Please help. Just read and give me your opinion from expierence!! IM DESPERATE!(36 posts)
Sorry about my grammer and/or spelling. Im trying to write this as fast as i can bc i want some kind of support/help/answers.
So, i moved out of my boyfriends house and into my sisters apartment in march of 2010. Its a crappy 16 unit apartment building. We live on the top floor, each floor has 4 apts. We only have one neighbor. My sister had to travel to syracuse ny for her job. When she came home she had this ring around her neck like an allergic reaction to fake jewlery. A month passes. Our neighbor across the hall moves out and into a lower floor apt. I start getting these bites. I show the nurses i work with and they tell me it has to be flea bites bc i have a cat. But i put advantage flea stuff on my cat. I brush off their flea theory. My sister thinks Im crazy, and my boyfriend does also. They say Im overreacting over a few bites, but they dont understand how itchy these things are. So itchy to the point i itch them open and make them bleed. We find a beautiful, i mean BEAUTIFUL, just built 2 bedroom apartment. Higher price, but worth getting out of the area. Sign the lease and are to move June 1, 2010. Then my sister then started getting bites. Way to call me the crazy one right?? I have no insurance, she does. So she goes to her doctor on tues may 25,2010. Her doctor tells her its scabies. So $40 later and a tiny tube of permithrin cream, we wash our bed sheets and lather up. But that wasnt the end of it. We kept getting bites. Let me mind you we are in our early 20's. That 40 dollar cream alone set us back with having coming up with 1600 for the rent and security deposit on the new place with our paychecks for the month. So anyways, we kept getting bites. So i thought, maybe my cat does have fleas. $70 later with flea bombs, flea spray and another box of advantage I decide to take action against the fleas right after work on friday may 28,2010. Spray everything, take my cat to my boyfriends, and bombed the apartment. My sister works 2 jobs. One 9-5 monday- fri and a weekend job, so fridays she goes from one job straight to the next. The apartment was aired out just in time for when she got home at 12am sat morning. We decide to take the bedsheets and comforters to the laundrymat. On our way out the door, my sister mentions how we forgot the dust ruffle that goes in between the mattress and box springs. Thats when my world came to a halt. We picked up the mattress and went to grab the dust raffle when BAM. my sister (SARAH) starts freaking out! You know, the hop jump and screaming when you see a bug?? I run to the kitchen grab a cup and let it crawl into it then doused it in my flea spray. thats when sarah says the word. BED BUGS. We looked around the edges of her mattress and found one area of black dots and another bed bug. we didnt know what to do. we dropped the mattress and ran into my room and looked at my mattress. nothing. why was there nothing in my room when i was getting bit up more than she was????? So after that stress, and not knowing what to do, we decide to go down the street to the bar to grab a beer on a bed bug free stool and discuss our options with our little amount of money due to treating something else. We finish our one beer and head to walmart at now 2 am. we buy 2 mattress covers $40 total. didnt have enough to buy 4 so the box springs could get one alos. We head back to the apt and shove the mattresses in the covers and then sit in the living room searching for bed bug information on the computer as well as exterminators. Thank God they have 1800 numbers. Too bad we found out the exterminator would cost US about 100o for our apartment and state regulations would make it manditory that ALL 16 apartments to be exterminated!!!! and on top of that we searched whose responsibility, landlord or tenant and found out depending on the state, we would be responsible for the bill. and thats just one treatment. its then about 5 am on sat may 29. we are to move in 3 days, which means we have to unpack all of our boxes. Oh joy. The computer said to still sleep in your bed, but HOW can I let them crawl on me??? We resort to the loveseat and couch. Wake up at 9am. What a measly 4 hours sleep. After waking up with barely any sleep, im exhausted to say teh least. But we need to find a way to battle these little buggers. Sarah my sister, calls teh landlord and tells him about it. He claimed he has never heard of bedbugs which i find is a lie and says he will exterminate the apartment after we move on tues. My research then says We shouldnt move for at least a month after your bed bug free. what are we to do??? we have to move. We head to home depot and try to find bed bug killer. WE DID!! We bought a bunch of gallons of that HOT SHOTT bed bug spray and also foggers. another $50 worht of stuff we cant afford. I read taht foggers are bad bc they make the bed bugs run to other apartments only to infest those and then return. Did i do that when i set off those flea foggerS??? We figured were going to douse EVERYTHING, with this spray then while our remaining stuff is in teh uhaul we will shut the door and set off the 3 foggers. were can they run? they are sealed in. We also stopped at kmart and bought those XXL zip lock bags so we can put our clean washed clothes and such in them, since they die at 115 degrees.
Go home. inspect the living room furniture. nothing. Dining room furniture nothing. Kitchen... again nothing. We decide we are going to just pitch our mattresses. Its not worth taking the risk of bring them. we will just have to save up to get more once we are in and bed bug free and back to normal life.so we spray every inch of the furniture and take off the net type backing from under the couch and loveseatt, again nothing there, so we soak that in the spray. spray the carpet, the baseboards, every nook and cranny. Opened boxes and took things out and sprayed them. Sprayed the outside of the boxes themselves. My sister stored all of her photos in shoe boxes under her bed. Our house caught fire and burnt to the ground when we were younger so could you imagine how hard it was for her to pitch all of these pictures?? the ones you can never replace. The ones we did manage to save from the first like our baby pictures??? its pretty freaking hard. so after all of this its now 11pm at night. we take all of our washable items and bag them up, load them in the cars and head to the laundrymat. Half way there my sister calls me and said hey, lets take those mattresses and bo springs to the dumpster now so we turn around and head back home. Stupid Stupid me. I took all the money out of my bank account. there was 1 something left so i could pay for the uhaul and deal with washing these 30 bags of clothes, towels, coats, bedshit. well just another bump in the road. I left my black purse in my car under my passenger seat. After taking the mattress and boxsprings out and returning to my car for a much needed cigerette, it hit me. my purse and wallet were stolen!!!!!! wow, no offense, but way to fuck me over God, if you are up there!!!! What am i to do? we have to move on, there are bigger fish to fry, specifically named bed bugs. I immediately called to shut off my phone and my debit cards. I figured ill call the police to make a report later bc if not it will only be another 1hr waiting around, making police reports and such. We head to the laundrymat. So we head there with 30 bags of washables. and walk out with 8 XXl zip lock bags. We threw everything away. Again, the house fire comes back into my mind. It was so hard starting from scratch, so I hold onto everything i own with pride only to end up thrwoing them into a dumpster... leather coats, our comfortors ( mine was a brand new 300 dollar set) a bunch of clothes. Lord this is just getting worst. We didtn get home til 7am. Im exhausted Shes exhausted so we leave our newly bed bug free washables in the ziplock baggies in my car, head upstairs and fall onto the couch and try to fall asleep. Wake up call its 10 am sunday and there is pounding at my door. Sunday May 30 2010... what a great memorial day weekend. Just think, while you guys were out there grilling, boating, hanging out with family, drinking a beer... i was dealing with this mess. GO ME... not.
