Need advice/reassurance.Worried about spreading bed bugs(8 posts)
So, as seen by my username, I'm scared crapless about bed bugs. I found the first nasty bug about a week or so ago, perhaps less than? It was just crawling on my white comforter, I'm kind of amazed I caught it actually. I flushed that one because at the time I didnt realize it was a bed bug. I did however quickly realize thats what it was and started attacking Google for any and all information. The next day I found another one crawling on my box springs, and the next day I found one behind my bed on the wall. I kept that one. Unfortunately I have an incredibly busy life (I leave the house at 9am and get home anwhere between 11pm and 1am) so I wasnt able to go talk to my landlord about it in time and then I had to leave for Thanksgiving Break.
I havent found any signs of them on my mattress, thankfully, or my sheets. No signs of fecal matter or casings, and no signs on my boxsprings either. I just got back from my parents house a few cities over and sure enough the moment I walked in my bedroom and inspected my bed, I found three bed bugs in various stages of life tucked away in the plastic corner of my boxspring. I killed them immediately and taped them so that I can go show them to my landlord asap in the morning. As far as other signs of bedbugs, well I said it somewhere in the post but I have very few typical signs and I only have one set of breakfast-lunch-dinner bites.
I dont have internet at my house right now so I'm at a friends place, crashing on his couch, and I am SUPER paranoid about spreading the bugs to him and having spread them without realizing it to my parents. I used a suitcase that was in an attached closet to my room that was up on a high shelf so Im hoping desperately that there no bugs in that. The clothes I took were freshly washed and dried for about three hours and then were dried again for another hour once I got to my parents house. As for right now, I'm in a brand new sweater and wearing pants from my parents house so I really am confident I wont spread the bugs to my friend's apartment. And I know its bad to not sleep in your own room when you have the bugs but, well, going home for Thanksgiving couldnt be avoided and I'm just staying at my friends place for one night to do some research about the bedbugs/homework.
My question, I guess, is how easy is it really to spread bed bugs? How likely is it that they're in my car? Whats your personal experience about spreading them? And on that note...My roommate claims he doesnt have them which I find really hard to believe. We have a fairly small apartment so if they do spread as easily as the interwebz claims, wouldnt he have them too?
And, well, I have been stressing about this pretty hardcore. Should I be? How do you all deal with the stress? I've never dealt with anything like this before and I'm so paranoid that since I live in an apartment complex that even after I bring in the pest control management I'll get a reinfestation. It seems I've caught the infestation pretty early so maybe it wont be so bad?
Basically, I need some reassurance from people that this will be okay and I'm not a walking bed bug bus. I cant be afraid to go places...
Hi there. So sorry you're going through this. As a fellow victim who recently discovered a bug, I know the torment you're going through.
The bad news is that, in my experience, I think they hitch rides pretty frequently (moreso if it's a bad infestation). I'm 99.9% sure that the bugger we found came in on my friend who had them--and who had been exterminated last month (this was her second go-round in three years, and her infestation this time around only had a few bites and one visible bug. I thought for sure that it was ok to have her over, given the fact that she'd been through two treatments this time and was still living out of bags, but less than 24 hours after she sat on our couch, we found a live one.
Maybe we're just incredibly unlucky? But it sounds like you have a decent infestation going and should probably curtail sleeping at other's places until you're sure it's under control. Sorry :/
Gee, I would have thought it was ok to have her over too, sleepless. I am sorry you had this unlucky development, but hope it begins and ends with this one bug.
I really don't understand this hitch-hiking thing. I mean, they aren't trying to travel with anyone; they just get on them somehow. There must be an answer, a reason, that bugs would end up traveling on someone, even someone who has taken precautions. It's something about bug behavior that we don't understand. The most obvious reason, in the case of someone who has been using bags, is that they were actually in the bag despite our best efforts. I just don't see the bugs chasing someone down who is about to leave their home to go visit someone. Did the bug look like it had fed? The reason I ask, is because of my theory that bugs are feeding on someone at the time of departure, and that is why they leave with them. Only a hungry bug would seek out someone's body when the person wasn't in bed or stationary somewhere.
If only someone would invent a walk-thru sanitizer like we see in science fiction movies. One in every doorway.
I just had a chat with a K9 handler who consults with our city entomolgist. They are observing changes in the bed bugs behaviour including non nocturnal activity even when the bug is not after a feed. Scary stuff.
Yes, that is scary, BugWary. I gave up the nocturnal belief system some time ago. Our habits are different than they were some 50-100 years ago, the last era of high bug activity. People didn't sit at computers or watch TV for hours on end back in those days. There is no particular reason why the bed and deep into the night would be primary arenas for their feasting.
