Tales of BB from 65yr old survivors living on the other side of the world(5 posts)
I was talking to my parent who are 65 and living far far away. We had a nice chat and bonded over something they experienced when they were early teens. My father's parents send him to military boarding school right after elementary school. He told me that their dorms were taken over by these bugs back at the time. He said, they would go to bed and wake up their bodies all covered with red, painful, itch bites. They did not know what it was until they saw their mattresses covered with these bugs. They burned them since smashing them was making a mess. Then in the morning they woke up with more and realized they were even falling on top of them from ceilings. He said they lived like that until the military got enough money to build a new building and flatten the old one. My mom said when she was young and moved to the house her family spend 30 years, the first thing they realized was the BB infestation. They apparrently saw them on curtains. They were able to clean them up and lived in that house for many years and this was before they had high capacity, high temp washers or any other stuff we are using now. They were shocked that we have an epidemic in US. After discussing it a bit further we came down to 4 points. One the buildings in US big cities are veery old. Don't get me wrong, in my country we have old buildings, but they are museums :-), not residential places. There is so much you can do by putting a new layer of paint or new carpet or kitchen cabinets. When the building is this old, it is only a matter of time before the nature takes over. Second point was washer/dryer situation. Over there, people may not have dishwashers but every bathroom is big enough to put a washer. I think it decreases the chances of cross contamination in common laundry area and also allows people to wash their belongings more often. This point is access to pest control. Prices are cheaper and buildings are treated rather then one unit here, another there. Finally, the stuff issue. It feels like we have more stuff in here. If you have time, watch dear George Carlin's "stuff" episode. It has whole another meaning from BB point of view. They also asked me about the wood stuff. Over there this bug lives either on your bed or in wood cracks. It's name comes from wood cracks rather then bed which makes it less scary. I realized the quality of wood furniture also makes a big difference. Unfinished wood crap we buy from IKEA is like heaven for these creatures. I think there are things that needs to be done to get rid of these pests but it is not really about some old pesticide people talk about. It is more about how we live, where we live and how our ways should change. I think it is absolutely unbelievable that people can sell a house build in 1890 for half a million in this country just because it is in a big east coast city and it has new floors and roof. It is time to say goodbye to it and build a new one. This goes for all those big buildings that you know have more tennants inside the walls. One last thing is about what my mom told me before we hang up. This is just a pest. It is annoying but can be defeated. It evolved well to survive but we also evolved well to protect our habitat. It is important to try to keep the head straight. They suck your blood but they don't kill you. My parents and all their generation survived them, we will too.
Thanks for the insight -
I live in a house over 100 years old on the east coast. Fortunately, it was in such bad shape when we bought it (that is why we could afford it) we re-built it completely from the inside. New walls floors roof etc. The local building dept would have really dogged us if we tore down and re-built from scratch.
We are beating this and doing the best that we can. I try and remember that they are only bugs. I have reduced my belongings significantly and will continue to do so. The hardest part is the isolation. I have told not one and can't have anyone over yet (only in the yard, and only for drinks so they don't come in). We did catch this early - only found one dead bug - but still the treatment, bagging, protocols and expense are the same. If you have one bug or 100 you still have to follow the same procedure and it will undoubtedly cost you thousands as it has us.
I don't mind all of that - as long as I know they are gone. But I won't until the 1 year mark has passed and that it a long time to worry.
Hi Bugnut - my husband and I are looking at homes to buy. We love older homes (100 + years), but reading this, I'm now concerned about any bed bugs that might be living there due to the home's age. Did your home have bed bugs that you discovered only after you moved in?? We're currently in an apartment high rise so our plan was to discard almost everything, Vikane few remaining items, have bed bug dog do sweep of any home we intend to buy, and if anything is found, walk away.
Sounds smart! If the place is empty, maybe a beacon would work also. If I were you, I would pack up my belongings and Vikane the whole truck. I think that moving vans are a big source of BB infestations. It is expensive, but just another moving cost IMHO. Then you can move in worry free (except for the ususal, mortgage etc.)
No I do not believe they were here - I brought them in (from work - 2x - I quit BTW). The house was empty for about 3 or 4 months before we bought it, and we renovated for about 8 months before we moved in and did not get bitten for another 9 months. Both times I caught it early and we are 50+ days after the third treatment not counting the bites on my sons foot that we are praying are mosquito bites. With all the spraying (whole house 3x plus DE, Tempo dust and a perimeter of additional Phantom I sprayed around the beds) and the empty climb ups my rational mind is saying they are mosquito bites, my sub conscious is another story.
Good luck house hunting!
Thanks Bugnut and good luck to you, too! I don't blame you for quitting your job since that was the source of 2 bed bug infestations!!! My husband's job is responsible for his bringing home rat mites, and I'm still amazed and dumbfounded by the company's lack of response. Bug infestations are so incredibly disruptive, and I would never wish this upon anyone.
We have discussed our plans to get rid of these bugs and have decided that we will definitely Vikane the whole truck - we don't want to risk bringing in anything with us.
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