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Advice on moving after bedbugs

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  1. AmyN

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    Joined: Feb '14
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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Feb 20 2014 20:33:57
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    First, I'd just like to say how thankful I am that a resource such as this is here. While certainly full of excellent advice (I used a lot of it and referenced it so much during the first infestation), it is also somewhat therapeutic to be able to relate and get your story out there to ANYBODY because it is incredibly stressful when it is happening to you. I suppose I'll start by explaining my entire infestation story because unfortunately, this is about a re-infestation about one year after thinking we were bed-bug free. We moved into this apartment located in a old downtown city area (close by Toronto) in May of 2012. The building had just got a new owner, so we really embarked on this thing together. We had lived in our old apartment for 3 years previously and never even had a passing thought of bedbugs, never had 'em. August 2012 is when we discovered in our new place that the bed had become infested with bugs. I found one crawling on the blankets while we were lying in bed. I rushed to the computer, found this marvelous site and had confirmation we were indeed dealing with bedbugs. I put a lot of things together in that moment reading this site, all these weird things adding up. I had been complaining of hives since we had moved in, my boyfriend had strange rashes on his back area, bloodspots on the sheets here or there. I contacted our landlord right away as I heard the infestations can get bad quick and we had only found them in the bedroom at this point, but he seemed pretty calm about it, told me to rent a steam cleaner and vacuum the place, that will take care of it. He said he had dealt with them at his house after bringing them home from a trip and he did not have anymore after doing this. So I said fine, in the mindset that down to it, it's his property, as college student I certainly could not afford an exterminator to come in here.

    November 2012 comes along and I'm still trying to fight this suckers. I called my landlord numerous times over the past months since August to let him know they were still here and finally he sent a pest control company. Looking over our place, the technician said we indeed had an infestation, albeit a small one and that it was likely they were in other areas of the living areas, we just couldn't find them. They came in and completed 3 treatments over the course of 6 weeks. They didn't tell me what they were applying, but they sprayed and I assumed dusted around the bedroom and the outlets in there because I didn't see that stuff anywhere else. After following the novel of instructions the pest control company gave us, the 3 treatments and continuing to maintain the vacuuming and occasional steam clean of the apartment, we were convinced we had them beat by February 2013!

    Fast forward to December 2013. I find one of those suckers in the freakin' kitchen, just sitting on top the paper towel, staring at me. Clearly upset, I called our new management company (the new owner from 2012 still owned it, just brought in management) to let her know about the discovery. It seems bedbugs just aren't a huge deal to some property management as her response was pretty much the same as the new owner's first. Something like "You've only found one, just keep cleaning and vacuuming and we will see how it goes."

    As you can imagine, I was frustrated. I am frustrated. I feel as though it's not in my power to do anything about it than what I am and I don't have the cash flow to tackle this all by myself. I hadn't seen any since that day in December, I suspected they were in the bedroom again which they probably are, but I can't seem to find them. The beginning of this week, they began renovations on the store below us and the empty unit beside us that they would like to rent soon. Today as I was cleaning, I found 3 more, but still only in the kitchen. The kitchen walls are on the side where the empty unit is being worked on. I'm wondering if the pest control company only treated the bedroom thoroughly, if the kitchen is the only way they can get in til they can find us? We acquired two cats since the last infestation (we waited months until we believed we were safe.) so they are probably helping to spread it to other areas as well. The landlord has always tried to blame this infestation on us, and while I of course cannot say for certain 100% we did not, I believe the entire building is infested and has been for awhile. Looking back, the old tenants left a bunch of furniture here, nice furniture too. We didn't keep it because we had our own, but we wondered why someone would just get rid of it all. Now we know.

    Our lease ends in May. Of course, we would love to move. It's not just the bed bugs.. we wanted to move long before they came back, but now they have just complicated things. Well honestly, glad they showed up now instead of in our new digs months down the line.. But, I digress. I certainly plan on and have already begun to browse and research other experiences and advice with this on this website, but am seeking advice on my own unique situation I suppose.

    1. Through the forums I have already read (Jane was one I know, I apologize I cannot remember the others), many have suggested to unpack sealed items between bedbug treatments to ensure that any bugs trapped on those items would be exposed to the treatment and die. Since I cannot imagine that they will actually treat the whole building since they did not last time, would it be wise for me to do this as well? I was considering perhaps doing that the first one or two treatments, then the last pack up of everything, really analyze and just pack it away to move after that.

    2. We don't plan on bringing a whole lot of our furniture items with us. Our bedroom set and the dressers are pretty much kaput anyway, and since the last infestation, we haven't brought in a lot of furniture items anyway and the ones we did, we made sure not to be too attached to. Has anybody had to deal with the cleaning of computers (desktop), game systems and/or guitars? I am really lost on the best way to go about treating those.

    3. What about pets? We have two kitties and one lizard who lives in a tank. Would it be wise to go get the two cats bathed and groomed before we brought them into the new apartment? Do bedbugs bite animals? The lizard would probably just eat 'em if he ever saw any, however I figure a good, thorough steam clean on his tank will suffice.

    4. The new apartment. Of course as this post shows, I'm paranoid about bringing them with me. But does anybody have any advice of looking for signs of bed bugs while you are looking for an apartment? Or is there perhaps a post on here I have yet to find that shows a great preventative treatment before moving in somewhere? (on yourselves and in the new apartment) I was thinking I would go in and steam clean and vacuum the entire apartment while it was still empty. And then apply some food grade DE to the wall outlets and any other areas while it was still empty as well. But I'm not sure if I'm being too overkill with that.

    I would like to thank anybody in advance for any advice they can give me.


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