My Success & Subsequent BB Wisdom :)(4 posts)
It has been 70 days since I've seen a bed bug.
I'm posting to say thanks again to everyone here who has helped me, even indirectly, and especially thanks to NoBugsOnMe of course.
Also, I wanted to post to give hope to those of you who are still suffering or are new to this problem. As discussed in other threads, this forum gives off a pessimistic vibe sometimes because people post more when they feel frustrated and hopeless rather than when they're in the clear and have moved on with life. But I vowed to come back when I had my success story! Enjoy...
I discovered that I had BBs in April, just before moving to a new apartment- yikes!! Ironically, I knew what BBs were since I thought I had them a few months earlier although they turned out to be grain beetles. But because of my prior research, I knew just where to go: here! Armed with my new knowledge, I did my best to get rid of them on short notice and with little cooperation from my landlord. I'm sure someone else must be living there now with the same problem, ugh! I moved into my new awesome place feeling cautiously optimistic. Newly educated, I checked and saw no obvious signs of an infestation here. 49 days passed. No bug sightings, nothing in the Climb Ups, no fecal spots, nothing. I was so close to the coveted 55 days that I began taking clothes out of the ziploc bags. I ditched the interceptors and pushed the bed up against the wall. I was normal again!! And then it happened...
On day 49, I discovered a depressingly familiar creature scuttling along my bathroom wall. "No! It just couldn't be!!" I thought. But there was no denying it... it was a bed bug. "Maybe it was a fluke?!" I thought. 2 days later, while sitting on my couch wide awake with the lights on, I discovered a well-fed nymph crawling along my sleeve. It had bitten my left arm to pieces, all the way down to my pinky! The whole time I had been unsuspectingly playing a cell phone game with my right hand! I never felt a thing!
I didn't want to believe I was dealing with this again. So many other bugs had been coming into my apartment from outside that I thought maybe these 2 rogue bed bugs had also. I mean really, there were more bugs in my apartment than outside. But I thought that answer was too good to be true. Even if they hadn't set up shop yet, the 2 I saw must have laid a thousand eggs each before I killed them. Back into battle mode I went and reset the countdown to zero days BB-free.
Now, it might sound unbelievable, but all I did was shut the window. That's it! My bathroom window was cracked to let out the humidity. Bugs were showing up in there a lot so I assumed the screen had a hole somewhere. So, I shut it. And behind my couch is an AC window unit. There were big gaps around it so I bought some window sealant to close it off. Eventually I also sprinkled a little DE behind the couch just in case since there are still some gaps in the window.
70 days after shutting the windows I have not seen a BB or had a bite. What do you know? They really had come in from outside. And get this: it's possible for 2 bed bugs to get into your place without starting an infestation!! I thought I'd share these details as it makes me feel very optimistic to know that it's not always that easy to become infested. I think a lot of us feel like you just have to make eye contact with someone else who has them and bam, you've got them too. But I'm here to say that while caution is important, you can't avoid every exposure, and the good news is that not every exposure (even something as bad as a few getting into your house!) is going to lead to an infestation. You can stay proactive, but don't lose your mind over it!
I consider myself BB-free now. Wow that feels good to write! I think a lot of people don't want to come back here and declare success as there's no way to know for absolute certain that they're gone. For all I know the moment I hit "send post" I will see one crawl out of my laptop. But then again, you can't be certain about anything in life, can you? That's why I choose to not worry about it. In the past few weeks I've seen mattresses and couches in the alley behind my building and neighboring buildings. I'm sure bed bugs are a stone's throw from me as I type. I wouldn't even be surprised to have them again one day.
BUT I don't have them NOW. And I'm enjoying it. I'm living my life again. I've recently stayed in a hotel. I'm buying a nice couch that I've always wanted. I'm planning trips. If I do get bed bugs again, I will be able to spot the signs faster and I will know what to do right away. I live in the city Terminix ranks 5th in the nation for bed bugs, in the most heavily infested part of town to boot. What can I do? I will be cautious but I'm not going to stress about it.
I was not always this optimistic about bed bugs. I was horribly depressed and completely consumed by BBs while I was in the midst of my battle. If that's how you feel right now, listen, I've been there. You WILL defeat the bed bugs and your life WILL go on. In fact, you will probably feel so normal again some day that you wont even remember to come back here and share your success story.
I still have tons of clothes to unload from ziplocs, I still have plain white sheets on my bed. I'll keep a vigilant eye out for fecal spots, and continue caulking the millions of cracks in here. But I will have friends over again, I will go on trips and stay in hotels, I will still ride public transportation when I have to. I will never completely forget this experience of course, but my life has moved on.
My name is Sylvie and, at least for now, I am normal again.
Well done, Sylvie, and thanks for the update!
Good for you and Congrats!
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