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Bed Bug Reinfestation after 10 months and some questions about passive monitors

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  1. hannah4077

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Jul 16 2014 21:37:14
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    SO, basically I have written the whole story of infestation and have questions at the end. I didn't mean to write so much, but I really want advice on how best to proceed and ensure I get rid of the bugs so maybe I thought it was important to explain everything.

    One night last summer I discovered a beg bug on my pillow in my room. I immediately looked under the mattress and saw a second bug on the wooden slates holding my mattress. I live with two housemates, after consulting with them and some internet research we got a pest control professional in.

    The PCO came and on inspection of the rooms for signs of the bugs one of the two other bedrooms also showed signs of infestation (fecal spots on the mattress, and my housemate later saw some live bugs). This housemate had got back from a week's holiday to Spain 5-6 weeks before the night I had spotted the bugs in my room. I had got back from one night's stay in a B&B one week before spotting the bugs. There were no other visible signs in my room other than me spotting the live bugs. The third bedroom showed no visible signs of bugs, but that housemate had had a couple of bites, as we all had.

    On the advice of the PCO we had the whole of the first floor of the house sprayed (three bedrooms and landing/stairs) and the lower parts of the ground floor rooms and the edges of the kitchen around skirting etc. We were first told to prepare the rooms for spraying: wash and dry all clothes and then seal in bags and anything that we wanted to make certain was clear of infestation we could put in freezer for 24hrs and then seal (we have a small freezer, so couldn't do this for much). We were told to clear the room as much as possible, checking for infestation and then packing all our stuff up into sealed bags/boxes.
    All this was incredibly time consuming, expensive (I took all my clothes to a launderette and I washed/dried them all as we have no dryer) and I found really pretty stressful to pack up most everything you own. Still, we prepared as instructed. During the prep time I spotted a couple more bugs (I usually found them crawling up the wall behind the head end of my bed, although my bed is not against the wall) and the housemate with fecal signs in his room saw some live bugs.

    About our house: we were told the house could be tricky to treat as it is a Victorian terrace house with bare floor boards throughout, (the only carpet being on the stairs) so lots and lots of really large and small gaps between the boards - which I think the bugs loved! I have a metal frame bed which neither the PCO nor I could see signs of infestation on i.e habitation signs (apart from when I saw the bugs) and my other housemates both had just mattresses on the floor (I promise you I don't live in a squat). I think the bugs had a lovely habitation under the floor and would just pop out for a quick feed. The wall I would see the bugs walk up in my room adjoined the room with visible signs of infestation, and both of us slept either side of that wall, with our heads to the wall, so I felt they were coming under the floor, under that wall.

    The first spray was done.
    We didn't unpack in between the first and second spray, which occurred 10 days-2 weeks later. The PCO came and sprayed everything a second time, using a different chemical which left a white residue.

    We waited, we kept an eye out for signs. Eventually we stopped getting bit. All seemed clear. After a while, me and one housemate unpacked all our stuff. The third housemate kept some stuff sealed up, which he said he would never open until after he moved out.

    Months passed, all was fine.

    One day nine months later I found one live bed bug and one shed skin in a box under my bed where I keep some stuff. Maybe it's a odd straggler, I thought. We cleaned and did some self treatment (unfortunately, we set off bug bombs) and I tried not to think about the horrors of reinfestation.

    Everything seemed quiet bug-wise.
    3-4 weeks later I went on holiday and on the very night of my return I discovered at different times throughout the night FIVE bed bugs walking up the wall behind the head end of my bed. I collected them all, they were at different stages but included one very small clear/light young one and one full adult. This was by now TEN MONTHS after the last professional spray, we definitely were reinfested.

    I freaked out, read LOADS more on the internet and tried to find a satisfactory PCO in my area. We got a different PCO from last guy. This guy wanted rooms de-cluttered, but didn't want things sealed in bags. (I still washed and dried all my clothes). I carefully checked my whole room and found some signs in my snowboard bag under my bed; mainly dead bed bugs (poss from bug bombs?) and some empty skins. I hoovered the bag and folded it into my freezer for several days. There were still now signs of habitation in my bed/bed frame.

