Early detection after moving(7 posts)
Okay, here's my dilemma.
I had a bedbug problem in my old place, which we (me and roommates) dealt with - I even thought we'd gotten rid of them after a while, but would see one randomly once every few months and convince myself it was just a straggler.
When it was time for me to move, I got rid of almost everything (I kept my kitchen table and chairs, and my two metal/glass coffee tables, mostly at the insistence of my parents...), checked EVERYTHING, bagged everything, used new boxes, etc.
And of course, 2 weeks after I moved in, I realized my mother had brought in my old hamper and I used the original box my huge dehydrator came in because it wouldn't fit in anything else.
2 weeks after I moved in, and about 3 days after I got a new bed, me and my boyfriend were on the couch late at night and I saw one crawling towards us on the carpet.
Now I've seen enough bedbugs to KNOW what they look like. I went into an ENORMOUS panic attack, because I just moved into someone's HOUSE. I do NOT want to infest their house. The next day I unpacked my remaining boxes, and of course, there were two nymphs in the dehydrator box. I wrapped my dehydrator in a huge clear plastic bag, sealed it, and turned it on high for 3 hours at 155 degrees (I watched it carefully at first to make sure nothing bad happened, and it was fine).
My boyfriend and my parents do not seem to understand the magnitude of this sort of problem, and think it's easy to get rid of them. I thought of a couple of other possible things they could have been on, like my alarm clock, or laptop, but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure the box and the hamper were the culprits.
I am of the thought, though, since I caught it early, I may be able to deter an infestation. I borrowed my old roommate's steamer and steamed the loveseat (it's my only couch), the carpet, and I got mattress and boxspring covers. The warehouse I got them from also gave me climb-ups, which I put under my loveseat legs (all three bugs were in my living room, not the bedroom). I lightly dusted DE along all the baseboards in the apartment (it's a small suite in the lower level of a house), all around the main areas of the headboard and all along the metal bedframe. Also around the wheels of the bedframe, on the carpet, since I have no climb-ups for the bed. There are a couple of sticky traps under the bed and the loveseat. Everything is still in plastic bags from my move, and I am very paranoid about spreading from couch to bed or vice versa, so I have "couch" clothes and "bed" clothes. I've been keeping my shoes outside. I got rid of a TON of more stuff.
I put vaseline on the legs of EVERY piece of furniture I have, as well.
My (mostly hairless) dog was washed thoroughly and went to my parents' house for 2 weeks, but she is now back here. I'm not sure how worried I should be about the dog being a target, since she sleeps in her kennel at night.
What are your thoughts? I would be mortified to tell my new landlord, especially since we had a conversation early on about how I had to deal with bedbugs at my old place and everything I did to deal with it, including replacing my furniture etc. So, if it happens, I will be blamed, I'm sure, even though they travel constantly.
I don't want it to ruin their lives, or the other family that lives in the house.
What should I do? Keep being diligent so it doesn't spread? Any other tips? I don't want to have to resort to telling the house owner or being more panicked that I am already. Maybe in a couple of weeks I could get a trained dog to check it out? Would I be held responsible if it DOES spread?
ARGH. I was so looking forward to forgetting about all this when I moved. *sob* Now I am really scared of bringing it other places with me, too. Paranoid all the time. I've calmed down since I got the bed covers and did the other things I knew to do, but I really just want to never deal with it again.
Sounds like you never got rid of the problem in the old place. You don't want to repeat the cycle again.
If you're sure you saw a bed bug, then you have a problem and personally at this point I would bring a professional in right away. Whether or not you have to inform the house owner (I assume they do not live in the same house) is in part a legal question with answers that vary by region and situations, and therefore something you might want to research out or check with an attorney.
I think what I am going to do is hire one of those dogs and see if anything needs to be done about it. My landlord is going away on Sept.20 for a month so if anything else needed doing, I could take care of it at the time.
It's been very little time and I've taken extra precautions, so I really don't think it has spread, but I want to be sure.
Anyone else have advice for me?
Based on photos I've been looking at, I am PRETTY SURE the adult I found was a male. Now I wish I hadn't tossed it out - I did keep the dead one for a couple weeks but got sick of looking at it.
However it looked much more like either a 5th instar nymph or a male. Of course, I'm not positive.
Isn't it possible that your new place was infested?
You should proceed as planned - get the dog and treat while his is away. It is possible they were there before you moved in and the last tenant "moved away" from them. However, you will be blamed anyway.
Sounds like you are taking all the right steps. Did you chuck the hamper? BTW - you mentioned storage place- if your stuff was in storage, you could have gotten them there too.
I REALLY do not think that they were here before. The last tenant was a friend of mine who lived here for year and moved to be closer to her family.
My stuff in storage, like I mentioned, is stuff I checked diligently, wrapped in plastic bags, and put in brand new boxes, and am storing at my parents' house - nothing was in storage anywhere infested.
The hamper was tossed immediately, as was the dehydrator box.
I have done all I can til this point - I'm going to phone about the dogs, I found a company not far from me who does that. My landlords don't leave until the 20th, though.
Thank you all for your help.
Is there anything else I can do in the meantime I'm not thinking of?
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