MY STORY, MY WAR(16 posts)
I bought my first condo in Jersey City back in October and knew nothing about BB.
A few weeks ago the neighbor below me who moved about two months after me was doing his own renovations wanted to speak with me.
He told me he had gotten bugs and informed me that the neighbor next to him also had had them. He thought they came from inside the walls while doing construction, but who really knows. I naively said that I had never been bit and blew it off. Ironically, that same afternoon I found a strange dead bug on the floor of my room. I had seen that type creature before in the past in different surroundings, but never knew what it was. It was just a bug.. yah right! So just to be safe I bought a plastic mattress cover for my fairly new mattress… still naïve at this point. Remember I have never noticed a bites. The following week I noticed large bites on my pitbulls hairless butt. I started to realize that I had notice these types of marks on him before. He also has allergies and gets hives, so I thought he just bit them open or something. So I searched the bed again, and sure enough, there were two adults hiding together in the screw well on the planks of my 3 month old Crate and Barrel platform bed. They were surrounded by the excrement marks. Horror!
So I give it to them, they gave me their shock and awe. You all know where the story goes from here. My innocence is now lost and my days and nights are consumed with thoughts of eliminating the BB! I think I have read all the online forums. I killed the two with regular ant and roach spray and cleaned the whole bed frame with a vacuum, Lysol wipes, alchohol, steam from the iron and sprayed the whole room about 3 times with regular bug spray. I know it doesn’t kill eggs, but it does kill them on contact. I am waiting for my Bedlam spray to come in the mail. I taped up all of the outlets and switches as best as possible and have been filling in cracks in the floors and walls. It’s an old building so there are just too many. My biggest strategy is to prevent them from getting a meal. I have doublestick tape around the bottom of the bedposts, followed by mineral oil then Vaseline. I also vacuum every other day. This seems to be working. It’s been about 3 weeks and after weekly inspection and cleaning of the bed, there have been no bites on the dog or visual bugs with the exception of 1 newly hatched racing across the sheet in the morning. It was probably from an egg on the frame somewhere that I missed. Over the weekend I killed a small one on the wall in back of the bed around 4am. The lights were on, so I guess it was hungry. I am all about luring them out and eliminating.
So my war continues. The problem is I just don’t have the time to put into this. The cleaning and patching of holes I did this past Sat took all day, it’s crazy. I have a life to live and am very busy. I am trying to keep my head straight about this. It’s very easy to get major anxiety over this. I am sure I am addicted by Ambien by now. Also my parents have been asking to come stay with me as they have yet to see the place. I know my mom will freak out if I tell her.
I am not sure how to handle this.
At any rate, I want to monitor how my strategy works before getting a PCO. I heard they are expensive. Plus if the units around me have the bugs, what’s the point? As long as they know they can’t get a meal in my place. I don’t think I have a major infestation, but time will tell. I've read this process takes patience.
I say you all have to band together In the building and call Tre. This is where it gets tricky. Some people do not care or want to be bothered. They just give into the thought that they are taking over.
They will only multiply and you will pass them on.... No parents for awhile unless they go throught strict rules to not bring home with them...
He is helped me and is helping many.
He is on a mission.
He has the dog, the pco and the sealing down.
I am so sorry. Scary. To buy a propertly and this happen.
Isn't a fault of a reality company to not disclose this or check this out....before you buy. Some new laws are going to be made.
You can't just let it go. Start living in plastic, asap...
It's all here. So sorry...
Yep, BBs suck. Big time. But it sounds like you are doing the right things: using protocols, reading this site, getting educated, etc.
We're now almost 5 months into our own battle... I've been through the gamut of emotions: discovery, shock, terror, disappointment, depression, resignation, acceptance, empowerment.
The anxiety was far worse in the beginning. Now I feel confident that the protocols we are using really *do* work, at least to contain/minimize the issue. We have not yet achieved total eradication, but I do feel it's doable.
Your situation is tough - neighbors are affected and so coordinated efforts are needed. I agree with the previous poster that a canine inspection dog (coordinated to check all units) could be very helpful. If you can coordinate your neighbors to work together on containment and elimination, that would be the best thing.
