Is it possible to be free of bed bugs in an infested building?(9 posts)
After several unpleasant months I'm cautiously optimistic that the problem in my apartment is actually solved. It's been three weeks since I last found a dead bug and even longer since I've seen any sign of a live one. I'm still vigilant, but I'm hopeful. Yesterday, though, I saw two live bugs and a dead one in the corridor next to the service elevator. (I killed them, of course.) This morning I noticed a few blood spots on the tiles, so there must have been more than just the ones I saw. Apparently, someone has been disposing of infested furniture without wrapping it properly. I often see discarded furniture, sometimes visibly infested, thrown out behind my building and it is *never* wrapped in plastic or marked, rarely destroyed. It terrifies me to think I might have to go through this whole nightmare again at anytime, simply because someone has dragged their old chesterfield down the hall outside my apartment, shedding tiny vampires in its wake. What's the point of all the laundering and steaming and vacuuming and weeping if a bug can just mosey in under my door at any moment and I wouldn't even know until it was too late? And what about going over to people's houses? My coat closet is just inside the door, so can I ever be certain that a bug hasn't wandered in there and set up shop my shoes or tucked itself away the pocket of my jacket? I've dusted some DE in the front hall, but other than that, what can I do? Will weather stripping around the bottom of the door help? Is there something I could spray regularly on the doorsill? I know you're not supposed to overuse the sprays, but I would certainly feel better.
Sorry this question has turned into a bit of a rant. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Here's what I have done: I put double sided mounting tape all around my door and dusted DE in the front of my door. All of my neighbors denied having them, but I know I brought them into my home from a friend's house. I would be careful with you shoes since they are in the hallway. Definitely use a hair blow dryer to kill any bugs in and around your shoe.
can you say more about using a hair dryer on shoes? i have never heard of this...
I'm dubious about the hair dryer too. I suspect that if a bed bug encounters targeted heat in an open area, it can simply run away.
My limited understanding of thermal treatment is that the heat has to be quite high and all over the home, so they have trouble escaping.
I heard about the hot dryer treatment at a bedbug conference. They said using a hot hair dryer was good for inspection, not treatment. If you aim a hot hair dryer on something, such as on a clock radio that was by the bed, the heat can drive the bedbugs out and you will know you have to throw it out. But they didn't claim it would get rid of bedbugs, just that it can help you detect them.
As for VaeMihi's question, I think the chances of permanently staying 100% free of bedbugs in a building where there is no building-wide treatment and treatment and prevention plan, is just about impossible. What you can do is try to keep the bedbugs from entering your unit, but if the bedbug population grows unchecked in the building, the upswell of starving bedbugs will eventually find you. They can enter through conduits that you cannot caulk, and through tiny cracks you cannot see.
parakeets - 6 hours ago »
I think the chances of permanently staying 100% free of bedbugs in a building where there is no building-wide treatment and treatment and prevention plan, is just about impossible.
I was afraid someone would say that. There doesn't seem to be much point in moving, though, since I know that people drag their infested furniture into the service elevator all the time. I think I'd be more likely to get re-infested trying to leave than staying and I can't afford to trash my stuff and start over. Also, I doubt I'd have any better luck anywhere else in this town.
I don't know if I would go so far as to say that there is no treatment plan *at all*, just not a very pro-active one. I really have no idea about the scale of the infestation in my building and I'm pretty sure the management doesn't either. They only treat when people complain and they don't inspect adjacent units, although sometimes they ask the neighbours if they've seen anything. (*sigh*) I know my problem was caused by the next-door neighbours, who were not co-operating with the treatment. (They've since moved and the empty apartment was treated together with mine.) My superintendent said that until they declare bed bugs a health hazard in Toronto, he won't be allowed to force people to co-operate. Does anyone happen to know if that's true? I'm certain he believes it, because he lives in the building, too, and is obviously worried about the bugs.
VaeMihi, I think they probably will not declare bedbugs a health hazard in Toronto. But they seem to be trying to find alternative ways, different mechanisms, to ensure rights of access and cooperation. The Toronto Public Health website says this:
If it becomes necessary, Toronto Public Health can issue a Health Protection Order, under the "Health Protection and Promotion Act", to ensure clean-up and treatment is completed.
In addition, there is now a central number in Toronto to call about bedbugs, 416-338-7600. I would call and ask for advice on your particular situation, if there is an apartment that is infested and not being treated, what remedies are available, etc. They may not have all the processes squared away (or the resources to do what is necessary), but you can try to figure out how far along they are in implementing these solutions (the project itself is very ambitious) and see if you can get some help. If nothing else, every call presumably helps to give them a picture of the scope of the problem.
Thanks, Renee! I think I'm going to have to call those people. It was moving day today and, despite the DE I put down in front of my door, I looked up at 7:30 this evening to see a bed bug crawling up the wall above my dining table. I'm so discouraged and depressed right now. This is obviously a 'reasonable enjoyment' issue, but it's not really my landlord that's to blame.
In the meantime, does anybody know of a more reliable way to keep them out than DE? I know that it can take up to ten days to kill them, so I don't want to have to rely on that. The one I killed this evening was a female, so I may have some more nasty surprises to deal with in two weeks' time. Also, I don't know how many of her friends she brought along.
I'm sorry to hear that you are seeing re-infestation from your building. That sucks.
I am in the market for a loft space in Toronto right now. The place I wanted has had bedbug trouble in the past, but has been vacant for a month and sprayed several times. Do you think it's safe to move in or should I avoid that building alltogether?
I'm doing a LOT of research right now, so if I come across anything that relates to your situation I'll post it here!
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