Thermal coming to my city... Worth it?(7 posts)
Thermal treatment/remediation is coming to my city (at last!). The cost will be $2/sq. ft, with a minimum cost of $2500 + tax. We've spent nearly that in PCO treatments, mattress encasements, bags, supplies, etc, so if we go for it we're looking at around 5k total in battling the dreadful bug.
There's no reason to believe our 2nd treatment didn't work. No bites since but no one goes on the couch anymore. I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable sitting on that couch anymore.
So do we fork out for the thermal and then I can have peace of mind and unpack our pillows & duvet and start to like my house again? I'm afraid to wash the floors in case I wash away the residuals but everything is looking so grungy.
If we get the thermal, we can keep our furniture. If we don't, I want to toss the couch + chair but then I'm afraid of bringing in new stuff to get infested if there's a rogue egg (ugh!) surviing under a floorboard.
What would you do?
Not Sleeping Tight
This probably isn't what you want to hear, but personally? I'm not sure that thermal is going to make you any more convinced that the bugs are gone.
I was clearly far more traumatized by my run in with bed bugs than many people. So my experiences may not be typical, but I think they're important for you to hear.
I had thermal on the day I was leaving for northern California for a family wedding. The whole trip, bookended by visits to some of my friends in the Bay Area, lasted about ten days. For ten days, I traveled to the homes of friends (who all knew about the infestation) and hotels with family members (ditto) after having inspected my suitcase with the help of one of the three techs who were there to treat my apartment when I left, having bought new clothes for the stuff I couldn't wash and dry within an inch of its life, and having picked up the dress I was wearing freshly dry cleaned on my way to the airport.
When I got back, my flight arrived very late at night, so I stayed with a friend rather than go back to the very unsettled apartment that was going to need a fair amount of work before I could move back in. If you wanted a sense of how long it took for me to be convinced, if you're really bored, you could go back to the posts from mid July 2008 and see when I finally settled down and stopped freaking out. I suspect if looked at as a whole what you'll find is a very long slow progression back to fully rational approaches to dealing with the bugs.
For example, there are embarrassing posts about me being convinced that there were nymphs biting behind my knees. I'm fairly sure that that was stubble growing in post shaving irritating my legs.
Then, in August or Sept. 2008, I got what I remain convinced are bed bug bites. I had the supervisor come back out and inspect, but he found nothing. Our best guess? I got bitten by bed bugs at a movie theater I haven't been back to since.
In November 2008, upon the arrival of a houseguest, I finally went back to sleeping in my bed as opposed to on the couch.
In the spring, I had to move the DVDs and CDs that had been stored in bins outside back in after my 6 month warranty expired. I freaked out again for a while after doing so--even after having put DDVP strips in the bins (sealed with duct tape) even though that was more than 8 months since treatment and they had several weeks of DDVP treatment.
I don't tell you this to depress you, although I'm quite aware it can have that effect.
I'm telling you this because I had thermal, and it still took me months and months to be really, fully convinced that there wasn't a stray bug lurking somewhere else just waiting to start the horror all over again.
You've already spent a huge chunk of change on treatment. You've been bite free for how long?
I mean, I'm not trying to discourage you from doing thermal, but that's a lot of money for a treatment that you may not need.
Maybe put that money aside as a savings for future bed bug emergencies. Or put some of it aside for that and use some of it to buy new pillows/comforter/couch/chair that you're actually going to want to use.
Personally, I made my bedroom far less bed bug friendly. I completely rearranged the furniture to make the bed easier to inspect. I moved things around so the curtains didn't touch the bed.
I bought a synthetic down substitute comforter because I wanted to be able to wash it regularly, which I couldn't with the down one I had that I was never going to feel comfortable sleeping under again.
In other words, from what you've described compared to what I personally experienced, I'm just worried that even after thermal you're still not going to feel comfortable on that couch or that chair.
Again, I know it's not a happy, supportive sounding answer, but I'd rather you seriously evaluate the possibility that thermal isn't going to make you any more confident before you spend that much money on treatment that probably isn't necessary at this point.
I appreciate your honesty, Buggy - I fear I've suffered major psychological damage from this. Hopefully not permanent but sure feels that way.
Sometimes I think the only things that would give me peace of mind are a can of gas & a match.
We've been bite free for about a month. The couch has been treated 2x - we caught an unfed nymph on it between treatments and no one's sat on it since. It's isolated and the climb ups are empty... We've had no issue in our room (upholstered headboard and all) since our first treatment and encasing our mattress & box springs. Thankfully there has never been any evidence of them in our kids' rooms.
The dog is coming to inspect next week. I know they're not 100% but if he alerts to anything this place is gettin' cooked! What an unsexy way to spend 5k - blech.
buggy & scared -
I completely understand the psychological aspect of an infestation. I went sneaker shopping with my son and had to leave the store because I felt that they could be in the clothes (like Victorias Secret & Hollister). I had a bite on my face yesterday that itched and when my husband looked at it under a magnifyer it had a hair in growing out of the center - an inflamed follicle (funny it stopped itching as soon as he said that)
I am one month free also. I go back and forth wanting to Vikane the house ($13K plus $500 each car - they require it) or thermal ($3500 plus tax). I know Bed Bug Epidemic had 2 treatments and thermal and is bug free a month also, but still worries as we do.
