Can I be assured that this is finally over? (Success story?) Please reply!(2 posts)
I spotted bed bugs in my apartment (in my bed) in July 2009. I'll try to make a long story short. My son had bites for about 4 - 6 weeks by that point, but I chalked it up to mosquito bites. I got bites about 2 weeks prior, but didn't think too much of it. I woke up one night feeling like there was something crawling on me.. and there was.
I did a lot of things wrong. I had woken up at 2am that night when I saw them on the bed. I immediately threw all of my bed stuff into plastic bags and threw them out into the hallway at the bottom of the stairs (where they lay until the next morning). I slept in the living room. I sprayed Raid on my box spring where I saw their nest. For the next month or two, I slept on an air mattress in my living room, with my bedroom basically quarantined - lights on at all times, towel duct taped to the bottom of the door, and an occasional spray of bug killer.
The exterminator came within a day or two. They continued to come once every 2 - 3 weeks (they wanted every 4 weeks, but they relented and gave in to my requests - I had been on this forum constantly and knew that 4 weeks was too long). They came from July - October. They told me that they ONLY found evidence of bed bugs in my bedroom - nowhere else in the apartment. I had two different guys come, one who did a more thorough inspection in September-October. There was one scare from blood on my pillow in December, and they came out once more and sprayed even though they couldn't find any.
I had purchased the Protect-a-Bed Allerzip mattress, pillow, box spring, and pillow encasements about a month after I first spotted them. I bought and used the climbup interceptors. I did the extreme washing/bagging of all clothes. I did as much as I could prevention wise.
Once I started sleeping in my bed again (after putting the encasements on), I bought a simple white sheet and white pillowcases. I used a very light blanket. Those were the only things on my bed throughout the next winter and spring. It wasn't until a year later in summer 2010 that I finally purchased a new blanket/comforter for myself.
I haven't seen anything since September 2009. I haven't seen anything alive since August 2009. I felt comfortable enough to take the climbup interceptors off about a couple months ago. But I have severe post-traumatic stress disorder because of this. I had such terrible panic attacks for about six months. I still have no idea how I got them.
But it's January 2011 now. I'm getting ready to go visit my mom in Florida, and even though I'm freaking out about getting bedbugs from someone on the plane or their luggage, I want to feel safe. I want to feel okay with buying a new mattress and boxspring. I want to feel okay with buying a new sheet set. I've been so paranoid about finding bugs that I JUST washed my sheets/pillowcases for the first time today. For the first time since I've bought them. For anyone keeping track, that means that they haven't been washed in almost a year and a half (gross, I know). I want to feel like I can finally move on from the infestation that was here.
Thoughts? Can I count this as a success story? What are the chances that there's some random bedbug just hibernating somewhere that will come out and start a new family?
My understanding is that you last had a treatment in Dec. 2009 and you have not seen any signs or had any bites since then (and you think both you and your son have reacted in the past to bites). You also are using the ClimbUp interceptors and have not seen any bed bugs in those?
If there are bed bugs in your home, they will bite and, assuming a male and a female or a pregnant female are involved, they will reproduce. So the problem should get worse, not better over time. I am not an expert but my understanding is that a lone bug which is not prevented somehow from feeding (meaning it's not encased in an encasement, or sealed into a bag) will not hide out and refrain from biting.
It sounds like you do not have bed bugs now.
You are right to be cautious, but try and enjoy the world. Some people use a Packtite to kill any bed bugs which may have been brought home in luggage.
Alternatively, putting your clothing in a dryer, and maybe using a soft duffle which can go into a dryer (for luggage) would mean you are able to kill any "hitchhikers" you may bring home from a hotel or plane. You can also remove clothing when you get home and immediately wash/dry it.
These steps can help reassure you, without depriving you of the experience of traveling or visiting loved ones.
I would also urge you to wash and dry sheets (etc.) regularly. Keep in mind that if you did bring a bed bug in, you would have some chance of killing it if it was harboring in the sheets/pillowcase.
Moreover, regularly inspecting your bed helps you detect a problem and get swift treatment. ClimbUp Interceptors must also be inspected. They are supposed to be redusted with talc periodically according to the instructions in this PDF, so they stay slippery inside.
As frightening as having bed bugs again sounds, you are better off knowing if you ever get them again, and the sooner you find out the better, so you can have it treated like you did --apparently with success -- the last time.
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