Moving. Bedbugs. Mental Health.(6 posts)
Firstly, I want to thank all of you who post on here spreading knowledge of this problem. I got comfort in the midst of my infestations knowing that I was not alone and there was other people out there that got THROUGH this. Sleepless nights, painful bites, paranoia, completely ran my life during my dealing with bedbugs. I have sympathy for all dealing with these problems. Here is my story...
On March 15th I moved in to a studio apartment. I noticed cockroaches right away, but stayed. I found out that the building had it's issues with drug users within the past couple years. People that I stereotyped as addicts (shaking, mumbling, stumbling, smelling of booze) would come in and out of my building at all times of the night to visit the apartment upstairs.
This is not to set the stage for a story that would imply that bedbugs are related to a particular type of person, cleanliness level etc. However I do believe that poor people are at higher risk because they can not afford treatment, afford new clothing furniture (so they take the free or used stuff) and may have to sleep in a shelter from time to time. It is a shame, I used to buy many of my things second hand as well.
I started getting bit in the night after the tenants upstairs moved out and their apartment was bombed for cockroaches (apparently this does nothing to the bed bug but piss it off and make it spread) My boyfriend who slept over a couple times a week would never get bit and thought I was crazy. Until one morning I finally found one a week after the first initial bites, and a day after a pest control inspector came and said he could find no traces of bed bugs.
I couldn't sleep. My freezer turned into my dresser. I would place my clothes for the next day in it hoping it would kill any bugs, then the next day I would put my bedsheets and pajamas in the freezer for the following night. (I had no dryer on the premises) I averaged about 2 hours of sleep a night.
I decided to quit. My landlord wouldn't be treating the place for another week. I couldn't wait. I felt sick to my stomach thinking of staying there. I made the arrangements to move in with family.
Then came the biggest challenge of all... Moving without taking the bed bugs with me.
I did research. My mother called pest control and a vet (I have a dog). I read numerous forums, including this one.
I left most everything behind. I remember giving away many of my things in the past and the freeing feeling it gave me so I was okay doing it again with most everything. A couple things I still miss like a painting and a houseplant I have had for years. I couldn't let my emotional attachment to an object bring a bedbug into my family's home. So I packed only what I needed. One large trashbag of clothes. Some school books for classes I haven't taken yet. My laptop and printer, and important papers.
The move itself: (June 1st)
I left the clothes I packed in. I changed into clothes from the freezer.
I washed and dried my bag of clothes on high heat on the way and switched to another bag.
My books and printer were in black trashbags as well. They went into a deep freezer upon arrival and have not come out yet. My laptop was placed in a large ziplock bag without the battery and was also placed in the freezer (I am told it is 50/50 whether or not it will make it). I stripped down on the deck, my mother placed those clothes in the wash immediately and I took a hot shower. The bag of clothes was left in my car and I would bring them in bit by bit and wash them over the course of a couple weeks (there are still some clothes in the bag in the car) Every sunny day I park my car in full sun with the windows up. Every. Sunny. Day. (I think this may become an obsessive thing I will continue to do for months).
I still sleep in socks, pj's and a hoodie. I still check the bed before and after sleeping. I still feel the sensation of bugs crawling on me at night. I sometimes even feel a tiny prick like a bug is biting me but it turns out to be nothing (so far) (knock on wood)
Last night i slept in a t-shirt and pajama pants. no socks. It felt like a breakthrough.
I read on here once that the likelihood of someone writing on this site after their bedbug problem was slim. I am here to say that there is hope.
I can't say for sure that I have escaped the bed bug, but for the first time since the bites, I can say that I may have finally gotten away. Maybe. Hopefully. You all know I will keep checking and inspecting every mosquito bite again and again and again.
Thanks for sharing your story, Ray.
I hope you will check in from time to time to update us and that your bed bug problems are totally gone.
> I remember giving away many of my things in the past and the freeing feeling it gave me so I was okay doing it again with most everything.
Giving away to others the items you do not feel comfortable moving with does not sound like a prudent idea.
Yes I'd agree with Cilecto there Ray.
I would not give away any of your potentially infested furniture, at least not to anyone you care about or wish to talk to again. Best thing to do, if you aren't considering treating your furniture/possessions with heat/vikane while being moved, would be to safely dispose of those items in a commercial trash can with coverings/notices. This would prevent someone accidentally taking those little vampires into their home/offices.
Best of luck, and keep updating us!
Ray, I sent you an email at the address in your profile. (I'm admin, that's how I can see it.)
"Last night i slept in a t-shirt and pajama pants. no socks. It felt like a breakthrough."
Congratulations! That is a breakthrough. I feel the hardest part is breaking some of the many compulsions/habits we develop while battling bed bugs. Bed bugs aren't known to spread diseases but I think they stress many of us out beyond belief and it causes a lot of mental health issues which in turn can run you down and jeopardize your health.
I'm happy you seem to be living bed bug free even if u still haven't adjusted to being free from them. Thanks for sharing and still posting on this forum and not disappearing like many seem to.
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