Last year I had a very light infesation (with horrible bites nonetheless) One treatment, K9 cleared the place a month later and it was over. I thought about it every now and again, but not obsessively until now.
I finally found out they are at work and have left that job (was planning to anyway). I had been fairly obsessive about my handbag at work (ziploced) and changed my shoes what I left as my PCO suggested it may be a possibility. Now I worry about my cars (one is being treated with DDVP strips - one week down, two to go). I have not been bitten in either one to my knowledge (and I tempt them with mostly bare feet) but you can't be too sure.
All I can say is get as many monitors as you can (I am getting a bb beacon and two more passive monitors one for each car) to keep an eye on it.
I have had 3 dogs here this time and the results were so varied I cannot rely on any of them (all three did "agree" that the basement was OK - cars too, but not they could have been reinfested)
As buggy said, it gets better with time although I do not think you can ever go back to just sitting at the movies or hanging you coat up anywhere. My fervent wish and hope is that the pesticide industry finds a reliable method to eradicate as DDT one did.
Hang in there - buggy is right - set aside the money and do it only if you REALLY need to. I have seen most PCOS and entomologists say, it is tough, but people get rid of them all the time - you really only hear about the bad stories!
It's not permanent. It feels that way right now, but it's really, really not. Some people get it worse, and some people take longer to get over it. In my case, I already think too much.
And I have insomnia. Let's face it, that's a bad combo for dealing with bed bugs, right?
Going through a bed bug infestation can be traumatic. And I don't use this term lightly, but I think my experience did cause a certain kind of PTSD. When I discovered that my cat had fleas (because there was a lot of flea dirt that had come off her and fallen through the loose weave of my blanket and come to rest on the top sheet on my bed)--which, of course, I discovered at about 11 pm when it was too late to go to a laundromat to wash anything, I went right back in my mind to the panic place I'd been in with bed bugs. (This just happened at the end of last month, btw. So well over two years from the bed bug infestation.)
I was right back in the "Oh my God, I can't sleep here" panic. It was not a happy place at all.
I don't know how else to describe it besides the thought of having blood sucking insects in my bed put me right back in the same emotional space that I had been in when I discovered the bed bugs.
I don't think I'm typical. I think I reacted much more strongly emotionally than most people do.
In other words, I guess I'm trying to say that I don't think you're alone.
But I can also guarantee you that it will get better. A lot better. It's going to take a while--probably both longer than you'd like and longer than you'll expect.
And you're unlikely to ever be at the same place you were before the infestation After all, you know they exist now, right? Right. So you will look askance at every upholstered seat in public for a while.
But there will be a new normal post treatment in which while you take precautions you never took before, you go back to living your life not worrying about bed bugs every second of every day. It doesn't seem like it now, but it will eventually happen.
Thank you! Just being able to vent and have someone else really understand is a tremendous relief. I do not know what I would have done without the generous support of this site and folks like you who come back and continue to post.
re; the fleas - have you tried Advanix or Frontline? They worked for my cat and I now have it for my dog.
I think I typed this up already, but I suspect it was in another thread.
My cat doesn't go outside. So Advantage, which I'd used regularly when she did go outside, even only occasionally, seemed like overkill.
Apparently, it wasn't.
She's back on it monthly again.
I hate the smell of it. I hate the way I forget I put it on her the day before and scratch her and then end up with my hands covered in it.
I hate trying to time it with the laundry (because I like to do it when the sheets are already dirty and about to be washed so that she can get it all over the dirty sheets right before I wash them.) This is more complicated than it looks since I only have two sets of sheets now, I work funny hours than can make getting to a laundromat more complicated than it should be (for example, this fall, I will work 10 am through 9 pm minimum Mo-Th. By the time we pack up, lock up, walk back to our cars, and drive home, I don't have time to get to the laundromat, get the wash started and done, and still have time to dry stuff before the laundromat closes at 11. That would leave all day on Fridays, right? Except on Fridays I have meetings, training, one on one conferences with students, or trips out of town, which basically leaves weekends when the laundromats are packed with people, so getting access to one of the big washers to wash the comforter becomes incredibly complicated.)
But the Advantage has to be fully dry by the time I strip the bed, otherwise she gets it on the mattress encasement (which is a bitch to remove and wash because it's hard to dry even after you set aside the picking up the mattress part), so it's just a hassle.
Since she doesn't go outside, I thought I'd save myself the hassle and the expense.
Clearly, this summer in so cal we have Impressive Fleas who got to my indoor cat. I'm still not sure how--through the screen door from my all cement second floor landing? Through the front window screen from the roof of the apartment below mine?
I'm telling you--Impressive Fleas.
So she's back on it after years of not going outside. ::rolls eyes::
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