Scared to go to bed later(24 posts)
Tonight will be the first night I spend at my apt downtown since the madness ensued at boyfriends apt on Friday night.
PCO says "it's likely" that I have the problem too, but that i need to spend about a week here to see if I get bites. I'm scared shitless to go to sleep (esp alone). The anxiety is too much. Should I just drug myself? What did you guys do? I haven't encased mattress, or cleaned, or done anything, bc I'm just not sure they are here or not. Waiting for bites, UESbugs
warning - this is creepy & you probably won't want to do this -- but I had a PCO suggest that I get put tape & flashlight next to the bed, sleep nude, set an alarm for the wee hours, then inspect your body when it goes off and try to capture any that you might catch in the act. At least you might find out sooner rather than later if you have them, and you might get the satisfaction of killing a few.
Yikes. I've read that too, but me thinks I'll just wait for some bites to show up! They're hungry I'm sure, so tonight I know they'll feast (which is what terrifies me!). Not so much the bite part, moreso the bugs-are-crawling-all-over-me part. Ya know?
Did you react to bites at your boyfriend's, UES?
Nobugsonme- yes, I've mentioned that I do react a bunch of times in my posts, but seeing my posts are so long and ranty, I suppose that was easily missed. I get the breakfast, lunch and dinner variety (3 bites in row) normally on forearms. Itch worse than mosquito bites, but BB bites on me personally; resemble small zits instead.
Wantes to say your site is amazing and I'd be so much worse off without it, so thank you. Also, would have bought the mattress covers via ur site, but couldn't wait for delivery/shipping. Needed them asap. Going forward, will buy stuff thru ur links and have been telling everyone I know about bedbugger.com. Specifically the building, mgmt co and leasing agent guys. They know nothing and hope they will self-educate thru ur site. Sry for abbrviations..am on blckbrry.
Am nearing bedtime, and pleasehelp, I'm only half-naked! Boy shorts, t-shirt. I'm itchy itchy all the time just thinking about it, and all the photos on the site and others FREAK me out. I'm trying to toughen up and have a matter-of-fact outlook, but it's just hard. No one really answered my question about how they were able to sleep at night. Have read that people were/are barely getting any sleep, but they only mention that was a result of getting bitten at around dawn. I've been so utterly tired that I pass out anyway, but the sleeps are so tossy turny, and not pleasant, but what can I expect? Would love to swig some nyquil just to get through. Maybe a xanax. Should have done that days ago actually. Does anyone but me get anxiety before bed, and/or get that creepy crawly feeling on the skin a bunch of times throughout the day? Scratching in places that don't even itch. Just feel the skin crawling? Complex PTSD, here we come!
I am in a similar situation in that I had a visitor and I am not sure if he brought me BBs. Actually it has been 2 months and still not sure.
I had alot of trouble falling asleep at first but then someone tried this logic on me. Either you have them or you don't. And if you don't, great. And if you do, you will know the next day and because of this site, you know what you will do. I know what you are thinking but you need to try not to let the not knowing kill you. Just be dilligent about looking at your sheets and environemnt.
This PCO who suggested to put tape & flashlight next to the bed, sleep nude, set an alarm for the wee hours, then inspect your body when it goes off and try to capture any that you might catch in the act is ignorant, insane or both.
Foolishness. I did not need to set an alarm because I costantly woke up and I would grab a flashlight and tape ad never saw one. I drove my wife nuts in the process. I never caught a bed bug on a glue trap or double sided tape either. I do think I swallowed one in my sleep once.
I was told by an entomologist that when finished feeding for a few minutes they are repelled by you and run away into hiding. Very stealth.
I will answer you sleep question. I did not sleep. It was hard for me to fall asleep and once I did I slept for fifteen minutes or so and would wake up and grab the flashlight. Yes I still get those crawling sensations. I wish I had a comforting answer for you but I do not. Booze and sleep pills did not work for me. It is just something that you have to get through and be strong.
