Ang VS The Bugs(19 posts)
I'm Ang, 28 years old and renting a little crappy studio apartment in Providence, RI.
I discovered my deadbeat roommates last week after I suffered for weeks with what I thought was a very hungry mosquito. So far I've got batsh*t insane with cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, etc. I threw out my old bedding, encased my mattress in vinyl as well as my pillows...
My landlord sprayed and powdered last week, and I'm planning on having him coming back again this week. Obviously I'm still getting bites, as I know this is going to be a long drawn out battle, but I've already noticed the difference.
I have purchased diatomaceous earth online and should be receiving that soon, and I also plan on picking up Rest Easy. So far the bugs have laughed at me when I sprayed them directly with a 50/50 bleach solution, or even rubbing alcohol. However, I am using the rubbing alcohol as a "repellent" at night while I sleep, and it seems to help. I also have a metal futon, which I think saved me from a potentially serious infestation.
I've also become NEUROTIC. I think I see them everywhere, wearing long pants and sleeves to bed, and drive my boyfriend INSANE when he's over. (He's never been bit or reacted to being bit. Screw him!) He actually thinks I'm crazy and that I need to stop worrying.
However, here's my big issue: I'm a costume designer. I do all of my work out of my studio. So far, I have -NOT- found any bug sign in my closet space or in my fabric area. I consider this fortunate, but one thing I absolutely cannot do is afford to throw away or dry clean fabric and costumes, so I'm really scared. Fortunately most of the bugs have been in the direct vicinity of my bed and for some reason, in my bathroom after the spraying (I assume they were running for their lives).
What is the luck folks have had with DE and Rest Easy? I need things to be as gentle yet effective as possible around my delicate fabrics and creations. If I have to get rid of everything, it will destroy my income, which is very little right now because I've been waylaid thanks to the buggies.
Thanks for your help!
Did I also mention I was poor? Yeah. Poor enough to live in a 110 year old Edwardian house divided into studio tenements in a not-so-pleasant corner of Providence. So any expensive treatments and new furniture are out, and my landlord "swears" that he's treated bed bugs before with what he has and it's worked.
So, I dunno...I think I'm worrying about this more than I should because it's really distracting me from my work that needs to get done.
I am planning on moving in the next couple of months, and I don't want to bring them with me.
Thanks again for everything. This site has been a great help!
Just a suggestion, I don't know if you could borrow money and buy a Packtight, but that would be really helpful. You could put your fabrics in there and heat for 1 hour at 120 degrees, then seal them up in plastic bags knowing that they are bug free. I know it is really expensive, but it is so worth it. I don't often endorse things, but mine has given me great relief. I haven't found anything shrunk or damaged. I have done shoes and everything. I have to send my daughter off to college in 3 weeks and I am sure that all her stuff will go bug free.
That would be the ultimate solution! Unfortunately no spare funds as of yet. When I get my financial aid in for school, I am allotted quite a chunk for living expenses, but we'll see...Still have rent to pay. I was at least thinking of the Bed Bug Beacon, it's cheaper, and since I have such a small place, it may help to trap a lot of them.
Well, maybe instead of a Packtight you could just put the items in the dryer for an hour and then bag them up. The idea of heat-killing any bugs/eggs is the same...
That may work, because a lot of the stuff I have isn't TOO delicate. I do have some silks, but it will only shrink if I get it wet. I may have to spend a day and $20 at the laundromat and just go for it.
I feel your pain! I'm pretty broke as well -- I have just enough money to pay rent, car payments, insurance and student loans. If I'm lucky, I can treat myself to fresh produce every once in a while
I have been saving money, about $1000 for emergency money due to an unstable job future. Buttttt, I think I might invest in a Packtight. Right now, the only emergency is getting these bugs to stop sucking my blood.
Here's a thought: Is there anyone in your area that owns a Packtight? Maybe they'll let you bake your delicates in there? I don't know how sanitary that is, but it could be worth looking into. Anybody else out there know if that's a safe alternative to buying a brand new Packtight?
Also, have you tried diatomaceous earth? It's natural, a powder that's technically food grade. I just bought some on Amazon.com today. A friend (and bb survivor) swears by the stuff. She needed something that would kill the bugs but not harm her cats.
Maybe it wouldn't harm your fabrics?
Yep, DE has been ordered.
I can't figure out if I was bite-free last night or if they went to my neck, which itches...but it could be sweat since I have been sleeping in long sleeves and pants in August...Either way, total improvement.
2nd treatment within the week followed by some powdery goodness, comin' up.
I also vote for the packtite - it could be a tax write off too - you could decontaminate potentially infested new items you receive. Would hate to see you get re-infested after so much work.
This weekend I'm going to go through my fabric storage. Fortunately I don't keep a lot and order/purchase when I need it, so I can throw a lot out if needed. That which I'm going to keep is getting thrown in a big ol' dryer. (I just need to wash stuff too, because my local laundromat is pretty adamant on the whole "if you don't wash here, you can't dry here" bit. Couldn't imagine why...)
