Saboteurs live here too(3 posts)
We discovered them in August 2016 and hastily reacted with little knowledge. Well intended Internet advisors/commenters found elsewhere apparently dispensed poor advice, if I can assume the advice here is good. We live in a single dwelling in the middle of nowhere. We have four bedrooms, four children (one infant). We don't quite make enough to make ends meet monthly, so the bugs have placed tremendous hardship on us in all the typical ways plus financial. We assumed we brought them home from work. We both work in a school, the same attended by our school aged children, and bed bug hitchikers are spotted there all the time, of course. When we first discovered the bugs, they were in our living room recliners, where my husband sleeps at least half of every night before moving up to our bed. Our bed was infested as well, of course. Having back/hip trouble during pregnancy that recliners relieved somewhat, I'd been sleeping in our living room for months when we found them. So we purged all our living room furniture and most of our bedroom stuff. Even the curtains went from those rooms. The rooms have hard wood floors, and we sprayed down our bed frame, mattress, and boxspring with an alcohol solution. We bought a mattress encasement and flung DE all over the place. We made our own interceptors under the frame wheels with Vaseline. The clutter in our bedroom was unbelievable. My husband had a "pile" of clothes at the foot of the bed that was about 6'x8' and various smaller stashes of clothes and things around the room as well. Upon inspecting the other rooms, we found a few fecal stains on one kid's sheet, but couldn't find the actual harborages in his room. We had JUST moved our two middle children together into a new bed in a different room to make room for the baby. We found nothing in those two rooms. We put mattress encasements on all the mattresses except the baby crib. I couldn't find one that size. I also couldn't find one for the box springs of our bed, so we made some with two layers of heavy plastic drop cloth and Gorilla Tape. We trimmed the "clear" bedrooms' baseboards with DE, just in case, and really sprayed down the one bed with fecal stain on the sheets with the alcohol spray. We laced the bed with DE as well. Months passed, and the baby was born. Keeping the children from helping them spread has been impossible. I've told them. I've freaked out on them. I've threatened their lives, practically, but so help me I find their shoes, clothes, backpacks, toys, blankets left around and then moved around nearly every day. I've found a few fecal marks on the baby's sheets lately, but again can't find any bugs. I've sprayed it down and put a mattress encasement I found online. I put interceptors under the crib legs. Nothing so far there, but she's up 3 or 4 times every night to nurse. How to keep any activity down between the two of us is just out of the question at this point. So 8 months into this mess, here's what I've got. My bedroom is still covered in dust, but mostly bare. My husband is the only one who has slept there durning this time. I've been afraid to move from my spot, since everyone advises to stay put. Hubby reports no bug activity at all in our room, but he doesn't pay attention or have any interest in fighting this war. He doesn't want the bugs here, of course, but he does nothing to fight them. When I've needed his help, he takes far too long to engage (days or even weeks). In fact, he questions everything I've attempted to do to eradicate the problem. He's also a baby about how I've continued to sleep in the living room, where we also have not seen evidence since August. Hubs is a bit of a hoarder, so the de-cluttering is very upsetting for him. I honestly almost left him over the disaster in our bedroom. I am sure that is the only reason the clothes aren't back on the floor. That had been a fight with him for over 16 years! But the one kid's bedroom that had the evidence 8 months ago has been recently found infested like our room had originally been. No one in our house has a reaction to the bites, and that bed, a wooden loft bed with a staircase, built-in drawers, dresser, and bookshelf, was impossible to maintain, apparently. We just threw it out and burned it. I was devistated to find so many. We put another encasement on his mattress, puffed cimexa around the room (only recently discovered the product), bought a simple bed frame that we could place in interceptors and decluttered his room (again). I'm only now reading bedbugger's way of dealing with these things, so I've unknowingly gone against many suggestions. But here I am. We don't have the money to hire a PCO, but my mother in law has offered to loan us money. This is another bill we can't afford to pay, but we can't afford to keep buying furniture either. There's nothing like robbing Peter to pay Paul! I've read so many horror stories, I don't know how I will trust any pro I call. As far as I know the local pest control guys don't know tons about this. But they claim they do. And there are only a couple in this area anyway. We have a nicer, large house for the area, so service people around here have had a tendency to see dollar signs that aren't here when I've asked them out. Meanwhile, how do you control the spread during treatment when you're fighting this battle alone with careless people? Anyway, thanks to anyone who took the time to read all this. I'm hoping just telling the story will lift some of the burden.
If you can give a general idea of your location, we may be able to point you to reviews from others in your area. PCOs often work in a fairly large area, so surrounding cities and towns may be possible sources also.
It's hard to deal with when someone you love with isn't 100% on board. Personally, I think it is important that they get good education about the issue (so your planned steps are seen as part of a logical plan). If the sticking point causing tension and hindering success is psychological or emotional, then as with other conflicts, it might help to have an outside mediator or counselor (like a couples therapist, clergy person, or trusted friend) work with you.I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
You say you can't afford to keep buying new furniture, and I get that. But I wonder if you're throwing out furniture and then bringing in new pieces while still infested? That would be a terrible waste of money, since the new furniture will just become infested. So might as well keep your furniture and treat. I encourage you to read the various FAQ on this site to continue in the right direction. I've had bed bugs twice so I know what a huge PITA they are. Best of luck.
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