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Is There Light at the End of This Dark Tunnel?

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  1. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 18 2016 16:28:11
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    I am taking to the internet to share my bed bug horror story. In hopes to find some empathy from others who are going through this same nightmare. Someone out there please tell me that there's an end/light at the end of this dark, actually pitch black, tunnel!

    I came back from vacation about 2 months ago, and within 2 days of returning my husband and I started to get bit. (Let me also preface this story as well by emphasizing how clean our apartment is, the mattress, headboard and box spring were new, and the building is only 1 year old!) So anyways, as a rational person I think these bites are just from mosquitoes. In conversation about these bites with my my mother in law, she asks if it could be bed bugs. To the disgusted thought of bed bugs, I responded in such shock and laughter, "Hah! BED BUGS? NO WAY". Fast forward a week more of getting bit occasionally, the thought started to grow bigger and bigger in my mind, "could it really be bed bugs"? I called in the professionals fast, and they did 3 weeks of consistent inspections with nothing coming up. They sprayed for fleas, just in case, and the week after that I slept like a baby. "At last, the problem was over, it was nothing" is what I told myself on a Sunday night. Then comes Monday (how I forever dread that Monday) because as I got ready for bed that night, I turned my pillow over and there in plain (disgusting brown) sight was a bed bug on my sheet. I could not believe it and totally freaked out. My husband thought I was over reacting but I had read enough horror stories online by that point to understand what a big issue this was! I called in the professionals and they treated 2 days later. On a side note, can we all agree the prep work required before a treatment is BEYOND labor intensive. I mean my God, washing/drying every piece of fabric in your house/closet? I must have done 20 loads of laundry. But I pushed myself through it knowing this will all be over soon! Treatment happened and I was told by my building that the issue has been resolved. Thanking God for this, I proceed for the next 6 hours with setting our place back up, and putting all my clothes back in the drawers and closets. Literally within 5 hours of putting it all back, to my utter shock, my husband spots a live crawling bed bug on the couch! I just start to cry at this point, like just a complete melt down. So much work had been done and mentally I was over this!!! Then to hear we need a second treatment and do it all over again. I just could not handle the stress. I left the apartment for an entire day just to unwind, I could not put more thought into this, but even if I tried, I couldn't help it. The stress and paranoia haunted me. But after taking a break I came back and started prepping the place alll over again. This time even more thoroughly than the first. So I kid you not, there are prob 50 sealead plastic bags sitting in my tiny 1 bedroom apartment right now. I mean literally, every thing we own that is not furntiure is practically in a bag. They're treating again today, and I am hoping/praying to God that this will be the end of it. But how do I know??? They are only using chemicals and not thermal treatment. I asked for them to heat the place up but they said being its in an apartment building, it would not be feasible. How long should I wait before unpacking my stuff again? Should I panic if I see another one after this?

    All of this has also resulted in your typical, paranoia, being constantly tied to a flashlight, social hermit, itching all the time, anxiety type of behavior. I can't live like this any longer, so please someone tell me there's hope!

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 18 2016 17:20:40
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    An eight week old bedbug problem would be kind of hard not to notice. Is it possible there is a problem in an adjacent apartment unit?

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  3. BugaMeBugaYou

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 18 2016 19:07:55
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    Totally second what Jim has said above about problems in another unit. TOTALLY POSSIBLE!! Ask around, and don't be embarrassed to either, you have a right to know if someone else in your building has a bug problem.

    Personally, I wouldn't panic if I saw a live few after a treatment now that I've read all I have. It would be normal for a couple to wander about and not at all an indicator that your treatment has failed.

    I know how intense the prep before treatment is, I've been going through that for the last week now in my house, with 3 kids and pets... I cannot tell you how much laundry we've done, on top of the normal stuff we use on a daily basis. It's insanely stressful. Anxiety is totally normal. You're not going crazy.

    Take it one day at a time. Try very hard not to look days, weeks, months into the future. That's where all the panic and being overwhelmed comes from. Slow down and take it a little at a time. It will get better. Treatments aren't instant magic wands sadly, they take a little bit to work. Try to be patient.

    I know it sucks really bad. The ick factor is impossible to get around. It's like head lice, anyone can get them or bed bugs, how clean you are doesn't matter.

