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How long have you had bbs?

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  1. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 23 2008 12:36:29
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    Hi All,

    As I mentioned in a previous thread, I'm new to this site. It is very useful and informative.

    Some of you seem to have been battling this nightmare for a long time. I would like to know what I'm up against.

    How long have you had bbs?
    At one point, did you mistakenly think they were gone?
    Those of you who have landlords, what's been your experience? Do they blame you?

    I know the law is different everywhere, but I'd like to get a grasp of the levels of severity this pest entails.

    (I'm re-reading the faqs, and gathering as much info as I can.)

    Thanks
    bbinmontreal

  2. SleeplessinMadison

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 23 2008 15:54:56
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    1. We've had BBs since mid-August when we moved into our apartment. We've had four treatments so far with our 5th scheduled for next week.

    2. It's so hard to say whether they are gone or not. We haven't seen a live bug since right after our second treatment, and before we all left to go home for the holiday we hadn't had a bite in 30 days (and hadn't seen any fecal or blood spots in just as long). They say that 55 days is the magic mark, but I'm not sure that we can rely on that since we're all going to be gone for the last 25 days of that period... I'm nervous that they are all going to come out of hiding and have a feast when we all return!

    3. In the beginning, our landlord refused to admit that our problem was BBs (even though we later found out that the reason our unit had them was because he gave us a bed frame from an infested unit). But once we had hard evidence (a bug sample), he became much more responsive. He's agreed to have an exterminator (recommended by our university's entomology department) inspect and treat our apartment for the remainder of our lease. Our first three treatments were done 3 weeks apart, and the rest will be in one month intervals (should we find it necessary). He also didn't want us to tell neighbors at first, but he's since scheduled inspections of our surrounding apartments. Even though he was difficult at first, I am thankful that our landlord seems a bit better than most.

    I'm sorry you've joined us here, but this website and forum are so SO helpful. I wish you the best of luck in your fight!

  3. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 23 2008 16:50:28
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    Thank you so much Sleepless,

    It seems this is such a big and tiresome battle for all of us on this forum. It's reassuring to have bedbugger.com to come and get advice share our stories.

    bbinmontreal

  4. vampiremenionprey

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 23 2008 19:05:24
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    1. 2 years. Started my first battle in December 2006 when I brought them home from the hospital after giving birth to our son. We moved out, found one on the wall of our new place after they had treated and we had to wait 24 hours to move. I killed it and we didn't see any problems again. Come February 2008 I found 1 nymph on my bed after a few nights of suspicious bites. I checked my bed regularly after the move, but I suppose this one slipped my eye for about a month. Now come Sept/Oct of 08 we are dealing with it for the third time.

    2. I suspect that we had more of an infestation that what we realized in February. Our matress and box spring encasements ripped (unknowingly) a few months after we bought them. When we searched our son's room with a PCO in February we found nothing, but this time around his room was the most infested. His covers were ripped too, and he doesn't react to bites so I'm sure we had the infestation the entire time and didn't realize until I started getting bit again. We suspect that they came from our lower neighbor because they have had an active infestation for over a year without reporting it until August of 08. It would only make sense that in Feb we became infested due to their infestation (my son playing on the playground with their kids and we're right above them).

    3. For the most part my landlord has been very cooperative. The prep expectation notice is only given the day before hand, but beings we know what to expect we're ready before then. The first time we were threatened with eviction if we weren't 100% compliant, but I found that due to others who weren't being compliant and spreading the bugs to another apartment. The first time around they got me moved right away into a new place. The second time it was a little more hassle. This third time scared the wits out of me but it's been ok. He's been a little lax on wanting to tell me exactly what the PCO is doing because we're suppose to direct all questions through him and not the rep from the company, but one day I was able to catch one of the guys by surprise and got the answers I was really looking for.

    It's been terrible battling with this for this long, but eventually I know I'll be bug free. I just wish I'd be able to live a normal life now. Going to a movie is now out of the question, and I know I will always second guess going over to someone's place or them coming over.

