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I think I have a light infestation, I've had it treated, I'm still panicked.

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  1. dja322

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 13 2017 0:48:35
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    I feel like my life has been consumed by bed bugs for the last few weeks. I'm beyond ready for it to be over. But I feel like I haven't talked to anybody who actually knows what they're talking about except my exterminator, so I'm posting here for some reassurance I guess.

    Let me walk you through my situation:

    I graduated from college about four weeks ago. During graduation week, my roommate and I had a lot of family come in from out of town, and they were in and out of our apartment a lot. It was during this week that I found what I thought were three hives on my upper arm. I am allergic to everything, so I wasn't really shocked to have found a few hives on me. A few days after the hives showed up, I left the country for a graduation vacation. All in all, I was out of my apartment for maybe 9 days consecutively. My roommate was home off and on during this time, however.

    So I came back to my apartment on May 29th and took a quick nap before heading to work. After work, I went to a friends house, where I noticed three more hives on my forearm in a line. This friend of mine dog-sits regularly so I figured it was either hives or flea bites. I went back to my apartment that night and stayed in bed most of the next day working on my computer before going to my girlfriend's apartment later that night.

    Well, Wednesday afternoon, I was at lunch and noticed more "hives" on my forearms. At this point, the lightbulb went off and I thought about the possibility of bed bugs for the first time. Once I did the math, I realized that I was only getting these bites when I slept in my own apartment, so it must be bedbugs. I immediately scheduled an inspection with Terminix for that coming Saturday. I stayed out of the apartment for a couple of days, but returned on Friday night. I decided to check my mattress for signs of bed bugs before going to bed. At which point I saw a small, translucent bug run across my comforter. I reflexively squished it under my finger, but was sufficiently grossed out and slept in my roommate's room that night.

    The inspector arrived on Saturday morning. He was very nice and knowledgeable. He inspected my mattress and bed frame very thoroughly and said he could not see any signs. He noted, however, that since I had obviously been bitten by SOMETHING, I might want to do a preventative treatment. I told him I would let him know if I found any more bites.

    After he left, I felt extremely relieved and assumed I had simply been overreacting. Prior to the inspection, I had bagged up all my bed linens, pillows, etc. I opted to leave them bagged up for a while, but I did remove some of the items and laundered them. I also vacuumed my carpet and my mattress.

    I spent the next couple of nights at my girlfriend's apartment but returned to my place feeling VERY excited to sleep in my bed again on Monday or Tuesday. Because I can be a bit paranoid, I decided I'd check my bed one last time before putting the clean sheets back on. I was scrutinizing the seams around the edges of my mattress when I noticed two tiny, translucent bugs wriggling around in one corner. They looked just like the bug I squished the other day. I went into autopilot and ran to the kitchen for a tupperware container. I was able to catch one of the bugs and throw it in the box, but the other one fell off the bed, never to be seen again. I then decided to flip my mattress over to check the underside and BAM. There was an adult bedbug clinging to the bottom. I was able to capture it in the tupperware as well.

    I called my landlord first thing the next morning. He made me jump through a lot of hoops, and my super had to come see the bed bug for himself to prove to management that I did, indeed, have them. Well, I proved my case, and they informed me they would be sending a PCO on Thursday. In the meantime, my roommate and I both went to stay with our SO's.

    The guy from the Pest Control company called me with prep instructions. He basically said I needed to take all the clothes from my closet and drawers, bag them, and dry them on high heat. Same goes for the linens. But he noted that I didn't have to complete all of this before the first treatment.

    My roommate and I bagged up everything we could before he got there. I was actually in the middle of bagging the clothes in my closet when he arrived, and he somewhat nonchalantly told me he didn't really feel it was necessary for me to complete the task. He was extremely casual and confident and assured me that he would be able to eradicate the bugs for me. I asked him about the likelihood of them returning, and he said that in all his years in the business, he'd never had to return to the same apartment after completing an initial course of treatment. He said I would need to leave the apartment for 6 hours but could sleep in the bed again. He said he didn't feel it was necessary for me to dispose of my mattress, but I opted to do so anyway. He treated the whole apartment with chemicals. He told me that I might continue to see bugs and/or bites for the first couple days after treatment, but after that the activity should cease. He said by the time he returns for the follow-up in two weeks, I probably won't be seeing any further activity at all.

    I asked him if he thought it was a bad idea for me to leave the apartment for a few days for fear of the bugs spreading and he said it didn't matter. I returned to the apartment today for the first time since the extermination last Thursday. I took all the linens out of the bags and ran them in the dryer on high heat. I vacuumed EVERYTHING. It was an all-day ordeal and was utterly exhausting. The PCO had bagged mine and my roommates mattresses (I don't have a boxspring), so I just went ahead and had my super throw my mattress away.

    If you've read this far, I really appreciate your attention span. Basically, I'm sitting in my apartment as the dust settles and I just desperately need to unload all of this on SOMEONE.

    I'm worried about them coming back. I'm worried we missed something. I feel like the infestation must be pretty light since the first inspector didn't even find anything. I found no blood spots on the mattress, but my sheets are black, so there could have been blood on them without me noticing. I've tried to construct a timeline of sorts, and based on that, I think the one adult bedbug I caught got into my apartment during graduation week and probably laid eggs. Thankfully, I was on vacation for the following week and a half, so HOPEFULLY, the newly hatched nymphs were not able to feed regularly enough to be able to reproduce.

