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Bedbugs in student accomodation help :(

(11 posts)
  1. carinaanne

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 10:59:42
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    Hi,

    I have dealt with bedbugs before when I stayed with a host family who denied their infestation. It was the worst experience of my life and I was so careful to bring nothing home and luckily I have not. I'm still traumatised by being "captured" in this place for a whole month with nothing I could do about it and no one believing me (I was only 14). I had bitemarks everywhere and rashes because I was allergic, got insomnia and anxiety that lasted for years after.

    Now I have just moved into student accomodation and my worst nightmare came true. I discovered a dead bug the night I moved in but could't reach anyone until the next morning. At first they were very reluctant to do anything but upon me insisting they came to inspect and found the whole mattress, walls, sockets etc infested (not that badly but still there were a few). They gave me a new bed, vaccuumed and called the PCO who sprayed the room. They are also freezing about 90% of my belongings, even though I have only unpacked my bedding and pyjama (and have slept in the bed because I had nowhere else to go as an exchange student, not knowing how bad it was or rather wanting to believe that nothing was there). The rest I have washed (at my own cost; at high temperature and tumble dried). I have put everything in fresh plastic bags and am storing them in a friend's room. I have left only pots/pans, and books/electronics (wrapped in plastic) in the room and went to a hotel (making sure obvs not to take anything with me). I have only stayed one night in the infested room, not unpacked and kept my hardshell suitcases unopened so no bugs should have made there way in there. They can't climb up hardshell suitcases right? And they wouldn't have gotten in because both were upright and closed.

    I know you are not supposed to move out due to fear of spread and treatment is more effective but I simply cannot stay there. I have just been crying since I found the bug and am so scared to be caught in an infested room like before. That they won't let me move into another accomodation out of fear of me spreading it. But I know their treatment won't be effective because they have had the issues for years as I've found out and the walls are full of them. My friend in the same house but different floor does not have the issue and others (on the same floor) have not moved in since the semester hasn't started. But I'm sure I'm not the only one, others are probably just unaware or kept quiet by the housing organization.

    Do you have any advice on what to do? I will go to the main office on monday an demand a new room but I am so scared I won't get one. I can't sleep at all (even though at a hotel and safe) because I am so anxious that I have to move back. Isn't it just outrageous that they have people move into infested rooms fully aware of the issue? The people I have contacted have even tried lying straight to my face that there are none even though I waved an exemplar before them. This is just negligent. They don't give a f*** at all.

    I don't want to move into an infested room and stay there for 6 months but I also can't afford to rent a second room privately as that would amass to more than 1500$ a month just for rent. But I won't make it living there after the experience I've had 5 years ago, where I even got a secondary infection because the rashes got so bad.

    Furthermore, I don't want to bring any home. And if after one night all my belongings may be contaminated then they surely will be after 6 months. I have no faith in the treatment at all, it will not eradicate the issue and I don't want that to ruin my whole semester abroad.

    Can anyone help me? Some advice or tips on what to do?

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 11:16:36
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    carinaanne: So sorry to hear about your past and present problems. You do react badly to bed bug bites. Is this a dorm or a private home with lots of rooms? If a dorm and the the building would have been empty in between semesters, they should have treated then. A long-standing infestation of the building is much more difficult to treat, but requires many rooms and walls voids to be treated. Common areas plus bedrooms would need treatment. Clean clothes wouldn't need to be washed and dried, just dried - heated air kills them. Bed bugs can climb on hard shell suitcases and stay on places such as zippers, but they can't "dig in" to gain access and would just stay there. Freezing your belongings takes a long time to kill any bed bugs; high heat or steam would be best. Where is this school?

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  3. carinaanne

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 11:34:39
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    Hi, thank you for your reply. It's a dorm in Scandinavia. It says on their website that they inspect the rooms twice a year but I doubt that. They probably only act if a tenant starts to complain and even then only half-heartedly. They have a freezer room specialized to kill bed bugs I think it's set to like -30 or even -60 degrees, I thought that would be efficient? My belongings stay there for 10 days I think.

    I was told to wash my clothes at 60 degrees and then tumble dry them which I did, but I'm still worried. I've inspected all my belongings with a flashlight but couldn't find anything, but I'm still worried of course. Especially because I don't really trust they will do everything they can.

    It's been said multiple times that they should treat all common areas and address a whole floor but they have only made excuses such as all chemicals that can be used over wide areas have been outlawed etc etc. But they probably just don't wanna spend the money since most students are exchange/international students who can't do much about it.

    Do you think I can move? Or am I just spreading them? I had hoped because I only stayed one night I could not be that badly infested.

    I don't speak the local language so I don't know anything about the law, or what I can do

  4. loubugs

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 11:42:27
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    Do you know who the pest management company is?
    This one is good https://www.anticimex.com/en-SG/pest-problems/pest-identifier/bedbugs/
    Their freezer might be going to minus 40. That coldness will work at 10 days. It's interesting that they have a system set up for bed bugs. They need to do more inspections and wider ranging treatment.

  5. carinaanne

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 11:47:59
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    Yeah I agree. That is the company they've contracted I think. But after having the cleaning department lie to me and trying to hide the infestation I'm much more worried about the housing organisation. The company may treat my room efficiently but since the bugs are already sitting in the walls they probably travel all over and will come back as soon as treatment ends.

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 11:55:26
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    If that's the company, you should go on their site and contact them about the issues that they might really not be aware of. They should be doing more to see how extensive the issue really is.

  7. carinaanne

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 11:59:02
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    Okay thank you! That's a good idea.

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 23:45:57
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    carinaanne - 11 hours ago  » 
    Okay thank you! That's a good idea.

    They're supposed to have a good reputation. I've met some of the people at meetings. They might not be getting the correct information about infestations from the school housing section.

  9. thirdusername

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Mon Jan 8 2018 1:14:15
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    Lou,
    I'm curious about the luggage.
    Can bed bugs climb smooth hard shell luggage?
    If they can, would they?

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  10. loubugs

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Mon Jan 8 2018 1:27:00
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    thirdusername - 11 minutes ago  » 
    Lou,
    I'm curious about the luggage.
    Can bed bugs climb smooth hard shell luggage?
    If they can, would they?

    Yes, they can and the zipper around the circumference is a place bed bugs can stay. If they are just crawling about the could climb on the luggage, but that's not say that they are specifically attracted to it.

  11. thirdusername

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Tue Jan 9 2018 0:11:41
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    I forgot about zippers.


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