You are at war. When I hear professionals state that bed bugs are not a health threat because they do not spread disease I want to slap these people silly. Yes true that our lives are not threatened by disease but I am sure that the stress that bbs cause can eventually weaken the immune system and then that may cause health problems. You will freak out I think we all have or do.
You sound like a strong person you should be OK.
I agree 100% with the last poster.. who needs to set an alarm when your body gets used to the pain and itch of being bitten at 4am anyway, so you end up waking up naturally..?
When I was infested this past winter (and they might be back... who knows yet...), I would get up constantly during the wee hours to inspect.. and falling asleep was hard... I agree that no amount of sleeping pills or alcohol will help. The CDC or whoever needs to start treating this like the epidemic that it is... please everyone register on the bedbug registry... post to tripadvisor if you see them at hotels... write your local lawmakers.. whatever..
Plenty of people HAVE caught bed bugs on themselves or their beds by flinging on the light at night. The key is probably having a LOT of bed bugs. So small infestations--you have a slim chance, statistically, of catching them. They take 5-10 minutes to feed. People do catch them though, this is not hooey.
Also, UES, thanks for your kind words. I was doing some site maintenance in the middle of the night (yawn!) and posts made within a few minutes were deleted. One was my response to you-- your posts are NOT too long or detailed, not at all, and I do read them in their entirety. I just have trouble keeping all the kind-of-similar-kind-of-different bed bug sagas in my head. And tracking down the details from previous posts is too time consuming. So I had that detail mixed up with someone else's.
Anyway, seeing that you do react, this is a blessing. I know we all hate it, but it is much worse for people who do NOT react and have a terrible time figuring out they have them. Those are often the neighbors we blame for spreading them to us; often, they really do not have any idea until it is a total nightmare scenario.
Bites should be a good clue for you. Readers tell us some PCOs will now treat based on bites and other "signs" like black specks and other detritus. As much as we don't want people to get treatment if they have some other cause than bed bugs, waiting for a bug sighting can take forever.
I have no new bites today, but it's only been one night. Why do I suddenly not have bites? Am I growing immune? If they are not here now, they MUST be coming, bc there is NO WAY I didn't bring them from boyfriends INFESTED apartment... right???
Someone, anyone, what are the odds? How is there no concrete info on this? Why does one person say dryer only for 2 minutes (AssuredEnvironments guy), and then 5 people on this site say otherwise. Am I to go on the latest study by Kentucky? I'm sick of this.
There are clothes hanging in my closets that I took down from boyfriends a few weeks ago, that were hanging in his closets, or folded in "my pile" in a stack on the floor. The must be working in here, no? Is it possible I got away clean? FOOOOOOOOCK!
lt. dan, are you bb free now?
UES..I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can so identify. Please remember that sometimes it takes some time for the bites to surface. I believe the only way you'll find some sense of sanity is to isolate the bed creating a safety zone. I don't agree that you should present yourself openly as a feast. Many of us have been "bait" after treatment, but at least we had knowledge that if the bb's approached us, they were walking through chemicals leading to their death. I can't imagine being bait to just let them grow and breed--that's horrifying.
Thanks insomnia, I wish I could isolate my bed in some way, but I can't because I have the pooch, and it will make them attack him more (IF I even have them?) according to our favorite KeyMaster.
Yes, I understand they take time to come out, and I will sleep at home for at least a week to see what happens. My boyfriend misses me, and I miss him, and this is literally out of the question as far as quality of life. Not right, not normal, not right, not normal.
I'm thinking about just assuming that I DO have them, throwing away things I don't need, packing everyting else into a Vikane truck, buying a small twin I can encase, a lawn chair for watching tv, and the apartment is otherwise empty. I work from home, so I don't need work clothes. Just a few things in zippies will do. Treat the apartment thoroughly, and leave my things safely wrapped airtight in storage after Vikane treatment. Boyfriend is going to get Vikane treatment too. What do you thinmk of my idea?