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG! god 3 hours of sleep and ive never jumped so high out of my sleep before. My sister answers the door. Its the police they found my purse. Man now theyre trying to turn it on me bc i didnt report it stolen. I want to tell him the hell we are going through with these bed bugs. That the bed bugs were more important than reporting my purse at that moment. but its embarassing. I already know what they will say. OMG THEYRE SO DIRTY, THEY HAVE BEDBUGS! Im so glad i have my boyfriend! I get to vent to him about everything, but he doesnt understand. he didnt have to throw away all of his stuff. he never even had to expierence how itchy the damn things were bc HE NEVER GOT ONE BITE!!! Even after basically staying over my hosue everynight. Then i think OGOD! could you imagine if he took it home to his moms house. The police tell me they are going to fingerprint my purse. OK keep me posted. I call Brian, my boyfriends, mother jsut to let her know whats going on. She comforts me and tells me everything will be okay. She always knows how to do that. So the day continues. More spraying. More unpacking and repacking. Threw away both of our brand new bedroom sets. Its so freaking hard!!! and I have to work tomorrow. So we continue spraying and cleaning. My boyfriend brings a pizza and drinks down for me and my sister and then convinces me to come to his house to get a good nights sleep for work in teh a.m. It didnt take long to think about sleeping in a warm bed, no fear of something sucking your blood. so i took him up on the offer. As soon as i got to his house I went straight into the shower and took a relaxing shower and put on some of my very dry and hot clean clothes from the one bag that we packed that had our clothes for a week in it. It feels good. I go to lay down, but then my mind races. I think i feel things crawling on me?? Is it just in my head. I keep looking where its itchy but i see nothing. I end up falling asleep imagining what if we didnt find them until tues when we moved. i guess at least we found them now so we could do what we are doing. I dont have much hope. everyone is saying get an exterminator that i talk to on the computer. but i cant afford it. trust me, i wish i could get that heating extermination thing, were they run ducts of hot air into your house to heat it past 130 to kill all bed bugs, nymphs and eggs. but as you guys have figured out if you read all my post. my life is never easy. its always the hard way. Monday May 31, 2010.
I go into work. I need to tell someone what is going on in my life. If not i might blow my freakin brains out. I cant deal with this. I tell teh girls at work with in my department. they are very supportive. I told them how embarrassed i was. they said its nothing to be embarassed about, it could happen to anyone. It doesnt mean im dirty or anything like that. but what do they really think. Are they thinking OMG what if she gave me them??? Stressful day. How am i supposed to work when i have all of this going on in my life. and im moving tomorrow???
I go home to my sister only to break down. i have a complete mental breakdown. Crying so hard taht I cannot breathe. My sister gets my aunt on the phone, who is basically my mother figure, since my mother wasnt there much, and she calms me down. I have no money for the uhaul. My purse was stolen. I just want to say Thank you Aunt Michelle and Uncle Scott. They gave me and my sister each 150. I feel bad taking the money, but i need it right now. I have no gas, no money for the uhaul, and no idea on what i am going to do. They refuse and refuse to let us pay them back. thats what family is for.
Tuesday June 1st 2010.
not much to say expect we moved. as everything was leaving teh house to be loaded on the uhaul, we sprayed it one more time with the spray. After everything was on, we went and parked in and set off 3 bed bug bombs in the back. LORD PLEASEEEE MAKE THIS WORK!!!
As we carried things into teh house, we did it box by box. we would carry a box in, unpack it. make sure nothing was in it, put it where it belonged, then took the empty box out and brought another in. I kept some of my stuff from my room. Picture frames, i opened them sprayed them closed them spray them, nothing there, but it in a garbage bag and knotted them up. I hope we did this. I hope this worked. June 1st til now June 21 2010.
