apartment I'm staying at has bed bugs-- help!(4 posts)
Here's the situation; I'm staying in a different state for the summer for an internship I got. I found a great apartment from a girl who would be leaving the country for the whole summer.
Last week, I realized that there were bed bugs in the apartment. I'd been waking up with bites but attributed them to mosquito bites, so I didn't realize until I checked the mattress they were bed bug bites...my roommates confirmed they have had them too and they talked to the landlord who said it was a problem for everyone living on the ground floor, however it was up to us to get rid of them.
I'm only here for three more weeks so I do not want to pay to have everythign cleaned out professionally...I have been unable to get into contact with the girl I am renting from, so I am at a loss for what to do. I cleaned and dried on hot all my sheets and bedding and have moved into the living room for now (although now that I am reading more on it I'm not sure how effective that is at getting away from them)
I am not quite sure how far bed bugs spread...the room was largely unfurnished, so I have pretty much been keeping my suitcase out and open and just using that to store my clothes as there is no dresser. Should I clean and wash all these too? Will I have to throw away my suitcase?
bump? someone please help!
I'm not an expert, but this is what I would recommend based on what I have read on this site. Since you don't want to have the place treated (I don't blame you....you are only there for another 3 weeks and it won't work anyway unless your neighbors do their part), the best you can do is live with it and try to avoid taking the bugs home. Your luggage and clothes are possibly infected, so my advice would be to launder your clothes, run everything through the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes and keep the clothes in an airtight bag in the apartment until you put them on to go outside. This will help to avoid bringing the bugs to work and home when you eventually go home. I don't know what you can do about your shoes. Some have baked their shoes in the oven (potentially a fire hazard). Possibly you could get a rack for the dryer and put them in that and dry on hot (not sure for how long). Your luggage is an issue. You could try inspecting carefully and vaccuming and steam cleaning it. Or you might be able to find a PCO who will PackTite it for you. You could also buy a PackTite and use that for your shoes and luggage. It runs about 300 dollars, so I don't know if that is an option for you.
I don't know how you can avoid getting bitten while you sleep. If you sleep on the couch instead, the bugs are likely to follow you. Isolating the bed may not help as they may be in the mattress. Perhaps some others on this site have ideas for you?
We have Travel FAQS which explain how not to take bed bugs with you when you leave.
Note that you should tell the roommates to check with a local tenants advice organization about the local laws re: treatment for bed bugs in a rental. In many places the landlord is responsible to get treatment. In some places this may be true even if the lease has a rider or clause about bed bugs--because it's possible sometimes that those are added illegally. (I am not a lawyer.) If everyone is subletting, this may be a relevant factor in some places too. So expert local advice is needed. Don't take the landlord's word for it.
Even if you aren't there long enough for the bed bugs to be eliminated, they do need to be dealt with.
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