All that you are going through I went through starting October 10, 2006. All of us Warriors have been asking the same questions that you are asking now. The problem is that professionals have not been paying attention to bed bugs because it is stated that they have been pretty much erradicated in the U.S. although I have met someone who is now a friend that suffered an infestation at her apartment in NYC 10 years ago, they fought and won and later moved. Many Entomologist up until recently had never even seen a bed bug. What info can be found is old info and the professionals are starting all over again. What I have a hard time with is that our government has not done more for public awareness. If the public could be better educated than we would now what to look for and inspect then we could catch an infestation toward the beginning which could help our cause.
BB free? A hard question to answer. In a couple of months you will understand why it is hard to answer also people are afraid of a jinx factor and so am I. If you spend a little time I think that you can go back in the archive of this site and see read what people were going through a year ago. Nobugsonme is that possible?
All and all this bb thing is something that must be dealt with and you can't deny it. It will take time and work but you can win.
Of course than you will deal with the trauma after which people handle differently.
You may be comforted to know that the bb are spreading faster now than a year ago. This fact will force the government and industry into finding some sort of a solution to this problem.
I hope this all makes sense.
Yes, your post totally makes sense, and I know when I'm writing my posts that the regulars and old-timers here have seen and read it all before, and I'm not reinventing the wheel in any way. That's what makes this more terrifying for me.
Honestly Lt. Dan, I do not think it's possible for me to really win this war when I live in an apartment building. Again, I hate to be a pessimist, but reality is reality. I want to move to a stand-alone home somewhere far, far away
Looking forward to a Vikane treatment, and not sure why everyone doesn't do this?
Wow...why is it that a PCO can say to me 3 treatments and youre good...and there are some people on here who've been dealing with this for a YEAR and still dont know if their totally rid of them? This is really what perplexes me. :/
UESbugs, I am in a similar situation...I think I got them from my boyfriends new apartment too...only he had fleas too..and thinks the bites could still be fleas. (They sprayed for them) He finally got bit last night while he was sleeping at his place, and I have been getting bit at mine at night, breakfast, lunch, dinner and all, but my roomie hasn't. Yet, both he and my roomie don't think it's bed bugs. Ofcourse they haven't spent anytime researching them either. HOW FRUSTRATING!....so I know how you feel. I can be the type that will scream at the slightest sight of a creepy crawly creature...but, for some reason, I've been sleeping pretty well. Its a double edged sword because I want to see one to confirm that they're there (what I am convinced of) but then again I dont EVER want to see one because then I might turn senile(sp?). Prayer helps me. I usually pray that I don't see one when I go to bed, but that I'll still know if I have them or not some other way. Most nights I can convince myself that they are just bugs, and if they're gonna bite..they're gonna bite..I've had bugs crawl on me before, I watched mosquitos bite me before, so I try and convince myself that it is what it is. But, like I said, this is coming from someone whos never seen them. It also helped me to read a dateline interview of an entomoligist who keeps a bed bug colony in his basement of like 15-20,00 of them. And he feeds them himself. EW. And how he nonchalantly stated that they occasionally get into his bed at night. For some reason hearing that helps me to calm myself down before going to bed. I know you feel dirty and filthy knowing that some nasty looking thing could be going to town on you. ANd, pardon me for this comparison, but sometimes it feels like you have an STD. You're stuck with it, it's gross, and it won't go away. lol But..whatever you do, know that you WILL SURVIVE! And that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Big picture talk
P.S I've thougt about doing that too...leaving everything here, taking a few priceless items, washing them and airtight bagging them, buying a plane ticket and flying way...lol...wouldn't that be great....now back to reality.... I hope your treatment goes well for you! And, at least SOMEONE"S boyfriend is co-operating! lol.