So we moved into our new place. Its perfect here. besides the fact that we are sleeping on air mattresses. Our new place is in a "woodsy" area, so we are noticing alot of bugs we would have never noticed before. for petes sake. i pick out a pototo bug on the side walk from 10 ft away. I feel like a crack fiend. you know how they walk and are constantly picking things off the floor thinking its their drugs.... yea well that what me and my sister do expect its to look to see if its a bed bug. ohh the joys of life after you have expierenced bed bugs. i dont think it will ever be the same again. So i went to bedbugger.com and was reading some of the post there this guy said he got rid of bed bugs by using ortho home defense max even though it didnt list bed bugs on the label. after researching a bunch of other "post-ees" claimed too alos. I bought taht and sprayed once or twice the first week. we werent being bit, thats all i cared about, and being lazy after working and going to school i stopped spraying. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 2 weeks later
i cannot sleep. actually i havent been able to sleep since i find out. no matter where i go i feel things crawling on me. My boyfriend brian checked his mattress and box spring and he said there was nothing, so did his brother. then i noticed i was getting tiny itchy bumps. nothing compared to what they were before. not incredibly itchy, but what normal itchy is. again. theres the YOUR CRAZY NIKKI comments from my boyfriend. the "i need to let it go and move on". but what are these bites????? my sister texted me early one morning saying seh found a bug in her car, she wasnt sure if it was a bed bug or not. she ran and did her jump hop and scream and came back and it was gone. was it a bed bug?? we did transport our dirty washables in the cars before we got to teh laundry mat??? just another doubt in my head. is this nightmare going to end??? it couldnt have been that easy to get rid of them after i read all about them and heard the way they follow people. are these little tiny bumps just bug bites... not bed bug bites??? so its june 22 2010 at 2am. i cannot sleep. and i wont be able to sleep. I read somewhere they come out to eat between 3 and 5 am. tricky bastards. thats when we are in our deepest sleep. well let me get to teh bottom of this. at 10pm tonight while laying on my airmattress playing on my laptop with my boyfriend next to me sleeping for work and my sister in her room sleeping for work a bug started crawling across the screen. I FREAKED!!! esp bc i have these little bites on me. i wake brian up. i tell him. he looks at it and tells me thats not a bed bug. it sure looks like one!!! its not flat like it, and it had more of an oblong shape but what the hell else would it be??? i make him watch guard with a peice of paper in case it moved i wanted him to squish it. i ran to my sisters room, woke her up out of a dead sleep and brought her in to examine my evidence. she claimed its not one either. brian squashed it like that after him and my sister laugh at me and complain about me waking them up when they have work in the morning. could it be a bed bug??? so there i was searching google. looking for possible answers. nothing. man i wish i woulda grabed a cup to trap the bug and spray it and preserve it to search the bug on the computer. stupid me again. but i have NEVER NEVER seen a bed bug on me or near me, let alone crawling across my computer screen. ive only seen them in my sisters room prior to moving whhen we lifted up her mattress that we thrown away. I need help. I need support. Im about to check myself into the crazy hospital for a vaca to get away, at least they dont have bed bugs in there. so heres to another sleepless night. tomorrow im going to buy more bug spray and some DE to spread all around this brand new apartment with brand new flooring/carpeting. What i wouldnt do to have my careless 21 year old life back =[ please share your expirences/thoughts. help me.
please. i see people are viewing my post. i cant sleep. its almost 5am here. im going crazy.
Read the FAQ's and don't use foggers or aerosol products for bed bugs they simply don't work.
Please stop and educate yourself on the problem before you take anymore steps in this issue.
Education is free and will stop you making costly mistakes.
Bed Bugs Limited
i dont have money for an exterminator. what else is there to do. why are they listed as bed bug killers.. if they simply dont kill bed bugs. if the bed bugs are resisted, shouldnt they take it off the market. i did my research. i read how foggers make them flea to other areas and into your walls. but basically if the landlord didnt give a shit to help then f*** that. i wouldnt doubt if that building is infested with bed bugs, and not from us.
you didnt give much information to help.
i agree that after writing your whole bb (if that's what they were...i'm guessing they were the way you described them on your sister's bed...ugh) that you needed something more and different than advice about what you should not have done after you've already done it...
You'll see, though, when you have a chance to read more on this site, that many of us -- geez, i'd say maybe all of us who have had bedbugs or who have had bed bug scares suffer a post BB emotional trauma response.we feel itchy crawly things and we inspect the walls, sheets, our bodies, anything, if there is the least suspicion that there may be a bb there. You sound like you're doing something similar. I notice that the longer i go without a bite or seeing evidence of a bb, the less i am inspecting things "like a crack head." I hope that you'll also find that your sense of vigilence about bbs will lessen, also, over time.
Just make sure that you're clothing has been dried sufficiently and keep it well bagged and taped until you can be more sure that they really don't contain bugs.
Why don't you start a little savings fund...like $10 a week set aside just in case you need treatment in the future. It would be better, if you find you still have bbs, if you could afford a professional treatment. that's wonderful that you have family support. Maybe you can ask them to please help you if you need professional extermination services in the future.
How are you feeling now?
Also, i want to mention that you want t be careful about taking bbs to and from work. You mentioned that you work with nurses...lots of hospitals and nursing homes have bbs.
Finally, i am very interested to know what State you live in? You mentioned that by law, if chemical extermination is done in one apartment that it must be done in all apartments units in the building. Very interesting. I would like to know more about that.
Sorry you missed the point, the FAQ's will help you know what not to do, they will also help you understand the problem so you can look at options.
I am sorry if you expected me to sit and write a step by step guide to the problem unique to your situation because without understanding the layout of the building and a lot more scientific information the best advice I can give you has already been given.
I appreciate that being told to read up is not what you want but it will also help you to avoid the problem in the future and to help make sure that you do not spread the problem through to other units in the building.
With regards removing products from sale which are not effective it is something that we are working towards but you need to understand that many of the people around here are giving their time for free and to get products removed from sales takes lobbying which takes time and costs money. Sadly that situation is not likely to change for a while despite the fact that many of the suppliers are aware of the following publication:
If you want to help to further educate the suppliers of ineffective products please send back you left over product for them to recycle and include a copy of the publication I have linked to.
im not just crazy though, i swear there are little tiny bug bites on me. i itch them, they are not super itchy like the bed bug welts that i had. are they nymph bites? do they bite differently then adults? After moving and not being bit for a while i hung all my clothes up in the closet that i had previously washed and dryed. we did not bring anything that was not of sentimental value from the bedroom, and we examined it, saw nothing, but still would soak in in pesticide. didnt bring the tv, the cable boxes. i live in PA. Orkin said if one unit needs the extermination than the others will as well bc they spread so fast. Maybe Im going crazy. I could not sleep last night at all. I went to sleep at 630am with the light out and just woke up at 11. Im getting dressed and going out to homedepot to look for more stuff for these critters. I cant see them all "not effective" against bed bug use. Im also going to buy some DE and spread it everywhere.. do you know if that will hurt my cat?????? And we didnt have a major infestation. Ill google bed bugs and my heart only aches for people taht mattresses were covered in fecal droppings. There were no fecal droppings on my mattress or box spring. just an area of possibly an inch and a half on my sisters mattress. We never found any dead bed bugs. just a couple that were on the mattress and in my sisters picture boxes under neath. Hmmm and thats funny that those sprays are "not effective", bc i do remember spraying them and them going belly up. Maybe the bugs were just coming in from the surrounding apartment units in the building. Im tired, but I have lots of stuff to do today. Thank you deetle beetle for sympathzing with me. I could of gone any where else to get ridicule and lectured with an attitude.
