Nightly Human Sacrifice(6 posts)
Hey there BedBugger Forum peeps -- I'm a long time fan, first time caller.
I'm new to the bed bug experience (New at Discovery Times Square! JK), and am rounding out the most anxiety ridden, stressful, sleepless, creepy, bad week of my life. I should be thankful for how charmed a life I have lead up to this point.
After a lovely Friday evening at the theater, I got home around midnight, to my small one bedroom apartment (it's something like 300 square feet). I plopped on my couch and started an episode of The X-Files. One where tobacco beetles are infesting people's lungs and killing them from the inside out and eating their face. Disgusting. Before heading to bed, I decided to change my linens since it was laundry day the next day. I have 5 pillows on my bed, two of which I almost never used. They sort of just leaned against the wall. I grabbed one, started to pull of the pillow case when I saw something black just along the edge seam. I jumped a mile and freaked. When I looked closer I saw some bugs and mess, but thought, oh well, bugs happen. I wiped it off with a paper towel. However, then I wised up and though, let me check the other pillows. Second unused pillow: even more. I was sooo grossed out. I thought, let me just wash these, they'll be fine. I put them in the laundry bag. Then I pulled off the linens. And then I started having second thoughts and freaking out.
I pulled out the trust computer and with a faint hope googled "spider mites" just hoping that whatever bug I had was just a bug, no biggie. I live in NYC now, but growing up near a river in a semi-rural community, bugs were no strange thing. It had been rainy lately and I figured they were just being driven in. I have two cats, which means more detritus than just one person and I've had some areas of detritus eating bugs. But the very second I pressed enter on my search, a picture of a bug popped up that was the very bug I had. A bed bug. I was immediately horrified at the bugs and at myself. I bagged the pillows and threw them out then bagged the linens and put them back in the laundry bag for washing. For the next two hours, I googled bed bugs to death -- unfortunately, they are resistant to googling. What I learned was that I probably shouldn't disturb anything - I didn't want to send them packing to infest another area. And that I had to sleep in my bed. I had to sleep in my bed. That very night. Before making my bed I lifted the mattress up and found only small areas of evidence (to my very untrained eye). I hastily made my bed then sort of just got in the middle of it and had a very hard time sleeping.
It turns out I do not react to their bites. I felt so foolish for not having detected them. I thought I had been doing regular checks -- but i was wrong. Lifting up your mattress to look between it and your box spring is not enough. I really didn't understand all the places bedbugs like to be. I have a few friends who have experienced the bugs and they gave me advice. I did some laundry and double bagged it, then basically froze in fear for two days. I called a few exterminators and only got through to one (I have to move sometime in the next 30 days and his advice was NOT to get treatment and to just try to control them. I'm glad I did not follow his advice).
Monday rolled around and I was exhausted and scared. I was unable to fall asleep. I'd be so tired each night but once my body hit that bed, my mind started acting up, imagining the sacrifice I was making to these bugs so they wouldn't infest the rest of my apartment (hoping they hadn't already). Knowing they were coming out to feast on my blood made my skin crawl. I think I also found a life bug on my couch that night -- and then realized that I had seen a couple prior to the discovery in my bed. I was horrified with myself. HOW COULD I NOT KNOW???
I called PCOs and cried a lot that morning. My boss thought I had suffered a severe break up or someone had died. Everyone was worried at work, but I couldn't bear the shame of telling them I had bed bugs. I was floored by the cost of treatment, and while I know it's the landlord's responsibility to pay for treatment in NYC, they have proved time and again to be unreliable, rude, and often to half ass any repair or task. Money, at this point, was a small price to pay to be able to sleep again at night.
I asked for an inspection on Tuesday. I took the day off from work and (after having asked and been given permission by the PCO to start laundry tasks - I was 100% certain I had the vampire critters) took the day off to spend a marathon day at the laundromat. The guy who did the inspection was a little...mean? Or something at first. Especially when I showed him the samples I had collected. He wanted to know why I hadn't just called for treatment. Well...because I have no idea what I'm dealing with! That is why. He didn't have to look far to know that my problem wasn't small.
Wednesday found me at work, exhausted, bags under my eyes...I had social obligations that evening that I couldn't break. And going home that night was so difficult. I was SCARED. I didn't want to get in bed anymore (still did). I was afraid of tracking bugs to work, and all around anxious.
