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Need advice on current self treatment - 1 adult found - hoping from traveling

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  1. mlynna3

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Mon Jan 8 2018 16:49:35
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    Hello and thank you for taking the time.

    A week ago today I found an adult in between mattress and box springs. I had 2 bites on my arm, but till the 2nd one I just thought it was a spider bite. I was changing sheets and that's when I found the bug. I captured and compared to photos which is why I then.... I immediately freaked out (as we do) and have been trying to keep a level head after that first night. I'm hoping to list what I've done so far and see if I can get some advice. (also info on my apt - I live in a 14 unit townhouse style apt sharing walls on either side, bedrooms & bath on 2nd floor while living rm kitchen on lower floor).

    First off:
    ** MON night: I immediately stripped bed linens and started the hot wash hot dry (twice with the dry after washing to be sure). I did initially throw away my dust ruffle and some throw pillows because I just told myself I didn't need them and didn't want to deal with them. I know now the error of my ways and even though I tied them off in a garbage bag and it was pretty air tight... I am now really regretting that decision.
    ** I ran out to Target and bought bed encasings. (These are staying on until I ultimately throw away the mattress and box springs - I have had this bed forever and was most likely going to get rid of them anyway but this will speed up the process). These might not be the ones recommended, but I already bought them and have taped with Gorilla glue clear tape the opening area as extra precaution.)
    ** I ran my pillows thru a full hot dry cycle (some I will get rid of, but it was hard to find ones I liked so I'm hoping I can keep them. I've run the ones I'm currently using thru the dryer twice and sprayed EcoRaider on them. Will hit the laundromat with them when I've caught up with all the clothes to process - and zap them with more heat just to be sure)
    ** I vacuumed my whole floor that first night that I could reach easily.
    **The maintenance person of my apt came by Wed and helped me do some deep searching of mattress (which we took out of the encasing fully to check) and box springs (which we only checked the area that was open of the encasing) - he isn't an expert but he dealt with bed bugs for his daughter and we didn't find any other evidence of bugs, fecal stains, or anything else. We took my bed apart (it's metal, so basically took wooden slats off and mattress/boxsprings off) and he has a steamer and steamed the hell out of the bedframe/slats, baseboards immediately behind/in front of bed. I can't say how hot it really gets (I've looked online but... it's an Omega hand held steamer blue. I do know it doesn't leave the area too moist. I've checked after about 5 min and it's not too damp, so I figure that's a good sign.) .
    SIDEBAR: My plan was to have him come by and help me evaluate so we could contact a PCO person and go from there. But since we didn't find anything else and no one else in the building say they have seen any I don't forsee the building people doing anything unless I fight them a lot on it... I just returned home from Christmas vacation and am hoping the 1 adult I found came from luggage or (eek) me and it's not from elsewhere. I have also used rubbing alcohol on all around the luggage and then promptly tossed it (I hated them anyway and really wanted new ones, so...). The items in the suitcase I bagged for later processing (shoes and anything I can't toss in dryer and or washer right away). Or I wiped what I could down with alcohol.