    At this point, I am very concerned about them spreading to other parts of my apartment (even though the whole place was chemically treated) and I am very concerned about them having spread to my girlfriend's apartment. It is worth noting that my roommate never saw any bites, and she found no signs of bugs in her room at all. My girlfriend has also found no evidence of bed bugs and has not found any bite marks. I had ordered some mattress covers on Amazon because of the price point, but the package was stolen from my front door. And now I'm thinking I may just go to Bed Bath and Beyond and pay the inordinate amount of money they are charging for them there. I am going to get one for my GF as well, so if anything HAD taken up residence in her mattress, we can trap them in there.

    I guess my main question at this point is "What now?"

    How do I help with the eradication? How will I know when they're gone? How can I ever feel safe again? Are my clothes safe after drying them all and vacuuming the drawers before putting them back in? Should I trust my PCO'S confidence in his ability to eradicate them all for good? My new mattress is slated to arrive tomorrow or the next day. Should I immediately encase it? Will it be safe to put it on my bed frame in the encasement?

    I want to hear from people who have been through this instead of reading alarmist articles on the internet. I really believe my infestation is fairly light and was concentrated in my mattress, which I eliminated. While I wait for my new mattress, I am sleeping on a blow-up in my living room. I will be interested to see if I incur any new bites while sleeping in another room.

    I am so ready for this to be over. If you have any wisdom to share, I would really appreciate it. I am anxiety-spiraling over this, and it makes me want to never set foot in this apartment again.

    Thanks for reading this long-winded post. This is what I am doing instead of sleeping.

  2. BattleoftheBug

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 13 2017 12:28:30
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    I think some of these PCOs must be very bad. Did the guy who came over even inspect your bed as well as you did? If you found the bugs so easily why didn't he? Did you watch what he did? The last time, a few weeks ago, the PCO our building has used for years came into my apartment and started spraying around before even asking me anything. I made him stop and listen to me. He inspected my bed then because I asked him to do it! I also had to ask him to spray inside a closet where I had seen the only sign of BBs. I rather doubt he has that much ability to get rid of bugs. Anyway, you saw signs of them so you need to go into battle mode. You should encase but and get ClimbUp Interceptors to place under the feet of your bed. I even got some XL ones to place under the feet of new new futon--and they are huge, look stupid, but there they stay until I'm satisfied I can remove them. They trap the bugs once they climb into them. They can't get up to your bed but they can't get out of the traps, either. They do. Do a search on that brand and you will see a picture of what they look like. Meanwhile, be vigilant and put your bedding into the dryer every couple of days until they stop biting you in your bed. No need to wash every time. I know how you feel. I am beside myself, too. Today I woke up with itchy spots on my legs because I have been spending time on my new futon after avoiding the LR for a month. I didn't sit on it before I put on the ClimbUps but had to allow my son-in-law to do so before they arrived while he put together a new TV stand for me. There was nowhere else for him to sit. I purchased a pillow for the futon at Walmart and saw it had on it what looked like a little "BB debris", a couple of tiny little "husks" that might have been shed skins--but bought it anyway as I knew I was going to put it in the dryer first. That I did and when I took it out, I noticed a tiny black thing that was halfway in and halfway out of the actual material of the gold-colored pillow. Not a seam but the actual material! I pulled it out and it didn't remind me of a BB so I used the pillow. That might have been my mistake. I am also completely exhausted and paranoid. My old body is actually crippled and in pain from spending a month in my isolated bed--although I did not receive any bites there. I tossed the sofa that I had when I started noticing the itchy spots on my skin--and it was a very nice sofa. I bought a futon in replacement because I thought I could inspect it more easily in case of trouble. I don't know. It is very, very difficult to deal with these bugs psychologically. I felt okay before I started itching and seeing what looked like bite marks on my body. Now I feel I am sinking into a depression and that I hate my apartment.

  3. BattleoftheBug

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 13 2017 12:30:01
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    I meant to write "they die" instead of "they do".

  4. Livingagain

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 13 2017 15:59:04
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    Just take it one step at a time. You're acting quickly, and doing the best you can. It's good he treated the whole house. Hopefully he did a great job and 2 treatments will be all you need. Sometimes liquid sprays need to be supplemented by dusts (Cimexa is the most effective of them) so if you have any trouble after he does his best you can get that and supplement his work. But hopefully you're good.

    Unfortunately this is a part of life now. It's such a new problem that all of us are trying to come to terms with it, and it's very upsetting, but you can do it! Our great grandparents dealt with it in the preDDT era with fewer tools than we have. It's hard work, but you can do it.

  5. bbmom

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Jun 16 2017 0:48:27
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    I agree with the poster, who said that it's strange that the first PCO didn't find any signs of bugs. Usually when bugs feed they poop, so there should be some fecal stains, although probably too few to notice. I am surprised you were able to so easily find newly hatched bugs and he didn't.

    It's great you got another PCO, who did the treatment and it's great they did the whole apartment, seems like they know what they are doing. Did they tell you when you can unpack and are they going to come back to check for any signs of infestation?

    I think if you are worried, you can also get climbups and put them under your bed's legs, if your infestation is localized the bugs would be caught there if they try to get out.


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