An Introduction...And My Story(3 posts)
Though I have heard the nursery rhyme PLENTY of times, I never knew bed bugs were real until about 6 months ago.
I live in a pretty nice 2 bed, 2 bath apartment with my roommate and a deranged cat. About 4 months into our lease, my roommate noticed that she was waking up with small bite marks EVERYWHERE. Legs, arms, back, thighs, neck, fingers, TOES! We both would have thought it was mosquitoes except we live in NE Ohio and this was wintertime. Way too cold for mosquitoes. She concluded that it was probably spiders and bought a can of Raid to spray around her room.
About a week later, roomie is still spraying the Raid like it's Chanel No. 5 and still waking up with bites. I walk into my room one day and notice a tiny, reddish-brown bug on my cream-colored towel that was hanging on my closet door. I take a closer look. "Hmmm...how the hell did a tick get in my room?" I take the towel to the open balcony doors and attempt to shake the "tick" a couple of stories down to the ground below. 3 good shakes, the "tick" is still there. "Huh...persistent little bastard." I flick it off with my finger, scream like a girl (which I am lol) and run to wash my hands.
A few days after that, we get a notice on our door from our leasing office saying that we are scheduled for a routine pest prevention check the next day. Sweet! Maybe my roomie will finally get some relief from The Spider from Hell.
Came home from work the next day and we have a letter on our counter stating that we have bed bugs and we'd need further treatment. At this point, roomie and I were still in the dark so we followed the items on the checklist (washing and bagging clothes, taking apart our beds, taking pictures and switchplates off the walls, etc.) and figured we'd be rid of this problem by the next week. Oh, how wrong and naive we were.
Almost 6 months later and we are STILL dealing with this problem. I'll try to break it down:
*We found out that we were infested due to a heavy (so heavy that one of the PCOs let it slip to us that he'd never seen an infestation that bad) infestation of the apartment directly below ours.
*We have run our gas bill, in total, up to the thousands of dollars due to the constant washing and drying from each of the 6 (six!!!!) treatments we have had.
*We have spent over $200 on top of the line mattress encasements that Terminix later told us were not the right kind.
*We found out later that they were fine...after it was too late to take them back to the store.
*We have told by our leasing office that we have to take some of the blame in this happening to us.
*We hired a lawyer and threatened to take our story to every local news station we could think of as well as leaving negative ratings on all apartment review websites.
*The finally decided to take us seriously. They fired the old property manager.
*We had more treatments that DIDN'T work. We were basically guinea pigs. "Well, let's see if THIS will work!" This included drilling very nice (/sarcasm) holes into our walls and spraying who the hell knows what into the walls. Yeah...that didn't work.
*I spend more nights at my boyfriend's house than at the apartment that I pay rent in. My roomie ends up spending some nights sleeping on her toilet, head propped up on her sink.
*New property manager is completely clueless until she talks to our lawyer. She finally realizes that Terminix SUCKS and looks into other forms of treatment.
And that brings us to present day. We still have bed bugs. We don't see them often. Hardly ever. But my roomie is still being bitten. About every 3 weeks or so. I have only been bitten in two instances. Both times I had about 5 bites. I have learned that when I sleep in what I call my "army gear" (long sweatpants, thick socks, pull over hoodie with long sleeves, everything TUCKED in -- windows open and fan blasting) I don't get bitten. I am praying that they don't wise up and bite my hands or face.
We were given the option of working with Terminix for one last time...according to them. They would have us put all our crap in a UHaul, fog it or gas it (they never really did say which they would do), keep it for 48 hours and then give it back. At this point, we are done and fed the hell up with Terminix so we are instead having a heat treatment done to our apartment and belongings next week. Then we are immediately moving into a new apartment.
We are praying and hoping this works. We don't feel like our infestation is that bad as we can go for weeks without being bitten and we hardly ever see them. Really, that's the only thing giving us hope right now. We do know that the apartment that caused our infestation is now vacant. I feel so sorry for the people living in the place those guys move to. I know they were foreign and didn't speak much English...they probably had no clue what was going on and thought that moving would save them from this. Poor souls. There is also another apartment being heat treated the same day as ours. I saw that tenant a few days ago. He looked pissed. I don't blame him.
I can honestly say that having this problem is one of the worst things that has ever happened to me in my life. Ever. And I've had some rough times.
I will let you all know if this heat treatment works. Fingers crossed!
P.S. Has anyone had this done before? I have a plasma TV...will this hurt my baby?
Thanks for listening!
We had our heat treatment on Thursday, July 16th. From what our maintenance man said, they arrived at 8:30 AM and worked at our apartment all day.
I arrived home at about 5:30 PM and the temp was still a bit over 100 degrees and that was with all the windows open and the LR ceiling fan on. The counters, walls and floors were very warm to the touch. I simply walked through the apartment checking things out and by the time I was done, I was sweating!
I checked out all our electronics (they unplugged them all before the treatment) and everything worked. Plasma TV, desktop, iPod docks, alarm clocks, etc. We had made sure to put all our candles, lotions, body washes, perfumes in the fridge so really, the only damage I noticed was a bit of the corner peeled off my cheapie Ikea dresser. Just like buggyinsocal said it might! It's so minor, I can glue it back down and be fine.
By 11:30 PM it was still about 80ish degrees in the apartment. Finally, we cut the AC on. We wanted to leave the apt. as hot as possible for as long as possible, just in case any bugs that might have somehow been able to live would stay away from the hot house.
On Friday morning, we moved all our stuff out and into a new bug-free apartment. So far, so good. No sightings and no bites. I'm pretty optimistic that this treatment worked but I will need to be bite free for a while longer before I can say for sure.
Can I ask where you live? I have spoken with my landlord about heat treatment and even gave him the contact info for AAA which some others have mentioned on this site. I live in NYC. He said he contacted them and that they said they couldnt do a multliple dwelling apartment building.
I am in a similar situation. The tenant below me has been living in his apartment for 40+ years and is a complete mess. They found thousands of bugs (alive and dead). They have disposed of 90% of his belongings according to the LL and the exterminator has come twice and will come again. My apartment has been treated 4 times but I still see bugs (both big and small). I haven't slept here in about 2 weeks, choosing instead to sleep on air mattress in an empty apartment in the building. Sadly, that apartment is now being rennovated and I have no place to sleep. I feel like the bathtub is the only place left...
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