    Try to hang in there, this too shall pass!

    I am a certified Herbalist, Aromatherapist, and Reiki Master Practitioner who is working toward a PhD in Natural Medicine but above all that I'm just a Mom obsessed with learning about Bed Bugs. Here to comfort and support some of the lost, panicked, and frantic until expert help can arrive.
  4. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 19 2016 10:52:11
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    jim danca - 17 hours ago  » 
    An eight week old bedbug problem would be kind of hard not to notice. Is it possible there is a problem in an adjacent apartment unit?

    Well, I had that thought to and asked my building at least 3 or 4 times, but they insist that it's just me. They are all convinced that it has come with me from travel (since the problem started 2 days after we returned). However, I did not stay in any hotels during my vacation, only with family. But who knows, they say it can also attach from other luggage at the airport.

    In the past 2 months I have seen a total of 4 bugs (all babies) and have seen no infestation anywhere. Is that normal? I mean the bites have been constant, but I or the exterminators can't find where they are hiding! We have of course inspected the mattress, box spring, surrounding furniture, under the carpet, etc.

  5. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 19 2016 11:04:15
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    BugaMeBugaYou - 15 hours ago  » 
    Totally second what Jim has said above about problems in another unit. TOTALLY POSSIBLE!! Ask around, and don't be embarrassed to either, you have a right to know if someone else in your building has a bug problem.
    Personally, I wouldn't panic if I saw a live few after a treatment now that I've read all I have. It would be normal for a couple to wander about and not at all an indicator that your treatment has failed.
    I know how intense the prep before treatment is, I've been going through that for the last week now in my house, with 3 kids and pets... I cannot tell you how much laundry we've done, on top of the normal stuff we use on a daily basis. It's insanely stressful. Anxiety is totally normal. You're not going crazy.
    Take it one day at a time. Try very hard not to look days, weeks, months into the future. That's where all the panic and being overwhelmed comes from. Slow down and take it a little at a time. It will get better. Treatments aren't instant magic wands sadly, they take a little bit to work. Try to be patient.
    I know it sucks really bad. The ick factor is impossible to get around. It's like head lice, anyone can get them or bed bugs, how clean you are doesn't matter.
    Try to hang in there, this too shall pass!

    Thank you so much for your supportive words! I hate to know that someone else, like yourself, is going through this same bizarre issue, but it's comforting to know that there are others that can relate! But yes, the laundry on top of the daily clothes use, is insane to manage! It's just me and my husband that I have been dealing with, so major kudos to you for managing this with a larger family! It's definitely overwhelming! I am trying to take it day by day but after all the stories I have read, I can't help but to think this will affect me forever :(. I love to host gatherings at our place, I'm talking every major holiday/occasion, now I'm worried I'll never be able to have anyone over in fear of them getting cursed with this monstrosity as well.

  6. Nicoleslaw

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 19 2016 11:20:16
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    Right there with you! We're going on treatment five today.... It is incredibly stressful, but I promise you will survive. After finding we had bed bugs and talking with friends about it--you find out everyone has had them at some point! They survived and you will too.

    We've just been keeping all our stuff bagged and the apartment as prepped for treatment as possible to make it easier on ourselves. General rule of thumb seems that you should wait 2-3 months without bites or bugs before breathing a sigh of relief--I know that sounds like a super long time, but I have found that being as realistic as possible and trying really hard not to get my hopes up has helped me mentally in this. We like to entertain a lot too and sadly that has ended for the time being. But I mean, you do what you gotta do. I keep reminding myself it could be worse, because it could be. It's a good sign that you've found so few bugs! Or I mean, what if it was a spider infestation *shudder*

  7. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 19 2016 17:29:07
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    Nicoleslaw - 6 hours ago  » 
    Right there with you! We're going on treatment five today.... It is incredibly stressful, but I promise you will survive. After finding we had bed bugs and talking with friends about it--you find out everyone has had them at some point! They survived and you will too.
    We've just been keeping all our stuff bagged and the apartment as prepped for treatment as possible to make it easier on ourselves. General rule of thumb seems that you should wait 2-3 months without bites or bugs before breathing a sigh of relief--I know that sounds like a super long time, but I have found that being as realistic as possible and trying really hard not to get my hopes up has helped me mentally in this. We like to entertain a lot too and sadly that has ended for the time being. But I mean, you do what you gotta do. I keep reminding myself it could be worse, because it could be. It's a good sign that you've found so few bugs! Or I mean, what if it was a spider infestation *shudder*

    Wow, fifth treatment!? I may go completely mad by that point. May I ask how serious your infestation was? Because like I said in an earlier post, I have only seen 4 bugs, and am wondering if that could mean I am only dealing with a minor infestation.

