So distraught right now(8 posts)
So me and my Fiance whom is expecting in alittle over a month rented a really nice house. The house seems to be mostly renovated and looks great. We move in and a as I'm setting up my futon in my office upstairs which is completely carpeted. The futon was sitting on the carpet for a day and a night before being set up. The carpet looks new however i'm not sure about that. As I'm laying on the futon after setting it up, i feel a bite so I stand up and look at my arm and i have 3 welts that itch like crazy. I look down and as I stare closely at my futon, I realize there's several bed bugs on it. I have never even seen a bed bug before. But it's obvious that's what these are and research then confirms.
After looking around the room I find dead bed bugs in the built in wall cabinets which confirms to me that the up stairs is infested and has been from before I moved in as I just arrived yesterday. Later in the night I notice one on the same carpet, but on the stairwell leading up. They could be all in the carpet, in the cabinets, maybe the walls even. I'm not sure what they're capable of. Obviously I threw the futon out however it seems that the room actually gave my futon bedbugs. All this happened today/tonight and I haven't been up stairs since. I'm not sure what to do. Every horror story I read basically warns how hard these are to get rid of, even with using professional extermination. The baby room was to go up stairs eventually. I'm so out of whack over this. I will get exterminators in here pronto however, how will I ever know if those things are gone? Suggestions?
I would get the bug identified. It sounds like you're fairly confident in your identification, but keep in mind bat bugs or other similar species do exist. You and I would think they're bed bugs, but an entomologist can tell the difference. A few people here may be able to tell you based on a close up photo.
Bed bugs or bat bugs can be eliminated but the methods would differ somewhat.
Treatment or these pests can be very costly.
I am not a legal expert and I don't know where you are. In many places, it's the landlord's responsibility to get the treatment done and pay a professional.
Even where this is not the case, given that it sounds like you may have moved in to a house with a fairly obvious infestation, you may want or need to take some kind of legal action to either get this fixed and stay there, or get out of there (preferably with your costs covered for decontaminating your stuff.
A local tenants' rights group may be very helpful in knowing how to proceed.
You might want a good PCO to do a careful inspection and make some written notes if possible about the extent of the problem. (In other words, someone who knows their stuff should be able to tell if the place has had bed bugs for a while. Getting that in writing may be helpful down the line as might photos.)
Cleaning like mad and tossing things out before you do such documenting may be a problem.
The bottom line is bed bugs can be treated but it can be costly and take some time. Moving can be very costly too-- it is easy to move bed bugs.
You should not look at this as a minor inconvenience that you're willing to overlook. Look into your rights as a tenant, document what you can, get some good legal advice if possible, and then talk to the landlord.
Others may have better advice, including some of our pros who will have had relevant experiences. They will probably be along more during daylight hours...
Thanks. This is our first "home" and as everything about it seemed so perfect, including the owner, it is turning out to be a nightmare, fast. I don't know much about bat bugs but I'm pretty sure these are bed bugs as I was bitten pretty badly. I don't think these guys have eaten in a while because the more I poke around up stairs, the more I see both live and dead bed bugs. All it takes is me sitting on the floor for a fews mins and a few appear. I was getting ready to hit the sack about an hour ago as my fiance went to sleep much earlier and as i'm very paranoid now, I turn on the light, inspected the bed around her and sure enough, there was one under my pillow. So much for them being isolated to upstairs. And believe me, we would have known if we ever had bed bugs prior to this as we're both really freaked out by bugs in general.
It's 5:15am and I'm not going to bed tonight. How can I? My fiance is sleeping on the couch now which is one of the "don'ts" written on here however what can i do? I'm not going to let her get bitten up by these disgusting things. All of the don'ts posted on here basically say, stay and deal with it during proper treatment. However, after doing research on the web, it's pretty much the concensus that these things are really really hard to get rid of...so, what? I'm stuck with them now? I can't live like this. I feel like we moved all of our furniture in here to just get destroyed. And, with a baby coming amoung other things going on, this is not a good time for financial burden. I'll talk to my landlord asap in the morning however, I'm not sure what to do. We just moved in. Now we may be moving right out with basically no furniture. I just don't know...
Sorry you're having this problem ! SOme comments for your consideration:
> As NB states and infers above, it sounds as if you've moved into a house that had a "previous infestation". As such, and even though this is a current problem for you, that this is the indication gives you an advantage should this siutation escalate into a legal battle.
> Documentation of the situation is of major importance to you. If you do not alreay have one you will need to get a digital camera. Possibly your cell phone already has one as well. Regarding documentation:
* Take photos, lot's of them. Take photos of every room. Take close up photos of the bugs you find. Indicate the date and location of the photos. Example: BR 1 Futon 03 18 12, BR 1 Floor beneath futon, etc. Be sure your photos are well lit and focused. Note that while the flash "freezes" the focus which is good, it can sometimes "wash out" the photo detail with too much light.
* Collect samples. If you find bugs, either live or dead, collect them and place them in a suitable container. A small washed out food jar, zip lock bag or other container works but it MUST be a sealable container. In this container place a piece of card stock paper about 1 inch by 2 or 3 inches. Fold this paper accordian style. This will provide a place for the bed bug samples to cling to and not try as much to climb out of your jar/container.
> We need to make sure it is bed bugs for sure. Note that it won't matter that it's bed bugs or bat bugs if this becomes a case but we need to know the correct ID for remediation recommendations. Please take a decent photo of your bug samples. We need both a dorsal (top) and ventral (bottom) view. If your camera has the macro feature (usually indicated by a flower icon) use that. Then post these photos for us to see. You can also e-mail them to me if you wish.
