I might be free!(16 posts)
I don't want to speak too early ...
I moved into my new apartment last night (after thoroughly checking it and my mum's house that I was staying at for bed bugs). I was very careful, everything was in plastic boxes after being hand checked by me. I sprayed lots of Mortein around too (which was the only brand in the supermarket that had bed bugs listed on the side).
I still have to unpack lots of things and I am certainly worried a little that a bug might have stowed away inside the keyboard or mouse (despite drowning them in spray) or the computer or inside one of my books (even though I checked them really carefully).
But for now I'm free. I slept a full 5 hours last night, haha. I was literally waking every half hour to throw back the sheets and look and see - no bugs, no blood spots, no bite marks, nothing. It was an eerie experience.
Let's hope it continues.
I have yet to recover my bond from the last place and still have to take them to court for breaking the contract in half a dozen places for not even trying to treat the bugs, then doing a half-ass job.
Good luck BBVPA!
It has been one week now.
I bought white bed sheets a week ago so I can inspect them for blood spots. I've found nothing so far. And yesterday as a one week anniversary I tipped my bed over and checked and found nothing, but sprayed it all anyway.
I've been checking my legs for bites every day and hadn't found any except the old ones which were healing.
UNTIL TODAY! ARGH!
There's a small spot near my ankle that has lots of dried blood. I've been scratching it the past few days because it was really itchy. The worst thing is: I don't know for sure if it's bugs or what! It's been cold here the past few days so I've been using a small heater on my feet a lot. And I usually get eczema in that exact spot.
But I thought for 5 months stuff like that was my eczema. So I don't want to make the same mistake again. If it's bites, it looks like I was bit about 9 times. So I don't know - heat, scratching, eczema, bites (old or new). It's impossible to tell!
I went on a wild spree spraying bug spray all over the place just in case. The spray I use has silicon in it which is like DE and should have some effect.
I'm thinking of if it was bugs how it could have happened. I don't think they're in the bed - I checked, and there were no blood spots. My shoes I had put in the dryer (and sprayed again today). If it was bugs, could it have happened at work? Could they have come out from a book and bit me while I was using the computer I've set up in my living room?
I simply don't know.
My strategy is: resist scratching, use moisturizer, see if I get more bloody marks (which will mean bed bugs), and keep checking under everything for signs (bugs, spots, and eggs).
I do feel calmer than the first time though. If they're here, they'll be starting small, and I'll find and deal with them early. On the other hand, this place has a wood ceiling that isn't sealed and provides lots of nooks and crannies for them that couldn't ever be sprayed. So that worries me. Also I'm broke, I've maxed out my credit card from moving, even after getting the limit extended.
Let's hope it's just a false alarm.
Perth, you mentioned spraying your keyboard and mouse. Bedbugs and eggs could still be inside them, untouched by spray. They would have to cross the dried residual from the spray to get out, but I wouldn't rely on that. The same applies to your computer and monitor, which are full of crannies in which bedbugs could hide. Bedbugs might also hide in plugs on cables.
Dry heat at 120F would kill them if you want to risk damaging the equipment. The heat would have to fully penetrate the interior, and then by maintained for a long enough time. A professional heating chamber would be the only reliable way to avoid excessive heat. Even then there might be damage to the equipment.
Otherwise all you can do is junk the equipment in a bedbug safe manner, or double bag it for 18 months.
As for books, it may be impossible to spot bedbug nymphs or eggs in the spine of hard cover books. Dry heat in a professional heating chamber, as mentioned above, is the only reliable way, and even then it could melt the glue in the spine.
As for looking in a supermarket for bedbug spray, it would be better to take the time to get a spray used by PCOs. It can be ordered by mail.
It doesn't seem to me as if you did a good enough prep for your move. You may have introduced bedbugs into your new apartment house - and to your new neighbors.
Before you moved, you should have had a competent PCO check your prep to be sure it was done properly.
I know it costs money, especially hiring a competent PCO and discarding a computer. But it's the same as any other serious health problem. Money MUST be spent to obtain a cure.
Bedbug treatment is no place for penny pinching.
> It doesn't seem to me as if you did a good enough prep for your move. You may have
> introduced bedbugs into your new apartment house - and to your new neighbors.
With one bedroom of stuff:
- Threw away everything high risk (furniture)
- Washed on hot and dry-cleaned and zip-locked everything
- Hand checked everything else, wiped it down, and sealed into plastic boxes (including the cables, drowned the keyboard/mouse I don't think anything could have survived it, took the computer apart, left rings of DE around the monitor for a week while sleeping beside it and nothing came out)
- Sprayed EVERYTHING as an added measure (best legal spray here for non-PCOs, spray includes DE, Australia is very strict on who can get what chemicals)
It took 3 full days of back-breaking work. Then I did it all again when unpacking! If I took bugs with me, then damn it it was unavoidable. I did the best that anyone could.
> Before you moved, you should have had a competent PCO check your prep to be sure it
> was done properly.
