Don't count on freezing as a solution!(5 posts)
I wouldn't count on freezing as a solution. Last winter after throwing out every bit of my furniture, after being treated by professionals for 4 months, I bought a new living room suite. I had not had a bite or seen a bedbug for a couple of months. A week after getting my new furniture, the neighbors were throwing their living room furniture off their baclcony and hauling it down to the dumpster. A couple of days later I found bedbugs on my new couch. I think that they had come under the wall from the next door apartment. Not wanting to have to throw away my new furniture and having read that freezing would kill bedbugs and their eggs; I wrapped my new couch, love seat, and lounge chair in heavy plastic and duct tape and put it out on the balcony for the winter. I left it out all winter until this spring, when I moved from Ohio to Kentucky and didn't unwrap it until it was in my new apartment. All was fine for most of the several months until I noticed bites. My new couch still had bedbugs. Luckily I have not found them anyplace else. They were already having babies in the couch though. So I personally don't buy the freezing solution. I took the couch to the landfill and burned it. Don't want anyone else to get them.
I am treating the love seat and chair with various products I have read good things about, trying to save them. If it doesn't work they will be burned as well. Right now, I used Pyrethrin bombs in the living room with the furniture open and the pillows spread out on the floor and in the bedrooms with the beds torn apart. That has ended the bites for now. I'm also doing regular applications of a Pyrethrin powder with Diatomaceous Earth all through the furniture and the carpets throughout the apartment, and will continue to do so until I'm a hundred % sure I've won. I covered the furniture with cheap white sheets to keep the powder off of me. That also makes it easier to see the little demons. The mattresses have been sealed in hospital grade breathable hyper allergenic covers. I'm not throwing away my new beds, if I can help it. Every bit of fabric in the apartment has been laundered and sealed in vacuum sealed bags except for what I need to wear. I'll get back on the results.
I have talked to all my neighbors in this building and told them what is going on and gave them pictures of the bugs and of the bites. Told them that I'm pretty sure I have them contained but wanted them to keep their eyes open and to be informed. Many of the residents in this building have been here for years and say they have never had them or known of anyone in the building who had. No one here has them now except for me, so I know that they came on my frozen couch. Luckily the building codes are really stiff in this county, so all the walls and ceilings of all the apartments are concrete. So far the couch was the only place I've found them in my apartment, but I'm not going to stop treating and being hyper vigilante until I've gone for six months without a sighting or a bite. I refuse to be a genteel host.
All my neighbors are very friendly and were thankful for the heads up and info and promised to keep an eye out. I promised that if they saw any bugs I would be glad to help them solve the problem and provide safe products to get rid of them. I told the neighbors before the apartment management because I think the neighbors have a right to be informed. If that had happened at the last place I lived, I would have been spared all this misery, work and expense. I sent a letter to the management company informing them, hopefully the management doesn't freak out and try to kick me out. Later... cos
I am so proud of how you informed the neighbors. You are an inspiration. As for freezing, it might work where the bedbugs have no insulation. Couches, comforters, etc., provide too many places where bedbugs can be insulated where the real temperature won't drop low enough to kill them, not matter how long you keep the item frozen.
Just note that having a building made out of concrete doesn't really have an effect on the spread of the bugs. That's what my old building was made of, and I got them from a neighbor who tried to self-treat.
I've also read that they could go from window to window. Thanks Blow for the concrete info!
Thanks parakeets I thought they deserved to be informed. It's weird last summer when I first got them no one seemed to know anything about bedbugs. When I talked to my new neighbors here about them, all but one person told me they knew someone who had had them. A county a couple of counties over from ours closed all the schools in the county for two weeks because one grade school was infested. They also had the school nurses check all the elementary kids for bites. The children with bites will not be allowed to come back to school until the health officials have given their residences an all clear from what I've heard. I guess if the families can't afford treatments the health department is going to pay for getting rid of their bugs. Sounds like that county is taking it very serious.
Hi BBsBlow, I know that the concrete is no guarantee that they can't migrate. It's better than the last place I lived though, they could just literally walk under the wallboard from one apartment to another. I know that they have been known to travel along pipes as well, and there are holes through the concrete walls where the pipes go through. This building is just old enough that the pipes are probably all metal instead of pvc. At least the pipes travel though headers up nearly at ceiling level which might help some. We have hot water heat but the heat pipes, domestic water pipes and waste pipes come in through those headers. The central air is all self contained for each apartment so it is some deterrent having concrete walls, but not foolproof. They can just go under the front door and across the hall probably too. I'm treating the doorway daily with Pyrethrins and the carpets have DE and Pyrethrins in them.
I don't intend to just self treat though, if this doesn't work. I'm trying to save some of the furniture this time though. The couch was the only place I saw them and the only place I've been bitten. It was removed extremely carefully and burned. The other furniture has been extremely well inspected and is being treated regularly. Also the couch was the only piece of living room furniture really used at all. We don't have guests very often and we always sat on the couch. So I doubt that they would really settle into the chair or the love seat. If I find one more bug or one more bite though, I'm signing a contract for 16 weekly treatments, which is not cheap. I just want to beat them completely this time and I'm motivated to do whatever I have to win.
I know now I shouldn't have used the bombs, but after six months of being free of them I kind of had a nervous breakdown on the day I found out they were back. At least I had enough sense to treat the baseboards and front doorway before I set them off, and gave info packs to everyone in the building. If they did spread I will do what it takes to solve the problem because it sure looks like I am the one who brought them in. I does no good for me to beat them in my apartment if they will just come back from another one. I hadn't heard of them going window to window, but it does sound possible. I don't think I have to worry too much about that right now though, as I live in Northern Kentucky and it's pretty cold outside already. I've learned a lot already from this forum, I'm glad it's here and that I joined. Later... cos
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