My story (would love some advice please)(2 posts)
Hello everyone. I wish I didn't have to post something on this website but I do, so here goes.
About a month ago, I found out through another tenant that my upstairs neighbors had bed bugs. I was terrified and concerned but immediately talked to my landlord about the issue. He assured me that in his experience with them, he had never had them spread between apartments so it made me feel a little better.
He evicted the tenants above and started to refurnish the apartment. As far as I know, he painted and had new carpet put in. Before he started treating the apartment, he said that the exterminator searched the apartment and didn't see one bed bug. But to be safe, he sprayed a few places in our apartment.
About two weeks after, I saw a weird blob right by the fan cover in our bathroom. I stared at it for a little while trying to remember if I saw that spot before. Pretty soon it moved and went back underneath the cover. The exterminator told me that bed bugs look similar to ticks and I searched images of them immediately after and was convinced that's what it was. Plus, I stood on top of my bath tub and eyed the fan cover and the space between the cover and the ceiling was almost non-existant, only furthering my suspicions that it wasn't just a beetle.
I called my landlord and he tried to assure me that it probably wasn't a bed bug because it was the least likely area for them to be. But he said he would call the exterminator to come check the next day. So the exterminator came to check the next day, didn't find anything, and told me that in his opinion, it wasn't a bed bug. Nonetheless, he dusted and sprayed the fan cover and all electrical outlets in my apartment. Soon after, my husband saw another suspicious bug coming out from underneath the fan cover again but it disappeared before I could capture it.
During this whole time, our mattress was being checked by me, my husband, and the exterminator. We have found no proof of the critters there and still haven't, and we haven't shown any signs of being bitten (knock on wood).
About a week and a half later, I was in the bathroom again and saw a tick-like creature crawling up the wall by the bathroom door. I panicked, grabbed packing tape, and taped it to a piece of paper. Immediately, I freaked out. I knew my suspicions were confirmed and I knew it was a beg bug. I called my landlord and he said the exterminator would be over in the morning to check things out.
Needless to say, my husband and I couldn't sleep in our apartment. There are many gaps and crevices and it's not built very well, and I was at my wits end. After having a complete meltdown over the situation, we decided to go stay with some family members (I knew this isn't usually recommended). We were very careful, took a small amount of clothes and toiletries, and washed and dried the clothes immediately after entering the home.
Our landlord gave us the option of staying during treatment or moving, and we opted to move (I know this is usually not advised). Since we found the first bed bug, we've been staying with the same family and have only gone back to the apartment to pack things in bags and prepare our stuff to be treated. Our objects we are going to let sit out in our car or out back of my family's house during the cold (right now it is 15 F), some bags we'll probably leave there for a month. Our furniture is going to be steam treated and fumigated before we move and our landlord has offered to pay for two treatments in our new place, such as a preventative treatment. We are going to buy an encasement for our mattress and box springs as well. We have been washing and drying anything that could possibly be washed and dried.
We were told by the exterminator that he thinks we didn't really problem because of the lack of bites and evidence of them being in our apartment (we never found any in our bed). There is some exposed wall in a closet in our bathroom so I'm thinking that they were using that to come through (something I told the exterminator I was concerned about from day one but told it wasn't a problem). My landlord and exterminator think that it was just a bed bug searching for food and that there are very few if any left in my apartment. But they were obviously wrong before so I'm not sure what to believe.
So am I wrong to assume that moving out and going to a family's house is okay just as long as we take the necessary precautions? Am I doing the right steps to keep them out of my new place? Either way, there was no way I was going to stay in that apartment during treatment because we didn't have a huge infestation and I had had other large problems with the apartment, like flooding from backed up pipes. So the bed bugs were definitely the straw that broke the camel's back.
Any advice? Am I going about this the right way? Oh, and one last question: the BB was found on the wall next to our washer and dryer (they are in our bathroom). What is the best way to go about treating a washer and dryer? Should I worry about them?
I forgot to add that when we saw the bugs coming out of the fan cover, we taped saran wrap over the cover. We did this even after the exterminator sprayed when my husband saw the second bug and we haven't removed it since. So I'm thinking they have been using the walls and the exposed part of the bathroom to move around. Also, I live on the bottom floor of a three-story complex and it was just recently discovered that the top floor neighbors also have bed bugs, possibly worse than the guys that lived above me.
Anyway, sorry for the novel but I would love any help. Thanks!!
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