post treatment question(12 posts)
We had our first treatment yesterday. Our mattresses (incl. box springs) were treated. After discussing with the PCO, we did end up taking off the mattress covers - largely because we saw two small tears in the box spring cover. We will have the second treatment in 13 days. My question is, when do we put new mattress covers on? We spent the first night post treatment without putting the temporary vinly covers on (I am ordering better ones). I guess our thinking was to act as bait.
Also, we didn't see any bugs last night or this a.m. and NOTHING on the white sheets. However, I am nearly postive I have bites, which I guess is fine because that means they are coming through the chemicals? I also understand we are to "expect activity" for a few days post treatment, but how long until you know it is working (ha, if you ever really know)? Anyway, I hope that made sense (it's amazing what these chemicals will do to one's head!). Thanks so very much again for your help.
Oh for my case, on the 2nd treatment: the bugs/nymphs probably came through the mattress encasements because I didn't tape the zipper ends and the tiny stretched holes. I immediately repaired the encasements, taped any holes, called the PCO to come again and had the new encasements ready. So after they checked and sprayed the bed again, I put on the new one. My PCO said that it could be one of the reasons, but there are many other possible explanations.
The technician came again yesterday and wanted to open the encasement to check and respray but I said that his supervisor told me that it was ok not to open it. I told him that that they are expensive and please be careful not to rip it
Yes, I am NEVER going to unzip the casings.
The general consensus around here is that the bites you are experiencing may not be bug bites, they could be other things, such as the chemicals (the odor or it's lingering in the air) that were used by the PCO, or some other skin eruptions or previous bug bites that are still there and irritating your skin. And, it's believed that if you have not seen any more bed bugs or their cast skins or blood spots on sheets or pillow cases AND you go for about 55 days without seeing any of these OR getting any new bites, then you can say that you are rid of them. That's what I have read. But see if someone else has more to say on the subject.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Kraystone. Just for clarification, did you have some type of mattress cover on at all times? As in, did you put a cover over a cover? Or, take off the taped covers for the second inspection and put on the new ones then? We debated, heavily, just repairing the mattress covers too, but upon closer inspection, they were not as bug proof as we had hoped. Frankly, the material was/is junk. Anyway, I guess I am still trying to figure out whether to put the temporary (i.e. vinyl) on or to wait until second treatment in 13 days and use better (I hope) covers. Thanks again!
mrbill, I think you are mistaken. This is not the general consensus at all--read below the line for a fuller explanation. I think you are conflating advice given in different circumstances.
It is NORMAL to be bitten after treatment. Those bites kit is experiencing ARE bed bug bites.
The PCO should tell you when to put the new encasements on, kit. After the mattress has been treated--I'd say after the first time. But go with the PCO's recommendation. It seals any living bugs or viable eggs in.
If your bed is ISOLATED (per the FAQs on the bed) then you should not get bites in bed. This assumes the isolation is complete and perfect. You will, however, be bitten when you sit in chairs or on the sofa.
But if your bed is simply ENCASED (as it sounds like kit's was, but no longer is) then you WILL be bitten by bed bugs that are living in the room or even in the bed frame. It can be true that your encasing has rips or is not sealed properly as in kraystone's case, but they can also simply walk over from the baseboards and crawl up on the bed and bite you.
Bed bugs will hopefully cross the poison trying to get to you, and they will die later because of it, but they can still bite.
Thanks so much for the replies. Mr. Bill, thanks for the 55 day estimate. It's nice to put a figure on something even though I am well aware that there are no guarantees. We are anticipating a long battle given we live in a very old house with loads of cracks and crevices (and to think we thought it was "charming" when we bought it!). This has also been going on for over 5 months.
