Lost Cause before the Fight??(5 posts)
Note:: This is quite long... but I am hoping someone will be kind enough to offer me some kind of advice.
[You can actually skip my preamble and scroll down to the Bolded area]
So, a few months ago (I would say around the beginning of June) I noticed I would receive "spontaneous rashes" in the middle of the day. Lo and behold I find two days ago (Friday afternoon)... bed bugs.
I suppose I would consider myself a prime candidate as I sleep in the basement of my parents house and my entire room is blanketed in darkness 24/7. I've been sleeping on the floor (with just a covered feather bed intended to avoid this problem) for upwards of 4 years next to walls and under windows as if i had a normal bed. I vacuumed normally (weekly?) around and under the "bed" and never thought I would get them until perhaps July... but since I saw no bugs I figured it was something else... (mainly an allergic reactions to tomatoes or from stress.)
Well, Friday afternoon a friend showed up to surprise me (birthday is soon)... When she arrived after my nap, I became frustrated at new "bites" and tore my whole "bed" apart. A few friends of mine battled from NY battled BBs in the past and I had looked up the information, so I knew what they were the instant I saw them. I have found one or two nymphs and perhaps 5 or so adults (assuming the best... I would be on generation 3?) Once I found them... I promptly burst into sobbing tears complete with hygienic panic (I have always showered three times a day, but saturday I'm pretty sure the water bill jumped an extra 40 bucks).
I knew this meant I would be spending the rest of forever "searching every nook and cranny in bed bug induced paranoia." Right now I am uncertain of how to continue.
-Start Here if you did not feel like reading the preamble-
Friday (before leaving as I had an event to attend) I bagged all my clothes/bedding items. Yesterday I washed and dried several items twice. I will be doing another wash/dry... with preventive bagging, hopefully today. My teddies have been through the dryer several times and will be getting vacuumed today. I threw out a nearby box I had been planning to use for storage (only eggs/poopies I've seen so far). I have thrown out the feather mattress, pillows and am preparing to take my king sized down comforter (currently bagged) to the cleaners ASAP.
I ran both a normal vacuum and hand vacuum (for the crevices) twice. I took a bottle of alcohol to the baseboards, walls, window sills (where i found another adult) and then re-vacuumed. I am also planning to ask the well-trusted handyman to help caulk the walls, carpet crevices... etc.
I have an enormous amount of items including a laptop, desktop, three monitors and a 40in television on an entertainment center complete with stereo and 5 set speakers. Several video game consoles, DVD, books (I am talking library amount)... Many items all squished into my one room. Most of these items are used weekly (I reread ALOT) and I highly doubt I can spend the time cleaning and rebagging them... I have commuter college and my parttime job.
I believe the BBs came from the large sum of clothes (from a deceased Great aunt who obviously was suffering from home hygienic issues before departing) that my aunt moved into the house where she, my mother and I currently reside. Another possibility are my two best friends both of whom's older brothers had BBs last year (and still might have them with no intent to fight.)
I normally do not allow people into my bedroom, but my best friends will obviously be upset when I inform them that neither of them are no longer allowed EVER because of the infestation... If I have to explain further it may cause a serious rift. (A few of my other friends have been over to help in the fight, I wish they wouldn't but they are trying very hard to be supportive by helping me clean and inviting me to leave the house after.)
Also... my aunt (who owns the residence) believe that if I simply start sleeping on a covered mattress, that the pests will go away, she refuses to help preferring to believe that BBs only live in straw-like mattresses and that they will stay wherever I am. (-____-) My mother is contributing by running away from me in bug induced panic.
~Possible future problems (during the battle)~
I rarely sleep (I'm usually up 2 days straight, such as now... habitual since childhood) and am recently out of the house save for my two hour naps every so often. So I am guessing I will have the "dormant problem." However, since I will be removing the curtains that keep my room dark the invaders might switch to a normal nightly schedule which coincides with my own mostly nocturnal schedule.
~Current preparation methods~
Parents are planning to purchase a full size mattress and mattress cover for me. I am planning to get a plastic shower curtain (hello kitty!) to place on the floor and isolate/protect? the bed. (Climb ups if I buy a headboard-less frame, possibly DE... if I can think of it and it's cost efficient it'll be done.) Aside from the caulking I definitely have to clean out the bookshelves and my one small dresser... they WILL be dusted with some form of DE and possibly steamed. I will be getting ziplocs for my drawer items (most of my clothes are actually hanging in a portable wardrobe which appears to not be infected, but will be getting climbups for preventive measures.)
