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My neighbor has bedbugs - advice?

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  1. kooby

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Oct 22 2007 7:31:34
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    Hi there, from a panicked newbie,

    First of all, I hope all of you eradicate your bed bugs - I had no idea it was such a problem until faced with the mere possibility of it myself. Second of all, this is long, so I apologize, but I really want to be thorough and I appreciate ANY advice!!!!

    I've had two bed bug scares in the last month. My bf, now husband, got two gigantic bug bites the night before our wedding (he slept in our apartment). We stayed there one more night after the wedding before leaving for the honeymoon. Between the two weeks of our honeymoon, we stayed there one night, and he got two more gigantic bug bites. The night we got back from the honeymoon, he got two more gigantic bites. I have not gotten anything, which is odd bc when we go hiking, I am the one with the cloud of mosquitos and gnats on me, and have really bad allergic reactions, normally, but I have read from the faqs that this can happen. I went nuts, thinking we had bed bugs, but decided to monitor first. We have a wooden frame bed with a clothes drawer underneath, and I applied the 2-sided carpet tape to the whole frame, as well as directly onto the bottom sheet of the mattress. I woke up at 4 or 5 every morning (jetlagged anyways) and checked under the blankets with a flashlight. I flipped over the mattress and checked every crevice. I checked the sheets. I have seen NO EVIDENCE of the black spots, the shells, the actual bugs, nymphs, or bloodspots. I did the same with the mattress of our pullout couch. I had my guy show the bites to some friends who have had to endure bed bug bites while traveling, and they said that his bites looked more like spider bites. I realize from the FAQ that the bites look different on different people, but this allayed my fears.

    I live in a really fancy building, but my neighbor across the hall was a sweet older lady who had a rent control place from way back. She has a drug dealer son who camped out at her place in between jail stints. This was a problem for two years. She hadn't paid rent for years, but the building couldn't evict her w/o making sure she had a place to go. She was finally evicted while we were on the honeymoon, and the building is now getting rid of her stuff. Another neighbor told me that he talked to the super since he has personally seen the bed bugs crawling on the wall in the apartment, and the super said that they would deal with the bugs AFTER the apartment was cleaned out!!! This neighbor also told me that they put the mattress right next to the back door of our apartment, knowing it was crawling with bugs!!! My neighbor said that he has been spraying his doorways with raid and bought two foggers, but I know from the faq that these don't work, right? Oh, and just fyi, we take our shoes off on the front mat, but we have a shoe rack inside the apartment next to the front door.

    I have been vigilantly checking our bed, and my husband hasn't gotten more bites. So my questions for you are:

    1. Do you think we actually had the bed bugs before?
    2. If we didn't have the bugs before, what should I do to try to avoid an infestation from moving the short two feet across the hallway into my apartment? I have been reading some conflicting info about this chemical, Kleen free. Should I vaseline around my doorway? Should I start bagging up all our clothes? Don't worry, if we actually have an infestation, I want to call a professional, but is there anything I can do to prevent it? I am really worried...

  2. kooby

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Oct 22 2007 7:46:08
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    I forgot two more things (shocking, I know, with such a long post) - my husband has said that bed bugs HAVE been reported in another floor of his firm downtown, and we do have a dog, so spraying chemicals is probably out for us. Thanks!

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Oct 22 2007 11:01:38
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    1. Do you think we actually had the bed bugs before?

    Yes--they probably came over a bit before she moved, and a lot after. They are very hard to find. You need aggressive treatment-- on your entire building, probably.

    2. If we didn't have the bugs before, what should I do to try to avoid an infestation from moving the short two feet across the hallway into my apartment? I have been reading some conflicting info about this chemical, Kleen free. Should I vaseline around my doorway? Should I start bagging up all our clothes? Don't worry, if we actually have an infestation, I want to call a professional, but is there anything I can do to prevent it? I am really worried...

    Please get professional help. It sounds pretty certain you have bed bugs. All affected units need treatment. And by "affected" I do not mean you had to have seen them.

    3. I forgot two more things (shocking, I know, with such a long post) - my husband has said that bed bugs HAVE been reported in another floor of his firm downtown, and we do have a dog, so spraying chemicals is probably out for us. Thanks!

    Firm: you probably got them from the neighbor. But workplace should aggressively treat.

    Many people have pets. Professional bed bug treatment can be applied safely as long as the PCO is good and knows about the pets. They will advise you. You cannot deal with this without aggressive treatment. Have your landlord get a PCO who knows bed bugs. We have a FAQ on choosing one, and FAQS which probably cover many of your other questions right now. Click button below.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. kooby

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Oct 22 2007 18:38:38
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    Thanks for replying. I read the faq's, and have talked to the super. Unfortunately, they are being very cavalier about the whole thing. He said that I could blame the neighbor, but that he knows that I travel and I probably got them from traveling, if I do have them. He said that the neighbor's place's stuff has to be moved out, and then it will be treated. I explained that with nobody living there, the bugs will probably move to the other apartments, but he said that when I can show them the bed bug evidence, they will just treat my apartment. He even said that the apartment under my neighbor's infested apartment has reported an infestation, but refused to acknowledge that it came from that apartment!! So do I just sit and wait to see until I find evidence or try to hire someone on my own??

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Oct 22 2007 19:46:57
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    You could tell the landlord that if he does not treat, you will call 311. (This is NYC, right?) Bites are a kind of evidence, though HPD won't give the landlord a violation unless they find visual evidence, which is surprisingly hard. You could put carpet tape down around the bed AND sticky glue traps around (lots of them), but this is no guarantee you will catch anything.

    We don't recommend self-treating in multi-units since all infested units must be treated at once. If you treat first, you might be at it for a long time, while they get treated. It could also be very expensive.

    I would search the room and furniture on the side of the room your husband sleeps on, especially carefully. You may not be reacting to bites. OR the bed bugs might just--for now--be biting the closest person.


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