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Suspecting a mild infestation, have to do self-treatment

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  1. Kishiko

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    Joined: Jul '17
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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Jul 24 2017 6:01:04
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    Hello,

    I'm posting here hoping to get some advice on what I should do.
    I live in France with my Mom and we rent a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a building. There are 8 other apartments in the building. For the legal part, it's what we call here "social housing." We moved there last December.
    In the beginning of June I started noticing red bites on my arms, hands and sometimes legs. Even on my face once. I had really bad reactions, arms completely swollen and everything. It was starting to get warm here and we live next to a large pond so I suspected a rather aggressive species of mosquitoes or something... Anyway I was the only one getting bitten and after doing some research I found out about BBs. So far I'm not 100% sure I've got them but here are the signs:
    - Bites that are close to one another on my body
    - They only appear when I sleep in my bed
    - I'm about 90% sure I saw a living nymph on my pillow 6 days ago when taking a nap during the day. It was very tiny, red and crawling next to my face (yuck). I panicked and squashed it.
    The landlords have been told. They don't seem to care, we haven't heard back from them.

    However:
    - My bed, mattress, pillows, linen sheets are brand new (bought them in March). The mattress is immacutely white (I've found nothing in seams), the sheets and pillows are unstained. The bed frame is made of black painted wood, new like the rest (bought in December) and it's a captain bed.
    - The last time I traveled was April (took the plane, spent just one day in Coventry, UK) and before that 5 days in Lisbon at the end of March. I wasn't bitten there. If I had brought them back with me, wouldn't they have started biting me right away? Or could they come from my neighbors in the building?

    Ever since I think I saw the nymph I started sleeping in the living room, on the sofa. I know I shouldn't, but I'm so terrified of bugs I can't bring myself to go back to that bed. The bites have completely stopped, which makes me think that the infestation may be limited to my room for now.
    I have to consider self treatment for now since we can't afford much, I don't know how many months it's going to take me to save enough money for a PCO. Until then, would you please tell me if my plan makes sense?

    My room is quite large. All the furniture is new and made of wood. On one side of the room I have my L-shaped desk, a small library, and a huge wardrobe. On the other side, there's the bed and its nighstand. Under the bed is where I store blankets, a few sweaters and new yarn (I'm a knitter).
    - I've thrown away all the junk around my bed and in my room. Nothing touches my bed but the nightstand.
    - I've sealed the books in my nightstand in trash bags (I don't have ziplock bags yet), closed them with tape.
    - My Mom has this cheap steam vacuum cleaner, I was thinking of cleaning the mattress with it then sealing it in an encasement.
    - Then of course emptying the bed storage contents, washing on high and sealing.
    - Doing the laundry protocol: emptying the wardrobe, putting clothes in ziplock bags, living out of a small set of clothes.
    After doing all this I was planning on simply vacuuming around the furniture every day, steaming 3 or 4 times a week, and just keeping everything clean and clutter-free until I can afford a PCO visit (but it might be long). Also, going back to sleep on my bed to "monitor" the frequency of the bites.

    I have many questions though... About the laundry:
    - We don't have a dryer, but I can wash stuff at 60°C/140°F or 90°C/194°F. Would that be enough?
    - Some of our clothes just can't be washed on high. I'm thinking of all our sweaters and coats in particular: what should I do with them?
    - Yesterday my Mom washed some clothes at 40°C/104°F. Am I right to consider these clothes still infested? I put them in a trash bag and was planning on going to the Laundromat to dry them on high today. After that, I supposed they're considered OK?
    - I sit at my desk on an upholstered chair (again, brand new...). Should I steam it and somehow seal it for 18 months?
    - What should I do will my papers, school supplies, notebooks? I'm still a student even though I have a part-time job. I need to be able to read my notes.
    - I suspect that the fact that all my furniture is made of wood will be a problem... just how bad of a problem?

    Thank you so much for reading and I will appreciate any advice or support you will give me. I know it's a long post with so many questions...
    My Mom is not very cooperative, she doesn't get bitten, so I'm quite alone in this.

  2. bedbugsbugme

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    Joined: Dec '16
    Posts: 473

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Jul 24 2017 14:58:38
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    Next time you see a bug, catch it on some tape and put it in a zip lock bag or sealed container. Take a picture of it and post it on here. Identification is the first step. You could also look into exterminator companies who don't charge to come inspect.

    If you have a box spring you can flip that over and look underneath. If not then fold up a few pieces of white paper (like a fan) and put it between your mattress and the frame. Sometimes bugs will make a home there. You just need to carefully unfold the paper in the morning over the sink to see if any are hiding in there.

    Most likely, if it is bed bugs, your neighbors probably have them and could be the source. Is your bedroom right next to your neighbors?

    You need to get on your landlord about these bugs. If it is indeed bed bugs, all adjoining units need to be inspected and treated if any are found. Look into your state law about rentals and who is responsible for paying for treatment. If your landlord does not comply and he has to, you can take him to the rentalsman (or whatever it's called over there).

    For now do not spray or use bug bombs. That can make a problem worse. Also sleeping on the couch will just cause them to follow you and spread. There are mixed feelings on isolating your bed but if you search on this forum you can find info on how to do that so you can get a good night's sleep.

    I'm not an expert. Just sharing what I learned from my experience.

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