MY BEDBUG EXPERIENCE(1 post)
We are in the middle of our bedbug nightmare. Here is what has happened so far:
PHASE 1: In May of 2011 we noticed what seemed like mosquito bites on my wife's leg. Then a few nights later my daughter had bites. At this time we were outside a lot, and it was getting warm and muggy, and we figured they were mosquito bites. When the bites seemed to get more frequent, we thought maybe it's bedbugs, and turned the apt. upside down, but did not find anything. The bites would come and go, and we figured it was mosquitos. Then one day in July, my daughter woke up covered with what seemed like hundreds of bites. We freaked out. Again I turned the place upside down, and this time I found them- in the pillow case, under our bedframe, and on the mattress. That night I dismantled the bedframes, and threw away them as well as all the furniture and items that were near the beds and on the walls adjacent to the beds. We also threw out all the bedding and vacuumed everywhere. I ran to Rite Aid and bought an anti-bedbug spray (HotShot), and sprayed everywhere.
PHASE 2: The next day I called the landlord and my upstairs neighbor, as well as the realtor who'd found us the apartment. We'd been here 3+ years already. She advised getting an exterminator right away, and said that if I worked with the landlord he'd contribute to the extermination. The landlord said he was on vacation and that I'd have to deal with it myself. The upstairs neighbors freaked out, and it was at this point that a lot of misinformation started flying around. How did the bedbugs get there? Do they migrate around the building from floor-to-floor? Does the entire bldg need to be sprayed? Who is responsible to pay? The neighbors claimed to not have any bites, and immediately acted like I'd ruined their apartment and that I'd have to take responsibility for their extermination.
PHASE 3: We called a local exterminator recommended by the realtor. They inspected both my apartment and the neighbor's apartment. I paid for it. They said that I had bed bugs but the upstairs apartment did not. They recommended treatment for my floor only, and I agreed to schedule it and pay for it. The preparation includes bagging or getting rid of almost everything that a bed bug could possible inhabit. We threw away tons of stuff, and bagged the rest (also used plastic bins). We also wiped (clorox wipes) and vacuumed EVERYWHERE. We either threw away or laundered and bagged EVERYTHING. We did this over 2 or 3 days. The exterminators came and sprayed. I watched them for awhile, but had to vacate the apartment as they had gas masks and I did not. They took about an hour (we have a small apartment). They then return in 3 weeks and spray a second time.
PHASE 3: We have not been bitten since, but have found a couple (3?) bedbugs since the spraying. We check the mattress and launder the bedding everyday, and spray the Hotshot, and vacuum constantly. So far no bites and only the couple bugs we found. The neighbors are mad at us because they paid for extermination also and it's not clear whether the landlord will cover it. We have tried to figure out how the bed bugs got here. The possible culprits are our local library which we do not go to now, and one of the kid's play/restaurant places we frequented, we also do not go to. This is important, as one needs to figure out where the bed bugs hitched in from- because you can get the whole treatment and then just bring them in again. All shoes, bags, coats and strollers are now left outside the front door instead of being removed inside. No visitors anymore, anybody could bring a bed bug into your apartment. My daughter is entering pre-K in September, let's pray the school does not have them.
The exterminators are due back in a week and a half. I will post follow-ups and we'll see whether we got rid of them or not.
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