The whole coming through the walls thing(5 posts)
So my roommate and I have bed bugs. We move into the top floor of a very old but very promising Brownstone, and 3 months later, my roommate - who happens to be a hypochondriac - gets bite marks and some sort of allergic reaction and cries bed bugs and I, being in denial, tell her she is crazy, but lo and behold, she is right, finds some, and the infestation turns out to be located in my bedroom, which had a lovely large curtain for them to hide in and a mattress close to the floor for easy access. Since I only have red dots (not huge sores) on me, I had no idea. They still don't itch.
So we go into a frenzy, wash and bag all our clothes, escape to a friend's apartment (which probably has them now), throw out our bedroom rugs and pillows, called the 'bed bug king of brooklyn'. We're still living out of plastic bags in our friends' apartment. We are paranoid about our shoes (do they travel in shoes??) and, mostly, the walls. Our tenants downstairs (we rent the top floor of their house) say they have no bed bugs, but what about the brownstone next door, whose walls border ours? I know they travel through the walls, but how are we supposed to stop them??
I guess my question is, how real is this traveling through the walls theory? Do bed bugs really travel through walls, or did we probably bring them in from outside?
Also, do they adore purses - I know they like backpacks, and I have yet to throw mine out - the bed bug king is coming again in 10 days and I will before then.
Anyway, any advice on the whole walls thing?
So sorry this is happening to you - it really is dreadful, isn't it. We just learned of our infestation and have been running around trying to get our place ready for treatment. They will be coming next week to treat. Till then we are stuck here as we don't have any place else to stay everynight, and we are afraid of transporting them with us. Take a look at the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of this blog which offers a wide range of information and really useful suggestions about how to protect and treat your stuff. And keep asking questions, there are so many here who have been where you are and are willing to offer their guidance.
Best of luck. Oh, by the way WHO is the 'Bed Bug King Of Brooklyn'?
I understood that attached houses (sharing a wall) could transmit infestations. I will ask an entomologist/PCO who contributes to the site for any stories of same. May take a few days.
You may not need to throw out everything. Ask your PCO and see the FAQs on eliminating bed bugs from your stuff:I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
I believe that bbs can infest your home through attached apartments and attached homes. My PCO claimed that he treated an attached townhouse row house in I think Staten Island, this was a year ago. PCO said that they tracked down the start of the spread infestation from six attached houses away, they knew this because of the size of the infestation was greater in the (A) house and the infestations were at a lesser degree the greater the distance from the (A) house. Does that make sense?
An apartment building in Queens that I know of had an infestation starting in one apartment and more apartments up and down quickly became infested as well. Tons of furniture were thrown out and I heard from a super in adjacent building that the landlord had to caulk, paint and varnish the floors which eventually eradicated the infestation. I saw all of the furniture thrown out before I knew about bbs and almost took a piece, I did not but I am positive that some people did because the furniture was in excellent condition. Another man's/woman's junk is not another man's/woman's treasure!
In my opinion I believe that if a roach or mouse could crawl from a neighbors house or apartment than a bb probably has that ability also, it only make sense to me.
The wall thing. You could drill some small holes in the walls and put duct tape over the holes, when PCO arrives have PCO spray into walls and cover holes. Be careful you do not hit electric wires and of course ask PCO prior if PCO will do that for you. Some may be concerned about starting a fire by accidentally spraying electric wires. You could put DE into the walls, I found no info about DE eating its way through wire insulation but that I guess could be possible. I dusted outlets and after I dusted I was a little concerned but Hell, I had to protect myself against these vampires. Do they spread disease? My gut feeling is that although many professionals claim no, I believe that one day we may find out that they actually can and do.
I wish you luck. Do not ever give up, fight hard, you have no option.
Here's what my PCO/entomologist source had to say:
"In regard to brownstones, yes they will travel through some walls
if the population density or food source changes. To some extent, it's hit and miss
based on construction, and how the buildings line up. Not to say it can't happen
but it is certainly not like apartments, newer row houses, or hotel rooms."
In other words: different kinds of walls. It is more likely bed bugs will go from apt. to apt., hotel room to hotel room, and modern row house to modern row house, than from an older attached house or brownstone to another. But it can happen.
I would worry about your building most of all. Have it treated. The PCO can do some stuff in the wall, but if it's an older brownstone and there's no evidence this is happening, it may not be needed.
Bed bugs regularly come "next door" via stuff, which I think is much more likely.
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