Long story, everyone thinks I'm crazy, please help!!(8 posts)
I'm new here, and this is my first post so I hope I'm putting it in the right spot. I need lots of advice. I moved about three weeks ago into a new apartment in the same building. I found out four days before I moved that I had bedbugs in my old place. I had been getting some mysterious splotches for several months, but I had never considered bed bugs. My splotches were smallish, raised, irregularly shaped, not very itchy, reddish bumps that appeared at various times. They appeared maybe one or two every week, and then increased towards the end to one or two a day. I had been diagnosed with hives, but I couldn't figure out what I was allergic to. Anyways, four days before I was scheduled to move, I found a dead bed bug. I did some research and was horrified at the results. I realized I had to tell my landlord, so I showed him the bug I had found. He told me to not worry, it wasn't a bed bug, he had seen them before in a different building and they were so small you could hardly see them. He said that if I had bed bugs I would have bites all over my arms in lines. He kept the bug to show a PCO who was coming in to spray for other creepy crawlies. I hoped (prayed) that he was right, but I went back to the internet and still felt worried. All my family/friends agreed with my landlord that I was paranoid. The next day I found what I believe to be a first instar nymph. I could hardly see it moving across my pillow- I again showed it to my landlord. I explained that I was very concerned about moving upstairs and spreading the bugs, and that I was extremely concerned for the new person moving into my old unit. He told me again to not worry, it was not a bed bug, they were not clear colored. He is actually a very attentive and nice landlord, and was trying to reassure me, but it wasn't working since I had obviously done much more research. He told me I was worrying too much, but he would keep the bugs to show the PCO. Having no choice, I made the move to the new place. Thanks to the wonderful info on this site I did my very very best to not bring them with me to the new place, but I could not afford to replace everything. I washed/dryed all fabric on hot and put them in plastic bags, I took things to the drycleaners, I tossed things that were extremely questionable (about half my posessions), I inspected carefully every single thing that was going upstairs and took it right upstairs after inspection. I took very little furniture, but what I took was inspected, vaccumed, steamed, and sprayed. All my appliances are in plastic bags in my car, as well as all my shoes and books I had right next to the bed, and they are staying there for an indefinate amount of time. Maybe 18 months, maybe after the hot summer, maybe tossed. I removed my shoes before entering the new place as I was moving, and I tried to stay upstairs for as little time as possible and changed clothes frequently. It took three days of non stop work.
I know that despite my best efforts I probably brought something upstairs with me. And since I'm still in the same building I know my chances of reinfestation are high. So again with the great info on this site I have put up all kinds of defenses in the new apt. I have isolated the bed, encased the mattress and boxsprings in allerzips (before I brought them from downstairs) and placed the metal frame on plastic risers. I did have a scare when I found a microtear in the encasment of the box spring, which I sealed with about a half roll of duct tape and some super glue. I will probably replace the bed when I move to a new building. I have been steaming, spraying bedlam, and I just recently dusted a light coating of DE in the cracks and crevices. I have had no splotches since the move, and have seen no bed bug evidence (fecal spots, etc.) I have had a million false alarms: fuzzies I thought were moving, and several skin things that seem very different from what I was getting before. I have read that people's reactions can change, but I feel that would be quite a coincidence that my reactions changed at the same time as the move? Thoughts? Three weeks I know is not long enough to know, but how long is? My landlord definately thinks I'm crazy, as do most of my family and friends, so I am really in need of support. I think my landlord would call a PCO if he really thought there was a problem, but I don't think he gets it. What can I do to convince him that there is a problem in the building? I am afraid that if I send out an anonymous flier, or talk to neighbors he will know that it's me and convince everyone I am crazy. The other thing I am concerned about are my neighbors... I know that some of my old neighbors downstairs were very against the building spraying against other pests, roaches, etc. I am afraid that if I got the bugs from them, or if they got the bugs from me they won't notify the management and will refuse treatment. Then today I went to the laundry room to wash another load of bedding and I ran into a girl leaving with all of her bedding from the dryer. All of the washers were set to hot, and I found a plastic garbage bag and several zip locks in the laundry room trash. Suspicious. Does everyone think that my measures have been good? I did purchase some delta dust as well as the DE, but I am really afraid to apply pesticides myself. Is delta dust effective against bed bugs? I would love to have a PCO in to treat, but I am not sure what it is going to take to convince my landlord that I need one!! Help! When do you think that I can start putting away my clothes, replacing things, etc? I tossed out my old tv because it was right next to the bed, and sealed up my books in the car. I need something to do in my apt besides look for bugs and check this website from my cell phone!! Also, I threw out my old vaccuum because it didn't have a bag. Is this something I should be replacing asap? How much does vaccuuming help? All this stuff is getting very expensive. Any help/ advice, would be appreciated. Thanks again for this great site.
