moved without the bugs(5 posts)
I'm almost afraid to "speak too soon" because it's just been 6 weeks since moving, but I'm finally at this point fairly confident that we moved without bringing any unwanted extra household members!
We lived in a small house style city apartment building with 6 units, on the top floor.
In the spring last year sometime, unbeknown to us, our neighbors in the unit below, with the father who travels on business regularly, got an infestation of bed bugs, and the maintenance man set off fogger bombs in their apt to get rid of them.
In Sept, they'd spread to other apts in the bldg, including we found 2 bugs in our apt on 2 separate occasions in Sept, and I was definitely bitten at least 4-5 times over a period of a couple of months between August & October.
During the period of August through November, a great deal of furniture was being put out for discarding on our street. (Several of our fellow tenants visited other people in other houses on the street.)
Terminex started visiting for treatments in Sept. They came 3 times altogether.
We never found any evidence of harborages inside our apt. Just the 2 bugs and having been bitten.
This is despite meticulous cleaning & inspection by my husband & I. Plus, 4 inspections by 3 different Terminex technicians.
If they were nesting inside the apt, we don't know where.
Terminex had doused the sofa with pesticides, and gave us encasement for the bed.
We followed all the Terminex instructions, and all the instructions and advice I found on this web site.
Constant vacuuming, absence of all clutter, everything was laundered, sealed in bags.
We laundered much of the cloth stuff & put it into my husband's storage unit.
All clothing & cloth items used on a regular basis were kept always in plastic rubbish bags. They came from the laundromat in plastic bags, and would go back into plastic bags after wearing them.
We never wore clothing out that had been worn inside the apartment. Fresh outside clothes were put on just before leaving, and taken off & bagged immediately upon return.
We boxed & bagged all my belongings that couldn't be meticulously inspected & wet-washed, like books, memorabilia, mementos, some electronic/computer equipment, etc, and moved them to my family's uninhabited fishing cabin & treated my room we'd stayed in during the summer during our bldg's infestation, with all my stuff brought into it, and used NUVAN strips to fumigate. We followed the instructions TO THE LETTER for the Nuvan, no one was even visiting this cabin during this time period except us. We measured the room to use just the right amount of strips for the cubic space. Everything was unpacked and set around the room loosely. Everything was kept there for 2 months. Whenever we went there (about 4 times we made trips), we spent no more than 10-15 minutes in the room only 2-5 minutes at a time, and no more than a hour in the cabin itself.
In early December we moved to a single family house with a washer & dryer, 4 days after the last Terminex treatment, and a month after not having any reason to think there were bed bugs in the apt (our apt on the 3rd floor, the apt still reporting bugs on the 1st floor on the other side of the bldg)
The house has all hardwood floors on the 1st floor, and berber carpeting in 2 bedrooms upstairs.
Everything that was packed from the apartment was meticulously inspected & cleaned, vacuumed etc.
All laundry was kept bagged in sealed contractor bags until laundered freshly.
Everything nuvan fumigated for 2 months taken from the cabin was meticulously inspected before being brought to the house. (I still have stuff stored there because we were not able to get it all before the road became impassable for winter.)
We did NOT bring the bed or sofa, nor any upholstered furniture from the apartment.
The beds & furniture we have now had been in my husband's storage unit for over a year, and there was no reason to think they had been compromised.
My good quality antique wood bedroom furniture, desks, etc, were all treated with pesticides 3 times between Sept & Dec, and showed no sign of bed bugs.
My upholstered desk chair was fumigated at the cabin with the rest of my stuff for 2 months.
The pieces of cat furniture had been treated with pesticide & vacuumed over & over.
Before moving, I treated the perimeters & baseboards of both bedrooms with food grade diatamaceous earth, using the extensive advice I found about using DE on this web site and others. The application was done 2 days before moving in, and I wore a mask while doing so.
After moving in, I applied DE around where the bed legs meet the floor in the bedrooms, and underneath the wood furniture drawer style night stands.
Our sofa (that had been in storage for a year) is not upholstered, it's a wood sofa with pillow cushions.
We have just one upholstered recliner that nobody really sits on much except for the cats (this had also been in storage & never in the apt bldg).
In the bedroom, I keep my small plush animal collection (which was laundered in the washer & dryer twice), far away from the bed up on a shelf.
I check the bed daily. I check under the bed regularly.
