building has BB, not sure if I have them yet. what to do?(2 posts)
I received a written notice from the management yesterday that my building has an outbreak of bed bugs. It's a big (approx 120 units) but well-kept prewar (lots of gap and cracks around the baseboards). I haven't had any bites, and I searched my sheets and mattress in extreme paranoia and didn't see any evidence. However, I saw a bug crawling on the floor, got a good look at it (definitely a bed bug) and sprayed it to death. At the time I didn't know that I should keep it to show the PCO and I threw it out.
What should I do at this point to help prevent a full-on spread to my apt? Is it ok to encase my mattress since there don't appear to be any in the bed yet, or should I hold off until I get an inspection from the PCO? Should I assume that nothing is safe? Is it overkill to start washing and bagging up my clothes now? I have a LOT of stuff, including shoes, bags, books, CDs & DVDs, and almost all the furniture is wood.
Any advice would be welcome.
The best thing you can do is talk to all adjoining neighbours and make sure they are aware of the issue and what to check for. Communication of the issue is always a good thing and if you think about creating an awareness bubble around you that expands out you cant go far wrong.
Now I will also say that building outbreaks can illustrate that there is a neighbourhood issue or something that is common to multiple flats. Its often hard to track down sources of infestation but it is something that you and the building management company need to consider. There is no point in getting the exterminators in at the drop of a hat if people are merrily adding to the problem without realising it.
Once you have checked with adjoining neighbours you can asses what steps to take.
I would suggest looking into the following areas:
Light and sparing preventative measures with DE
PackTite as a home decon solution
And lots of good reading through this site, its FAQ, bed bug central, bed bug beware as knowledge is your most powerful weapon and with understanding comes the ability to act calmly and rationally.
It may be that the one you saw is a rogue one or a sign that you may also have come into contact with the local source.
It certainly sounds like you have caught it quickly and that's really the first step to ensuring it does not take over your life.
Bed Bugs Limited
PS Yes I am biased on the passives but the main message is education and communication.
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