So far so good - 9 months in and still BB free(3 posts)
I haven't posted here for a while so I just thought I'd try and given people some hope!
About this time last year we discovered that we were infested with BBs. It was a dreadful experience and my other half went into total meltdown - so I had to cope with him AND the BBs!
Anyway - after a few traumas we eventually got clear, thanks to David and his team at BedBugs.co.uk.
However, we had one ongoing problem - the house next door to us is occupied by a very transient population of overseas students - most of the rooms are full of bunk beds and we've seen BB traces on mattresses that they put outside 'to air'. They did get the house cleared but with people coming and going all the time we knew it would always be a potential problem. I think that it has now got to the state that living in London (or any major city) means that you need to be constantly BB aware.
So, if it helps anyone, this is how we're keeping clear!
We got rid of our old bed and mattress and all the bedding - we didn't need to but it brought back unpleasant memories. We purchased a wooden bed with removable slats (no box spring or storage area) and a new mattress which we encased (less places to hide and if the worst happens at least we won't have bug poo on our nice new mattress!). We bought all white bedlinen. We got rid of as much bedroom clutter as possible and made sure everything else was put away at all times and shoes or anything under the bed is always in plastic boxes.
Basically we got rid of as many hiding places as we possible could.
The routine is now - whoever gets up last takes the duvet and the pillows off the bed and has a good look for any blood or signs of BBs - very easy to spot on white sheets.
At least twice a week we have a look under the mattress at the slats to check for any signs of activity - fecal matter, eggs or whatever.
Once a fortnight we turn the mattress, at the same time we remove the slats and scrub them down, we also remove the cups that hold the slats and scrub them as well - while these are removed it's a good time to inspect the whole bed.
On the weeks that we don't do the bed we do all the paintwork and the floors around the bed - if they're clean it's easy to spot any fecal traces.
This sounds like quite a lot but really it only takes, in total, maybe an hour a week - not much for peace of mind.
And it's paid off. Just before Christmas I pulled the duvet back, as usual, and there on the sheet were 2 blood smears - I could have cried. I lifted the mattress and saw 2 BBs trying to get themselves into one of the cups that holds the slats. I caught them with tape and 'disposed of them' right away, then I took the bed to bits and scrubbed everything down. It was only really as an afterthought that I got a torch and looked into the deep screwholes..............and there was another one sitting right in the bottom of a hole, I'd never have seen him without a torch. I got him out and rammed all the holes with 'Blutack' and taped them over with gaffer tape - then I sealed every joint with clear bathroom sealant, making sure I forced it right into any cracks.
So, a little bit of vigilance thwarted a new infestation. For me, this is it now, constant vigilance for the rest of my life!! If I go to a hotel all my bags and cases go into the bath until I've thoroughly checked the room. I've told all my friends to do the same and I'll tell anyone else who's prepared to listen.
I've noticed that a couple of shops near where we live have signs in their windows saying 'Cockroach and BedBug treatments available here' and the other day I was driving behind a van with a metre high picture of a BB on it's back door (made me itch!!!) and a mobile phone number - so I know they're rife in the area that I live and vigilance is the only protection.
To everyone who's still going through the hell - I send you every best wish that I have, it is dreadful.
You WILL get rid of them eventually but that's only half the battle - just fight the little buggers with everything you've got - don't let them back!!
At the moment I'm dealing with a couple of mice that seem to be living in the boiler - but that's another story....................................
Thanks for this post. It contains a lot of useful information.
wow...nothing you can do about your neighbors huh??? i really cant wait until this is over.
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