I caught the neighbors' bed bugs(4 posts)
Hi there! I will try to keep this as straight to the point as possible.
2 years ago I moved into the upstairs of a duplex. My neighbors at that time had a bed bug infestation (I suspect them to actually be bat bugs, but at this point it doesn't really matter).
I got bitten, and found a couple of actual bugs. I began lurking this forum kind of obsessively, put covers on the mattresses in the house, started using EcoRaider regularly, and vacuum just about every day. I do not have a couch or anything like that, just standard, cheap, wooden chairs.
Within the first year of my living here, the downstairs neighbors fogged their house for bed bugs, even though I told them that wasn't going to do anything but be gross. We have a slumlord, so I suppose that's the best treatment they were willing to do on their own.
I kept up with my aforementioned defenses, and also keeping clothes and such off the floor, etc., and I went over a year without seeing a bed bug or bites or anything. That said, even after going through my entire apartment when I first found the couple of bed bugs here, I never found anything other than those individual bugs.
Fast forward to now, my neighbors have been in the process of moving out, and I've seen a total of 4 bugs in my apartment since they began doing so, after over a year of nothing. I've found two in my room and two in my son's room. I found each one individually, on different days, but in the exact same two spots. I could probably draw a small circle on these two spots in my house, and if I find another bed bug, it'll be in one of the circles. All four were unfed adults. I've found no fecal matter, no eggs, skin sheds or anything to help me figure out where they are coming from. Is it too much of a wishful thought that the bugs are just coming up from downstairs and I don't have a nest anywhere?
Anyway, I credit this forum with helping me be what I thought was bug free for so long, but at this point I am at such a loss that I thought I should come out of lurking.
Random information that might be relevant to my situation:
-I am extremely poor.
-I do what I can, but my apartment is structurally kind of a dump, to the point where I don't even know where I'd begin caulking or anything like that as a line of defense.
-My landlord seriously isn't going to do anything about this besides maybe evict me if I insist he call an exterminator, because I can't afford one.
-I also can't afford to move. I'm working on saving for that, but I also don't want to take bugs with me, and/or leave bed bugs behind for the next guy, because that's rude.
-When the downstairs neighbors fogged the heck out of their apartment a couple of years ago, they were supposed to wait until we were out of our apartment up here to do so, but the only reason I wasn't in here when they fogged (and they over-fogged, which is dangerous) was because I happened to leave my apartment super early one morning. They told the guy who came to fog that no one lived upstairs. My landlord didn't care.
-In sum, I'm on my own to fix this issue.
Thank you in advance!
Could you post a picture of a bug? Try get it as clear and as close as possible so an expert can see if it is bat bugs or bed bugs. With that said the bugs from your neighbors apartment might start making their way over since there is no food next door for them. Perhaps you can try get some Cimexa and puff some along the shared pipes and electrical outlets in your home as this is how they like to travel. You can get some climb up interceptors for your beds and move the bed away from the wall. Keeping the bedding off the floor as well to prevent bugs from being able to enter your bed if they haven't already.
Is there any way you can get a PCO to come and inspect your home for free? Some companies will do that for free.
You can look up the laws regarding who is responsible for pest control. Most states say that the landlord has to treat and cannot evict you because of it.I'm not an expert. Just sharing what I learned from my experience.
Where do you live? The landlord tenant laws might require your landlord to provide treatment. You can can get damages if he/she threatens to evict you sometimes. Let me know where you live and I can try to look for a pro bono organization to help.
Hello again, and thank you for the replies. I've been insanely busy lately, preparing for my son's birthday and my upcoming divorce hearing, as well as battling these bugs, so I haven't been able to reply.
I'm in Michigan. My bed has been away from all walls since I first found out about this problem. However, I do not have a bed frame, just a box spring and mattress, both covered. I try to keep bedding off the floor, but I often wake up and one of my blankets is partially on the floor and it freaks me out.
I was not able to get a macro picture, but I found another bug in my bathroom today. (Joy!) I'm pretty certain it came from this pipe that runs through my bathroom and into this creepy cupboard behind my toilet that is screwed shut. I'll try to post a picture of that later today.
Anyway, as grossed out as I was, I held the nasty little thing up to the light and used a magnifier to examine it's head. From comparisons I've seen of bat bugs and bed bugs and their head shape and eye placement, etc., this is most definitely a bat bug. We do have bats in the walls, and twice a bat has gotten into my apartment. However, my neighbors a couple of years ago sent me a picture of their couch and it was absolutely infested. Will bat bugs do that? It was the most horrid thing I've ever seen.
Update: After I wrote this, I decided to call our local animal control, because bats are so common here, I figured they must provide the service needed at my apartment. They do. They also said I very likely am dealing with a bat bug issue, and that my landlord legally has to fix this issue. They told me their procedure in general, and said they also take care of the bugs. My landlord is downstairs cleaning, so I'm working up the nerve to go talk to him about it.
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