Found Two Bedbugs(6 posts)
I have an early bedbug infestation, wondering if I should contact a pro right away or try to stem it where it is myself. The local pro that seems reputable is Plunketts, which would heat the whole place, assuming it's legal to do in a condo. Anyone know what they might cost? I don't know if I can afford it.
Here's the specifics:
Just found a bed bug two days ago, and another one day ago (July 9 & 10). Both were in the living room of my 1200 sqft condo, near where some things were that we had at a hotel a little while ago. I haven't seen any in either bedroom. I was staying at a hotel from July 1-4. My girlfriend has 8 bites that appeared 2-3 days ago. It's likely we got bed bugs from the hotel. They could have infiltrated a number of possessions we brought back with us. I will be drying all linens and bags we brought back, bagging them on the way to the dryer. I also plan to vacuum and then heat steam vaccum and then use a hand steamer on the baseboards and then apply two different chemicals (Hot Shot spray and Sprayaway spray (same as Bedlam and Pronto sprays) to all baseboards and all room entrances. I'm also ordering mattress covers today.
That's the plan, anyway, to stem the infestation where it is, which I assume is early. We only found the two partially grown ones, one which had not fed because it was light colored, the other which had. I also steamed my bed already and sprayed Sprayaway on the sides and put Vasoline on the legs of the bed.
How bad do you think this infestation is and how serious might it get? I checked my bed and my roommate's bed, and there were no bedbugs or signs of them. Any other tips? I was thinking of bagging my things with vapor strips. I also want to be able to sell some nice furniture I have here so I can vacuum more easily.
Many thanks in anticipation,
sorry to see you here...but...if it were me and i could afford it, even if i had to put it on my credit cards or take a freakin' 2nd mortgage, i would go with the heat treatment.
But i would definitely NOT try to treat it myself. And i would want the best treatment i could afford at the earliest possible moment.
If you stayed at the hotel July 1 -4 then it would make sense, i think that you're seeing little ones. I would think that if you see babies or youngsters, that maybe a mama gave birth at your home, so i imagine your starting a nice little infestation over there...
Why fool around...KILL the bugs as soon as you can!! Like yesterday
Regular readers of the boards here already know what I'm about to tell you: I'm personally a big fan of thermal.
I had heat treatment done on my apartment (sorry, I don't know the square footage) about two years ago.
I had an infestation, also picked up at a hotel, for at least a month and possibly more before I realized what was going on. (I have a cat, so I suspected fleas at first and then mosquitos. She doesn't go outside, but she does sometimes fight with cats that do through the screen. This makes holes. You can see how since I was not aware of bed bugs, I could have made that mistake.)
I went with thermal because the providers here believed that it wouldn't have been possible to do chemical in my cramped apartment.
I live in a four plex behind an older house, very typical architecture for my city.
All three other units in my building were inspected.
There are some downsides to heat: if a neighboring unit is infested and not treated, you're not going to solve your problem.
It can damage items in the home. I lost two TiVos that I forgot to unplug and one microwave. The veneer on some cheap furniture came off (IKEA stuff I didn't care about.) None of my good furniture (my grandparents' dressers) was damaged. Some costume jewelry was; nothing expensive was.
Some items cannot be in the home during treatment including CDs and DVDs. I have a rather extensive collection of both, and storing and treating them was a pain.
However, with chemical treatment, you must prep all fabric items. If you have substantial amounts of dry clean only clothes, that can add up VERY quickly.
In addition, many companies that provide thermal may also use chemicals. Mine did. Exactly how common that is may depend on where you live. In southern California, thermal's been around a while as an alternative to Vikane, which is used extensively for drywood termites, so finding a pest management company that treats other pests who does thermal isn't hard.
My sense is that back east and farther north where drywood termites are not a persistent pest, you're more likely to find companies that only do thermal as a result of bed bugs. I cannot speak to how likely they are to be a full service pest control provider who provides multiple approaches.
With chemical treatment, you're (or someone else) going to have to act as bait and sleep in your bed while you're being chemically treated. For some people, that's not a big deal; for others, it is.
In short, you need to weigh all the costs of each method of treatment in order to make the best informed decision. Take into account questions of how much money and time will need to be spent on preparation for the particular method you're thinking of going with. Take into account how stressed and anxious you are about the thought of sharing your space with bugs. Take into account possible damage.
When selecting a provider, make sure to ask about the following:
When the place is being inspected, how will the inspection take place? If a dog/handler team is used, will the handler confirm visually?
Will the firm need to find actual evidence of bugs to treat? In many municipalities, this is a legal requirement.
If you don't yet have visible evidence of bed bugs, what kinds of monitoring can the company provide you with?
What kind of warranty does the firm provide after treatment, and what evidence of bugs is required for retreatment during that warranty period?
How does the company handle adjacent units? Must adjacent units be inspected?
The most important things you can do now are the following:
SAVE any specimens you find. I just used Scotch tape to attach them to index cards and tossed those into a ziplock. DO NOT destroy the bugs you find as PCOs need to confirm the pest in question to treat.
I wouldn't necessarily buy mattress encasements just yet. Not all PMPs use them as part of the treatment. (I put one on my bed *after* my treatment to make the bed easier to inspect. However, encasements as part of treatment are not universally agreed upon by all PCOs. ) If you're going with a pro, I would wait to see what he or she suggests for your situation.
I wouldn't sell any furniture until you're sure you're clear of bed bugs. Too often people get rid of stuff that doesn't need to be destroyed that they later regret getting rid of, and the best way to rid the furniture of bugs is to treat the residence.
Hope that helps.
How much does thermal cost approximately? This is what I would consider an average size or slightly above average condo of 1200 sqft (2 bedroom 2 bath). There are 6 companies locally that do thermal. I've contacted them all. I will barter with them, too, as I can't afford a lot honestly. There is the possibility that other units are infested, but the walls here are all concrete, so that potential is definitely less than in other multi unit structures.
Any ballpark would help. I need to have a frame of reference so I can deal with this fast.
I had thermal done two years ago. I live in a one bedroom, one bath apartment. In southern California, that cost me and my landlord $850.
Well I did heat treatment, and they failed to kill them all apparently, as I just found a live one! THIS SUCKS!!!
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