i appreciate the link you gave me. however do you not realize from my inital post taht i did not just bed bomb it???? i flea bombed it, before i even knew it was flea bombs, maybe that scattered them deeper into the walls, but point blank. so be it. the landlord didnt give a flying F when we told him about it. The spray that i had mention was NOT an aerosol spray. It was a gallon jug, with a a tube connecting a spray top similar to those on a windex bottle. after we sprayed with the NON aerosol spray, we loaded them onto the uhaul. thats when we used the bombs labeled for bed bugs. where are they going to scram? into the metal. bc there surely isnt any walls in a moving van. Did you also not read that we emptyed the boxes out ONE BY ONE while bringing them into the house checking for bed bugs???? The whole point of me placing this on this forum is to see if the way I handled the situation could of worked. Dont tell me I dont want to research these things. Have you ever had bed bugs? Have you ever had sleepless nights where you stay up all night scared to close your eyes. Well if you did, you should know you find your self all over the internet reading. I did know that bed bug bombs would spread them. but honestly. f that i was moving. I told the landlord about it. he "never heard" of them. funny considering it is a propertys inc. corp.
Facts are helpful for sure, but I know that you were looking for help, emotionally, as we all are sometimes. This is tough. It's traumatizing. It surely does make you look like a crackhead looking for drugs, great analogy! Everytime I walk through my house my eyes are on the floor, all lights on. I do it everywhere, I constantly pick up fuzz and stare at it.
Your breakdown is expected. Just like deedle said, i think we've all had at least one. Me, I've had quite a few already. We've all come far though! The source of the bb's in your old apt was your sister's bed. That's now gone. Take deedle's advice. Keep very little, make sure it's bagged tightly, like you were doing. Get a free inspection from terminix in your new apartment. Why not? It's free. They'll give you an estimate and guess what...Terminix does financing. I financed HALF of my treatment, I'm paying 40 bucks a month now. They also have 90 day guarantee, so they come back for no extra charge every 14 days for 90 days.
I swear by them now. They've been to my house twice for inspection and twice for treatments. True professionals, in my eyes. I'm curious as to what state you're in also. I'm in NJ.
So, I do understand you have no money but one, relax. get rest. as hard as it is. two, get a free inspection. three, see if you can finance the treatment in your new apartment. You will be at peace if you do so!
It's a slow slow process. Constant work to get through it. and it changes us for sure.
Hi again ncomp02
Oh...so the Orkin guy told you that if one apartment was infested, then all the apartments should be treated. That would be best, i'm sure, but that's very different than where you wrote: ". . .state regulations would make it manditory that ALL 16 apartments to be exterminated.. ." Okay, so the state regulations in Pennsylvania don't require that if bedbugs are found in one apartment, then all apartments must be treated. (sorry, i'm an attorney and so i read things really literally unless it's clear that it's a joke or pun or something).
The "other guy"as you call him, David is a very well respected insect specialist (as i understand it)and he and others really do give alot of their energy and time here. Probably none of us is 100% perfect in our responses to folks but i will agree that when folks are having bb problems and first come to the forum, we should try to be as sensitive as we can -- or else we can decline to respond at that moment if we just don't feel able to be totally welcoming. I don't always feel warm and fuzzy...God knows! So i don't respond at that time and wait until i'm feeling better. Anyway, i'm sure David meant the best.
Having said that...i AM going to recommend that you use the forum's search engine to look for articles about DE. We were just discussing it the other day...Perhaps there's a sticky note on the main forum page about it. If not, just put DE in the search engine and the discussions will come up. You'll learn so much by reading there. And it really is a great way to bring yourself up to speed about bbs, treatment by professionals, doing it yourself, the emotional problems associated with bbs..everything.
And i've go to say...yes...take a deep breath. I feel your anxiety...that's completely normal. You'll get through this.
Take a deep breath.
Almost every single question you've asked is already answered somewhere on this site. Start by reading the FAQs. Doing so will greatly increase the base of knowledge that you're working from and will prevent you from asking questions that have already been answered. If there are parts of the FAQs that you don't understand, by all means ask questions about those parts. If there are things not answered in the FAQs, ask those questions. But people are pushing you to read those first because we don't want to see you go off half-cocked in a blind panic and do something that could hurt you or the people and animals you're living with.
In suggesting that maybe the skin responses you're having aren't from bed bugs, people are not saying that you're imagining the "bites." We are saying that while they may be bug bites, they may not be. Even the most experienced dermatologists in the world cannot look at a bug bite and tell you which exact species of bug made the bite. And, honestly, most people don't go to a dermatologist. They go to a general practitioner. And even if you go to a dermatologist, if that derm isn't fully educated on bug bites, he or she might be one of those docs afraid to admit that he or she doesn't know for sure, so you might get a "Oh, it's definitely this," when science tells us that docs can't say that conclusively.
So the things on your skin may be bug bites. But those itchy bumps may be bug bites from a bug other than bed bugs. They may be another skin condition like folliculitis. The may also be bite-like responses. Carpet beetle larvae, which are very common in residences even though most people don't notice them until they start looking closely as we do when we fear bed bugs, can cause bite like responses on the skin. After my bed bugs were gone, I was terrified I was getting "nymph bites" because I had smaller itchy spots behind my knees.
