HELP! my apartment building is infested with BBs(4 posts)
i just received a note from the management company of my apartment building that a unit in my building is undergoing treatment for bedbugs. according to the note, the management company has hired a professional exterminator to deal with the problem. i am VERY skeptical! my partner had bedbugs in her apartment and the exteriminators sprayed the crap out of her apartment 4-5 times and the bedbugs persisted. my partner did everything she was suppose to do: she cleaned all of her clothes, got rid of a bunch of infested furniture, kept all her [expletive deleted] in sealed contractor bags...etc. she eventually had to move out of her apartment--(which the sleazy landlord immediately filled with another unsuspecting tenant)--forfeit her security deposit and dispose of at least $1000.00 worth of property (as to not carry the little [expletive deleted] with her to her next apartment).
after my partner's experience, i am well versed in how horrific a bedbug invasion/infestation can be. after receiving the letter from the management company of my building--i nearly broke down in a fit of complete anxiety and rage. i am SUPER paranoid--i feel like i can't survive another infestation. i want to pack up all my clothes (after washing them, of course), throw away all of my [expletive deleted] and move back to my parent's house until i can find my own place (WITHOUT bedbugs).
my current roommate and i have decided to take immediate and extreme action to try and make sure that the bed bugs DO NOT spread to our apartment. i am writing to this forum in hopes that people will have advice as to what steps we should be taking to try and fortify our home against the little blood sucking pieces of [expletive deleted].
this evening after work i plan on purchasing the following items:
-expandable foam to fill in all of the cracks and crevises around our pipes and anything that links us to the other apartments in our building.
-a vacuum to start cleaning every nook and cranny of our apartment ---
-dicatemous earth to sprinkle around the baseboards throughout the apartment.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE BE DOING? in the same breath, WHAT SHOULD WE NOT DO?
any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you can, find some comfort that management notified you guys that this is going on. I have a hunch that an extreme minority of apt buildings disclose info this way.
Do you know if the unit(s) being treated are adjacent to yours? If yes, request an inspection from the landlord's exterminator.
Other things I did to reinforce the physical barrier between my apt and others.
1/ Caulk between baseboards and floors. Also, caulk any gaps between baseboard and wall.
If the gap between the baseboard and floor is too wide for caulk alone, stuff a foam backer rod into the space and caulk over that.
I cannot caulk in a straight line, so I use blue painter's tape to mark out above and below the desired caulk line. It's time consuming, but you get great results.
After you zip the caulk in between the two rows of painter's tape, run a wet (gloved or paper-toweled) finger over the length of caulk to make sure the caulk seal makes contact with all desired surfaces. It also makes for a nice, smooth look.
Remove the painter's tape after a few minutes before the caulk cures. Admire handiwork.
Don't forget to do the closets.
2/ Seal up electrical outlets and switch covers.
Shut off the electricity to the area. Unscrew the outlets and switch covers. Install a precut foam sealer. I use Frost King products I found at Home Depot.
Reattach covers. Caulk the border between cover and walls.
If you wanted, you could puff DE or another dessicant dust behind the baseboard and walls, before they you caulk them up. I just helped a friend with this project in their apartment, so it's all fresh in my mind.
It's not a foregone conclusion that your apt will get bedbugs. Hopefully, this will increase the likelihood they won't make it to your place.
You could also put monitors under the legs of your furniture. This has actually helped my peace-of-mind when it comes to bedbugs quite a bit. The monitors track whether or not a bedbug has entered my home, so my brain doesn't have to be so (excessively) vigilant.
ps. I like DAP elastomeric caulk. If your baseboards are white, go with that. I tried their clear version once, but it dried into a yellowish hue.
When you run a wet finger or sponge over the caulk, use a solution of a cup of water with a few drops of dishwashing detergent in it. That's supposed to help the caulk cure better.
thank you so much for the VERY thorough information. we bought expanding foam and filled in all of the crevices and holes where our pipes enter the floor or ceiling. our hands our tied a bit because we don't own teh apartment--and the woman that does, is VERY picky about what we do to the place.
i like the furniture monitor idea. at this point, we haven't had any bites or bug sightings...but i am tired of being paranoid. i take heart in knowing that if worse comes to worse, we will just move out and be done with the place. sad, but true.
thank you again for your help.
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