Squeeze, others have done it (read the Success Stories page on bedbugger.com -- tabs at top of blog).
UES-- the dryer info here and from experts is not that contradictory. In our FAQs, we cite Michael Potter's research. He did it for five minutes on a dry sock.
A wet sock, he would tell you, would take much longer.
I say 10-20 minutes on a dry item because I want to be sure items are really dry. Do you own anything thicker than a sock? Probably. It is not contradictory to say jeans would take longer. Be on the safe side.
I would dry WET clothes for an hour and a half because I know it can take that long to be "20 minutes past dry." Same concept as before.
I would not trust these times for pillows or comforters. I doubt Potter would either. The faq on dealing with stuff / drying things, etc. links to his data. It's all there to look at. He has a lot to say about steaming methods too.
As for the PCO saying two minutes, I would not do less than Potter recommends. He tested it. That's good enough for me. And that's why I encourage people to link to any information they find -- so we can see the source and make up our minds. It is sad that we have to figure this stuff out, but there is some research, and I do think it is valuable.
You probably brought them from boyfriend's. The odds probably increased based on how much of your own stuff you took back and forth. Did you go right home from there every time? Have a bag? Ever leave it in the bedroom? That kind of thing. But no one can give you a definitive answer.
We tell people who move to get treated at the old place AND a treatment at the new one. If you feel you have gone back and forth enough from there and likely brought bed bugs back, why not use that logic and get treated at home? If expense was not a concern, I would.
4 minutes on dryer is certainly not enough. err on the side of more. i did at least 1 hour. sometimes i didnt even wash i just dried. that made me feel i was getting more time for me. and after 1 night bites may not show up.
Yes, Nobugsonme is correct. If money is not a problem and you can get an PCO to spray than why not., you will have chemicals on both fronts.
Because if I don't have to pack up my entire apartment and NOT go through this, then I would love not to... of course.
I suppose I probably should anyway, because who knows when they'll show up for real (as in, full view like at boyfriends place). I'm going to go and buy garbage bags now, and start doing my apartment this weekend.
As for the dryer, is it OK to NOT wash items, and JUST put them in the drier for an hour (or less, whatever)???
I had terrible trouble sleeping for the first month or more. I tried wearing a lot of clothes to bed, sleeping with the light on, spraying myself with DEET etc. Those things don't work. I was never able to isolate my bed completely, though putting vaseline on the legs of the bed, etc., did cut down on the number of bites I got.
What happened was I eventually got so exhausted, mentally and physically, and my body needed sleep so much that I would deliberately stay up later than usual, and then only get into bed at the point I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. I used ritual activity such as wearing white to bed (to see the blood from fresh bites), using pale or white sheets (to see the blood), spraying the headboard and footboard joints with KleenFree -- I'm not sure these rituals worked, but following a ritual when I went to bed calmed me down. At least with all these steps after a month I could fall asleep.
I also read that one-third of street children in Ghana, children who have absolutely nothing, have bedbugs. That thought was oddly comforting to me in the sense that it put things in perspective somehow as I went to bed and I felt a kinship with all the suffering people in the world going to bed that night with bedbugs. It helped me deal with some of the self-focus that my anxiety brought up in me. I guess I am saying sleeping eventually got better, at least for me. I still have nights where I can't sleep sometimes. I am not against sleep medication, but that's not the route I took.
As for your dryer question--is it OK to NOT wash items, and JUST put them in the drier for an hour (or less, whatever)???--yes, it is the heat of the dryer that kills the bedbugs and their eggs. So if the dryer is hot enough and the clothes get hot all the way through and are in long enough (I put a wet load of wash in for 100 minutes on the highest dryer setting and that has worked for me), the heat alone can kill bedbugs. There is a method of killing bedbugs with dry heat that professionals use in some states where they can heat up a motel room or rooms in a house or apartment to very high temperatures, and the heat kills the bedbugs. There is no washing or liquids involved, just dry heat.
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