DE in bins with my stuff, reptiles, other questions.(21 posts)
I have been dealing with bed bugs since August in my apartment. I am a student who is graduating, and I must move. We have has 4 PCO treatments, one of which was a heat treatment, and the damn things keep coming back. Apartment management is very poor, and the PCO they used has pretty much stopped talking to us. I don't even want to get into the leasing issues/treatment payment crap I have to deal with right now....
I am taking all the precautions I can to not bring bed bugs with me. I am moving in with my boyfriend of 8 years. This is our time to finally live together after all this time and I do not want bed bugs to ruin it like they've ruined my last college semester.
ANYWAYS, I think I made a mistake. I've been packing all my misc. items in large plastic bins so I can seal them for the ride home. The thing is...I decided to dust some DE in with my stuff...and after reading about the dangers of it, I'm afraid this was a bad idea. Once I get home, how would I go about removing the DE from my stuff? :\ I did use a 3M N95 mask while applying it, if that matters.
Also, the PCO my parents use gave us a can of Phantom and said I could spray it on my stuff....and also use Nuvan strips. I am thinking I will leave my bins outside or in our shed for a while after doing that and sealing them. I don't know if this is actually all that safe......but I don't know. If I tell my dad that people on the internet said it's not, he won't go for that.
Sigh. I'm starting to wonder if I should have just thrown all my stuff away. I'm not taking any furniture with me, though.
One more thing, I have a leopard gecko and I am wondering what the best way to treat her cage/cage accessories/whatnot before I load it up into my car.
Please help me! I would greatly appreciate it. I'm in the process of packing and I hope to leave in a couple days....
Im so sorry for all youre going through..youve been battling them near as long as I have..mine started in July..
Im going to tell you how the things you asked about were handled in my situation, and hopefully others will reply with more advice soon.. In regard to your belongings in the bins, and its very important that you understand this was done by the PCO doing the treatments, as the nuvan strips are quite dangerous if not used correctly. What they did was place a small amount of the strips (they cut them, but there was much discussion among the pros on how much to use) in the bins with my stuff and sealed them up tight for about three weeks. Its also important that, when the time comes for the pco to remove them, you make sure to remind them where they all are. long story short, because I had different guys here for 2nd and 3rd treatments, some of the strips were missed on removal day.
In regard to your gecko.. I just went thru this after finding a harborage in my spiny mouse's habitat, which is a 10 gal tank, with a screen lid with snap type locks.. You will have to remove your gecko to a temporary shelter, remove ALL items from his/her habitat, soak what you can in very hot soapy water. Remove all bedding (likely soil, right?) bag it tightly and discard. Scrub the habitat with very hot soapy water, ( I think I scrubbed my mouse's tank about 8 times lol) dry it throughly, set it back up, with fresh soil/bedding. Do the same with items that go back in the tank. I had to toss her wooden hut house, but since shes very fond of mac n cheese boxes, thats doing the job til I get her a new one. I hope this helps.
Im also moving soon, and am not taking any furniture, cleared or not.. I never wanna see it again. do read the faq section too..great advice there on how to not take them with you, precautions to take, etc. have you heat treated your clothes/bedding, linens etc and sealed them?
Best of luck .. I hope this is over for you soon..is it possible they are coming back in from another unit? Or could you be reinfesting (unknowingly of course) from somewhere? Just things to think about. Seems for me, I kept seeing them post treatment because I didnt know theyd gotten into my mouse's habitat.... til I saw the fecal stains on her hut
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer.
Well, first, the only "loose" substrate that is in my gecko's cage is some moss for her "moist" hide...which is one of those half coconut shells, which she loves. But it sounds like maybe I shouldn't keep that....there is also a half log in there. Anyway, her cage is lined with slate tiles, so I can wash those as well. If I find bed bugs in her cage I might flip out! When I usually put her stuff in the car close to last and keep her in a container with some paper towels during the drive....
I am in the process of heating my clothes and fabric things in the dryer and sealing them. I've thrown out a lot of things so far!
Well, the difficult thing is, we have no idea where these came from. We suspect they may be from the old tenants who WEREN'T moved out when they were supposed to be, and they didn't speak English, or, maybe they are coming from another unit. We have no way of knowing though, because out landlord won't inspect the other places. She, and the PCO, are blaming us for the bed bugs. They say things like "Well, with as many treatments that have been done, they shouldn't be there, so obviously YOU have to be bringing them back".
So, the landlord expects us to pay for the $1200 heat treatment, AND she won't let me out of my lease, even though I cannot sublease since the bugs are still here. It's difficult, because as a new college graduate, I am running out of money...and I will have new rent to pay, student loans to pay back, etc. I'm in Iowa and it seems that the tenant-landlord laws about pest control are a bit black and white, so I predict legal actions in our future.
I am just extremely thankful that I have supportive friends and family during this situation.
Oh, might I add that we took all the precautions our PCO told us to do AND MORE when they did the heat treatment, and they still came back. So, I strongly believe it is not a matter of us re-infesting.
The PCO keeps mentioning "firewalls" in their argument, but I don't really know if that's legit. I really don't trust them...or my management.
Anyone else have some advice for me? :\
So, you're saying that they did not inspect or treat any of the adjacent units? How many units are in the building? How many units are adjacent to yours?
The DE should not be a problem to you as long as you take suitable safety precautions and wear your PPE (personal protective equipment) including a suitable respirator, gloves, long sleeves and long pants when working to remove it.
It may be possible to vacuum it provided you have a suitable vac fitted with a HEPA filtration system.
hope this helps, paul b.
Hmm, well there are 3 floors with at least ten units, but I am not sure of the exact number. Our place is on the 3rd floor. There is one unit on the left side of us, and one across from us....on the right side of our unit is the (very disgusting, very terribly maintained) stairwell.
