So it's taken me almost 8 months to be able to post this, but I think we've dealt with our problem. We're guessing husband brought bedbugs back from a trip to Europe (he stored his suitcase open under the bed in a London hostel- in retrospect not the best idea!) They surfaced about a month after he came back; I was getting bitten but he did not react. I went into full-on freak-out mode, sure we had bedbugs. He didn't believe me until I captured a couple of nymphs on some tape.
The landlord then hired a PCO who said he would only need to come out once to treat our problem because it was low level and we'd caught it early. Because of what I'd read on this forum, I was sure this was not true and was very upset, but we proceeded with treatment. I also washed everything in sight -or used the Pack-tite- and stored it in plastic bins surrounded by double-sided tape or in plastic bags. We threw away a lot of stuff, including one of our mattresses and our comforter, and we encased the remaining mattress and box spring in Aller-Zip bedding. We vacuumed a lot and at one point I sprayed down the bed frame every night with Murphy's and water. At this point I was not sleeping, puking from nervousness, etc. and had to go on prescription sleeping meds. We live in a duplex, but our neighbors never reported any problems and received no treatment.
We were treated (conventionally) in mid September -about a week after we figured out we had the bugs for sue- and, in fact, the bugs never did return. It took me a very long time -almost three months- to believe that they wouldn't come back. I finally started to take our stuff out of the plastic. We've got a couple of things (violin) in bags that we couldn't heat that I guess will stay there for 18 months...it does make me nervous as we have to move to a new city in July. We will definitely be looking for a place with no bugs...anyone know of a quick way to detect their presence while looking at prospective rentals?
I guess the lesson is that if you've got a problem, hit it hard and hit it fast. I feel lucky. This was a horrible experience, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. We probably spent almost $700 all told between the plastic, the Pack-tite, the encasements, and the treatment. On the other hand, it definitely decreased my attachment to stuff. How little we really need to live! I'm never owning more than I have to again. You never know when you might need to defend it.
Congratulations! Not only on being bed bug free but on taking a lot less time than I did to relax and get back to a more normal life once they were gone. Thanks for taking the time to come back and let us know how things turned out.
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