    PCO came and sprayed first time (just the first floor of the house this time). The second spray was done aprox 10 days-2 weeks after first spray. In between sprays the housemate that had previously had bed bug signs in his room and hadn't fully unpacked his stuff since the original treatment 10 months previous got a new job and moved out, so the second spray was done with his room completely empty (and remains so).

    It's now some weeks since we were last sprayed professionally. I used some DE in my room; mainly round and on the legs of my bed. Last night I found one beg bug crawling up that same old wall; I would say it's a third of fourth stage nymph. I have since applied more DE along the bottom of the wall, around my bed legs and on the cleared floor under my bed.

    My Questions:
    So what do I do next? How can I ensure I get rid of the bugs?
    Should the DE work, as I would say we are down to a low level infestation (hopefully)?
    Do I get another professional to re-spray with chemicals?
    I was thinking of getting a passive monitor for checking whether the bugs had really gone - especially after they came back after 10 months!
    Is it possible they were hiding out under the floor boards all that time (I read adults can live for up to 18 months), or could one have been sealed in with some of my housemate's thing that he never unsealed, but then somehow escaped? I honestly don't think we had the bugs the whole time, as the infestation would have gotten much worse.
    If I use a passive monitor, when can I install it considering we had chemicals sprayed a few weeks back and can I use it even though I sprayed DE in my room?
    Will the DE 'scare' the bugs off to hide in a corner under the floor?
    If my one remaining housemate gets a passive monitor for his room where would he best place it, considering his mattress is on the floor?

    Any help is so massively appreciated, - and seriously - if you've made it down to read everything to this point, well done you, very well done - what I wrote was expansive.

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 17 2014 9:53:36
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    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    So what do I do next? How can I ensure I get rid of the bugs?

    I would start with a good read of the FAQs and some of the linked sites.

    I am not so sure Spain was your sources and would suggest you read up on "infestation dynamics" and "local sources" infestations. The pattern means its not likley to be your adjoined neighbours and is more likley a sporadic contact while away from home. Thus avoiding contact is as important and how you kill them.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    Should the DE work, as I would say we are down to a low level infestation (hopefully)?

    DE does work well so long as its applied correctly and that means at low levels and using DE not silicon dioxide (they are different). There is a great DE FAQ but the UK also has an aerosol version available.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    Do I get another professional to re-spray with chemicals?

    That may or may not be needed if you have a light case and can isolate yourself from the source.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    I was thinking of getting a passive monitor for checking whether the bugs had really gone - especially after they came back after 10 months!

    Yes that could help and int he absence of avoidance you can use the Treatment by Passive Monitor Replacement protocol as a treatment solution.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    Is it possible they were hiding out under the floor boards all that time (I read adults can live for up to 18 months), or could one have been sealed in with some of my housemate's thing that he never unsealed, but then somehow escaped? I honestly don't think we had the bugs the whole time, as the infestation would have gotten much worse.

    No, although bedbugs can survive for long periods of time without feeding if food is available they will feed every 3 - 5 days. Underfloor is also not a common area for bedbugs to occupy unless driven there through chemical use.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    If I use a passive monitor, when can I install it considering we had chemicals sprayed a few weeks back and can I use it even though I sprayed DE in my room?

    Just clean of the chemicals for 6 - 9 inches around the install location and then use as normal. Yes we use DE and Passive Monitors together as part of our green treatment protocols.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    Will the DE 'scare' the bugs off to hide in a corner under the floor?

    Not if applied correctly and that is back to the FAQ.

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    If my one remaining housemate gets a passive monitor for his room where would he best place it, considering his mattress is on the floor?

    If you look on the forum and in my flickR feed you can see that a mattress only install location is 50% under mattress and 50% out at the head end in the same orientation as the mattress.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedbugsuk/sets/72157639977141754/

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    Any help is so massively appreciated, - and seriously - if you've made it down to read everything to this point, well done you, very well done - what I wrote was expansive.