For the most part I am depressed about the situation because I have sooo many items and things are set up in a VERY artistic manner that I now have to compromise for all eternity. Not that the artistry of my room is important enough alone to sacrifice the fight, but I feel honestly like I will be fighting a losing battle. (The abnormal amount clutter from my aunts house is still spread throughout the basement in the rooms adjacent to mine.)
Advice to offer? Please? T-T
(I'm going to shower and nap on the couch since "dinner time" is over.)
I would recommend you stay in your room, they will come looking for you. i washed my clothes in hot and showered and slept on the couch it took them 2-3 days to find me now the only place i can sleep is the bathtub with the shower doors closed and the vent fan on. Doesnt matter the time of day awake or asleep they will bite you.
Yep, I know that... I am the "bait." I spend time in my room at night doing classwork and playing video games sitting on the floor where ym bed used to me. (Also my laptop is still in here.) I'm hoping to tempt them to bite me while awake so I can nap bite free for one more day before the true battle begins.
IW: WOW! You have yourself a "situation", tough but not necessarily impossible. You've given us a lot of info, but there are some gaps, that we can only make assumptions about. Here are the facts, as I understand them.
You, student. Live with parents and extended family, in multi-story home. You believe that you have BB and have moved around the house and taken some steps to try and avoid. You and your family have lots of stuff and have difficulty parting with it.
If you have a BB infestation, this will require a significant undertaking, a plan and a leader. Who is the leader in your family? Who makes decisions and gets things done? Unless that's already you, this may not be the time to take over. A few "firsts", I'd do:
- Identify the leader of your family and have a serious discussion of how to deal with this.
- Get positive ID of BB. A note from an entomologist carries a lot more weight in this discussion. It would also be a waste to undertake a massive anti-BB-effort based on a false alarm.
- This may take a while. Develop a routine for keeping yourself from infesting your friends places and the places you go. Don't kick yourself for the times you goofed, but commit to improving your routine and following it "religiously". Speak with a medical professional (or your school nurse) on how to relieve the symptoms.
- A whole house infestation will likely require a pro. Does your family rent? What are the LL's obligations where you live? Does government where you live help out? Where is your family's leadership?
- Based on what I've read, you don't necessarily need to toss any specificthing (way too many people toss their beds un-necessarily and to the detriment of others and sometimes PCOs, for whatever reason, decline to treat certain items), but treatment often required uncluttering. You many need to sacrifice, but don't fret about it yet. Just get organized first as a family.
I don't know the extent of your infestation (if any), but it is generally not good to keep running around the house trying to find a place to sleep. It just risks spreading the bugs. Also note that bugs prefer feeding in the dark when you're not moving, but will go dormant for lack of food and/or come out whenever food is available.
Best of luck, we're with you.
Hello Cilecto and thanks for reading.
About your questions... my great aunt owns the residence and is the "leader" in the situation, but as I've said she has no plans to take precaution to the possible situation at hand. She believes it is a part of me being "dirty" because I am rarely home. She never goes into my room... she had no idea I even had a 40in Television until yesterday. As for the clutter, she also has no plan to part with any items from her departed sister (There are ALOT of items in the rooms surrounding my room. ) As for my own items, most of them are too expensive to depart with or they are part of collections that I've had since childhood. It's not enough that couldn't be bagged and stored... it's that I use the items too frequently for it to truly be effective.
I notice people are more focused on the fact that I took two naps in the living room. I've been spending the normal amount of time that I'm accustomed in my room. (Between 9am - 1pm is where my normal sleeping time occurs.) The only difference is that Saturday and Sunday I napped in the middle of the floor upstairs while I prepared myself for the coming battle. Since I've found the BBs I haven't deviated from sitting in the dark playing video games (which I normally do around this time if I am home) or anything else. I am more or less testing if the bugs are interested in mealtime while I'm awake.
I am more than certain what I found were bed bugs and if I find another I will gladly take a photo and upload it in case anyone else on here can make confirmation. As for myself I have not the funds nor the slightest idea where to begin with professional help.
I already have a minor routine. Washing/Drying clothes (I've taken to wearing mostly white), bagging them warm and leaving the items in the bathroom with no intent to return to my room before departing the house.) Other than this I am at a loss of how to prevent infesting others. I pretty much am already a germaphobic in reference to touching people and entering their homes so there's little problem there.
I do not believe there is an entire house infestation as my cousin frequently returns from college (he sleeps in the living room as well) and neither him, my mother nor my aunt have received any bites. My mother is hypersensitve... if she were being bitten, the entire world would know.
I had already assumed they were taking the dormant approach to me. I have not seen a bug since Saturday cleaning (I found one more.) so if naptime hits me today, it will be in my bedroom.
Anymore comments or ideas would be appreciated. I truly am concerned at still in wonder of how to handle things.
~Armed war during lights out.
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