Got the awful truth Tuesday night; first treatment on Monday.(2 posts)
Hello, everyone -- I've been reading these forums for the past few days. It seems the thing to do for us newly inforormed, terrified members of the community.
My timeline: (I'm sharing in case anyone else is like me and can't get enough of obsessively reading everyone else's "journey." It's a novella.)
About a month ago, I notice a large welt on both elbows while at work.
For the next few weeks, a bite or two every few days. I think "God, these mosquitoes are horrible."
I take mosquito-fighting precautions in my apartment -- I notice that whenever my boyfriend stays with me, he doesn't get bit and I do. I worry that they may be bed bugs, but because the bites are singular and I don't see any stains on my mattress, I push it out of my mind. Even though neither of us sees or hears mosquitos.
Two weeks ago: inspector with beagle visits house while I'm at work and finds nothing.
Next morning: I wake up with ten new welts. But because only one of them is in the BLD formation, I think "No. The dog would have found them."
Last weekend: blissful five-day trip to Shakespeare festival. No itches upon return Sunday night.
Monday morning: A dozen welts.
Monday night: Me: (to my cat) Isis, what are you doing? Quit playing with that ladybug.
(I pick it up in a napkin and, so I think, smash it.)
Me: That's a weird ladybug.
Tuesday morning: A neat row of nine bites along my arm, and about a dozen more elsewhere.
Tuesday night: Something clicks in my brain and I grab my computer. Think about the bite patterns, google "bed bug vs. mosquito bites," remember the bug from the night before, and google pics of the bugs themselves. It all comes together.
I leave an admittedly hysterical message for my landlord. I run into my room and see one stuck to the wall on a piece of tape that I used to construct a tent to protect me from the mythical mosquitoes. I smash it against the wall and leave it for evidence. I go downstairs and run into landlord. I spew out hysteria along the lines of "I'm infested, it's terrible, everybody in New York I know who had them had to move and they wanted to die and they had to put all of their DVDs in a freezer and they still have night terrors--"
At which point he calmed me down.
An inspector came yesterday and found one, in addition to my display on the wall.
First steam treatment is Monday, for both my futon and bed. I've been advised that I'll have to be brave and sleep on the futon no matter what, for about three weeks. There will be traps around the base (it wouldn't work with my bed.) New York bed bug survivor friends have given me stories that terrify me to various degrees. I'm pretty upset that the reason I have them is (I've been told) likely because the guy across the hall had them, didn't tell anyone, set off a bug bomb, and turned them loose on the whole building.
I'm staying with bf right now because I didn't read all the "Do NOT go to someone else's house while this is going" stuff on until after I'd been there. The inspector and landlord told me to check myself before leaving, shower immediately upon arrival, and throw all my clothes in the dryer when I got there. What I did was take a bath while my clothes were washing and drying downstairs, examine the garmet I wore to the laundry room carefully, put the clean clothes in trash bags, transfer some of them to the bag I'd gotten an hour previously and parked on the sink in my bathroom, change into a set of just-cleaned clothes, and then shower and throw clothes I'd been wearing into the dryer. Then I read about how I shouldn't be there, and now I feel horrible. He says there's no point in me going back now.
My concern is more that I would have spread them when I didn't know what was happening, and wasn't taking any precautions. I'm worried I could have spread them to his house, work, and the place we stayed on vacation.
I'm also worried about the inspector -- he says it can't be that bad since he only found one, but I think it must be bad if I've now seen three grown ones. He's going to steam and put a mattress cover on both mattresses and says I shouldn't throw things out quite yet--we have to wait and see how many get caught in the traps, and he'll also be doing follow up treatments.
My plan is to start washing and bagging things in better bags after the first treatment and now, I'm thinking, buy a pack-tite. I'm wishing I didn't live in a carpeted apartment, and that I didn't live across from a guy I'm pretty sure won't be taking these precautions. My friends have told me to vaccum books and notebooks and put everything I don't know how to clean properly, that I still want, in sealed bags in storage for 18 months.
I'm getting conflicting accounts of what lies ahead of me. I feel like the landlord thinks we can just steam my bed and I should chill out. It's hard to chill out with (currently) 30+ itchy bites, and I also feel nervous being around people. I wouldn't want to share with anyone. But I'm hopefull that good things will happen on Monday.
That's me. Hi.
This sounds like my week. But I've only seen what I think is a nymph. It bite me so I crushed it. Satisfying.
That said, this is overwhelming. I'm expecting to spend my savings this week on bed bug washing, plastic bags and something for the itching. Eventually some pest strips for the hard to treat stuff and caulking. (you may want to look up DDVP strips as a possible solution for hard to treat stuff. It's something I'm looking into.)
This is really not fun at all. Be glad you have someone as a support system. I'm glad to have friends brave enough to come over and help.
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