I really couldn't be more hyper-vigilant about checking for signs since this all started. And I'm only just now beginning to relax, 6 weeks since moving.
Thus far, I have not seen a bug since September. Have seen no signs of bugs since then in the apt. Have seen nothing in the house since moving 6 weeks ago (early Dec) to make me think there are any bugs here.
And I haven't had any skin reactions in 3 weeks - nothing I could even imagine could be bites. I twice had what could have been bites just after moving... But I've long been convinced what I read is true - that it could take a couple of weeks for bites to show up after the fact. So I'm pretty confident either they were not bites, or they were bites from before moving.
At the very least, I'm now at least feeling that if it does turn out that we brought any with us... There will sure be some sign soon, since there should've been by now. And if that is the case, it being a single family house, we have control of the whole structure, & being forewarned and prepared, we will be able to successfully deal with the problem should it re-occur here.
Disclaimer: I'm not advocating or advertising the use of Nuvan or DE, as I'm sure they may not be the right choices for everyone in every situation. I did a lot of research to decide how to go about this situation, & used these things carefully in the way that made sense for our situation, following instructions to the letter.
I must stress that Nuvan is NOT supposed to be used in any structure being lived in or occupied, and our use of it was strictly in our unoccupied cabin. The only other person who may have gone there was informed of what we were doing. And just in case of someone else going there, or unauthorized entry by persons unknown, we put up a sign on the door with the information about the cabin being fumigated, and we had the door to the bedroom where it was duck taped shut!
If anything develops, I'll be back to report.
If nothing develops, I'll report back in a couple of months to confirm that as well.
In the meantime, I'm trying very hard to relax about this now, and not keep driving my husband batty with paranoia! LOL
I'm also trying very hard to get over the feeling of the stigma of this whole situation.
Good luck to all.
Hope my story gives someone hope, ideas, or something.
You are not alone.
Congrats on moving without bugs! It seems you keep monitoring, so you're in good shape
Yes, I don't think I'll ever really stop monitoring. And our mothers apparently now monitor their beds too!!! Even though one of them lives in another state, and I haven't seen her in 3 years...
Oh, and I should've also mentioned that we didn't think they got in the car, but we thoroughly vacuumed it and during this whole thing for months everything in the car was kept in plastic bags too, just in case.
Well over 6 months now, and we did indeed move without bedbugs.
Unfortunately, now our cat got fleas!! And we've been trying to deal with that with varying amounts of success. *sigh* They keep rebounding on her. Though using the DE and vacuuming the house seems to have kept them from a full infestation.
Being that we change the sheets a lot, launder a lot, and generally live in a bug-averse way has probably helped.
But of course I can't help thinking - It's like haven't we had enough already?
On a lighter note. after the bedbugs, quite frankly... fleas are NOT a big deal at all.
It also helps that they don't seem all that keen on me... I guess they much prefer the poor cat.
Even the centipede I found in the bathroom last month didn't quite freak me out like it might once have. After all, it's not interested in me, and was right there out in the open! Not skulking around looking to bite me in my sleep.
After bedbugs, nothing quite measures up in ick factor I guess.
I don't know if that's the bright side.
I was reminded of the bedbugs today when I saw the new "top ten consumer complaints" in the news, and apparently landlord problems - and especially bedbugs, are on the list.
Sad thing is that bedbugs are generally part of a bigger problematic situation with landlords.
I also think the resurgence they cite happening last year has a lot to do with the fact that a lot of people have been living in closer quarters because of losing homes, and rents skyrocketing well above normal incomes in many areas.
In my case, we had a some VERY GOOD LUCK, which thankfully hasn't run out yet, in being able to move away from the infested bldg and into a single family home rental.
Lately I hardly ever think of myself as particularly fortunate, since myself & my family has had a string of bad luck and problems (several health crisises & surgeries in my family, financial problems, death of a parent, etc.).
BUT, I am grateful to have had the right set of circumstances to happen to allow us to move from that wretched apt with bedbugs & a crazy terrible landlord.
And my heart goes out to those who haven't had the same fortune, or at least not yet.
And those now facing the difficult and arduous task of trying to move without bedbugs.
oh how I wish I had your luck Sue, 10 months and TWO moves and I still have them, this after taking extreme precautions the 2nd time, coping is hard right now I must say
one day I'll be BB free
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