BB and children(2 posts)
Here is my situation and any advice is appreciated (sorry it is long I wanted to give enough information)...
I live in France in a single family home with my husband and 4 children (the oldest is 6 so they are all little). Two months ago I discovered that somehow we had bedbugs. They were all over my daughter's bunk bed. We immediately through out the entire bunk bed and mattresses...which was all the furniture that was in the room. I washed all the sheets, curtains and all clothes in their closets (on 90 degree celsius and drying for two hours) I didn't know then that I should bag the clothes after. I searched for mattresses covers here but couldn't find any. I also washed all sheets and blanket in the whole house and washed and vacuumed out the couch downstairs for good measure. I left their room empty for two weeks and everyday vacuumed and washed the walls down with rubbing alcohol. During this time my girls slept on the floor in the playroom. Then we went to IKEA and bought new little bed with simple frame. Since I moved the girls back into their room(about 6 weeks) I haven't seen any bites on them but I have found two adult bugs on my nightly bed bug searches.
I had hoped the infestation was confined to their room but I have been spraying down their entire bed frame and the beds in my son's room every night with rubbing alcohol and vacuuming several times a week. I found one blood smear on my son's sheets and just finished deep cleaning his room again.
Last night I saw a blood smear on my sheets (my husband and I have never been bitten that we have noticed) and performed a search of my bed and found 1 bed bug. I'm not really surprised considering are children wander into our room in the middle of the night frequently.
Here are my questions...
What can I do if I can't find zippered covers for our mattresses? Especially my bed it is a 20 inch thick king size mattress?
Has anyone succesfully fought bed bugs with little kids? It appears they are everywhere in my house and it's hard to get a 1,2,5 and 6 year old to follow all these precautions!
I am going to the US for vacation for a month has anyone had success with taping suitcases up in black garbage sacks and leaving them in the sun for a few hours? Does that really work (it would be in Texas in close to 100 degree F weather). FYI I do plan on packing all clothes fresh from the dryer into ziploc's but am worried about bugs in the actual suitcases. I have to bring suitcases I am going across the world for a month!
We don't have much furniture but 6 people do generate a lot of clothing. On top of that our Washing machine and Dryer just broke down and so I CANT WASH THINGS for the next two weeks! I am going crazy, I can't handle taking care of my family and trying to do all the cleaning and vigilance this is requiring. I seriously feel like giving up, I'm not sure I can do this!
If you read this far thank you...
I need to find a PCO but need my husband help with that since my French is rudimentary.
You can buy mattress encasements online or when you come to the US, use your visit to shop for those hard-to-find supplies.
In the absolute absence of zippered covers, you might improvise with painter's tarp (thick plastic) and duct tape. This will not be ideal, but it might work in the interim. Or you could leave the mattresses as is until you discuss with a PCO there, especially since some PCOs like to treat the mattresses before they are encased. (And to be completely honest, we have at least one PCO who comments here, who does not believe they are necessary. We obviously beg to differ but he does get rid of his clients' bugs, so there you have it.)
The idea that I hope you are seeing is that, yes, people succeed frequently with the help of qualified PCOs. It will get better. Don't give up! Try to analyze your needs and do the most important things first. Laundry is important, so when you find a solution for that (driving to a laundromat?), you will feel better. Keep everything that you can't launder right away tightly bagged.
I know travel with kids must be quite a production, but I don't think I can suggest that you bring your own suitcases that are now in your home and might be infested. Yes, you can inspect them and vacuum them, but you probably can't stick them in a dryer to be absolutely certain. Can you buy inexpensive duffels that are machine washable? Something cheap that holds a lot of stuff and that you can stick in a washing machine when you come here? That would be a solution that would not be expensive. This site has FAQs on how to deal with luggage and travel (it involves plastic bags, or Ziplocs if you can find them).
Getting the PCO in there ASAP. Do that and you will be on your way to recovery.
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