I'm beginning to track down where I think I got the bugs from. I do a lot of conventions annually for art and costuming, and one of the hotels I stayed in had reported incidents on the Bed Bug Registry. I never want to stay in a hotel again, that's for sure.
Oh man, Providence...i feel your pain. I have a gigonda collection of fabrics from all over the world..vintage stuff...but as i receive them i take them outside and inspect them, shake them out and then launder them. Thank goodness the bbs never ventured into the art/sewing studio..That would have been a nightmare. I haven't purchased one piece of fabric since my bb experience.
But i also recommend a pack tite and although i haven't PTd all my fabrics, notions and stuff, i plan to do that eventually...when the weather isn't so dang hot!
Costume design sounds fun...
Tell your boyfriend that DeedleBeetle said that your hypervigilence and distraction from your normal tasks and duties is a normal type of response to having bbs and that if he isn't getting any type of uncomfortable skin reactions he should consider himself very lucky but that he should try to have some compassion for you. If he doesn't do so tell him the DeedleBeetle inconsiderate partner posse will just have to take a road trip up to RI to have a little talk with him...and believe me, he doesn't want that.
Here's the REAL kicker...I'm in a tiny one room studio...They haven't seem to have ventured that far, at least from what we've gone through up to now. Same with my clothes and closet area.
I purchased Rest Easy and sprayed it. It makes my room smell like cinnamon gum! I haven't seen any bugs to test it on, but the girl I got it from at Bed Bath and Beyond SWEARS by it.
Even if it doesn't work, I also bought Benedryl, because I need to rest easy, even if it's chemically induced. Night all!
Oh snap, one just came out and I nailed him with the Rest Easy. Sucker didn't stand a chance!
And the morning brings a Benedryl hangover, but what appears to be no new bites, courtesy of the Rest Easy!
I know it's not a permanent solution, but wow, this stuff does work, and it's definitely coming with me when I travel for now on.
Also, this is the "Green" Rest Easy by RMB, not the other one.
Ang. I know that this is a few days in, but a few thoughts, to help you get through.
- In a small space, you may need to expect that bugs might be anywhere, especially if you are disturbing them, or they're coming from neighboring rooms.
- You do not need to wash fabrics that are clean. Just a run through a dryer or packtite. BB die between ~115-125F, so you don't even need to get it that hot (but every bit of the item needs to get up to temp, in case there are bugs or eggs hiding there).
- If you are designing cotumes, I'd focus on heating (dryer or packtite) of finished goods before shipping them out. If you have people trying them on in your space, they need to take precautions to make sure they're not taking out hitchhikers on the stuff they put down or their bodies.
- AFAIK, RestEasy is a contact killer, possibly repellent. A contact killer will kill only those bugs that you hit directly. They will not kill bugs that pass over a treated area and they will not kill eggs. Contact killers can be very useful, but may not be enough for full eradication. Bleach sounds nasty, but I don't see the need for this, as there are more gentle, but effective, solutions. Many detergents are contact killers, as is 91% alcohol. The problem with repellents, is that they may cause bugs to scatter or burrow deeper in your stuff.
- It's normal to see activity after treatment. You're attracting bugs out of hiding. If your space is properly treated, the bugs will cross poison and die. Also, DE is a useful tool, but expect it to take weeks to work (bugs live quite a few days after exposure). There's also an "art" to applying it and some precauautions to take. Here's a FAQ on it. We have a great Resources page and FAQ on BB and I encourage you to browse it for a better idea of what BB are and how to beat them,
- In many locales, it's illegal for landlords to self-treats, unless they're licensed to do so. Sounds like yours has his own way of doing things and is unlikely to change. Perhaps it will work. If not, strategize what you need to do to not take the bugs with you when you move on.
- I get the neurosis thing. If doing X can help you cope (and it's not dangerous), do it. Hopefully, in time, you can find equilibrium. Perhaps you can talk it through (as I have, to the tune of 2 years and 1456 posts).
- Can you design a fabulous BB (or BB-inspired) costume?
Hang in there and best of luck.
ProvidenceBites - 3 days ago » I was at least thinking of the Bed Bug Beacon, it's cheaper, and since I have such a small place, it may help to trap a lot of them.
Traps like the Beacon are for detecting bugs, primarily in unoccupied spaces (when a space is occupied, the bugs seem to prefer humans). They are not intended for eradicating bed bugs. There's now a FAQ on detectors that might be useful.
Conserve your funds.
I have used Rest Easy on live, adult bed bugs and it has killed them instantly. I have noticed some whitish residue it may leave on certain fabrics.
I've also used Hot Shot, and it's a great contact killer too. Unlike Rest Easy though, I've noticed that it has not stained any clothes, bedding, etc.
To sleep and help with the itchiness, I have been taking Unisom (doxylamine succinate 25 mg) at bedtime.
It is an antihistamine, like Benadryl, but I feel that it does not give me that morning drowsiness that Benadryl does. Just giving you another option that works for me
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