And no, no other units have been inspected or treated, since the management will only assume that it's out fault, we brought them in, and no one else has complained. Clearly, that means we are the only ones who could possibly be infested. *sarcasm*
How long have you lived there?
Where did you live before where you are now?
Did you have a BB problem there?
Did you evver have BBs before?
How long where you living in your current place before you noticed BBs or bites?
How long has this situation been going on?
Also, check your PM.
Your leopard gecko:
Have you seen BBs in the gecko cage?
Is it a glass aquarium?
How is it built, shape & size?
Due to the normal body temperture of your gecko being less than that of humans I'd be somewhat surprised to find a significant amount of BB activity associated with your gecko.
However, you should inspect the gecko container area carefully just in case. Oncve you're satisfied there are no issues associated with the container, insulate it from surrounding surfaces such that BBs cannot climb onto/into the cage.
Hope that helps ! paul b.
I have not yet gotten around to inspecting her tank. It is a 20-gallon glass aquarium, and I have a heating pad stuck to the bottom as well as a ceramic heater to keep her warm. I am not really concerned about her being bit, just about moving her to my new place BB free.
I have lived in this complex since August. Before that, I had lived at another apartment complex in town and at my parents' house during the summer. Neither I, nor my roommate, have had ANY problems with bed bugs before we moved into this unit.
My roommate moved in before I did, and I think we noticed the bites around 2 weeks after I moved in. She was getting bits, I was not...for a while. And then I started getting/reacting to them. If anything, it as my roommate who brought them, not me.....but I still believe that they had to be in the apartment beforehand.
Also, I must note that I've visited home/my boyfriend's apt several times during this whole thing (taking precautions, of course) without taking bugs with me. No one else I know has problems with them, and I only experience the problems when I come back to this apartment.
Guess what, everyone? As of today, I have officially graduated college. I wish I could feel excited about it...but I've barely even thought about that fact this whole semester, let alone felt joy because of it, thanks to my situation....so depressing.
Let's put tings in perspective: Congratulations on your college graduation ! ! !
OK, back to the BB situation & advice:
> If things are as reported, it is possible that the BBs were already there when you moved in.
> Where are you located; city & state?
> Gecko: the heating pad may "draw" BBs toward the gecko tank. If it is a standard type tank, it will have a frame surrounding the bottom perimeter, rectangular edge as well as the top. The glass joints are relatively smooth on the outside but for the edges. The opposite interior side of these edges is usually sealed with silicone or similar type material. This is important regarding BBs and their likelihood of being able to climb or harbor in or on the tank. For the most part, BBs cannot climb glass. As such the gecko tank is a concern but NOT a huge concern.
> Gecko tank treatment: If you feel you MUST treat the gecko tank, get a glass bowl, large jar, etc that you may easily store the gecko in safely for a temporary period of time whilst you treat the large aquarium.
Send me your answers to the questions I just sent and let me know if any other questions other questions or concerns.
Good luck & congrats again ! ! ! ( what school & what major ? )
pjb pest management consulting, llc
author: the bed bug combat manual
I am currently in Ames, Iowa. I graduated with a Bachelors in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University.
I am moving to the Omaha, Nebraska/ Council Bluffs, IA (this is where my parents live) area.
I suppose I should probably get Peach (my gecko) a new heating pad, then....
If possible, you can clean off the one you have.
Iowa, wow, that's far away & cold now right?
It's 46 here and tomorrow is to be 26.
We're in Atlanta.
We usually have terrible winters. As of right now, it's actually been pretty not-cold/free of precipitation for Iowa...
For those who have been reading this.....today is the day. My plan has been in action for the past few days non-stop, and I'm almost ready to high-tail it out of here. I've got almost all my treated (and VERY VERY few untreated) things in bags or bags-within-bags, labeled in detail and ready to go. I kept them in the bathtub overnight, because it seems like the safest place...I do not think I have any bugs in there. What I have to do now is:
-inspect/wipe/bag my iHome,laptop, iPod, keys;
-wash and dry the clothes that I've been wearing during this whole thing
-bring my bags and plastic bins down to the car (I hope nothing hitches a ride during this time....I live on the third floor and have to take multiple trips. I will leave all my bags on the kitchen floor right by the door as I do this)
-inspect/wash my gecko's cage and accessories (bag), bring that stuff down to the car
-return, throw my coat, purse, moccasins, and clothes that are on my body in the dryer
-immediately put on clothes/coat from the dryer, place all my little ziploc bags of purse items in my purse, grab my gecko (who will be in a small plastic container with holes and paper towels), and leave!!!
I threw a lot of stuff away during this, and I take it as a good sign that I didn't see a bug or signs of any whilst packing my things. I hope that this brings me success.
hey kc, thabks for the update. sounds like you got it all done and you're in good shape.
Have a Merry Christmas ! ! ! paul b.
I really hope I was successful, but I'm really still extremely nervous.
My boyfriend and I spend the nights with our wonderful kitties who are all over us the whole time. Thing is, I'm allergic to them and they often give me very itchy spots that raise and lose color for a while....and since it's an allergic reaction, it doesn't feel all that different from BB bites. So that really freaks me out and adds to my paranoia.
Also, yesterday while taking out my 34253532653 million bags of trash, I saw a bunch of kids' furniture, baskets, toys, etc. n the dumpster. Perhaps that's indicative of someone else in the building having problems too? ( in the apt I moved from)
Ya think ? ! (furniture in the dumpster)
OK, switch to puppies instead. They're friendlier, always happy to see you, usually don't have attitude problems, are more loyal and acctually give a crap about you !
Of course that's not professional advice as I'm no dog whisperer.
Good luck & Merry Christmas ! paul b.
Noooo my kitties are wonderful.
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