Then people on the boards pointed me to a video of someone undergoing a bite test (in which an entomologist takes both an adult and a nymph, in a controlled lab environment, and places them on someone's skin and allows them to feed in order to test how much the individual's skin reacts to the bugs). I saw with my own eyes that the nymph and the adult bite looked exactly the same size. It was the only thing that convinced me that, in fact, nymph bites were not what I had going on. By keeping a careful and logical log of when the "bites" occurred, eventually I puzzled out that, in fact, the "bites" were a response to the stubble growing back in after I'd shaved my legs, and the reason it was happening behind my knees wasn't because my desk chair was infested but because that was the place the stubble rubbed against the skin the most.
It's also possible that you have more than one of those things going on at once.
Now, the reason that people are suggesting that you go read the FAQs is that most of those answers have been answered before. For example, I answered the nymph bite question in depth just two days ago. The entry wasn't tagged properly, but it is now. If you search the forum for "nymph bite," that post should come up.
If people seem cranky answering questions that we just answered a few days ago, and a few weeks before that, and a few months before that . . . well, you start to get the idea. Most of us here have day jobs. I, in fact, have two day jobs: a full time one and one that is about 25% of full time. My day job often runs 50 hours a week. My day job isn't at all related to this field. There are people here who have day jobs when it comes to bed bugs, but they aren't getting paid at all for the time they put in here. Those of us without bb related day jobs don't get paid either. Since we're doing this volunteer, you can imagine that when we answer the same questions--esp. ones that have already been answered--over and over again, it takes a tremendous amount of patience to answer those same questions for posters who seem unwilling to look for the answers that we know do already exist here.
As for some of the other issues raised in your response, please note that DE is a major inhalation hazard that is not particularly effective against bed bugs. Used properly, it can work, but since it works mechanically, it will generally take ten days to kill bugs after they've walked through it. If you apply too much, the bugs will simply find a way around it so as not to walk through it, in which case, it won't work at all but will continue to be dangerous to you. You must use personal protective equipment, like an N95 respirator, while applying it and must apply it properly (ONLY in places where everyday activity will not kick it up into the air when people and animals who live in the home won't be able to breathe it in AND in the correct amount) in order to use it safely and effectively. You should also be aware that in the event that you later need to get a pest management professional in to treat your place for any insect pests, many PMPs won't treat residences where DE has been applied without first having the DE cleaned up.
There is no magic bullet solution to bed bugs. Most treatment methods are integrated pest management in which a variety of techniques are used simultaneously in order to eradicate the infestation.
Soaking items in pesticides is not using those pesticides in accordance with their labels, and off label usage is prohibited for a reason: it's dangerous.
Exposure to pesticides, esp. in amounts greater than their labels mandate as might happen when you come into contact with items that have been so treated, can make your skin hypersensitive and likely to respond to things it wouldn't normally respond to OR make your normal reactions to everyday things more intense.
If people appear to be lecturing you, it isn't because they want to make you feel bad or because they think that you're not experiencing actual skin responses. It's because today's pest management uses more narrowly focused methods--chemical, mechanical, and otherwise--to treat the specific pest in question. You have to confirm precisely what pest you're dealing with before you begin treating in order to treat effectively. We also know that overtreatment produces problems of its own.
Bed bugs are a hard pest to detect. In many ways, they are the pest control world's equivalent of what is known in medical circles as a diagnosis of exclusion. There are some medical conditions that don't have tests to confirm them. In those cases, docs must rule out any other possible conditions before they come to the conclusion that it really is that one that can only be decided on my eliminating all other possibilities. They're also a challenging pest to eradicate based on their behaviors and physiology. It requires college level understanding of a lot of aspects of their behavior and physiology and often a lot of field experience in order to be able to eliminate them effectively.
A very small percentage of people manage to get that knowledge from reading on the internet and go on to successfully treat the problem themselves. A much larger number of people fly off into do it yourself pest control half-cocked and only make the problem much worse, and then end up spending a lot more money when they finally do give up and hire a professional--when if they'd done that from the beginning the problem would have been much cheaper to treat. Entirely too many people do dangerous things as part of self-treatment--setting off foggers which drives the bugs deeper into the walls; setting off too many foggers, creating a fire hazard; thinking that because DE is "natural" it's totally safe and inhaling it, causing silicosis for which there is no treatment; spending thousands of dollars treating for bed bugs without conclusive proof that it's bed bugs, and then having the bites, which may be bite like skin responses, continue, only to finally later get a competent PCO who fins carpet beetles; watching people use pesticides in off label ways that put themselves and the people living near them in danger, like carelessly using pesticides labeled only for outdoor use inside in inhabited structures.
If people here tell newbies to start by reading the FAQs, it's generally because we've watched for years and seen plenty of people in a panic at the early stages of their battle make decisions based on fear rather than logic. Heck, I did. I listened to a particularly pushy poster who insisted that I couldn't possibly get rid of the bugs without a steamer. I bought the expensive steamer, and promptly used it like three times after I'd already gotten rid of bed bugs.
Keep in mind that sometimes when people tell you things you don't want to hear, there's a good reason for it. Some of the people who've responded to your query are some of the foremost experts in the world on bed bugs. If I were you, knowing what I know now--two years out from my bed bug infestation--I would weight their arguments a bit more heavily than those that any old person could have offered up simply because that much experience probably has more validity than theories with less real world testing behind them.