No landlord wants to create a panic in their building or spend the amount of money it cost for a bed bug treatment. Now with that said, it will be impossible for us to know if it in fact was a bed bug, or maybe another kind of pest. It does seem coincidental, that your bites stooped soon after you moved. Depending on what state you live in, if you have a specimen don't give it to your landlord, call your local health department they should send and inspector over (well atleast thats how they do it in NY).
I wouldn't get paranoid about people bringing their bedding in garbage bags to the laundry room. Thats how my parents did their laundry for years. You shouldn't live in fear, but be aware of your surroundings. If you feel like your getting bites either take pictures, or go to a a couple of different PCO's and take the bug to them (don't hint at what you think it is)
I hope I helped you in some sort of way!
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Thanks, Face! You are right, I should have held on to the bugs I found. At the time giving them to my landlord seemed like the right thing to do. The larger bug I found was definately a bed bug. Brown, flat, size and shape of appleseed, found crushed in my sheets when I woke up. The small one I found was clear colored, tiny, and moving across my pillow.I wish that they were anything else, but I think that would be denial...
Of course you're feeling paranoid right now. Anyone who has been through this does, it comes with the territory.
I keep a flashlight and a roll of clear packing tape next to my bed. If I see a bug, I nab it with the tape and fold it in, sealing it but leaving it intact so it's easy to identify. Head down to an office supply store and buy a roll for $3-4, you'll eventually use it anyway for something else even if you never see another bug.
Good idea, I will try that. In other news I think I got a bite today... Which dashes all my hopes of having won the bedbug lottery of moving without them. I am totally devestated. I am afraid that convincing my landlord is going to be impossible not sure what to do
What state do you live in? If you live in NY and call 311, they will send the inspector out and write your landlord a violation. Sadly the health department will only require that your landlord furnish a receipt that an exterminator was there.
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I'm in Chicago. I guess I need to check on what the laws are...
I KNOW WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH . 6 WEEKS AGO MY NIGHTMARE STARTED WHEN I BROUGHT IN A NIGHT STAND I WAS SO LUCKY TO FIND ON THE STREET. I CHECKED IT OUT BUT I DIDNT SEE ANYTHING. SHOULD HAVE CHECKED IT BETTER. ON THE THIRD NITE IS WHEN I WENT ON THE MENU. I DIDNT KNOW WHAT THESE ITCHY WELTS WERE .ON DAY FIVE I WENT TO THE DOCTORS AND WAS TOLD I HAD SCABIES. DID THE TREATMENT AND ON DAY 10 ONCE AGAIN I WAS THE MIDNIGHT BUFFET. THATS WHEN I BEGAN TO HUNT..SURE ENOUGH I FOUND 4 BEHIND MY HEADBOARD. I SATURATED MY HEADBOARD AND THE NITE STAND AND ANY THING ELSE AROUND. DAY 13 AN HERE WE GO AGAIN AND THIS TIME ON MY FACE AND EAR. WELL I RIPPED OUT MY RUG AND THREW OUT MY BED AND HEADBOARD AND THAT SO PRETTY NITE STAND FROM HELL AND ANY THING ELSE NEARBY. I DID TONS OF LAUNDRY AND AND FELT GOOD. BUT STILL HAVING DOUBTS ON DAY 28 I RENTED A K9 P.I. HE CAME IN AND SNIFFED EVERYWHERE AND GUESS WHAT... I STILL HAD THEM IN MY BEDROOM AND IN THE NEXT BEDROOM. I MADE AN APPOINTMENT RIGHT AWAY WITH A COMPANY WHO DOES IT WITH HEAT AND YOU DONT HAVE TO GET RID OF ANYTHING .DAY 36 THEY WERE ON THE MENU.
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