As far as visitors... we have banned them from our home. A few we tell why. But most we are not comfortable disclosing to so we say something like "it's not a good time for us right now, we'll let you know when it is". If they seem curious or worried, we tell them it's a private health issue, but not a serious one. Also be careful about visiting others - you could bring the bugs to them.
If you have neighbors that connect to your condo (or any of the affected other ones), please do tell them also.
We live in a beautiful old apartment building, so we have the same issue you do as far as an impossible number of holes and cracks. We have chosen not to try to fill them - an impossible task. Instead, we are concentrating our treatment efforts on the areas the canine alerted to (in our case, both beds, the sofa and one dresser). It was good to know we didn't have to "attack" every room/surface. Trying to do so was exhausting!!
Keep posting with your questions. This community is a great one for those times you are really down and can't talk to anyone else.
Keep with it, it gets easier. A lot of it is just dealing with what goes on in our own heads. In my case, it took several months to come to terms with.
First let me say I'm sorry to hear of your (and all) plight. I was of the bb ignorant(blissfully) group before my indoctrination also. It's a rude awaking to be sure.
First of all I'm not trying to play the blame game here,but you should know that everyone in adjacent apts,maybe the building,should be inspected for bb's. The reason for this is a simple one,if 1 person has them and does nothing they will spread(as you have found out)even if you get rid of them. You should try to have a meeting of the owners to decide how many of you have them at this point and work from there.If it's contained to one line of the building all adjacent apts. need inspected to be sure.Then if you can coordinate treatment where all affected apts. are treating on the same day would be advantagous.A bb dog would help with inspection of each apt.(if you can find one near you).They are much faster than a visual inspection by pco's.Good luck.
Robb - Really sorry about your situation. Having something very similar happen in the condo I loved, I can really empathize.
But - don't let your parents stay with you. I would be nervous about even letting them have a little look-see.
Mixed Feelings - Everybody here must do what they think is right and are comfortable with. That said, there might be some benefits to being more open about why people can't stay with you. I think awareness is a key part to checking the spread of this epidemic (yes, it makes you the total killjoy at parties, or else the source of a perverse fascination). I have no idea if this is true or not, but if you had initially been more informed about bedbugs, is there a chance you might not have unknowingly taken them home with you from a hotel?
Thanks to everyone for their kind words and support. Unfortunatly the building is a new condo conversion and I was part of the first group to buy. I have two renters on either side of me. There isn't a condo association set up yet and the the developer isn't taking the situation seriously. Like I said, the guy below me and his neighbor had them and is trying to control them. I will probably speak to the two renters on either side of me. One has kids. I just noticed yesterday that the tenant adjacent to my bedroom used to have birds.. I don't hear them anymore. Does that mean anything? Aren't BB attracted to birds or something? Maybe they already discovered they had them and got rid of the birds.
Although I agree with everyone's comments to limit contact, much of it is a bit unrealistic in my world. I will not stop my life because of these frakin bugs and live like a hermit and cut myself off from friends and family. And since I commute into NYC for work, I am on crowded busses and Subways everyday. If you have ever commuted in this area, you know how people pile into cars like cattle. Everything you do in NYC puts you in contact with someone else. Your clothes and bags are always touching someone elses... transportation, shopping, gym, bars and clubs. It's impossible to not put yourself in some sort of risk. It's crowded everywhere. So I guess I am in a bit of a pickle along with the rest of the city. I am going to do what I can, but not going to let them drive me insane or stop enjoying the precious gift of health and life God has given me. I must remember there are people in a lot worse situations like life threatening illness, hunger and living with tragedy. This is just one of those annoyances in life that some people would probably trade anyday to get out of their situation.