    ** I vacuumed under bed and all over again and really hit floor boards around everything (pulled bookshelf and vanity away from wall but my dresser (too heavy to move right away). I then steamed the floorboards and the creases of where the carpet meets the boards and was sure to give some extra steam time to any cracks or openings I found. I dried my sheets/pillows again (I wanted to rewash, but it was already 3 am and I had to sleep sometime...). I used DE (I have some that a friend gave me direct from the Northern Cali facility her dad works at that mines/processes it) along window sill and used a strainer around my bed to sprinkle it around the floor and used it on the little bit of carpet by the closet that was coming up - just in case.
    **Ok it's Thurs now and I haven't seen another sign of any bugs. Vacuumed up the DE around bed and put some tape sticky end out around bed posts until I can get my passive monitors (I ordered the Bed Bug ClimbUp Interceptors and get them today). Again I feverishly have been processing clothes (while I've been cleaning - so I've been careful to not really touch them with my clothes I'm wearing while putting them in bags, but... I'll most likely run them thru the dryer again before I fully trust those first bags... learning curve) . FYI I've not been the most organized of people when it comes to my bedroom, so there were piles of clean clothes that were around the bed that I was going to go thru and put away and or give away when I returned from Christmas vacation. I have been processing them thru dryer full load setting and bagging them with zip bags and either putting them on my living room floor or dropping them off at goodwill. *AM using this as a massive de-clutter/purge opportunity. Anything that I had on the floor near the dresser (i.e. papers, things that hadn't been put away yet knick knacks, etc.) have either been bagged up for processing (i.e. run thru at least 10 min heat in dryer if it's delicate or wiped with alcohol wipes) or wiped with alcohol and thrown into a garbage bag tied up as airtight as I can get it and tossed in the trash. I have clutter... I just am not crazy out of sight out of mind organized... although I probably will be after this. So I'm trying not to bag anything else up unless I think it might be necessary.
    **Thurs cont: I vacuumed and steam treated the closet baseboard edges, etc in my bathroom that is attached to my bedroom. I also took the wooden shelf unit that was holding towels and sheets in said closet and cleaned/steamed the seams of it. I'm using the shelf to hold zip bags of clothes so I can change in the bathroom. Pulled dresser from wall and gave it the vacuum then steam treatment.
    **Friday: continued my processing clothing. One load at a time because I was still fearful of taking possibly contaminated clothing in my car... tackled the stairs (carpeted - fyi everything but small entryway of apt, kitchen, and bathrooms is carpet). I vacuumed all carpet, wiped down tile of entry, and then deep focused on all crevices of stairs with vacuum attachment then steamed said crevices. At this point I finally have EcoRaider and now have sprayed a barrier around my living room from the entryway. Sprayed around my front door, a barrier around my bathroom closet opening, and a barrier around my closet inside my bedroom. I also set up an EcoRaider barrier around the spare bedroom upstairs where I have some extra clothing so it's got a kill line until I can tackle that room. I sprayed EcoRaider on my bedframe, under fitted sheet before putting freshly washed on it, on pillows, and then used some on some cotton swabs and put them into some clutter "to-process-later" bags and re-sealed them. Figure it couldn't hurt to let them hang out in there for awhile...
    **Fri Cont: I realized while I was cleaning processing my entryway that my couch was only in my apt for a few months and it was from a store that sold furniture from film sets... and then I freaked out thinking it could be source of my woes... so I had done a quick scan under cushions and around edges earlier, but now did an in-depth search. And found a carpet beetle... after mini panic attack and then realization that it wasn't a bedbug... I put mini tupperware containers under legs with EcoRaider inside them and "protected (or isolated)" my couch... and I sprayed the EcoRaider inbetween where the cushions sit and the back and inside the zipper area of the cushions. I also quick inspected my wing back chair and sprayed around it's legs too... this way I can hopefully catch them if I happened to missed seeing any.
    **Sat: Since I've been going to bed past 3:30 for 5 nights in a row and getting up at 8:30 for work... I decided that since I have EcoRaider barriers, have feverishly cleaned bedroom and entryway, and have all clothes but most in dresser and all hanging up in closet "processed" (I have LOTS of clothes - which I am fixing as I dryer process them) I could take a break from feverishly cleaning - see some friends for a few hours and then do some light maintenance of bedroom and hit bed a bit earlier than before. So I re-vacuumed and did some more clothes from dresser and went to bed.
    **Sun: Another break to see outside world for few hours that isn't work... and then I decide I want all my clothes done and my 1 dryer in basement of building isn't going to cut it... so I buy some awesome ZIP bags from Dollar Tree (the XXL ones are a godsend and somehow stronger than the same style of Ziplock brand ones) and bag up all the contents remaining in my dresser and head to laundromat. Why the hell didn't I do that sooner? OMG larger dryer - higher heat = 40 min of time and less money... THANK GOODNESS for my laundromat about a block away! So new game plan on clothes. Bag all remaining contents of closet in my bedroom and take them to laundromat.

    OK - so week later. I still haven't seen anymore signs of anything. I have lots of shoes at the bottom of my closet that I need to do something with... right? Ugh daunting task since there is only about 2 pair of tennis shoes in there... I have purses in cloth bins on shelf in said closet...

