Pregnant and Bugged! Should I Spray?(12 posts)
Hi folks -
First off thanks to everyone who has made this site such a wealth of resources - I've been lurking for a few weeks since we first realized we had bed bugs.
I am 5 months pregnant and living in a 3-family house, upstairs from my landlord, in a row of attached houses in Queens, NY. Because I am pregnant, I am wary of the exposure that might come along with pesticide application, but I also know that every treatment approach - whether manufactured or "natural" - has its risks and benefits. And I understand that bed bugs are a particularly tricky bunch to treat on one's own, and I'm not wild about the idea of them biting my baby. I want to learn as much as possible about my options before my landlord and I decide a course of action.
Can anyone, PCOs or otherwise, weigh in on what sort of chemicals might be most commonly used, and whether they could potentially be an issue for a developing fetus? Or where or whom I might approach to get this kind of information? Of course I've done the requising Googling, but don't feel that I have found anything of enough substance upon which to base a decision.
In addition to being pregnant, the challenges of my particular situation are similar to those many of you have faced:
- Roommates who do not seem particularly concerned or interested in doing any prep like washing / hot drying, isolating beds, caulking, etc., and
- Living in a row of attached houses. Even though I have an understanding landlord, he only owns this house; we have no control over the neighboring houses.
These issues make me wary that even if I were to bring in a good PCO, I have no control over what others in this larger structure are doing, which diminishes my chances of success. So I think, why risk spraying - maybe I'll just keep aggressively vacuuming and caulking and DEing and just tolerate the occasional bite for now (annoying and itchy, but won't cause birth defects).
Forgive me if I am duplicating any earlier threads, I did a forum search but did not find any - if there are any threads on pesticides and pregnancy, please point me to them.
Thanks a million!!!
A good PCO would be able to help and/or advise the landlord about caulking in order to help seal off the neighbors.
A good PCO will also know how to treat without risk to you or the unborn baby (ditto those with kids under 1, people with serious illnesses, and others with pesticide concerns).
If your landlord was just going to bring any old yahoo in to treat, I would be more concerned. But since you have an intelligent and sympathetic landlord (or so it sounds) I'd recommend you encourage him to hire someone who is a bed bug expert, with lots of experience, to eliminate the problem and help keep this out of your landlord's building as much as possible. This FAQ offers advice on finding a PCO who knows bed bugs:
If pesticides will be dangerous for you, PCOs have options besides pesticides (in NYC many use steam, mechanical killers, and contact kill sprays). Steam is good and can be done by you, but a good PCO may have a better chance of getting rid of them quickly, and advising re: the row houses situation.I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
Talk with your doctor & look for medical sources of information about pregnancy & pesticide exposure. Steam is a good choice for you. Look for a company that has experience with "green" techniques that minimize the use of toxic materials.
If you are concerned I agree consider a steam treatment or two. But preparation is even
more important then.
Google pregnancy permethrin, pregnancy deltamethrin, etc. I got a few hits of studies etc., but don't have time to wade through them myself. One I read the abstract from studied women who used chemical lice treatment vs. women who did not and found no more abnormalities or miscarriages in those who did.
You are unlucky in that you are living in bedbug central, but lucky, because there are so many PCOs to choose from. You can probably find one that uses dry steam, DE and other contact killers, but it will take a lot of work. Good luck, and congrats on the baby!
Again based on your concerns go with steam or ask your Dr.what materials
they would approve.
I am pregnant with Bed Bugs, and unfortunately there are not many services offered in Halifax that are any better than pesticides I am going for it though, A baby can go anemic pretty quick, and its not like im bathing in the chemicals! Row houses, and apartments are terrible. I am, and I suggest moving to a place you could pre determine as safe and take every measure to keep it that way. Unfortunately, that might mean cutting potentially infested people out of your life, and although thats crappy, bed bugs are worse.
I don't want to scare anyone here, but I know a lady whose apartment was sprayed when she was pregnant and her daughter developed severe allergies, asthma and environmental illness as a result. This lasted up until she went through puberty. Now, whether or not this illness was real or imagined is up for debate, but I know she definitely had pretty serious asthma. She is a healthy young lady now..... but I don't know what to tell you. Maybe just toss everything but the stuff you need, wash them thoroughly, and just ditch the place. My landlord told me cold storage works when it's -40C or under so if you have a few deep freezes you could just put stuff in there and transfer it accordingly. Sorry I can't be more help. =/
Oh, and bmack.... where in Halifax are you? I am on Willow Street and I've been here ten years and never had a problem until now.
Try to get a low VCO caulk, because they can cause as much health damage as a pesticide. So can a lot of paints.
Ewwwz - 15 hours ago »
I don't want to scare anyone here, but I know a lady whose apartment was sprayed when she was pregnant and her daughter developed severe allergies, asthma and environmental illness as a result. This lasted up until she went through puberty.=/
Sorry, but that is scaremongering.
Atopic illnesses are increasingly common among with general population, with or without pesticide exposure. You cannot assert that just because someone had pesiticide treatment in their home whilst pregnant, that caused asthma or allergies. The unfortunate woman was exposed to all sorts of other environmental pollutants - why do you pick pesticides?
Are you aware that BBs themselves can be the trigger for the full range of allergic response, from hives to anaphylaxis, as well as eczema & asthma?
As you acknowledge, the very existence of "environmental illness" is the subject of considerable dispute in the medical community. Individuals may, of course, suffer mutiple allergies, other than the condition, "multiple allergies" the only consensus of opinion on the origin of "environmental illness" is psychological. This does not mean that sufferers imagine or fabricate their symptoms, but rather that anxiety & other psychological conditions provoke physical symptoms. Such provocations of existing illness is widely observed in atopic illness - migraine & asthma being classic examples.
Correction - "among the general population" not "among with general population" sorry, inadequate editing there. The rest of the typos don't do so much to mess with the sense.
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