But I wonder what they are doing when they are not after a feed. Would be interested in learning what these K9ers are discovering.
Thanks to everyone who replied! I got professionals in today to start treatments and he said he didn't think it was a bad infestation at all, and the carpet cleaners who came today as well agreed that isnt wasnt too bad. They tried to reassure me that I caught it early and we had it under control but well I'm still worried and I'm really paranoid that inadvertently I've spread to them my friend already--he lives in the same apartment complex and I'm constantly over at his apartment, almost daily. I'm thinking that, if he was going to get them, he'd have them already. When I was at his place last night I was wearing clothes that I'd brought with me from my hometown and had only entered my apartment for about thirty minutes. I took every precaution I could not to bring any in with me...but well I'm still worried.
I feel like I'm stressing about these damned bugs way too much--especailly their evil offspring. My roommate is actually irritating me a bit because he's treating it like its no big deal and he's joking about it, but its really causing me a lot of turmoil. I spent all of today vacuuming our whole apartment and I even had to bag up his entire room before the steam cleaners came because he was at his classes (I had to actually skip mine today because of this whole situation.)
How have you all gotten over the stress of bed bugs?
I'm really in need of some reassurance, still.
I am fairly sure that I was exposed to bed bugs at a hotel stay in February or March of 2008.
I didn't figure out I had a bed bug infestation until June of 2008.
(1. I live in a city that at the time was not generally aware of bed bugs. 2. I have a cat so I suspected fleas. 3. My cat puts holes in my screens, so I also suspected mosquitos--it being mostly warm for most of that time period since I live in southern California.)
Between the initial exposure and me realizing that I had bed bugs, I made the following trips:
Possible exposure visit one: a hotel for work--overnight. I did not have roommates.
Possible exposure visit two: a hotel for a weekend conference, also for work. It was at this hotel that I discovered what I thought was a tick in the bed. The room had two queen beds. I had two roommates, one of whom slept in the same bed I did.
May 2008: Went to a hotel in another state for another conference. Room had two queen beds. I again had two roommates. This trip lasted basically a week.
June 2008: Flew to a friend's house for a visit prior to a conference. Drove from her house to the conference in yet another state. Stayed in that room (again a double with two queens) for a weekend conference. Then drove back to her home for another day's visit before flying back to this coast.
At that point I was still not aware that I had a bed bug problem.
You can imagine when I found out it was bed bugs, exactly how panicked I was that I spread them like Bugphoid Mary to all these colleagues and friends, right?
I sucked it up, called every last person, confessed the truth, and braced for terrible news . . . that never came.
I am not saying that everyone should travel willy nilly and sleep all over the country, lugging an untreated and uninspected suitcase with them. That would be a very bad idea.
And I'm not saying that a very unlucky person couldn't accidentally bring a hitch hiker or two along.
I am saying that when you're in the throes of having discovered a new infestation, the instinct is to fear that the bugs are EVERYWHERE, infesting EVERYTHING, and suddenly upholstered public transit seats look like harbingers of verminous doom.
But that while that initial response is totally normal, it may not be a terribly statistically accurate assessment of your chances of infestation.
I do think that it's important, whenever it is safe to do so, to disclose as openly as possible to the people you're visiting what the situation is. Doing so will make you feel better, sure; but disclosing (when possible) also helps educate others about bed bugs, inspection, and general best practices to decrease the chance of bringing an infestation home for those people you're educating.
At least two of the people I roomed with on those trips have now learned how to inspect hotel rooms. They've passed the knowledge on to others. As a result, one of those they passed the info onto avoided a hotel room stay in a place where she found bed bugs.
It remains one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I still wouldn't wish bed bugs on my worst enemy. But it will get better over time even if that feels impossible now.
so unsettling - 1 year ago »
If only someone would invent a walk-thru sanitizer like we see in science fiction movies. One in every doorway.
I have a development: Turns out, we do have small spiders in the apartment. I am hoping to god that the spider I found in the bathroom is just that-- a small, bedbug-like SPIDER.
I will continue to search for them to be careful. In the meantime, if anyone has any experience on carrying please please please please PLEASE let me know, even if it is just to soothe my anxiety and feeling of crawling everywhere. (UGH!)
Thank you so much for the link. That helped a LOT. One thing that I am concerned about is that I live in NYC in a building with less than 3 apartments, so I am very worried about extermination. I work a 10$ an hour job and i have little savings, my family cannot help me financially because the recession has struck as all hard. I heard he has helped the apartment downstairs before over a year ago but I do not know what methods he used and if they were properly effective, or even if he hired a PCO.
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