Bed bug epidemic,
I am close to pgh pa. Isnt it funny how you never notice any bed bug stuff until after you get them?? i watch the news every night, i went to our news channel website and i search BB and can you believe it. They did news stories on it about it being a growing problem in pgh. The kicker to my story is I work in a nursing home doing activities while im in school to get my rn. Everynight before i go home, i would say to the residents sleep tight dont let the bed bugs bite. my coworker was like omg dont ever say that in a nursing home. i didnt understand. i thought it was just a childrens rhyme. boy was a wrong. was a twist of fate. i was actually the one being bit by bed bugs. On the terminex. Im scared my new landlord will see a terminex van and wonder why it is here in his BRAND new apartment building. but i think that is a great idea! At least just for the free inspection. after we dumped the mattresses and everything at the old place i forgot to mention we had orkin come in for there free estimate. they didnt find anything but he said he still recommends getting the treatment. i seriously want to throw all my belongings away get a nice hot shower and put on clean clothes and just move to my boyfriends again with the clothes on my back. but i just signed this lease and i would never be able to leave my sister deal with this situation alone. I think Im depressed. I dont remember what it was like not to itch. Its the creepy crawlys you get times 10000. And yes you are right. I did come here for emotional support as well. i dont think that guy understands. he is an exterminator, at least his link when you click on his name shows me that. he doesnt have what i want with the expierence/emotional side of the bug situation. Im gunna talk to my sister on getting terminex here, as to she thinks im loosing it again. But am i really loosing it??? bc they thought that the first time as well.
I see your point of view and Im sorry david. I can understand the annoyance with repeatition.
Oops. There are a couple of typos in that--including the part where it should read "questions" are answered, not answers are answered. (I haven't had breakfast yet. Don't judge too harshly.)
But I also wanted to specifically link to the FAQ on DE that goes into detail about DE more than I did in that response.
You said its a huge inhalation irritant? or someone on here did. My sister has really bad asthma so I have to rule that one out.
I feel terrible for you guys. You threw a lot of stuff away and I suppose maybe you didn't need to do that. The pictures for example, could have been kept in a ziplock bag for 18 months. There are a bunch of things that I have had no choice but to bag up and wait. My wedding dress being one of them You will start to feel better after a while. I hope this has been a successful move for you guys and that you have managed not to bring them with you. There will always be the odd bug in an apartment, as long as it's not bb
yes, david is great for help and information and surely means well. and we can't always be sympathetic bc sometimes it gets redundant and we're losing it ourselves!
does your landlord live in the house? Can't you get it there during a time they're at work, etc? I'm sure you could figure it out.
My friend works in a nursing home, they found one there last month too. I don't dare tell her that they are high risk in those places though. I'm scared she 'll freak on me for having banged her in the head with all this bb talk as it is! I'm not fun Lauren anymore! I'm bb Lauren
I'm at work now, scared i brought them here, wondering should i tell HR, what should i do. I mean, i had them for months before I knew about it! So now i take precaution before entering work , my car or anyone's home but i wasn't before.
it's great you have a bfriend and that you and your sister have eachother to lean on. you will get through.
Oh, i had the thermal heat people come in for a free inspection too. 1800.00 per day and my house would take at least two days to heat up. An apartment would probably only take one day, not that you have the money but it's good to know. Sigh. I'm so tired. SOO tired.
How did this happen to us? How did this happen to the US in general?? I'm baffled. I sit and think and try to figure out how they got into my home! I just moved in there in December. So maybe the moving truck brought them. or maybe they were there. or maybe my son brought one home in his backpack.
the possibilities are endless!
Keep you chin up, together with our family friends and this forum we will beat this.
has anyone tried the terminex rapid freeze. how did it work?? wouldnt they thaw out and come back to life?? i heard they had to be frozen for weeks or as much as months to completely kill them. does anyone know any main stream exterminators that do teh heat treatment that i can at least get a price quote on???
I had heat treatment done on my apartment almost exactly two years ago. It solved my several month old bed bug problem in one treatment. I'm a big fan of using heat in any form to kill bed bugs as it seems to be as close to a natural achilles heel as they have. If you think about it, the Packtite, heat treatment, and even putting items into dryers all work on heat.
Cold is much harder to use effectively on bed bugs. The cold temps needed to kill are much harder to reach than the hot temps are. (For example, your household freezer won't reach those temps.)
I have seen a lot of skepticism on the part of PCOs when it comes to the freeze the bugs approach. I know many people will discount that since many people believe that most PCOs are only looking out for their own bottom line. I happen to think that PCOs, like anybody else, are made up of a variety of people--some of whom only care about their bottom line and some of whom really want to help people. For the most part, if the PCO spends hours dispensing advice on boards for free--often to people whom said PCO can't possibly treat due to geographical limitations, I'm inclined to put that person in the "sincerely wants to help" category and trust his or her advice.
I will say that I have yet to see anyone on the boards report that the freeze treatment alone worked to eradicate the problem. I have yet to see anyone on the boards report complete satisfaction with the freeze treatment offered by some pest control companies.
Now, I can't swear it never works. And I can't swear that people who were happy with it don't exist; there's a sample selection bias at work on boards like this: people with really bad bed bug problems or bad PCOs or bad landlords are overrepresented here because the simply truth is that most people who get bed bugs, hire a PCO, have the bugs treated, and go happily about the rest of their lives don't post as often as people with bad experiences. So it's possible that that treatment has worked for others.
However, I personally don't recommend it to others because I haven't seen sufficient evidence that it works reliably most of the time.
where did you get your heat treatment from? ive been googling pest control experts in my area and thermapure heat and cant find a company. the one i did find was 3 hours away in ohio. did you use a main stream exterminator? and i would rather have the heat than the freeze. do you think i would have to treat my new neighbor or the garages below us?
I'm not sure what you mean by a "mainstream exterminator."
As my username suggests, I live in southern California, and the pest control company I used is not nationwide, so any info I give about what company I used it unlikely to be useful to you.
When it comes to bed bugs, whether or not a company does or doesn't have a national footprint is much less relevant than how much expertise the company has with treating bed bugs.
I don't know about the garage. If you just have a vehicle in there, I can't see why you would need to treat it. If you've been storing items that have been in your residence and might be infested, that's a possibility.
I can't tell you how much it would cost for heat treatment as it's been two years since I was treated, and my sense is that heat treatment is more common where I live. (The southwest has a pretty epic drywood termite problem, and heat has been used for that for a long time.) Availability and demand affect the cost of treatment, and Vikane and thermal are much more common here than they are back east. I can tell you that my relatively small 1 bedroom apartment cost $800 to treat two years ago.
