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Bed bugs from work - advice needed

(9 posts)
  1. twobugsinapod

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Mar 13 2016 1:39:29
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    Hi everyone. I'm new here, but had a bedbug experience 6 years ago that resolved with moving and throwing away almost everything. I started a new job recently and during a meeting, I found an adult bed bug crawling on my leg. I flicked it off, then my co-worker tried to step on it and it disappeared into the carpet. They were not too surprised, since we work with some disadvantaged populations and they sometimes meet in the room. Wasn't thinking clearly at the time, but I wished I saved it. My boss didn't want to discuss it and continued the meeting.

    I drove home and immediately put my clothing into the dryer. Coming in from the garage door, the laundry room is right inside the house. Showered and put on new clothes. I left my bag inside the car. The next day, I noticed one bite on my arm. I found a slow-moving bed bug on the floor, right in front of the dryer, and caught it. Most definitely a bed bug. Must have fallen off when I took off my clothes and put them in the dryer. I vacuumed the area and my car; I put my bag into a large, unused ziplock leftover from years ago.

    The following morning, I noticed 3 bites on my neck. Classic "breakfast, lunch, dinner" bites and a red spot on my leg (very close to where I saw the bug in the meeting). I didn't see any other evidence (fecal, sheddings, blood smears), but we haven't disassembled the bed yet. Spouse did not get bitten.

    We ordered mattress and pillowcase encasements and white sheets, which will be coming tomorrow. Have been vacuuming and bagging the contents of the vacuum outside, then zip-locked.

    I contacted my boss on Friday, but no word yet. Have a feeling they already know about this, but unclear what actions, if any, they will take.

    My questions:

    1. What else can I do to keep from bringing more bed bugs home? I was thinking about changing in the garage into a large zip-lock, then emptying it into the dryer? Or changing into a zip-locked set of clean clothing at the meeting site bathroom, then driving home? I bought an air-tight box for a pair of work-only shoes.

    2. We're planning on washing and drying all clothing once we get the encasements and new sheets, sealing clean items in zip locks, steaming the curtains & bed frame, emptying out the nightstands, vacuuming everything. Spouse put a very light dusting of DE around the perimeter of the laundry room. Can't use climb-up monitors because of the bed shape. Is there anything else we can do?

    3. Should I quit my job, LOL?

    Thanks everyone in advance!

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Mar 13 2016 9:29:55
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    If you have a headboard on the bed, you'll want to inspect that as part of your routine. Bedbugs like wood. If the nightstands are made of wood those should also be checked. Read up about passive versus active monitors. Early detection is everything. If you don't encase the box frame, remove the mesh cover off the bottom and the plastic end caps.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  3. Zalemane

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Mar 13 2016 10:21:57
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    It looks like your bos and coworkers don't care that much about bed bugs, either out of ignorance or laziness. In any case, that sure doesn't sound good for you.

    Because you'll won't be able to get rid of bed bugs in the long term, as long as you continually expose yourself to a bug-ridden environment - i.e. your office.

    You're joking about it, but given you already experienced a bed bugs nightmare, I'd seriously consider switching jobs if I were you. (That's if your company isn't willing to seriously tackle the issue and you can't work from home either.)

  4. twobugsinapod

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Mar 13 2016 19:01:20
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm going to call my boss tomorrow to discuss this. We bought $150 worth of plastic bags, totes, and new easy to clean blankets. Spouse and I have been doing laundry all day and we still have a lot to go.

    Fortunately, we don't have a lot of stuff yet. Our "nightstands" are plastic 3 drawer bins. We're in the process of emptying everything out and bagging or drying it. Spouse plans on buying a Packtite and putting the bags in there to decontaminate.

  5. cilecto

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Mar 15 2016 7:08:07
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    Back to what Jim said. Detection is important. Laundering all your things when they don't contain bed bugs is not a good allocation of your time and effort.

    Workplaces can be a source of bed bugs and there are precautions that you can take. Try our travel FAQ for ideas. Note: If you drive to work, take whatever steps you're taking to keep bed bugs out of your home out of your car as well.

    Talk to your boss only if you have clear evidence of bed bugs in the office.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  6. twobugsinapod

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Mar 15 2016 20:40:24
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    Thanks for the replies. Ummmmm, a bed bug walking across my leg is pretty clear evidence. I wish I caught that one, but I do have the other one from my laundry room.

    I am worried about my car, but people say car infestations are unlikely? Maybe I'll try changing clothes in the bathroom before I leave the building.

    I spoke with my boss and she was very apologetic. She wished she had discussed this during the meeting and will contact the facilities manager to look into it. She agreed that it needed to be dealt with so others do not pick them up.

  7. twobugsinapod

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Mar 18 2016 19:17:13
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    Update: our meeting was moved to a different room on a different floor. Boss spoke to facilities people who spoke with the property managers. Unfortunately, the property managers don't want to do anything. They basically said, "We didn't see anything" and "We've never had bed bugs" and "That can't happen". They said all their furniture was bed bug proof? Is this even possible? The chairs are covered with woven twill fabric with a plastic back and the conference tables are wood with metal legs.

    The employees who work there daily are obviously worried. They're thinking about buying some monitors and setting them up themselves.

  8. twobugsinapod

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Apr 5 2016 21:19:12
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    Another update: we had another meeting in the same room again and a different person was bitten, in a different chair. He caught the bug, it was partially smashed, but it did look like a bedbug. Management closed the room off for meetings, however, they did not tell people why. They are looking into getting a professional inspection. They do not want people using the building to know there might be bedbugs.

    We haven't found any traces of bedbugs at our home. Can we unbag our treated things now? It's been almost 30 days. I was worried I brought them home during an earlier trip.

  9. jim danca

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 6 2016 9:13:43
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    If you've gone 30 days without any evidence of bedbugs in your home, you're most likely in the clear.


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