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Please help!! Reinfestation and my 9 month old son is the host!

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  1. notsosunshiney

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 28 2011 14:43:16
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    So my situation started about 6 months ago. My sister and I along with my then 3 month old son moved into our first apartment. The town where I live has apartments built into old homes and this one had 2 apartments including ours. We had heard rumors about the people living there before us having bed bugs but being clueless to what they were (we actually thought they were just a myth...not anymore!) we didn't think anything of it.

    2 months into living there I got three bites, I woke up at around 3am scratching my leg to death. I suspected bed bugs and didn't get a wink of sleep that night. The next morning I suggested to my sister that we have them, and no one believed me, passing it off as a spider bite. I inspected my mattress and found no actual bugs but did find blood stains. Still, I didn't want to believe it. 2 weeks went by (I was now sleeping in the same bed as my sister) and we found a dead bug on the bed. Not knowing what a bed bug looked like we kept it just in case but thought it seemed very large to be one. That night while trying to sleep a bug crawled out from under the pillow. It was confirmed that yes, the people before us did have them and they were infested! Turns out the apartment had been sprayed 4 times prior, hence the dead one. The eggs were starting to hatch though.

    Having a 3 month old we laundered and bagged the essentials and stayed in a hotel. The apartment was sprayed 2 more times and there were tons of dead bugs on the floors upon returning. We decided to move due to the mental impact it had on us both. We had to purchase new mattesses and boxsprings, and to be on the safe side, escasemeents for everything.

    Now, we've been living in our new place(same landlord) for 3 months. While vaccuming behind my bed for what I thought to be fleas I found a adult bed bug on my boxspring against the wall. Immeditaly it all made sense. My son had been getting bitten but I assumed it was from playing in the grass. I never once thought we could still have them.

    I called my landlord and he didn't believe me. I kept the bug and showed it to him and he called the Pest Control company.

    Here's where the problem is:

    I know the only effective way of killing all of these assholes is to heat treatment the place. Yes, it costs more, but thats why I pay rent. He would have none of that.

    The guy who sprayed did not spray my sons room and he did not spray the closet.
    Also, upon returning to the apartment I found out I also had a silverfish infestation living in my water heaters. Awesome.

    So, I plan to give my notice in 4 days. I am demanding the apartment be heat treated or I will take him to the rentals board as well as Health and Saftey board.

    Does anyone have any advice on how NOT to bring them to my new place this time?
    I have dryed all my linens and clothes on high heat for 40 minutes and bagged them.
    Should I throw away my couch? (Because we got new beds and frames, I'm guessing they came over on the crib or couches).

  2. Velvet

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 28 2011 20:39:17
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    You're on the right path. You need a plan for everything. Couches are very difficult to effectively treat without heat. Lots of inaccessible hiding places. You could find a company that has a heat chamber or heat truck to treat them. Another idea is to have your possessions heated or fumigated while on a moving truck and then to take the contents directly to your new apartment. Be careful not to take anything with you that has not been treated. Its not just about linen. Bed bugs can be on other non-clothing items as well. Keep in mind that the bed bug you found in the second apartment very well might have been there already.

  3. diesel

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 28 2011 22:17:52
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    Where do you live? Depending on the state there may be laws in place to help you.

  4. notsosunshiney

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 29 2011 4:15:31
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    The PCO have no record of my new apartment (we only have one company here). If they still refuse heat treatment (claim its too much work and money, the guys a millionare), I will have to throw my couch out. I'm a single mom and frankly I've wasted too much money on a problem I should have been warned about before ever moving into the first one. I live in a very small town (in Canada) and word travels fast. I was indeed supposed to move but my would-be new landlord found out I had bed bugs.

    I was thinking about getting a BB dog. Just to detect the actual whereabouts of the bugs before I throw anything else out. Does this sound like a good idea?

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 29 2011 9:49:09
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    Actually, heat isn't the only effective treatment for bed bugs.

    While structural heat treatment is a very good method of treatment, it's not the only one that can be effective.

    Done properly, chemical treatment for bed bugs is just as capable of being effective as heat is.

    (I'm a big fan of heat treatment. I had heat treatment. However, there are downsides to heat treatment too. Some damage to some household items is common in heat treatment. In many multi-unit situations, heat may not be the best option. If done properly, heat will kill all the bugs and eggs, but in multi-unit buildings, if the adjacent apartments aren't thoroughly inspected by someone who knows what he or she is doing, then heat may not be the best option. I do live in a small multi-unit building, but it's small, and my neighbors actually really cooperated. All of them have small apartments too, and my neighbors all submitted to full inspections. If you're in a multi-unit building and you treat with heat, if all of your adjacent neighbors don't cooperate with good inspections, there's a good chance of reinfestation.

    Absolutely every treatment method has benefits and costs, and any treatment done wrong can fail, just as any treatment done properly can succeed.)