  5. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 23 2008 19:15:41
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    Wow! Thanks Vampire. This really is such a big deal. You're right, it affects the way we live our lives entirely; like not going to the movies etc...

    bbinmontreal

  6. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 27 2008 18:49:31
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    I'm bumping this cause I'd really like to have some more answers. Thanks.

  7. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 27 2008 19:48:55
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    Hi,

    Wanted to share a few thoughts on this post from an odd perspective.

    I have been battling bed bugs since 2003. I first encountered them in a lovely split level Victorian Terraced house in North west London at about 1pm on a Saturday afternoon. It was something of an eye opener since a month before I was the business development director of a technology evaluation group in the city. The concept of a home infested with these odd blood sucking parasites seemed amazing in the new millennium. What struck me more than anything was the sheer number, a few hundred per bed all content and well fed. The person training me explained that it was best not to make contact with infected items and that I should observe at the start till I saw how he worked.

    Soon after I started full time with the company and did the full spectrum of pest control 8 to 16 jobs per day across London all types of pests and all types of houses. Some friendly and easy to help, other looking for a magic wand to waved all the problem dealt with. The wasp season was always fun, its one of those adrenalin fuelled on your toes jobs, sometimes its 5 minutes of high octane action and other 30 minutes working out how to get to the issue and more importantly how to get away safely.

    As the months passed the boss would job how he found it amusing for me to do the bed bug cases and the type of jobs that others would rather not do. I guess I have a fascination with people and the environments they find themselves in. After a few months I commented on the fact that the Bed Bug cases seemed to be on the increase. Although this was noted it was not a massive leap, 1 a month to 1 a week.

    Over the next year or so I saw this change to a point where I was doing up to 8 cases a day although in a small geographic area it was certainly more than anyone would have expected to see.

    I met some amazing people, saw some amazing infestations from a light one or two through to literally hundreds of thousands of live bed bugs covering all available locations. I have met the highest upper layers of society and those that society long since forgot. I have met a few whose lives where put on hold through infestations, those on the edge of not being able to go on, those mildly affected, those obvious to all signs and presence and a completely unphased by even the notion that it could be an issue.

    Some are changed forever by the encounter and others forget in a matter of weeks and cant even put a name to the face when they meet you in the street.

    I have seen it bring neighbours together for the first time in 20 years and conversely break up a 20 year marriage.

    For some sharing is a great cathartic release and I am sure they have gone on to help others either on-line or via their social networks. I have met many that cant even utter the name of the creature incase someone was listening to the phone call.

    I have talked people down from a state on complete anxiety where it has taken 5 minutes to get them to stop crying enough to even tell me their name.

    All of these situations and scenarios are experience from then to now. We all deal with it in a different way, some cope better than others.

    I suppose the rambling point of all of this is that bed bugs can and do affect all sorts of people and each case is as individual as the person and the property they are in. Finding the strength to fight is something that only you can do because it is your fight.

    I have seen good landlords, I have been in court alongside clients with bad landlords and I have even been in court helping clients and landlords take action against pest controllers.

    The cases I have seen win have all been well documented with clearly presented facts and accurate data. It also helped to establish the extent of the infestations and issue with neighbours if they are the source.

    The courts have also commented favourably on those who have always shown evidence of clear communication in letters and newsletters between affected individuals and that legal actions are always treated as a action of last resort. ( I could think of nothing worse than 1-800-BED BUG LAW to be the slogan of a new breed of ambulance chaser (thankfully karma has a way of getting them more exposed to the bed bug issue than they wish to be)).

    For your own sanity the best advice and experience that other can share is communicate to find the source and encourage that to be treated and to take all appropriate steps to get treated.

    Focusing on dealing with the source and the infestation is enough to keep you more than occupied. Once that is over then let the legals deal with the dust settling.

    They can be a tough battle but its possible to win and keeping focused is the big key. I always find that an educated and focused client works best with me and I certainly insist that all support with legal issues is available only after the infestation has been dealt with and the problem is clear.

