Bed Bugs in the Attic (sort of)(4 posts)
Here's my story:
We live in Minnesota and are a family of 4, two kids two adults. We moved into a rental home that has two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom on one level. Then upstairs, there is an attic that has been converted into two more bedrooms that are attached. Above that is a small attic space which is just insulation and what not. So, we moved in sometime March 2010, we discovered bed bugs in the upstairs March 2010 after my kids and my husband and I would get bit over and over if we were up there at night, we covered the mattresses etc...but then we caught 2 of them for identification, and not knowing what to do, we moved out of the upstairs and literally discarded of everything up there (by throwing it all out the window, we didn't want to carry anything downstairs). Not the smartest move, but I was a little irrational regarding the situation. No one slept upstairs or went upstairs from about June 2010 until 2 weeks ago. There is no heat upstairs, only space heaters, which we turned on finally 2 weeks ago.We figure they probably went dormant from the cold/lack of food. My husband and I went up there, vacuumed everything and put down an air mattress, surrounded it with carpet tape, sprayed it with Eaton J.T. bed bug killer II, laid down DE in every crack and crevice we could find. Problem is, it is basically floor to ceiling wood paneling. So many cracks and crevices. But we did our best. First night, nothing in the tape, but I found 2 4th in stars on the mattress. Then it dawned on me when I looked up that the entrance to the little remaining attic that they might be falling. So we put plastic up half of the ceiling. Next morning, no bugs in the tape, none on the mattress, 2 in the plastic on the ceiling. Next morning, one more in the plastic, none in the tape, one on the mattress that was dead (maybe the stuff we sprayed?)... so we put another plastic sheet up. Next morning, none on the tape, none on the mattress, another one on in the new plastic from another part of the ceiling. So does this mean they are located up in that space and are dive bombing us? What can we do? When I say "entrance" to the attic space, it is so small person can't squeeze in there. It's like a little miniature bell tower. How do we eradicate them without spreading them downstairs through the walls? Or do we just keep doing what we are doing and they'll just keep dropping from the ceiling? No one has been bit since June 2010, we de cluttered our whole house and are continuously inspecting with nothing downstairs. When will they all wake up from dormancy? Wouldn't the be so hungry they'd come out in droves? We can't afford a PCO, so we are doing our best as we can. Our Landlord basically told us to prove we didn't bring them in.. which is impossible to do. Any help would be much appreciated.
Is it possible that you have (or had) bats in the attic area?
I only ask because we ran into bat bugs after excluding bats from the walls/ceiling of our summer cabin - it sounds similar in structure to your house, with bedrooms making up the second floor/attic area.
They certainly seem to be coming from the closed off attic area, which is where one would expect to find bats (although they may be gone for the winter, in which case the bugs might be hungry...and thus looking for food down below...).
Birds are another possibility (swallow bugs look almost identical to bed bugs as well).
Did you have bat bugs and swallow bugs ruled out when you had the bugs ID'd?
Louise is asking the right questions here.
Look into having the specimens checked to see if you are dealing with bat bugs... Might settle the question about who is responsible for the cost of eradication.
And if it does turn out to be bat bugs (or swallow bugs), the first step will be to get rid of the bats (or the birds). Until the hosts are gone, trying to kill the bugs is kind of pointless (since the hosts will just keep bringing more bugs into their roosts/nests, presumably).
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