Moving after hell(2 posts)
long story short, we have lived in this apartment building for a year and a half, and I've never seen bedbugs in my life. Then we moved to a downstairs 2 bedroom in the building when we had a baby. my sister moved in with us, and we were still okay for a few months. then my 1 year old son started getting weird bites on him. I looked all over his mattress, and cleaned all his sheets and stuff. I didn't see anything. Then my mom came and spent the week with us while my husband and I had to stay at a hotel for a festival we were helping with. My mom slept on our futon in the livingroom. When we got home, she showed us that she had some bited on her. The next morning when we woke up, my husband had bites on his hip. So then we checked our bed, and all along the wall. We found a live bug hanging out on the molding by the floor. We then also found a few living up in the mosquito net over our bed. We bagged the net, and called our building manager who came up right away and confirmed they were bed bugs. He called the exterminator who planned to come out A WEEK LATER. Our landlord gave us a prep list, and we spent all week doing laundry, spent hundreds on mattress covers and bags and huge ziplocs, and on laundry. We went through every single book of every page in our bookshelf, and bagged those up. We went through every item in our apartment, looking in every little crack and crevice, and bagged it all up. We put covers on our mattresses, and vacuumed the entire apartment (I'm 7 months pregnant). The Exterminator came on Monday to see what we had done, and told us to take off our mattress covers so he could exterminate. He also said he has like, %95 success rate and usually only requires one extermination. I thought this was weird, since everywhere I had read says they usually come back twice by default. He also said he will probably maybe have us throw out our futon mattress and la z boy because they had tears in them.
At this point the building manager (who lives right below us) mentioned to me that he had begbugs within the past couple of months, but that they're all gone. When I had spoken to the landlord, she made me feel very guilty and asked me tons of questions, and basically made it sound like it was my fault. So hearing him say this made me feel a little better...
We finished washing and bagging everything and got out of there the next morning when the exterminators came. They did a mixture of steam and chemical residual treatment. He told us not to put the mattress covers on when they were done, because we didn't need them. Also, when he treated, he didn't take off any of the lightswitch plates (they are painted over around the edges, and the paint hadn't been touched). I thought that wasn't a very thorough job.
That night when we got home, our apartment was all treated. Within 10 minutes of being home, I found 3 bugs. 2 dead, and one crawling across the wall. I called our manager and he said this was normal. We found a couple more bugs over the next few days, but didn't think much of it. He said the chemicals they came in contact with were killing them slowly. Makes sense. Over the next 2 weeks we started unpacking slowly. The exterminator never scheduled a second visit or anything, so we tried getting our life a little back in order.
Then, 2 weeks later (last week) I was in my bedroom, and I saw a huge, blood-filled bug up by the ceiling. My husband came and got it, and we called the manager. The exterminator came about an hour later, and tore apart my bedroom looking for bugs or any signs of them. He said he didn't see any fresh fecal stains, and no bugs anywhere. But he was slightly concerned that we had found that one bug. My sister and I chatted with him for a while, and mentioned to him that now my mom is freaking out because she thinks she could've gotten them while she was here. Also my brothers were visiting that week, and sleeping in the livingroom. He gave me his card and left.
A few days later, we got a letter in the mail from our landlord. It was a 5 day notice saying that we had "disregarded direct instructions following bedbug treatment" and that if we didn't remedy the situation by Monday (this was on Saturday that I got the letter) they wouldn't hesistate to proceed with eviction. I was distraught. My husband and I racked our brains thinking of what we could've done wrong. We had followed the prep sheet to the T and were soooo careful about everything we did. We had to wait til monday to call the Landlords. So on monday my husband talked to them and told them that we got the letter and we weren't really sure what specific things we had done wrong, and what we need to do to make it right. The lady said that because we had unpacked so quickly, and the prep sheet said that we needed to leave things bagged up for an "extended period of time" (wow. thats specific). First of all, I don't have the prep sheet anymore, but I remember it said "Inspect and bag up your personal belongings" and "dry your clothing on hot, (wash if its dirty) and put in clean bags". Nothing about "extended period of time". 2nd, keeping them in bags would only work if we kept them in there for over a year! and I would DEFINITELY have remembered intense instructions like that. Also she said, that because my brothers were visiting, they could've caused a re-infestation. Thus it is our fault. (my parents, btw, haven't found any bugs so far, and have done DE Treatments and bed bug traps around their beds). She said she would talk to the exterminator and get back to us about what we should do. (I can't believe they didn't know what they wanted us to do.)
3 days passed, and we decided to call them and try to make an appointment. The landlord wanted to just talk on the phone, and refused to talk in person. My husband asked if we could make an agreement to do a Lease Termination with no penalties, (we still have 6 months on our lease). He said he would NOT do it with no penalties because it is "our fault", but that he would be willing to let us do 2 other things. Either find subleasers for our apartment, OR pay 2 months rent upfront, and if they find another renter within those 2 months, they would refund us that money. He said they have had too much negligence in that building, of tenants not doing their part with the process. So, yes. They have a bedbug problem in the building. The biggest thing for us right now, is not getting evicted. So we will probably go with the 2nd option. We are waiting to get a letter with more details. SO that is where we are at.
we plan on moving with only a couple of peices of funiture (our kitchen table, which is a family heirloom) and one nightstand which we will fill with DE and steam the crap out of. I'm already starting the washing/drying/bagging process of clothes we don't wear often, blankets and things we dont use often, for when we move. im planning on sealing up all of our books for 18 months and not touching them. along with other items we dont need on a daily basis. We will probably throw out all our baby toys, and the free crib we got from a friend (we are throwing away all our beds too, but i think we will keep our 1 year olds brand new crib). Dressers, nightstands, futon frame, bookshelf and chairs are definitely being thrown out. We are going to be brutal. I'm also thinking of bagging smaller items and electronics with some Nuvan Prostrips for a few weeks. I've read tons about them, and it seems that there are safe ways to handle that process. We have been looking for a 3 bedroom and I guess the most important thing is that we don't bring any with us.
A few questions:
1. how can we make sure that no bugs hitchhike on the outside of bags of clean things when we move?
2. what about plants?
3. My husband has tons of airsoft/paintball gear. What can I use to clean that? Also, how can I make sure they didn't get in his violin, or the case? Or our guitar case? I guess I could steam that?
4. I'm also planning on bagging up all our paintings/picture frames/art for a couple of years too. we can live without those for a while...
any other suggestions??? i would appreciate ANY help I can get. We will start moving as soon as we can secure a new place, and I am 5 weeks away from my due date. thank you!!!!!!
ps. we have kept checking around our bed, and haven't found any bugs, no new fecal stains and haven't been getting bit.
i guess this didn't end up being the short version.....
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