Prevention if there is an infestation in other units in my bldg?(3 posts)
Hello all! I live in a 52-unit pre-war building in Brooklyn, and it has come to light that there may be bedbugs in other units in my building. I've noticed some mattresses on the street in the past few weeks, and a neighbor mentioned to me he'd heard rumors of "chinches" in other units. We have had zero bites, but I am concerned about what I can do to prevent the infestation from spreading to my unit as well, especially as I don't know what methods the infested units have implemented to control the problem.
Two years ago I had a bedbug scare in another building (turned out to be fleas, though there were bedbugs in other units in the building) so I did a great deal of research on treatment, and many of the threads here have been very helpful but I wanted to post in case anyone had any more tips or advice for my sanity at this point.
My partner and I put a great deal of effort into cleaning and 'fixing' the place up when we moved in -- I hate roaches and bugs and so we spent a great deal of time sealing up all cracks in the baseboards and around pipes, etc. We are aware of roach problems in other units as well, but have seen maybe two in our apartment in the six months we have lived here, both before we finished the caulking.
I figure the intelligent thing to do is take some basic precautions -- move the bed away from the walls, vacuum frequently, monitor our sheets/bed/bodies/furniture/etc, wash bedclothes more often than usual, maybe encase some of my stuff that is stored under the bed in bug-proof storage -- but I am not sure how much more I should do at this point. We have had zero bites and seen absolutely no evidence of bugs in our place, so I am more concerned with precaution than anything else.
I have some DE left over from aformentioned previous building where our landlord/landlord's PCO advised we dust because of previous infestations -- should I dust this preventatively? I am aware of safe/proper application etc. Or is this unnecessary at this stage?
Also, should I invest in climb-ups or some other sort of monitoring system? We have a simple, solid cast-iron bedframe and a cheap IKEA mattress, but our "box-spring" is actually a wooden storage unit, which I am also concerned about as we cannot put a casing over it unless we don't want to access our stuff. (ah, small apartments.)
Also -- do I need to be paranoid about stuff like my windows? It's unbearably hot in NYC in the summer and I can't imagine that leaving my windows open is going to be a major source of bedbugs crawling up the outside of my building, but you never know... I don't think I need to be baking myself in there on the off chance that one crawls in a window, right?
Are there any other major preventative measures I should be taking?
Thank you so much!
I'm not an expert (and I'm thinking that one or several of them will be kind enough to chime in) however I personally don't see using DE as a means of prevention as a bad idea!
DE isn't a a chemical, so pending it's not disturbed it lasts forever (from my understanding) and if it's used properly can be an effective means to kill the little bastards pending they come in contact with it.
Also perhaps it would be wise to invest in a mattress encasement of some sort? I bought them for my bed/box spring and my new pillows (didn't trust washing them just in case) and that has helped me personally quite a bit.
There's only so much one can do in terms of prevention. Sorry I can't offer more! I also hope that you aren't as un-fortunate as your neighbors however if they're in the building it's a good possibility that you just might. Good luck!
I'm no expert, either.
My guess would be to use climb-up preventers on your bed and maybe sofa. Those are so cheap & easy (relative to everything else), there's almost no reason not to use them! DE is a lot of trouble to work with safely, and you definitely want to play it safe. Therefore, maybe hold off on that unless you think there's an adjacent unit with a significant infestation.
I guess it might be worth asking the landlord. They should have an incentive to help you avoid infestation and will hopefully put you in touch with any PCOs that are involved.
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