    Good luck.

    David

  8. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 27 2008 20:15:32
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    Thank you so much BBcoukHome!

    So eloquently put as well! Ever consider writing professionally?

    Anyway, I happen to belong to the "panic stricken, on-the-verge-of-a-breakdown" group, so really -thanks. I'm debating whether or not to just give everything up and go away somewhere like Lady Godiva (I stole that expression from another member here) or try and battle this problem. But so many of you have been battling this soooo long, that I don't know if I have it in me. Keep 'em coming! Thanks again

    bbinmontreal

  9. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 27 2008 22:24:38
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    hi,

    I think the writing I do already is enough, it really does not flow as readily as it may appear and some posts do actually take days in the writing.

    I add to the post early to say the only people I cant help are those that see the only solution to be running away with nothing. Don't get me wrong moving is at times the only viable solution but I do like to exhaust all other possibilities first and then manage the extraction like a military exercise. I have been known to call it the bed bug boot camp, 100% effective, 100% asset recovery, 100% non chemical and takes 16 days. Its also 100% invasive and controlling on your life but its a price well worth paying. The only problem is that is based out of our facility in London and the cost of getting the items here would most likely dwarf the cost of the process and I cant exactly asses you from here.

    I know it does not help you today but in a few years there will be facilities with that capability in cities all over the world. But then again a few years ago information like this was not available so you get a better picture of how fast this is all evolving.

    Brutal reality of the day is that as each day passes more and more people encounter bed bugs, as this happens by the basis of evolution we know more and more about them and hopefully get better and better at dealing with it in the modern urban environment.

    There will come a time when bed bugs are a more routine problem but how much closer to the 1930's record levels of infestations we have to get before that day only the future history books will tell.

    David

  10. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 27 2008 23:27:41
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    BBcoukHome, how I wish you were in Canada!

    You know though, I've been thinking about this; bed bugs were simply a routine problem for our grandparents' generation. They had ddt in those days. In addition, I agree; hopefully in ten years from now (preferably sooner) inspecting and treating bbs will become the norm when renting or purchasing a home.

    Thanks for your input!

    bbinmontreal

  11. anamorphosis

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 17:42:42
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    And I wish BBcoukHome were in Oakland.

    I have been battling bed bugs since July '08. I got them from my job. My landlord hired a company that came two times in August and only sprayed the carpets, so I still have them. I have been self treating since that's my option right now. My infestation seems to be light. I'm fairly allergic and so get a small rash and then later a sore for the smallest of bites. Lately I only get about two bites every few days. Enough to remind me they are still there and keep me depressed about it. That number has been holding steady for the past few months. I've been using de dust, boiling water, lots of laundry, murphy's soap, and a variety of pyrethrins. Every few weeks I take the entire bed apart and clean every part with boiling water and then douse with pyrethrins and de dust. Lately I have been, half jokingly, considering how I might be able to hook the metal frame of my be up to an electrical current so I could fry anything living in the frame. My friend who is an electrical engineer said this would not work so well because the way the metal frame is constructed, the electrical current would not travel very well.

    *sigh*

  12. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 18:01:49
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    Thanks Anamorphois,

    Your comments are welcome and appreciated! Don't mind me if today I'm throwing myself a bit of a pity party. It's New Year's Eve and I'm stuck alone in my apt. with these darn bugs.

    Thanks again!

    bbinmontreal

  13. eatingmealive

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 19:55:58
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    I think we've had them since September. I say I think because that is when I noticed the problem. I am pretty confident that they were brought home as an unwanted souvenir from a family trip to Orlando. We've been treated, but I am certain that they are still here. We'll continue to fight the fight and are hoping and praying that 2009 is our year.

