Am I overreacting?(6 posts)
So a few weeks ago me and my husband started to get bitten by what we assumed was mosquitos. Every once in a while we would see a mosquito by the light. 3 weeks ago I woke up early am and found a bed bug crawling on the head board. I found a dead one under my pillow and one crawling under my husbands pillow I had the "breakfast Lunch Dinner " patterns on my hand and wrist. We caught the bed bug in a pill bottle. I rent so I contacted my super who brought in an exterminator to inspect. The exterminator told us that the specimen we caught was indeed a bed bug but his inspection did not turn up any signs of bed bugs. I wanted him to treat the apartment anyway. My super suggested I clean up the place because chemicals were harsh. He lives next door to me so I guess he is concerned about the fumes. Yes I"m a little messy, I come home toss my clothes in a pile and deal with them on the weekend. Kitchen gets scrubbed down every night and bathroom at least twice a week. I was really insulted at the implication that I was dirty.....
Anywho everyweekend for the last three weeks I have been finding one or two bed bugs. Usually Thursday or Friday night when I see the bugs. Once I spot a bug I wash and dry everything on the floor and in the drawers attached to the bed. I vacuum and I steam the mattress and bed frame, and couches. I spray alcohol on the matress everyday before bed. I found a big bed bug tonight I'm so exhausted and can bear the thought of going to bed.
I mentioned bed bugs to my grandmother (I didn't tell her that I had them, I"m to embarressed to tell anyone) she said we had them when I was a kid, but I don't remeber that. Part of me is I survived them once I'll survive them again. The other part of me is terrified to sleep.
Other than the live bedbugs, I don't have any of the tell tale signs. I don't see shed skins, no black spots on the matress. Could I be bringing them in from somewhere and killing the eggs before they have time to breed?
I really want my super to spray the apartment NOW, while it is just a few. My furniture is only a year old and I don't want to end up having to trash it. I also don't want to wait until I find 10 or more bugs on me one nite before the super does something.
I haven't slept in almost 24hrs. Am I over reacting. Is it possible to have one or two bedbugs without having an infestation? Should I insist that the LandLord Spray. I need to sleep soundly again.
Am I overreacting?
You sound very stressed and I can understand how you feel, but as you pointed out at this point you do not have any proof. A few things I'd suggest and I'm sure other more knowledgeable people in this area will have other suggestions. If you've read much on these forums, you'll find lots of ideas, such as laying traps for one, but before you even do any of that, I'd suggest you do a few very basic things so that you are thoroughly thinking everything thru clearly. These are simple things that anyone stressed needs to do to stay in control. 1st. eat a healthy meal (I'd suggest, no junk food, so your brain can think and process clearly). 2nd, shower, wash your hair, and put on clean cloths. I'm willing to bet you'll feel a great deal better once you do these simple things. Next, as you are aware, you need sleep, so you can think clearly. So, sleep or at very least take a nap. If you can't do either, then take a walk outside for 30 min to 2 hours. Then you make your decisions on what to do next. If you are stressed to the point you can't relax in any way, you might want to consider hiring a K-9 to "sniff" out any problem. That will be somewhat expensive, but it might give you the quickest peace of mind.
So sorry you're having to deal with this.
You're finding quite a number of bugs. You need treatment, no question, and the sooner, the better. I would suggest that you try to get some sleep, and then start throwing clean clothes and linen through a hot dryer and double bag them immediately afterwards. The PCO will likely have a list of other things he'd like you to do before he sprays.
It's also important that your landlord have the apartments adjacent to you inspected as well. The bugs could have originated in one of them.
Don't forget to take care of yourself and please keep us posted.
"The exterminator told us that the specimen we caught was indeed a bed bug but his inspection did not turn up any signs of bed bugs. "
You say you found a bed bug and had it identified. A bed bug is a sign of bed bugs.
And then you went on to find 1-3 more for each of the last three weekends? So how many bed bugs have you found now? Did you save them all?
I think you should ask the super again for treatment. Obviously, assuming the ID was correct, there is a problem there.
If your landlord will not treat, there may be a city/county/state agency which can enforce the local laws IF they require landlords to treat for bed bugs. A local tenants' rights organization can often help you understand the local laws and how to get them enforced.
So glad I decided to come back and check on this post. I didn't think anyone had actually read my late night ramblings. Thank for the kind words, I was/am really stressed. Just when I started to calm down and clear my head, I just woke up out of my sleep to find one of those suckers crawling on my upholstered head board and instead of scooping it up in a pill bottle like I normally do, I decided to see where it was scattering to. Just as I thought it was about to tuck and roll in the seam of the upholstery. I started keeping 91% alcohol by my bed and I got that sucker, I will save him for when I call the landlord tomorrow. I saturated the seams of the headboard with alcohol. I'm gonna let the room air out and then try to get some more sleep.
So far the bed bug count is up to around 7 over the course of a month , we have captured 4 as evidence. I'm so glad I'm not going crazy. I thought these people (my super and the PCO) and maybe the rest of the professional bed bug world thought I needed to have them crawling all over me or see a bunch of shed skins before any action was taken.
Hubby seems to be unintentionally working against me. Luckily we have a dryer in the basement. I lug clothes down there and make sure everything gets 10 to 15 minutes on the highest temperature. No longer than that unless they are washed because I don't want to shrink them. I bring the clothes upstairs and I specifically ask him not to turn the bag upside down on the bed or couch like he normally does, because there could be nymphs or eggs or whatever on the bed and could recontaminate the clothing I just dried that definitely didn't have them anymore. I leave and come back and the sure enough the clothes are piled high on the bed....uuuuggghhhh!
I have been single baging them in contractor bags, but I will do as someone suggested and go to double bagging.
I change my bedding once every 7 days and over the course of that seven days I will dry the bedding for an hour 2 or 3 times during the week. Mattress and headboard have been geeting vaccuumed and steamed weekly. I also ocassionally spray the headboard and matress with the 91% alcohol anytime the mood hits. I think my precautions are what have been keeping the sightings from turning into an all out infestation but I would really like to nip this thing in the bud. I think I said it in my previous post. I just bought every single piece of furniture in my house a year ago and I would really hate to throw any of it out. Cross Fingers...closes eyes and makes a wish...any one know if rental insurance will pay out anything for furniture tossed due to a bed bug infestation?
I'm also wondering ...me and my hubby visit one or two of the same homes everyweekend. Could we be picking them up in one of these homes? I mean I inspect for the bedbugs everynight and I still unintentionally wake up every few hours to check for them. Never see them except for Thursday/Friday nights...Just in time to put a damper on my weekend. Could we be picking up nymphs from one of these homes and not seeing them until the weekend?
I plan on calling the Super first thing in the AM and having him bring in the PCO again. I'm going to request an afternoon appointment or Sat AM appointment so I can be here this time for the inspection.
Once again thank you all for the tips and the virtual ears. I was starting to feel alone in this fight against the bugs.
*PS checked the subscribe box this time. So I will see responses much sooner.
Also my lanlord is required to treat. I called a PCO on my own and the PCO company told me to get my super/landlord involved because these things can be quite costly and it is the landlords responsibility to treat. That's when I told my landlord who requested that I use the PCO that was already under contract with him.
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