You should contact your local tenants' rights organization and/or health department to see what your local laws about who pays for treatment are. They vary not only by state but by city, so anything I tell you about where I live is going to be completely irrelevant for you.
The rapid freeze system you mention is better know as Cryonite and not many pest control professionals use or recommend this approach anymore. In fact at the London meeting the other week someone almost got lynched for daring to mention it.
thats what i meant by "mainstream" as in nationwide. i knew a bunch of the post-ees are from around the country, i wanted to know if a nationwide company offered it to them that way, say you do live in southern cal, im sure it would offer it on the east coast. ya know? haha thanks for your help. im going to start making phone calls. we have a 2 bedroom. but it would be me and my sister paying. and if it makes us broke for 2 weeks til we get our next paycheck, so be it. at least i wont have any worries or doubts
One thing to keep in mind about nationwide (or for that matter any franchised) pest control company is that while their name might be nationwide, you're likely to find a lot of quality variation between each franchisee.
We've had some great reports about individual Orkin or Terminex offices, but we've also had epically awful reports about others. It's definitely an office by office sort of thing.
My local pest control firm, Hydrex, was great in terms of the personnel they sent from my local office, but I'm careful to tell even other people in southern California (Los Angeles county is geographically three times the land area of the state of Rhode Island, so we have a lot of offices of "local" companies) that I can't speak for their particular branch of Hydrex.
Also, read the FAQ on choosing a PCO.
You're looking for a pest controller--no matter the firm--who *knows* bed bugs. In some cases--I might even say most--you'd be better off looking into a smaller firm that specializes in bed bugs.
Two NJ names I've heard before are Action Pest Control and Bed Bug Central. I don't know NJ geography, but if you search the forums for posts on them, you'll find reviews from people who actually used them. I'm not able to pass judgement on how good or bad those companies are, but reviews from people who actually used those firms should be a good place to begin evaluating the firms. I'm not sure if either one uses heat. Thermapure is one of two competing providers of the equipment and process of heat treatment. Temp-Air is the other.
The fact that a franchised company like Terminex or Orkin offers heat in one place is no guarantee it offers it elsewhere. I've had some reports that even individual Hydrex offices don't all offer heat.
You really do have to evaluate each company and each office individually.
if i had money for the thermal heating, I'd do it TODAY.
Buggyinsocial: after your thermal heat did you just run into all the dead ones, or did you just never see them again? Also, what keeps you here for two years after such a traumatizing event?
NComp02: I had the estimate last Thursday. This company does the tri-state area. They traveled 3 hours to just give me a free estimate. I found them on http://www.moldybugs.com
they're in new hyde, ny i think.
Bed Bug Epidemic,
I actually saw very few bugs after the treatment. I'm not sure what that's about. I was terrified of the big clean up post treatment, but aside from some egg casings on the curtains, the biggest signs were fecal matter in places I'd already seen it. I don't know where they went, but I'm glad I didn't keep finding them--that's for sure.
What keeps me around? Well, for starters, the technology and science of treatment is always changing, and I like to keep abreast of new developments. If I hadn't stuck around, I wouldn't have a Packtite, since they didn't exist when I had my infestation.
It's also a matter of me wanting to give back to the place that saved me and what was left of my sanity.
Plus I'm just one of those people who feels the need to share info when I have it and someone else doesn't. I mean, that's part of why I teach for a living. But I've also noticed that it happens other places. When people in my aerobics class don't get the choreography, I have to stop myself from going over and offering to help. It just makes me sad to see other people struggling with things if I think I can help. (Mind you, there's a way to do that without coming off as a total weirdo or a know-it-all, and I know I don't always successfully negotiate that line, but I figure it's better to try and fail than not try at all.)
Edited To Add:
I should also add that I travel a lot. Like 25,000 miles of flying a year a lot. Given how frequently I fly and stay in hotels, I figure it's probably a good idea for me to stay up to date on bed bug info. I'm sure I haven't run into them for the last time. I hope never to bring them home again, but if I do, I want to be current on my knowledge in the best way to deal.
After reading you purchased a packtite, i was going to ask if you traveled. I see. Yes, traveling is a whole new endeavor now, isn't it? My husband has already informed me we will NEVER take a vacation again. Isn't that fabulous? lol
I think it's great on all ends: wanting to stay up to date and stay connected to people you may be able to help. I feel that way too, like I immediately want to comfort someone when i read that first post "I think i have bed bugs" . you can read the panic in their posts! I know that's how i felt/feel. I'm so scared, so tired. I never ever would have imagined this happening.
Great to find out you saw very little deceased bb's post treatment, that would have gave me some anxiety as well. After my first spray on my third floor (which i evacuated immediately, might not have been a great idea) I went up to check it out and saw just dead ones here and there and in corners and some on glue traps. Creepy.
Thanks for sticking around. Thanks for being bb free.
I feel terrible for you - but you have come to the right place. Listen to David and buggyinsocal and nobugsonme - they have been through it and have a wealth of info. I have learned a tremendous amount here that has helped me personally at at work (I am in real estate). I am bite and evidence free for 2 weeks and am about to have my second treatment.
That being said, try and get the free inspection - and who knows maybe you beat them with your crazy method! Stranger things have happened. However stay vigilant keep your stuff in bags and be thankful you have your sister and BF to lean on. Play the lottery too - after having a fire and this you may be due for some good luck!
Bugginsocal - $800 for heat treatment - I am jealous - that is positively cheap! I have already spent close to twice that on everything!
Like I said, I have a small place (can't give you square footage as I'm an English major and that involves math which I suck at), I live in a place where heat treatment has a longer usage for multiple pests and is therefore more available, and it was two years ago so I assume the price would be more now.
However, that's one of the reasons that I really encourage people to add up all the related costs before they decide that a particular method is or isn't the cheapest. That $800 also meant that I didn't have to spend hundreds on dry cleaning, which I would have had to with chemical treatment. Given the cost of dry cleaning here, added to the prep and laundry and ziplocks, chemical would have cost me at least as much if not more.
