My apartment building has bedbugs(5 posts)
My apartment manager put up a notice today that informs all of us living in my 9-floor apartment building that one of the tenants has bedbugs. I asked the landlord, and apparently it's an apartment on the first floor. I live on the 9th floor, but I am totally paranoid about getting bedbugs. Some friends of mine had them in a different location last year and it was nearly impossible to get the infestation controlled...
My question is - is there something I can do to prevent bed bugs from making their way into my apartment? (Keep in mind that I also have a cat, so I can't do anything terribly toxic). I don't see any sign of bedbugs yet, obviously, but perhaps there is something I can do to discourage them from possibly getting into my apartment?
Also, I have the opportunity to move soon (my lease expires in two months) - is it a wise idea to try to get out of this place before an infestation happens?
Yikes, I can understand you wanting to move before you get infested. Honestly can not say whether you should do that as they are spreading everywhere so any place you go you could possbily be exposed. There are steps you can do to protect yourself, you can read the FAQ about applying de (diatamceous earth) into the cracks and then sealing all the cracks in your apt with caulk. Spidey on this board battled and won against them and I believe he lives in an apt. He has pictures on here somewhere that shows how he carefully caulked his floors (where the floor meets wall). You could also consider buying mattress and box springs covers to protect them from infesting your bed. I think that since you have a heads up on what is going on, you have an edge to arm yourself with knowledge now. You can also go to the bedbugresource to read some more articles. Go first to the FAQ on this sight and start reading.
Second the idea of caulking - I live in an apt bldg, I've heard of one tenant who had/has them but it was annonymous so it could be my neighbour or 10-20 floors away.
I caulked/sealed the living daylights out of my small apt, covered the air vents (not the heaters though)
I take precautions like taking off any footwear before I step into my place (shoes/boots are put straight out onto my balcony but you could use a ziploc if you don't have a balcony).
I don't place ANYTHING I own on the common floors, my laundry bags never come into contact with laundry room floor or folding tables. I carry my purse, shopping, grocery bags in my hands.
A bit paranoid? Yep, for sure but better safe than extremely sorry...
By the way, sounds like decent mgmt to at least notify tenants about the problem, most will deny or keep it all hush-hush. They may even deal with the problem before it spreads if you're lucky!
DE is very dangerous if breathed, and I have a cat, so I don't feel comfortable using DE in my apartment at all. Usually it's recommended to put around base boards, well guess who likes to sniff the floor?
Also if your cats have claws, the encasements on the mattresses and box springs are going to be a problem. Do any other cat owners have any remedies for this? I have gone through so many encasements I don't bother anymore. If I confirm a reinfestation, I'm going to steam my mattress and just throw out the box springs. I am not making recommendations on what others should do about cats and encasements, I'm jsut reporting my own experience.
Also, if you use encasements, dont' forget to put duct tape over the staples on the bottom of your box springs before putting the encasements on.
I think you should NOT move because you can't guarantee you are moving into a bug free place, or that you aren't picking up bugs in the moving truck. At least your landlord is notifying people, taht is a rare thing right there.
Here's what I would do if I were you:
1) relax. You can't get too worked up about something that might not even ever happen to you. Count your blessings, breathe, do whatever positive things you're comfortable with if that's too cheasy.
2) find out if your landlord is treating that apartment and also all adjacent apartments. If they aren't, try to convince them to. Ajacent apartments are important.
3) Declutter. If it's a beloved item, leave it alone. You have to live your life and enjoy your home. If you really don't need it, get rid of it.
4) Store smart. If you have something like a box of old photos that you dont' feel like putting in an album on your book shelf, but don't want to throw away, put them in ziploc bags and put them in a plastic box somewhere. Even stuff like old financial files--we're supposed to keep them for 10 years I believe, but you can put your 2006 taxes files in a 2-gallon ziploc and label it, for example. Better yet, scan them and shred them, but that's even more work.
Other storage ideas:
--If you have blankets in the closet that you hardly ever use, seal them in plastic bags.
--I have some clothes that are too nice to throw out but I can't fit into them right now . . . but I might again soon--if you have anything like that, put them in spacebags and seal them.
--I have a whole box of extra power strips, electrical cords, computer mice, etc.--if you ahve anything like that and you don't want to get rid of it, put it in a big ziploc and put that inside a plastic box
--an extra pair of shoes can be stored in a 2-gallon ziploc, or a whole bunch of extra shoes can go in a ziploc big bag in the back of the closet
--i think you get the idea
5) order a packtite for your travel, and if the worst case scenario ever happens, you can use it on other things, including scratching posts
6) caulk whatever you can caulk
7) Shop for a good vacuum, if you don't already have one. It's a good investment anyway.
I would like to caulk - what type of caulk did you use? Is there a type or brand that the bed bugs can't penetrate through?
Also, what do I do about the radiator? It is in the floor and there is space around the area in which the radiator goes into the floor.
Should I buy DE and put it in the cracks before I caulk??
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