Thursday I had a doctor's appointment that took 4 hours and left me with a sore shoulder (no heavy lifting or activity) and the rest of the day off to finish the amazing laundry project, take my cats to a friend's house, and then stay in closer to work b/c I had to be in early the next morning. My life was contained in ziplock bags at this point. I was only wearing PJs in the bedroom. I was only using towels in the bathroom. I was getting dressed in the kitchen.
Friday morning was treatment. Two guys showed up bright and early. I was afraid I had not prepped enough, but apparently I had. They came in and immediately flipped over the mattress and flipped up the box spring. My biggest fear up to this point was that when it was flipped over there would be a large, muppet-like bed bug mocking me, wanting to suck my blood. That is almost what happened. One guy flipped it over and immediately yelled for the chemical can. They wasted no time in getting down to business. I was sent out to get plastic & duct tape for wrapping the box spring -- it had to go. By the time I got back the guys had made the apartment pretty chemically. They were spraying with pesticides, dusting, and steaming my furniture. They seemed very confident that they could help me. When I informed them I wouldn't be back for over 24 hours, they became excited at the level of toxicity that mean they could reach in my bedroom.
I had to wait outside. I was nervous. When they were done one of the guys explained to me that there was heavy activity in and around an outlet and that his personal opinion was that they had come from within the building. Shut. The. Front. Door.
I haven't been back yet. I go back tonight. I'm scared of the aftermath. They wouldn't even let me back in, they locked my door for me and everything. I called my landlord and his nasty wife to try to share the information I had learned. I was basically told that there is no way they were coming from the walls because my neighbor doesn't have any bugs, and that it was a waste of money to call an exterminator because all it takes is 91% rubbing alcohol to get ride of them. The landlords are jokes. The neighbor has not had an inspection. Two weeks ago and I also would have said I didn't have bed bugs.
Anyway, for anyone who stuck through this, thanks for reading! I'm still massively traumatized and scared. I cannot wait to get a new place and move, but I'm also scared sh*tless that I will take some bugs with me All I can hope for is the best, be diligent in my inspections, clean, vacuum, and keep my eye out, and hope for a more responsive landlord.
Tonight, we'll see what the aftermath is like.
Hi Bedbug... Yeah sure is a mind blowing experience, been dealing with the same sh*t for a few weeks and wouldn't wish this crap on my worst enemy.
Hang in, I've been feeling somewhat better since being sprayed, nothing moving.... yet.
If you are going to move anyway, you can successfully escape by having a truck treated with Vikane or using a firm that has an Insect Inferno for heat treatment.
Treating everything you take is cheaper than you'd think and if you are free to go, you may want to do this sooner rather than paying for lots of treatment.
Note that if someone reading this is in the same situation, with an obvious infestation and a landlord who is usually unresponsive and useless, calling 311 should bring out an inspector who can class it as a violation. The city is now telling landlords to inspect adjacent units and treat them if needed-- and in your case that would make all the difference.
If your case is still really obvious (visually, i.e. you're still seeing bed bugs) and you don't want to move right away, then calling 311 may still be a good bet. Some people don't want to antagonize the landlord and I understand that but the system can help.
Try not to stress about going home. The situation is bound to be much better than before treatment.
Nobugsonme - It didn't even occur to me to call 311. The entire situation was just so horrifying that I wanted to remedy the situation to the best of my ability as soon as I was able. Ultimately, the ability to sleep at night is priceless.
I am home now. The apartment was not as bad as I imagined (of course). The box spring had to go, so the downfall to that is my mattress doesn't stay on the frame very well! The mattress also weighs a ton, so getting a cover on it will be a special challenge.
Now the challenge is finding a new place to live and figuring out how much to settle back in, clean up, etc. I was imagining hundreds of dead and dying bugs, and really, it hasn't been bad.
Glad it wasn't as bad as you thought!
Re: 311: I understand. Most don't call which is why we've always claimed the city stats on how many people get bed bugs each year must be miles away from the truth.
And there are good reasons not to call.
If you were someone else who wanted to stay in that apt., it would
likely be the best option for getting all infested units dealt with.
And there's likely someone else reading this in that boat.
Nobugs, what are the reasons for not calling 311? I'm in NYC too, and now that my landlord has shrugged off the problem, I keep calling them in mind. The main reasons I don't are not wanting to further harm my relationship with my single-building landlord, which has already been affected if not ruined by the bb situation, and not knowing if the city inspector will confirm it without seeing an actual live bug, which I haven't yet this time. All I've got for evidence is what I know are bed bug bites -- and I'm 100% positive, since I saw and killed quite a number of live bed bugs before the first extermination, and these are the same bites.
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