So basically, I am going to treat this situation similiar to the way I treat HIV and dating. I am going to assume everyone has it and protect myself as much as possible. Now that I am informed, I will probably live the rest of my life taking precautions, creating barriers around my bed and sofa and looking for any sign of the bastards. This weekend I will probably start doing laundry and keeping shelved clothes in plastic. Where do you buy the plastic holders? I also bought new boxes to store junk and seal up. Thankfully since I recently moved, I don't have a lot. It's an evolving process and lifestyle change, but nothing I can do over night. I can only hope I minimize and control the problem. Funny when I moved into this building I was so worried about roaches. I think I've seen one water bug. Who would have thunk?
Thanks again for your comments.
Well, My roommates are spending the nights at friends and going on life as normal the entire time we have been dealing with this.
So . It may take 2 months, 1 year if you let it get out of controll to get rid of these pest and all the pychological battle and all you have to indure. I ask her- You see all we have went throught, All the chemicals and exspense...Do you not care to put your friends and co workers throught this hell. I know you can not shelter your life. But I would hope we would try to be responsible to not inflict this on any others if we can help it. They may have given up in other countries...NOT IN AMERICA. We are going to fight this bug.
My roommates, who say Oh well, there are worst things in life and do not educate them selves, proobably because ignorance is bliss. They are a menace to society.
This has nothing to do with you. Just venting on my roommates.
i just wear clean clothes out to public and keep my stuff in plastic, so I will not possibly inflict this hell on any one i know...
You don't have to have sex with someone to pass this on, Just sit on their couch. It's my responsibility to do what i can....
>Although I agree with everyone's comments to limit contact, much of it is a bit unrealistic in my world. (...) Everything you do in NYC puts you in contact with someone else. Your clothes and bags are always touching someone elses... transportation, shopping, gym, bars and clubs. It's impossible to not put yourself in some sort of risk.
Um, sorry but - You already have bedbugs. At this stage of the game, the bigger concern is putting others at risk with your bugs. Please start sanitizing, quarantining and separating the clothes & personals you use at home from those things that leave the home, asap. All in the FAQs.
It is very easy to spread them, no joke (from sad personal experience).
Fight - Already doing that. You missed my point.
Apologies, I guess I did miss your point.
My only excuse is that the bugs tend to make us a little paranoid. And I still think awareness could reduce the chances that you'll get them on the subway, at the gym, etc. I mean, I get the impression that there are less informed bedbug sufferers out there who are not taking any measures to avoid spreading as they go about their daily routines. I don't like getting that impression.
LOL at this point it consumes my brain cells 24/7. It's a nightmare and a daymare. I notice every little spec. I walk down the halls at work and my eyes go to a mark on the wall or floor. Am I going crazy?
No you are not going crazy...I still do it after 3 months of bug free life. UNTIL THIS MORNING!!! Nothing sucks more than these bugs in my mind. You just have to diligent and keep things cleaned and packed and get the necessary treatments. Maybe your neighbors will wise up and get their stuff together too. It sucks to have neighbors who don't care. I am hoping for the magic chemical that will get these bugs out of our society once and for all. Good luck!
If you're crazy, welcome to the asylum.
update... the Bedlam spray I purchased online seems to be working great. I treated the bedframe, couch and baseboards throughout the apt. I haven't seen any nyphs or live bugs since I started using the spray a week ago. Perhaps the next batch just has to hatch. Crossing my fingers. I have been following other procedure like putting shelved clothes in sealed plastic and repacking storage boxes. BB&B has nice zip up cedar chests with a clear plastic top that works really good. Also caulked up all open areas around the baseboards and floors over the weekend. During the clean up, I didn't see one dead or alive.
Note that I don't think I had a major infestation. Just bugs making their way for food from apt below me. I think they were coming in through the huge gap between floor and baseboard in the linen closet or the outlet in back of my bed. The person below me has been controlling them as well.
Control is great temporarily,but what you want is eradication period.Please try to get a pco for all in the building,you can't just control these bugs as their reproductive powers are awesome.If you intend to self treat indefinately then read up on how to do it the correct way to have the best chance success.Good luck.
Any progress on your BB situation. I recently moved into a renovated apt in Jersey City as well and am now facing my own "war". We have an exterminator who is using BEDLAM.
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