  14. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 20:09:07
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    Hi bbinmontreal:
    I have spent months trying to bribe David with beer to move to Canada. Turns out, he’s a tea tottler! FYI, I live in Ottawa, Canada and, thanks to this problem, have spent many hours referring to the Residential Tenancies Act. I’ve also been in contact with Ottawa Public Health (municipal offices), who are working on a BB Project, similar to that in Toronto. You may want call the Montreal Health Department to (a) report the infestation for statistical purposes and (b) see if they have any information that may help you, or have a BB Task Force.

    1. How long have you had bbs?
    We’ve been battling for almost 6 months. In October we suffered a reinfestation. We live in a large multi-unit apartment building and, since approximately 10 apartments are infested now, the problem is complicated. In your case, I’d suggest you try to find out if any other tenants are suffering from the problem. You may think you’re the only one but, believe me, it’s possible you are not!

    2. At one point, did you mistakenly think they were gone?
    I don’t think we were ever 100% convinced that they were gone. Initially, we had them for months before we even realized we had a problem. My daughter had terrible rashes and kept visiting various doctors until finally our GP asked about bugs. So right from the beginning, we knew we were dealing with a very sneaky insect.

    3. Those of you who have landlords, what's been your experience? Do they blame you?
    Oh boy, the story with my landlord could be a novel! In a nutshell, initially the superintendent couple were responsive and claimed that one other apartment was also infested and were likely the source because they purchased a bed from the Salvation Army. But when the landlord discovered that I had been on a series of business trips on behalf of the Federal Government, he became convinced that I had brought them back from a hotel and that he could receive compensatory funding from my Department. He began to threaten a lawsuit and I solicited advice from an attorney. But I was never served papers and it didn’t go any further. In the meantime, I discovered that many more apartments were infested than the superintendents had disclosed. In fact, a suicide, which occurred in our apartment building on June 30th, was the result of a frustrating, 2-month battle by one of our low-income neighbours. My daughter (who is 25 years old) and I became increasingly concerned about our isolated, struggling neighbours. Many neighbours are elderly or on disability, so they are unable to perform the strict protocols involved in the treatment of the apartments. We decided to hold a tenants meeting and, with the assistance of Housing Help Ottawa, my daughter managed to secure a venue, get speakers and hold an information forum. This prompted a second threat of a lawsuit, however we didn’t take it seriously. We are aware that Residential Tenancies Act allows tenants to discuss common problems and issues. Around the same time, CTV was looking for BB sufferers for a week-long series of pests and my daughter gave an interview. Because we feared that the interview would interfere with our landlord’s ability to earn money (which our attorney had advised us against), the location of our building and her identity were blacked out. CTV hasn’t aired the series yet because our city is suffering from a bus strike, which has dominated the news for weeks. We received a call from CTV last week and they would like to speak with me regarding the bigger issues (i.e. the landlord, tenant, PCO relationship). I am giving my anonymous interview in 2 weeks. We still don’t have an air date. And I’m sure, if the landlord hears about this, we will be threatened with lawsuit #3.

    Throughout this battle, we paid our rent on time and the landlord continued to treat our apartment. Despite the petty squabbles, we have both acknowledged our legal responsibilities. I should also mention that I have lived in my apartment for almost 20 years, so I have a long relationship with the landlord.

    Initially I blamed the landlord. I was furious they had not disclosed the problem to the tenants because we would have discovered our infestation much earlier. The landlord’s decision to hide the problem was selfish and self-serving, however alternatively I’m sure that disclosure would have resulted in panic by the tenants. That was certainly one of the reactions during the tenants meeting. For weeks afterwards, we had panicked tenants knocking on our apartment door, convinced they had a problem.

    I do, however, blame the landlord for raising the cost of laundry to $4.50 per load. Many of my neighbours already couldn’t afford the costs of washing all their clothing and bedding when discovering an infestation. Laundry costs are now outrageous!