Nobugs, thanks for chiming in. I do believe my bites are bites. This is not to say that some could not be old ones flaring up in addition to new. Also, sorry I never gave details here, but we actually did isolate our bed (per the FAQs) early on. This seemed to work for a little while, but never long term. The bugs could have been hitching a ride on the cat who despite our best efforts, is a master at sneaking in. However, once we were able to keep him out, bites would still happen (this was after vacuuming mattress and frame and putting Murphy's oil soap on it, etc.). Then, despite our taping maddness, we discovered the tears yesterday before treatment, so perhaps this was the culprit too. Needless to say, it was an imperfect isolation. On that note, do we re-isolate now? Post treatment? I thought the bugs needed to get to you so they can come into contact with the poison. Also, sorry to go over this one again, but do you recommend putting on the cheap vinyl covers immediately then? I'd rather wait to get better covers, but maybe should not.
I understand it's difficult to say with complete certainty what is best to do since situations and methods vary; however, it's really useful for me to hear from others with experience. So, many thanks again. I will also ask our PCO company about this. Unfortunately, we don't actually communicate with the PCO who treated our place, rather with a person in the office handling calls. She seems very knowledgeable on many aspects, but not so on others (i.e. the mattress covers) so thought I would ask here. I just want to be making the most informed decisions as possible right now.
Hi Kit, I literally called them everyday to request a callback, which is just an inspection and spot treatment, not as thorough as the 2-week-treatments.
The secretary picked up my calls every time, so make sure you insist on speaking with the person in charge of your treatment. As far as I know, secretaries are not that knowledgeable in bed bug treatments as well as the technician who happened to be there. Make sure she asks the correct technician, because last time, they told me it was okay to put my clothes back in the closet, which was WRONG! So pester them till you get the correct guy to return your call.
How do you know you're not being bitten in a chair, on the sofa, etc.?
The vast majority of people do not notice or feel bites until anywhere from several hours to a day or more later. (Kraystone is our exceptional, gifted seer, who catches them in the act! But this is very rare.) So my point is, your isolation might not have been complete (bed bugs or eggs somewhere in the frame, an unseen hole in the encasement, etc.) OR you could simply have been bitten elsewhere besides the bed.
Sorry if you have already gone through all that before--I get everyone's stories mixed up.
ps if you have a cat who will go in the bed, if you wear PJs to sit elsewhere in the home and then get in bed--these are other factors that may sabotage "isolation."
Thanks Nobugs. I don't know how you keep anyone's story straight - but you do a fantastic job. And, I only gave an abbreviated version of my story a few days ago in a post that was on a different topic so that was probably not the best place to "introduce" my situation (in fact, I believe there is an 'introduction' thread I could have/should have used). In any event, yes, I am quite certain we are/were getting bit in other places too - like the couch and big comfy chair in the living room. Subsequently, we had nearly every room in the house treated (minus the kitchen and basement - it's a dug out basement and so porous). So, yes, the cat and not checking the mattress covers as often as we should, probably contributed to the isolation not being successful. However, when we did ban the cat from the room and revacuum, inspect, etc., the problem persisted (but it was only every 10 - 11 days for quite some time). And, we did finally, finally find a dead bug on the floor near our bed (thanks to the DE we had put down) just last week. But, ultimately, I cannot say for sure I was being bitten in bed - only that seemed most logical.
Anyway, what is your (and everyone's) opinion on re-isolating now with the vinyl covers and per the FAQ's? Or wait until our second treatment and let the bugs have their way in hopes they will cross the poison? I guess they will still try to get to the bed and cross poison regardless of it being isolated or not. It's just the idea of a rogue bug that makes it to the bed unpoisoned that bothers me. Thanks!
I just wanted to mention that I think Hopelessnomo just wrote a very, very helpful "FYI" post that addressed many of my questions here. Of course, feel free to still weigh in here, but just thought it would be useful to mention that. Thanks!
You're welcome, Kit. You'll know you are making progress as the bites decrease and any other signs you are having also start to disappear. Nobugs likes to say they'll bite until they're all dead. So don't get discouraged. A lot of people need multiple treatments, unfortunately. Also, a lot of people find it useful to keep a bite/evidence diary. Keeps things straight and let's you see your progress and notice any problems. Keep a note of treatment dates as well, of course, including the pesticides used.
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