    This runs the risk of sounding like I'm blaming you, and I want to be clear that that's not my intent.

    Bed bugs are a difficult pest to treat, in part, because treatment of them is often very different from treatment of other common household pests.

    It sounds from your post like you weren't sleeping in the previous apartment during chemical treatment.

    Is that the case? And if so, was the PCO aware of this? Was any human being sleeping in that apartment during treatment?

    In most chemical treatments for bed bugs, a human being absolutely has to be sleeping in the apartment being treated in order for the treatment to be successful.

    Again, I'm not saying that to assign blame but to start getting to the bottom of why the bed bugs weren't eradicated.

    At this point, I would not necessarily consider bringing in a bed bug dog, and moving without taking bed bugs with you--as your previous experience *may* suggest--can be quite difficult.

    If I had an active bed bug infestation, unless I had access to a company that would treat all my belongings in a truck with Vikane, I wouldn't move until the problem was resolved.

    Since Vikane isn't available in Canada, at this point, I wouldn't move until you can get the infestation gone.

    One of two things has happened:

    1. the treatment at the old place didn't eradicate all the bugs/eggs, and upon arrival at your new place, the infestation was able to come back.

    2. you and/or other people in your house are being exposed to bed bugs somewhere and could be reinfesting your home.

    Either way, you'll want to get to the bottom of where the resurgence in bed bugs came from before moving. Or, at least, I would.

    Work's super busy this week, I have to run, so sorry for not giving you a more detailed response, but here are the steps I would take next if I were you.

    1. Conclusively identify the bugs as bed bugs. If you can post clear, close up pics here, you can have independent confirmation from people that they really are bed bugs. That'll make it easier to go forward.

    2. Bed bug dog/handler teams are most useful when they are used to confirm the presence of bed bugs. It sounds like you already found them. I'm not sure what bringing one in at this point will tell you.

    A PCO who knows bed bugs can be just as effective as a good dog/handler team in a small space.

    3. Start doing what you can to rule out possible vectors of reinfestation.

    4. Make sure you're communicating with your PCO (and your PCO with you) about *everything* related to treatment. For example, not sleeping in the home while you're in the process of being treated with chemicals can lengthen the amount of time you're fighting bed bugs and/or make the treatment less effective.

    Mopping floors too soon after treatment can also be unhelpful, and I know I would never have thought to ask a PCO about that.

    If reinfestation is what's going on, you'll continue to have problems until you figure out where they're coming from.

    5. You might consider contacting your local tenants' rights organization or government branch that deals with such issues to see what your rights are in your neck of the woods. Laws in the US vary by city; I'm not sure if that's true in Canada, but having specific info on your local laws may give you more negotiating power with the landlord.

  6. notsosunshiney

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Aug 31 2011 9:27:07
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    Thank you for your response

    the bug has been identifed as a BB by the PCO, however, this kid is no older than 20 and he has (again) not effectivly done his job and my landlord is not corroporating with me in the least. I know the infestation is likely in my sons room as hes the one thats being bit. I told PCO this and he didnt so much as touch his room with the chemicals. I am getting so sick of dealing with this company and my incohearant landlord. It took me threatening reporting him to the rentals/health and saftey board to finally do something about the BB problem he is responsible for. I am pretty sure I don't have a full blown infestation (or at least thats what they tell me). While PCO was inspecting with his flash light he didnt find anything and I've only found one. Is this a good sign? (Keep in mind this kid is NO expert, he treated my previous apt once and it had to be redone because of his lack of knowledge regarding BBs).

    ATM I am not sleeping there, I asked PCO if this was alright and he told me it was a good thing. So, I guess that confirms my beliefs that he doesn't really know what hes talking about.

    They are also only sticking to the one spray (half assed job). At this point everyone in the small town knows I have them and now I can't find another apartment. Apparently I have to take this into my own hands as my landlord is of NO help

  7. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Sep 1 2011 17:24:34
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    Hi, I just wanted to add a thought. Your 9 month old's bed might have bed bugs, but your child is not a bed bug "host". Unlike lice, bed bugs do not prefer to be on the body when not feeding. Assuming your child has been washed and is wearing laundered clothes, s/he should not be hosting bed bugs.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  8. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Sep 1 2011 20:23:44
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    Just a few notes:

    Heat isn't always the best treatment. Many older homes are not properly insulated and there's no way to guarantee they can keep the temperature hot enough, long enough to kill them all.

    Secondly, it's rare that only one treatment will eliminate all the bugs. So don't assume the "kid" doesn't know what he's doing because one treatment didn't work. It can take several treatments, especially if you're not sleeping in the house. The idea is that they will crawl into the freshly sprayed chemicals when they come out to feast on you. If you're not there, they'll stay in their hiding place. Some bugs are very resistant to insecticides and the only way to be sure to kill them all is to hit them directly with the chemicals. Since they're such good at hiding, that's not always possible.

