chemical has seemed to help. (Phantom) Perhaps if your PCO rotated what he was using?

  37. Kit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 21 2007 14:39:57
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    Thanks for the feedback Current. I was somewhat concerned about the timing because when all this started I would only get bit every 10-11 nights, or so it seemed. But, the bite frequency definitely increased over the last few months and with it I am hoping they will die more quickly by coming out every few days versus every 10.

    Our PCO used Dragnet. It's difficult for me to read the paperwork, but it looks like the powder was Ficam D? I asked about switching, but didn't demand it because they were doing a third treatment for free. I have heard encouraging things about Phantom (from this wonderful site) and wonder if it is available in Canada. Anyway, so glad to hear it seems to be making a difference for you! That's a nice holiday gift, isn't it? All the best and thanks again for your input.


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