    LOL its OK we are used to reading lots each day and thankfully I swap between the mobile devices and my desktop so long ones like this get replies when I am in front of the keyboard.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  3. buggyinsyracuse

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 17 2014 10:21:37
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    bed-bugscouk - 26 minutes ago  » 

    hannah4077 - 12 hours ago  » 
    No, although bedbugs can survive for long periods of time without feeding if food is available they will feed every 3 - 5 days. Underfloor is also not a common area for bedbugs to occupy unless driven there through chemical use.

    Dave - I'm not sure if you read the part where the OP mentioned setting off bug bombs. Will this make it more likely for them to be under the floor?

  4. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 17 2014 13:38:12
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    Hi hannah4077

    One additional thought that I had while reading your post and the responses:

    hannah4077 - 15 hours ago  » 
    . . . and anything that we wanted to make certain was clear of infestation we could put in freezer for 24hrs and then seal (we have a small freezer, so couldn't do this for much).

    Although I believe David Cain has stated that he uses freezers for decon purposes, *I believe* he has stated that it is not an easy thing to do, that it must be a deep freezer type freezer, that the freezer must not be opened during the treatment time, that the temperatures must be calibrated (if that's the correct terminology), etc.

    What I'm trying to say is I believe several experts on here have stated that 24 hours in a regular freezer will not kill bed bugs. In fact, I further believe I have read some say that they have put bed bugs in the freezer for 24 hours or so and then took them out. While the bed bugs appeared dead, they were allowed to thaw out . . . and once thawed out . . . NOT dead. (YIKES!) . . . So . . . HEAT is better than cold!

    hannah4077 - 15 hours ago  » 
    . . . I carefully checked my whole room and found some signs in my snowboard bag under my bed; mainly dead bed bugs (poss from bug bombs?) and some empty skins. I hoovered the bag and folded it into my freezer for several days.

    Hopefully, there won't be a next time . . . but should this come up in the future . . . Heat is better than cold . . . so maybe put the bag or fabric items through a dryer cycle, not the freezer. (I have no idea what a snowboard bag is and if it can be put in a dryer . . . although I am "guessing" that it's a bag that holds a snowboard? Haha!)

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 17 2014 14:05:09
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    buggyinsyracuse - 3 hours ago  » 
    David - I'm not sure if you read the part where the OP mentioned setting off bug bombs. Will this make it more likely for them to be under the floor?

    Not in the context of what has been described above.

    The reality is that scatter with bombs is mainly an issue when there is a significant infestation.

    The dynamics here are not that of a spreading but an introducing infestation.

    David

  6. mmuldoor

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Feb 1 2015 9:06:33
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    After I saw bbs on my mattress on the floor, I put my bed together ASAP and built a perimeter. It's not foolproof, but if it prevents a good deal of them getting to me, it prevents them from feeding, therefore mating, therefore further entrenching infestation. For the love of god tell your roommate to get that mattress off the floor! HE's a Sitting duck!

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Feb 1 2015 16:21:39
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    mmuldoor - 7 hours ago  » 
    After I saw bbs on my mattress on the floor, I put my bed together ASAP and built a perimeter. It's not foolproof, but if it prevents a good deal of them getting to me, it prevents them from feeding, therefore mating, therefore further entrenching infestation. For the love of god tell your roommate to get that mattress off the floor! HE's a Sitting duck!

    mmuldor,

    Welcome to the forums!

    Note that this thread is 6 months old (and in fact, if you look at the poster's profile, s/he hasn't posted in 6 months). Advice to others which is so delayed is unlikely to help. I recommend not reviving old threads unless it really makes more sense than starting a new one.

    There are some cases where this is true (for example, if there's a thread on a topic which is not related to an individual's treatment situation).

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. mmuldoor

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon May 4 2015 5:48:40
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    Ok got it!


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