  8. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 19 2016 17:32:00
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    *Update*

    They completed their second treatment yesterday. I was bothered how none of my couch cushions or mattress was removed during their treatment. Solely because this made me doubt how thorough they were. However, he insisted they treated the whole apartment. He referenced using a fogger with some type of chemical - is this something normal used to treat? Because from my research, your typical foggers do not work on bed bugs.

    Anyhow, the exterminator said he feels "confident that this treatment will do the trick". Is that a line you've all heard (but doesn't really mean anything) in your experience?

  9. jim danca

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 19 2016 18:35:48
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    Fogging is a bad strategy for bedbugs.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 20 2016 2:15:53
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    In the past 2 months I have seen a total of 4 bugs (all babies) and have seen no infestation anywhere.

    Who did the ID on those? Other pests like book lice are commonly mistaken for baby bed bugs, so it's worth getting an expert ID if you haven't. You can post anything you find here.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  11. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 20 2016 16:21:24
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    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 

    In the past 2 months I have seen a total of 4 bugs (all babies) and have seen no infestation anywhere.

    Who did the ID on those? Other pests like book lice are commonly mistaken for baby bed bugs, so it's worth getting an expert ID if you haven't. You can post anything you find here.

    No, it's most definitely bed bugs. Each one I have found, I have swiped up in a ziplock bag to have professionals confirm. Plus since they have all been babies, I can see their bellies filled with our blood *gross*.

  12. bbyousuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 20 2016 16:23:10
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    jim danca - 21 hours ago  » 
    Fogging is a bad strategy for bedbugs.

    Yea, that's what I have read too! However, being that a professional exterminator is conducting this fogging/spraying of "chemical", I am assuming that it's more than your typical fogger, don't you think?

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Jan 21 2016 1:33:29
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    We've heard of professionals using fogging (eg with cedar oil) and experts here have agreed this is unlikely to work. Without knowing what they're using or how it's delivered, it may be difficult to say more.

  14. hinny

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Jan 21 2016 11:08:27
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    Just wanted to say to bbyousuck--hang in there. I had 6 treatments over less than 2 weeks, because more bugs kept appearing after the first 4. For a week I slept in a bug-proof tent in the bedroom to insure that bugs wouldn't leave the room. I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before, and I have no idea where these things came from. (Signs point to my neighbor, who got bitten a month before I saw mine, didn't tell the building, and treated them herself--"They all gone now, so it must be your fault!" Very unpleasant.)

    In any case, I'm now starting to take some of my stuff out of plastic bags, very gingerly; throwing out a bunch of stuff, as well; and leaving some things in bags for the next month or two. Praying that when the dog comes back to inspect for a third time in a few weeks, all will still be clean. I'm having the bedroom re-painted. Life is starting to get back to normal, and you will experience this, too. It's very hard to be calm and patient, I know.

  15. bbyousuck

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Jan 26 2016 10:30:05
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    *Update*

    It has been 1 week since our second treatment, and on day 6 I found a live adult, female, bed bug in our living room. This has been the biggest one I have seen so far! I emailed our Building Manager and this was his response:

    "I spoke with the technician and he confirmed this is typical. He went into a lot of technical terms but bottom line the chemical they use is a nerve agent that does not allow them to reproduce and ultimately kills the existing bugs. He said they will recheck next week but by law they can only treat every 3 weeks. He was able to do this last week due to the fact he was unable to treat the entire apartment the first time. Please continue to monitor this and keep us informed. I know this is a frustrating matter but at this point we have done all we can do at the current moment."

    Thoughts on the situation???


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