    Ugh, even just typing the story of the last 6 months of my life makes me exhausted. All the while, I was carrying a major project at work and flying back and forth to DC. 2008 really sucked for me. But my daughter showed a strength I didn’t know she had and we are even closer as a result of this disaster.

    bbinmontreal, in the beginning, it is very easy to get discouraged. The stories here tend to be extreme : the people who easily deal with the problem stop posting on the board, so you are only reading the worst-case scenarios on the forum. And your “panic-stricken, on the verge of nervous breakdown” feeling will dissipate. So hang in there!

    My daughter and I still debate moving. It’s a monetary decision. We can’t afford to abandon most of what we own and we can’t afford (or find) a vikane truck. So we continue to battle and daydream of wining the lottery so that we can run away from home.

    Phew! This post is much longer than I had planned and I’m late for a New Year’s dinner party! Gotta run,
    Kate

  15. VaeMihi

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 22:47:44
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    bbinmontreal - 4 hours ago  » 
    Thanks Anamorphois,
    Don't mind me if today I'm throwing myself a bit of a pity party. It's New Year's Eve and I'm stuck alone in my apt. with these darn bugs.
    bbinmontreal

    It could be worse, bbinmontreal. I'm alone at my New Year's Eve Bed Bug Pity Party in *Toronto*! Ick!

  16. bbinmontreal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 23:09:34
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    Thank you, Itchy-Scratchy & VaeMihi,

    I guess I don't feel so alone anymore. Knowing there are others like me out there who don't want to infest anyone by attending parties. Itchy-Scratchy, hope you have a really great time; and your story is precisely why I don't want to tell my landlord about my bb problem. As many of you know, he and I are not on good terms and this would be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. I think I'll attempt to lie down now (it takes sleeping pills to calm me, and even then, I wake up several times a night with nightmares). Once I'm outta here, I'll report the address on the bed bug directory; maybe before, who knows! Sorry so glum guys; it's been one of those days.

    bbinmontreal

  17. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 31 2008 23:29:23
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    Itchy-Scratchy - 3 hours ago  » 
    Hi bbinmontreal:
    I have spent months trying to bribe David with beer to move to Canada. Turns out, he’s a tea tottler!
    Kate

    Let me get the next few months out of the way and I will be up for travelling in late March or April (subject to air date on a new documentary I am about to start work on). Pick up the cost of the flight and arrange somewhere to stay and I will return the favour with 50% of the time I am there available to you (happy to get a group to club together as well).

    I cant apply products in Canada but I am sure there is no law against me giving advice in other areas and reviewing where you are with things.

    Happy New Year (just in from clubbing).

    David

  18. Marixpress

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jan 2 2009 12:14:37
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    How long have you had bbs?
    In hindsight, since May 2008 but began treating September 2008

    At one point, did you mistakenly think they were gone?
    Yes

    Those of you who have landlords, what's been your experience? Do they blame you?
    He's paid for 4 treatments (at 1-month intervals) and now believes I am bringing them in from outside. So yes, now I'm being blamed.

  19. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jan 3 2009 2:54:13
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    bbinmontreal - 6 days ago  » 
    Anyway, I happen to belong to the "panic stricken, on-the-verge-of-a-breakdown" group, so really -thanks. I'm debating whether or not to just give everything up and go away somewhere like Lady Godiva (I stole that expression from another member here) or try and battle this problem. But so many of you have been battling this soooo long, that I don't know if I have it in me. Keep 'em coming! Thanks again
    bbinmontreal

    I run this board, and I think it is important to note that the vast majority of folks come along, get support, in some cases stick around to give support to others once cleared, and then we never hear from them again.

    A few come back months or years later having had a recurrence (for example in a multi-unit building) or having had a second experience.

    This really is a small minority.

    It is my sense that --if treated properly, and if attached neighbors are inspected and treated if need be -- most cases of bed bugs do not last long. Some do, and it is a sign that treatment is failing or people are reinfesting themselves. In such a situation, you need to figure out what is going wrong.

    I think it is important to stress this. You may be feeling like many of us have been here forever. But lots of us whose stats show us as being here a long time don't have bed bugs now, and some are professionals (like David). Still others are in an unpleasant wait-and-see period.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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