    As far as not treating your son's room, I know that the EPA has very harsh restrictions about using chemicals in areas where children sleep. He may not be treating the room because the law doesn't allow him to - It would be nice to have a PCP respond to this...

  9. gross123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Sep 4 2011 0:52:22
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    BugsMustDie - 2 days ago  » 
    Just a few notes:
    Heat isn't always the best treatment. Many older homes are not properly insulated and there's no way to guarantee they can keep the temperature hot enough, long enough to kill them all.
    Secondly, it's rare that only one treatment will eliminate all the bugs. So don't assume the "kid" doesn't know what he's doing because one treatment didn't work. It can take several treatments, especially if you're not sleeping in the house. The idea is that they will crawl into the freshly sprayed chemicals when they come out to feast on you. If you're not there, they'll stay in their hiding place. Some bugs are very resistant to insecticides and the only way to be sure to kill them all is to hit them directly with the chemicals. Since they're such good at hiding, that's not always possible.
    As far as not treating your son's room, I know that the EPA has very harsh restrictions about using chemicals in areas where children sleep. He may not be treating the room because the law doesn't allow him to - It would be nice to have a PCP respond to this...

    I was also thinking that-he is not treating it cuz a child is there. But I would directly ask why he is not treating it. then also maybe find some "natural" ways to treat..

    I am so so sorry to hear you going thru this esp. your BABY!! we moms always want to protect our kids!! go to bedbugtv on youtube-that guy answers some questions he is a pro. He has answered some of my questions for what he has not I come here or other places and search for an answer-still waiting for my pros to contact me back to begin treatment of our place ....Tuesday seems like FOREVER...**I also have a 6 month old I'll let you know if they treat the baby's room...so far she is not getting bit THANK GOD!!

  10. gross123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Sep 4 2011 0:56:13
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    gross123 - 20 seconds ago  » 

    BugsMustDie - 2 days ago  » 
    Just a few notes:
    Heat isn't always the best treatment. Many older homes are not properly insulated and there's no way to guarantee they can keep the temperature hot enough, long enough to kill them all.
    Secondly, it's rare that only one treatment will eliminate all the bugs. So don't assume the "kid" doesn't know what he's doing because one treatment didn't work. It can take several treatments, especially if you're not sleeping in the house. The idea is that they will crawl into the freshly sprayed chemicals when they come out to feast on you. If you're not there, they'll stay in their hiding place. Some bugs are very resistant to insecticides and the only way to be sure to kill them all is to hit them directly with the chemicals. Since they're such good at hiding, that's not always possible.
    As far as not treating your son's room, I know that the EPA has very harsh restrictions about using chemicals in areas where children sleep. He may not be treating the room because the law doesn't allow him to - It would be nice to have a PCP respond to this...

    I was also thinking that-he is not treating it cuz a child is there. But I would directly ask why he is not treating it. then also maybe find some "natural" ways to treat..
    I am so so sorry to hear you going thru this esp. your BABY!! we moms always want to protect our kids!! go to bedbugtv on youtube-that guy answers some questions he is a pro. He has answered some of my questions for what he has not I come here or other places and search for an answer-still waiting for my pros to contact me back to begin treatment of our place ....Tuesday seems like FOREVER...**I also have a 6 month old I'll let you know if they treat the baby's room...so far she is not getting bit THANK GOD!!

    oh yeah, I would have no problem dumping ANY furniture if it meant getting rid of the bb!!! I'll gladly sleep on the floor with my kids and sit on the floor. It's just furniture you and your baby's health is priceless and worth more!!! If you can't afford new stuff then don't buy it...again, it's just "STUFF" as for taking second hand furniture after this I wouldn't.

    good luck

  11. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 6 2011 15:49:29
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    Yes, it is just "stuff" and maybe having bed bugs will help us to overcome our obsession with our stuff.

    But, please remember that the bugs can live in your walls, under the floor boards, behind the base boards, etc. So even if you get rid of everything you own, you may still have bugs.

  12. gross123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 6 2011 16:35:22
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    BugsMustDie - 45 minutes ago  » 
    Yes, it is just "stuff" and maybe having bed bugs will help us to overcome our obsession with our stuff.
    But, please remember that the bugs can live in your walls, under the floor boards, behind the base boards, etc. So even if you get rid of everything you own, you may still have bugs.

    Yes!

  13. makesmenuts

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 6 2011 16:37:31
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    Agreed! Got rid of mattress, box spring, large wood bed including headboard, and frame (bed/frame were infested). Suckers took up residence in one of only four holes in the new metal frame almost immediately. At least that consolidated them for the kill, so I think the new bed is OK now, but they'll infest new stuff just as quick as the old if there are any left around.


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