> We need to know where you are; city & state is enough.
For now, this seems to be enough on that subject above, let me know if any questions on that.
The immediate need is to get you safe from the bugs and what to do about that, see below:
> Bite prevention is of prime concern. Whether these are bed or bat, they need food to develop and breed. Food being you & your fiance', so let's do our best to prevent this from occurring. We also need to protect your stuff too.
> These critters are hungry and to what extent depends opon how long the home was vacant prior to you moving in and other parameters.
> If you have an alternate place to stay in the short term this may be an option for you. If not, we're going to have to engage some techniques that will help prevent biting and escalation of intrusion/infestation as well.
> It may not be necessary to throw your stuff away. Unless you have a money tree out back, my observation is that most folks can ill afford having to replace stuff that we can successfully render bed bug free.
> Your stuff (this means everything) can be protected from infestation by wrapping/sealing in plastic bags, plastic tarps, plastic sealable containers. Please note that when I use the term "wrap" I mean sealed in so bed bugs cannot enter.
> Whn I'm working in "bed bug ground zero" locations, I place a largewhite plastic shower curtain on the floor upon which I place my equipment. This is my "safe zone" and they're relatively cheap at any big retail location. Note that this does not provide 100% protection but in my experience it cuts down drastically the number of bed bugs that may crawl toward my equipment and I can readily see them because of the light color. The equipment is also suitably wrapped/bagged as well. Yes, it's over kill but it works for me.
> Wrap all your stuff except what you need to use for now.
> Isolate your bed, couch and furniture as best you can. This means place BB blockers or smooth plastic or glass bowls under the legs such that BBs can't climb onto them to get at you. BBs have much difficulty climbing smooth surfaces. Yes, both Lou and I have seen some BBs that can climb glass but these are few. Place a small amount of unscented talc or baby powder in the bowl as this will further prevent climbing.
The above should be sufficient "for now" and I'm sure others will chime in with their recommendations.
> Eventually you will need to communicate and deal with your LL. Educating yourself about your situation prior to doing so will better enable you to do this successfully.
> Prior to communicating with your LL review the following:
* Your lease. Check for details related to pest control, sanitation and fit for human habitation. Note that while some leases may be silent to these aspects (this means they are not listed on the lease) that the local regulations/laws governing rental properties have requirements regarding these issues. Genrally, a LL must provide a living space that is "fit for habitation". A pest or vermin free abode usually falls under this umbrella of terminology.
* Bed bug management, biology, behavior and other related information. You should have a general understanding of this information such that you will recognize the BS that may get thrown at you way before it becomes "ankle deep". While this is a lot of information to know, you do NOT need to be an entolomogist to know the difference between BS and the truth. I suggest you go the the FAQs on this site as well as the articles page on my website which you can find via my profile.
> YOUR long term desires ! Only YOU can determine where you want to go with this situation and how you want it to run out. You guys have a lot going on with a wedding and a baby on the way. Perhaps this home is in the ideal location and is perfect for you. Perhaps not.
I realize that I just threw a bunch of information at you and it will take a while to digest. I'm busy working at home for the next few days and will check in to provide you answers as quickly as I can.
In the meanwhile, let me know if any additional questions or concerns.
Hope this helps you ! paul b.
Paul, I can't thank you enough for all of that info. My head is swirling right now and I'm trying to break down things one by one with all of this plus everything else that is going on in order to get done all that needs to get done.
Here's where I am right now with my situation. By the way, I'm in [town deleted]. My LL came by yesterday morning where I showed him evidence and expressed my concern. He is a really nice, stand up guy so he understands and is equally worried, although I don't know if he understands the gravity of the situation just yet. He acted quickly though and an Orkin man came in this morning. I told the Orkin man my story and he begins to poke around. He finds eggs and dead and alive bbs in numerous places upstairs. He tells me this infestation is very bad and he recommends doing high heat treatment on the whole house. He says it's going to be very expensive for the LL and that he would call me as soon as he called the LL. He also says he's confident he can rid the house of BB's. He also agrees the BB's have been in the house for some time and couldn't have possibly been brought in by us.
Right now, I'm looking for someplace for us to stay until this gets taken care of. But, all options are open as far as what we decide to do next. I am debating whether to wait for the house to be treated or look elsewhere and demand my month's rent and deposit back. I'm asking for this months rent back anyhow and would be shocked if the LL refused. If he does, I will turn on the Legal motor and go after a whole lot more than just a month's rent.
I feel horrible on so many levels right now. Even if I choose to move out, how can i move all of our stuff which has been exposed to this house? The thought looms of the possibility of the problem never going away here. Is that probable after a full house high heat treatment? I'm having a hard time thinking straight in all honesty. This is so overwhelming.
I'll take pictures and grab samples today and post them.
Please check your PM.
Mike, Paul gave you lots of good advice. I would actually deleted your location above. The last thing you need if you are planning your response is for your landlord to know about that.
For future reference, Paul, I very strongly suggest asking people to PM their location unless they're in a really big city, because really, a few details (like a first name) and a relatively small city and this all becomes really obvious.
Mike, think about how much detail you want to post publicly. We want to avoid you asking for your posts to be removed later (which as the Terms of Service) explain, isn't really the way things should go around here.
If your real name is anything like MikeFaz, now is the time to stop posting under this username and PM me about starting over.
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