Newcomer: First encounter and my steps to mitigate the situation. Tips please?(8 posts)
First of all I'm really glad to find this forum, it seems really active and people on it seem knowledgeable.
I'm a student at a University here in New Orleans, LA. I've lived in apartments off campus since last year but my new current apartment seems to have a bit of a bed bug problem. Actually my legs are being demolished by these bed bugs. I've seen two on my leg before like little black specks.
Although I've been getting bites for quite a few weeks I thought it was from mosquitoes because there are also a lot of mosquitoes here in New Orleans. After looking up the symptoms online I realized it was actually bed bugs.
My current steps: I've just washed all my linens, and my bed padding as well as my blankets and pillow case in hot water and then used a dryer on hot as well for about 50 minutes each. I've ordered certified encasements for the box springs as well as the mattress and pillow. Those are arriving on Tuesday. I also ordered a bed bug spray called "Rest Easy" that supposedly uses all natural ingredients and smells strongly of cinammon. Apparently cinnamon oils are effective?
These are the products:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VNR3SS (encasement - Allerzip for mattress)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P1I5YI (encasement - box spring)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UBS2OS (pillow encasement)
I am also going to clear out my room since I have a bunch of boxes here. When the encasements arrive I plan to wash and dry all the linens, blanket, etc. again. Then I will spray the entire room floor (it is carpeted, which is a big worry since I feel that the bed bugs will attach to the floor).
Do you think I am taking adequate steps? I really can't afford a pest control professional as I am only a student, and I doubt my land lord will help although I might still try asking anyway.
I will try to respond until one of the experts anwers you. First you have to identify your pest as definately being a bed bug. Little black specks could be fleas, or mites or anything. Try to capture one on a piece of sticky tape or in a little baggie and take a picture for identification. Usually pco's in your area will identify a sample if you take it to them for free or you could try taking a picture and posting it here. The Rest Easy spray I believe is a repellant and that is not recommended for bed bugs because it just makes them disburse further into the apartment. The natural sprays are not very good. You should check the local laws - your landlord may be responsible for treating the apartment, especially if they were there before you moved in. If you are going to use encasements you should treat the mattress and box spring first with dry vapor steam or spray or wait until a pco treats them to seal them up. Make sure they are very dry before you do it.
Hi bbgirl, thanks for answering!
I'm really having trouble catching any bed bugs, but the reason I believe they are bed bugs is because I only seem to get bitten at night when I sleep and the affected areas tend to be my extremities such as my ankle area and lower legs and occasionally my arms. I heard that these symptoms are similar to what other people get from bed bugs.
However, it is potentially possible that there may also be fleas of some sort as well. While two of the black specks that were on my leg a couple of days ago just moved around on my leg before I flicked them off, another one more recently actually hopped off when I tried to touch it.
As for using dry vapor steam I can't really afford a steamer. I'll try to look into my effective sprays however. Is it really that bad to encase the mattress and box spring as soon as I can? I would wash all the linens and blankets after doing that. If a PCO wasn't an option I can't think of any other alternative and this situation is driving me nuts. I actually haven't slept at last night because I was washing everything in hot water to see if that at least temporarily diminished the problem. (Which it didn't apparently, although I can't tell if I got new bites or if they were just recent bites from the day prior)
A black speck "hopping" off your leg, sounds like a flea to me.
Fleas center on your legs and feet, but can get other places if you are infested with them.
From what I've read here, bed bugs don't "hop" they "scurry" or run and though tiny, they are more than a black speck.
hey, lift your mattress and look around the edges. You will know a bedbug when you see one. You need to identify the issue. Bedbugs are not super tiny they are about half the size of a dime and brown in color.
IF you do have them it is recommended to get an expert to take care of them. Also, if you can afford it get a steam cleaner with a wide nozzle. Steam will kill them. I am not an expert but I am affected by them as well. I did a ton of research and they are super hard to get rid of and annoying
Yea actually I'm starting to think it might be a flea infestation, which I don't know if that is better or worse than a bed bug infestation. I didn't realize there could be fleas despite not having pets. I'm getting a flea trap which works by attracting them with light and odor and then traps them with a sticky pad.
I know this site is more directed towards bed bugs, but if this is a flea infestation instead does anyone know effective ways of getting rid of the fleas?
Fleas should be easier to deal with.
Hi Shur: The reason I recommended treating or having the mattress and box spring treated before encasing is because I was so anxious to get mine encased that I did it before treating them about 6 months ago. Now that they are on I'm too scared to remove them to treat the box spring because if there are any bugs in there they must be starving......can't risk releasing them. Treat before encasing.....you'll sleep better. If a thorough inspection doesn't show any signs you're probably ok to cover them. You should check inside the box spring as they can penetrate the dust cover and that is a common place for them to be. Adult bugs are a little smaller than an apple seed.
It sounds like fleas to me from what you said about their behavior.....the encasements are good anyway though because they protect the mattress against dust mites which are in everyone's homes. If you are looking for information about fleas you can use the search tool in the upper right hand corner of the screen....I know I have seen suggestions about fighting fleas in the forums in the past
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