Found Bed Bugs! Can they lay dormant in a house unoccupied for months?(3 posts)
So my worst nightmare just came true. The mysterious bites I have been experiencing for weeks turning out to be those of the wretched bed bug. I found some critters underneath my mattress the other day. Ugh. Pest Control came out and confirmed as well. I have a scheduled bed bug treatment starting Monday. In the meantime, mattress, box spring is gone. Out on the curb. I took apart my bed frame and didn't find anything, but I hear they are sneaky.
I currently rent a friend's townhouse she just bought. I moved in 2 months ago. The bites started about 3 weeks ago. I'm trying to find a possible reason why all of a sudden they appeared? I don't travel. I am a volunteer FF and I stay at my FH 2x a month, but I have been doing so for a year without incident. I have to pay for this treatment ($825) out of my own pocket. My landlord is insistent that the house was "clean" and had it inspected for pests. They don't check for bed bugs right? I have read they can lay dormant for a long time in the walls. PLUS, my attached neighbor just threw out a couple mattresses...coincidence? Not sure.
Long story short. I don't want them to come back if it's a neighbor not treating well or if they were in the walls! I can't afford this treatment, but I can't afford the to infest my house. I look like I have chicken pox, AND I have a small child. I have bagged all clothing, stuffed animals, drapes, pillows, comforters, blankets, sheets, you name it. I'm heat-treating in the dryer and re-bagging in clean bags. I have sprinkled DE around my baseboards and the perimeter of my room and around my bed frame. I have the Pesticide company doing a 3 round treatment over a period of 6 weeks.
Any advice? Should my landlord be helping me with this bill? It's a sticky situation b/c we are friends...never thought this would happen. Could they have been here before me?
Thanks for advice and/or help!!
Yes, they can hang out in an unoccupied dwelling. They can also come from attached neighbors.
The landlord may be responsible for treatment. You need to find out the local laws. A local tenants' organization can usually tell you. (If you private message me your location, I might be able to help also.)
Sometimes landlords add riders to leases which go against the local laws, and these may or may not be legal. (I am not a lawyer.)
Keep in mind it is not unheard of for people to experience a delay between being bitten for the first time and reacting to bed bug bites. (Some people never react, others don't react initially.) So you could certainly have been bitten for 2 months but started reacting 3 weeks ago.
A good PCO with bed bug experience may be able to estimate how long you've had the problem based what they see.
It's possible to pick them up from other homes, from the fire house.
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