As typical the landlord hired a shitty PCO and I had to do everything myself. But I think there's only one competent PCO in my whole state anyway - I faxed 9 others and they didn't even bother to respond. The other is right but not feasible - tossing away everything to get a guarantee can't be the answer.
> Bedbug treatment is no place for penny pinching.
It cost me a month of being homeless and $2500 in moving costs (which needed me to get an extension on my credit card). It's not what I'd call penny pinching.
BBvictiminPerth - As you've already indicated, there's no way of knowing at this point if your skin problems are due to active, live bedbugs or not. I can't tell you how much trouble my noncompliant skin has cost me (as long as it's not really BBs, which I just can't imagine).
I think the thing about moving is this - It's very difficult to move without bringing some bugs. If that happens, however, everyone who took good precautions is in a much, much better position to swiftly deal the final knockout blows (assuming transport of a few rogue bugs, and not a source of reinfestation is the problem). I mean, you left a situation where the bugs had a huge head start, and now you've got the upper hand. I say this not just to you, but to everyone who worked very hard to move clean and maybe didn't quite make it. Now you have a great chance of final success. Launch your one last bedbug D-Day (not you, BBvictim, you don't know yet). My reasoning is, it's a lot easier to kill, like, 20 bugs than it is 200.
I sure hope your right about knocking them out. I just got peppered with bites in my new place and I moved into a new place in March/08 after going 11 months without receiving any bites.
Bugged-out, sorry to hear you've got them again. It seems that your new place was seriously infected when you moved in.
Here's a thought on moving. When moving to a new residence and you didn't have bedbugs before, it would be a good idea to put most of your things in storage for a month. Take just the absolute minimum into the new place at first. Buy a cheap air mattress, cheap lawn furniture, a small-screen TV, etc. (But nothing used!)
If the new place turns out to be bugged, you can abandon the things there and find another place to stay.
If there are no bites for a month, it will be safe to bring all your other things in. In fact, the first night might tell the story - but allow longer to be sure.
This will cost a few hundred dollars. But it's worth it. It could be regarded as insurance.
I won't get into the landlord issue - breaking a lease, etc. That's another problem. But as I've said before, the leasing of residential property should be against the law. A person should feel secure in his home, and not worry about what new clauses his landlord might put in the lease when it comes up for renewal. It's a matter of human rights that should be dealt with by national legislation.
With regard to my last post on this thread, furniture and other things put in storage should, of course, be bagged or wrapped to keep bedbugs out. Contractors bags and thick sheet plastic would be advisable - the things may be handled rather roughly when being moved.
Regular furniture-storage warehouses may have bedbugs in some of the furniture already stored there. So it might seem better to rent a private garage (or empty store, etc.) for the temporary storage -- it is less likely to have bedbugs. However, this is not advisable because there will not be the insurance that a regular storage warehouse has to have, and warehousing laws might not apply.
Also, bear in mind that the truck which moves your stuff to the storage place might have bedbugs, especially if it is a regular moving van. So that is a further need for wrapping to keep out the bugs.
Here's another thought about moving from a bedbug-free residence. One member of the family could do the camping out in the new place. The rest of the family would remain at the earlier, bedbug-free, residence. After a month, the rest of the family could move to the new place if it is bedbug free. This would eliminate the need for storage.
It would mean paying rent for two residences for one month. But it's worth it to find out if the new place is a bedbug hell. That could mean another move if the new place cannot be cleaned up quickly (including neighboring apartments). Sometimes landlords drag their feet on bedbug elimination.
A person living alone could also do the camping out bit when moving to a new place.
Bugged-out: Sorry to be a downer, but obviously, you need to investigate if your new building has had BB incidence(s). If single family home, possibly same issue. I am not the only who notices there is a possibility that you have moved into a structure with a bedbug history. Best of luck! People have beaten them in multi-unit dwellings.
bugless: That sounds like very solid advice for moving, unfortunately I went 7 months in my old place with out any bites (though, that's where I first encountered them) and have been in my new place for 4 months and only began to get bitten on 4/July (hooray!). If I'm forced to move again, I certainly plan on taking your suggestion.
FoF: It's a multi-unit house. The people that live above me moved in a month after I did, so they've been there for 3 months. Which really confuses me as to where they came from. As for the place having a history, again I don't know. The landlord just bought the place and renovated it and rented it out. So I doubt he knows and probably wouldn't tell me even if he did.
Just an update, no new bites in the past week, suggesting that the previous area might just have been bad skin. Fingers crossed, and going to do a full inspection again this weekend.
Still no sign of bugs. It's been a good few weeks now. I can even sleep almost normally, aside from pulling my bed apart every few days, and inspecting every dark piece of fluff on the floor.
I'll be on TV tonight here in Australia, telling others about the story. My court case is going to trial next Wednesday - which will be make or break time. Time to put all my evidence and hard work and legislative experience into one big push to win one for myself and all other Western Australian renters out there!
I looked really good on TV (except it's time to diet) and the producer cut it together very well - luckily me and the expert had shirts and ties on and looked like we really knew what we were talking about.
I think it promoted some awareness of bed bugs and the law suit.
Good for you! I love awareness. No video link, huh?
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