I possibly infested my apt, very nervous, saw a bug of some sort and am freaking(5 posts)
trying to keep a cool head, and sorry in advance for how long this is gonna be, but i don't want to omit any possible useful detail....
just returned from a trip to central europe, where i picked up bed bugs at a hostel my very first night abroad! i'm sure of that between the bites that i got and the bug i found crawling on the bed -- in daylight! I got rid of everything with a seam abroad -- I left my backpack, clothing, shoes, even eyeglass case in a parking lot (with a note on the bag in english and a lil picture hoping no other poor soul would pick up the infested bag!). I did keep some things -- like my diary and passport! -- but kept everything double-bagged (they didn't have ziplock type things there). All the new clothes i bought i also kept in separate bags. one of the bugs followed me (in my undies -- ewww and itch!), so i again chucked my clothes and flip-flops, just in case.
When i got back to the states, i put everything in garbage bags outside my folks house and went in butt-naked and straight to the shower. But then i was a lil not so smart. I took some stuff that i felt was "safe" out of its own bag and put them directly in the washing machine on hot. But i'm not sure how hot that machine gets -- it's not commercial. Then, i was sorting things on the porch and bam! found bugs in one of the bags. Double-bagged that bag immediately. But that was wholly unexpected for me. I thought i was being extra-careful, but not in any real threat. whoops. So then everything i was wearing went back in the dryer (but they honestly didn't feel that hot to me when i took them out, but then again, i don't know how much of a "cool down" cycle that dryer had). Everything that came home with me was bagged or immediately put into the wash/dryer 98% of the time. but am i correct in thinking they're sneakier than that -- that if you see one, there's tons more you're not seeing?? Everything that was even possibly unsafe was put into black trash bags and set out to roast in the sunniest spot on my folks lawn. Horray for heat waves.
Even the things i thought were safe -- that we washed, etc -- started to freak me out, so i put them in a black garbage bag at put them on the sunniest spot on my fire escape -- best i can do in the city.
I opened the black bag i had on sunday (yesterday) morning, after my dad told me the temps around the bags i had there had reached 130+ degrees. I figured my fire escape was just about as sunny and hot as it was there. I put that fire escape stuff in my bathroom, just in case, because my bathroom has the least fluffy stuff and tiles for easy smooshing and spotting (assuming they're not transparent from being unfed). I looked through the seams of the stuff and didn't see anything. I even tried to just put one of the things on my bed to "prove" to myself that I shouldn't be so scared.
Well, a little while later, i saw a bug in my bathroom sink drain. Now, it's summer and had i not had a bedbug scare, i wouldn't have thought twice about it. I couldn't get a picture and was too scared to leave it for long enough to get some tape or something to preserve it, so i rinsed it down the drain with lots of soap and water. the bug was about the size of a grain of rice, dark and uniform in color, with delicate legs and longish graceful antennae. I don't think the antennae were as long as the body of the bug. It looks, to my untrained eye, like directly in between what a typical bedbug and cockroach larva looks like.
All the stuff that was in that fire escape bag -- and any washable stuff in the bathroom -- is now in it's own bag and about to be washed hot as hell at the laundromat.
So, now i'm terrified i've brought them into my apt. I don't want to wait until i get a full-on infestation (and it makes my old bites itch at the thought of having that!). And i very well may be paranoid and it's not bedbugs at all. I'm thinking of checking my mattress seams daily, getting some neem oil and paying for my own exterminator to come in with one of those dogs, just to be sure. At this point, the infestation should be so low that just looking around might not really turn up anything, even by a professional, no?
I want to squelch this before it starts, if there's really any "it" to speak of. Am i missing something? Being too rattled and crazy over it? I really don't know the line to draw between crazy and cautious!
no not paranoid. if you have them in europe and are finding buggies here at your home i would do the dog . they can smell out 1 egg i understand. read the protocol here and follow it until you know you dont have them. i would assume i did until i knew for sure i didnt.
eepinbk - Your plan sounds pretty thorough, and if it were me (having gained enough paranoia to spill over into the next life after I took precautions and still spread BBs to a friend's house), I would follow through. I would ask yourself this: If I had the means to make pretty sure I didn't have bedbugs, would I expend the effort and money? Or would I save the money and always be a little stressed and nervous about it? I found out what my answer is. Best of luck.
here are photos of all 5 stages. I don't think they have "long graceful" antennae
Blue_Ox is right - the bug you saw in your apt may not be a bedbug. In which case, no need to freak, er, excessively.
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