If you're considering heat treatment, this post links to two websites run by ThermaPure heat and TempAir: two major providers of heat treatment technologies. One of their sites has a list of providers by state, the other allows you to fill in a form for your local provider. Talk to all the local ones - prices may vary a great deal.
To echo what others have said, I am so grateful to people like David Cain (bed-bugscouk) and other pros who are here. Don't write off David because he is in the bed bug eradication business. He's a top-notch expert, as are many other pros here.
@bed bugs epidemic,
I would be wary of encouraging people to toss stuff out. It's extremely common for neighbors to take infested items from the curb or dumpster and bring them into the building, thus starting the cycle of infestation in the building again. People tell us this happens even if stuff is clearly labeled with "warning, bed bugs" and bed bug photos with red lines through them. It happens even if experts come and lecture the tenants about not bringing stuff in.
While decluttering can be helpful, in many cases, people are considering tossing stuff they need and in that case, if possible, it's better to treat the stuff you can -- hot dryer, Packtite, etc. (I wish I had not tossed out so much when I had my problem.) If you have to dispose of things, do what you can to make them not get picked up -- like taking them out right before refuse is picked up, and destroying things where possible. One person disassembled a piece of furniture and tossed it out over several trash pickups so no one would scavenge it. Another called 1-800-got-junk and had them haul the thing off. That costs money, but there are creative solutions if you don't have the money to spend.
Also, I am so grateful to buggyinsocal - she does us all a huge service by staying around to support other and share her knowledge, and she's hugely smart and fun to boot. She's one of a bunch of awesome oldtimers who do this. The site could not exist without them.
is it possible for me to start loosing my mind???
im searching the forum about laptops and reading how people say they are in theyre laptops. and their keyboards. i hope my mind is playing tricks on me bc i glance down and i thought i saw one and i did a double take and nothing was there. i want to pry my keys off of my keyboard!!!!!! i read about how people get really bad anxiety from these. is this what im expierencing????? i told my sister and she said she was going to 3-0-2 me ( against my will put me in a psychiatric hospital) and laughed at me
Are you losing sleep over the bed bugs? This can make you "see things".
We've all had the experience, I think, of seeing something -- a blob, a speck, whatever, and going "Errk!" and then doing a double take and seeing nothing, or a speck, a blob or something harmless.
Bed bugs can make you jumpy!
So try to be calm. Reading the forums can add to your anxiety, because you will see a million scary stories. Some people are reporting real occurrences. Others are panicking about possibilities -- and this can make it all seem more scary. Bed bugs in keyboards is a rarer kind of occurrence, and probably a lot more people worry about it than actually experience it.
Another benefit to the FAQs others suggested above is that they may help you focus on concrete plans, rather than worrying about a million possibilities. If the forums start to stress you out, you might not want to read them so much (others have sometimes said this happened to them), but the FAQs are still there for you.
Finally, I have not heard of any Bedbuggers who had to be committed to a mental hospital against their will (thankfully!) though having some stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression is not unheard of. I always encourage people to tell their doctor or a therapist if those issues arise. I hope they won't, but it is worth keeping in mind.
yes. i slept good sunday night. woke up mon at 9 for work and then didnt go to sleep until 630am this morning. then i woke up at 1030. so since monday morning i had 4 hours of sleep and its almost midnight here. i NEED to go to sleep. but im petrified. I think Im going to go take a nice hot shower to relax and by that time i should just pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow. I figure, if they are hear, they are going to crawl on me and bite me regardless right. so why should i loose sleep over it when thats what i need to get into attack mode to kill these suckers!!!!! (no pun intended) haha
edit: gosh you can tell im tired. i wrote hear instead of here.
For a couple of nights i did not sleep at all...then i could sleep two hours at a time twice a night for a total of 4 hours...i only just began sleeping 5 -6 hours a night...i would love to get 7-8 hours but i'm not quite there yet. So when i couldn't sleep i reminded myself that people don't usually die from lack of sleep -- although i did either avoid driving the days after i did not get any sleep at all -- just in case.
I was only able to start sleeping again when I decided to stop being ooked out by my situation. This is not easy because I am seriously phobic about insects, even harmless ones. But at some point I had to smack myself and realize that these things weren't injuring me so much as I was injuring myself by not getting any rest.
I was able to de-activate the mental "freakout" switch in my brain somehow so that I could carry on with the necessary steps of cleaning, spraying, planning next steps, etc.
Unlike many, I am not majorly reactive (just red, non-itchy spots and small splotches). And I'm alone in my apartment so I don't have to worry about anyone else. So I can afford to be bait for them while I plan my next steps.
Right now my next steps consist of passing my statistics exam next Friday and then buying my twin-size bed, picking up my climbups from the post office and then calling 1-800-gotjunk to pick up my old futon and frame. I'm also planning on using the opportunity while the bedroom is empty to do some major cleaning in there (maybe rent a Rug Doctor).
Seems a lot of bother for bugs that I rarely ever see.
Nobugsonme: Did i tell someone to throw stuff out? I don't recall. Sorry
Since being more educated in last couple of weeks, i can't imagine I'd encourage people to toss things out without using the proper precautions. I couldn't find the post where I wrote that but I am sorry!
Other than the first two mattress', bc I didn't know any better yet, everything else went out tightly sealed or treated first.
i have to buy a packtite. But everything is becoming So expensive, i can't believe it.
I have trouble getting myself to even lay down at night, bc I am pacing and looking at floors/walls/kids/husband. Finally, I lay down about 1ish. Once i fall asleep I'm out. So that is a plus for me.
the hours before that though are torture.
I also don't react much to bites. I mean, my husband and one son were getting a ridiculous amount of bites. me , none that i can recall? my other son, very little or none....
Now that I know of the issue i am itchy all the time. Never was before so it has to be in my mind.
every little mark i see i think is a bite. so i can't ever say with a clear head, BITE FREE! bc i don't know
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