    GAME PLAN from here on out (no specific order just trying to list things mostly in order of what I think I need to do):
    *Finish processing the things I have pulled out of bedroom and that are currently sitting outside bedroom in spare bathroom and bathrooms entryway...
    *Take newly emptied out dresser and vacuum and spray all corners (and underneath if I can get it upside down...) with EcoRaider (i've now invested in the big bottle)
    *Put passive monitors under bed and couch.
    *I need to change sheets today so I'm planning on leaning up mattress and box spring and doing another vacuum under bed and spraying EcoRaider on slats too.
    *Super clean (aka, vacuum in crevices and steam crevices) and wipe down anything else with alcohol the spare bathroom/bathroom entryway above stairs.
    *The storage cabinet outside of bedroom I plan to wipe down and spray EcoRaider along corners.
    *Tackle spare room. *This is trickier since I use this as my office, crafting room, storage room, and where I hang my coats and nicer dresses... and where I have lots of yarn... My current plan is to de-clutter/toss papers and anything I think I can part with by tying them in garbage bags and possibly putting a cotton ball with EcoRaider in there... take clothes and dry them at laundromat on high for say 20 min (because not sure how long it takes those dryers to heat up to temp needed) and then bag them. Wash and dry large blankets I have stored in there (they need the washing anyway). Pull all away from walls and vacuum floorboards and steam. Keep stuff away from walls until I'm done with all so I can re-vacuuum and then spray eventually. But not bag anything but clothing/blankets that are fresh.
    *Then onto living room area... which is even trickier... as I have lots of Christmas decorations and not sure about what to do. Am currently thinking of leaving all up as is. Pulling all away from walls. Wiping counters down, vacuuming, vacuuming/steam treating floor boards, possibly steaming couch and chair, and then eventually doing another vacuum and then spray EcoRaider around floorboards and on ceiling corners... and keeping all things out for several weeks just to be safe.
    *Then once i've super cleaned all rooms. I plan on opening up the light socket covers and putting DE in there and then spraying EcoRaider around the outside of the socket, using caulking of somekind (I saw on a forum post someplace suggestions) to fill in cracks (I'm shocked with how many there are) and then EcoRaider along all corners that I can find just in case it happens to not be from traveling... I want to save this step of EcoRaiding all corners until after I've done the big cleaning unless someone thinks I should do it earlier.
    *I then will re-apply EcoRaider in 10 days and then keep up vacuuming/maintenance cleaning till I can determine the all clear.
    *Then I might for sanity sake and for having friends back over... contact a dog team and have them do a search.

    OTHER:
    *I've been trying to change clothing just before leaving the house in the morning. Spraying the bottom of my feet and shoes in alcohol before leaving my house. My purse and laptop/ipad with covers are in a transition zip bag just inside the apt. If I reuse clothes it's usually pants I take off right when I get in my apt and/or jackets that go directly into zip bags upon entering my apt. I am currently taking showers just before going to bed and if I have to put on new sheets I'm doing so with fresh PJ's on. Only thing that touches my bed (that I can help - my bedroom isn't large so I am getting good at avoiding touching the bedframe as I walk by) is me in fresh pj's and then I alcohol wipe my feet. Or my phone sometimes.
    *ANY ADVICE ON: what I should do with my books in my bedroom would be helpful. I have several books, purses, shoes, and girly accessories and I'm just wondering how much I need to worry about those right now.

    ALSO: These forums are amazing and thank you so much for being here to help and I might have started out a bit rocky but thanks to you I think I have a good game plan. I am still holding out hope it came with me from traveling. I've talked to my mom and had her heat wash/dry all bedding and any clothes I might have left there while visiting at Christmas and be on the lookout in case, but I didn't get bitten till I returned home, so hopefully all is ok and she hasn't seen any.

  2. thirdusername

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    Joined: Oct '17
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    Posted 1 week ago
    Mon Jan 8 2018 23:42:24
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    Bag anything you can do without fot a year.
    Carefully inspect anything else (you may be able to put shoes, purse in the drier but they might get ruined).

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  3. mlynna3

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    Joined: Jan '18
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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Jan 12 2018 0:27:02
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    thirdusername - 3 days ago  » 
    Bag anything you can do without fot a year.
    Carefully inspect anything else (you may be able to put shoes, purse in the drier but they might get ruined).

    Not really an option I'm hoping for... I don't think that's really a good option for me right now, but thanks.


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