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They're gone. Didn't treat my clothes!

(3 posts)
  1. bedpug

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Sep 9 2017 5:52:44
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    This entire ordeal has been a waking nightmare, a bad trip, up there in my top five worst experiences of my life and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

    Scenario: Life was so simple once upon a time, "Don't let the bed bugs bite" was just a distant memory from my childhood. Became an adult, moved into a one bedroom apartment in a complex of twelve. Two exposed brick walls. Half centimetre gap between the skirting boards and the wooden floor, running around most of the apartment. Moved in and hadn't bought a bed yet, so I was sleeping on the floor on a yoga mat in the bedroom and living room, alternating.

    Rooms infected: Bedroom, living room, bathroom too maybe?

    Live bed bugs found: Three babies, on my sheets, and one adult ran out of my vacuum hose after I finished vacuuming though I could've been hallucinating at that point (stress).

    Dead bed bugs found: One dead adult on my sheet, two dead adults in the bathroom (adjoining the bedroom). Also woke up to some bed bug poop stains on my shirt.

    Bites: Approximately fifteen over the course of two to three weeks. Mostly on my upper back and the backs of my legs. Also received a bite on my ankle (not confirmed for bed bugs, but looked and felt like it) and wrist. Became large, itchy, red lumps, with a clear entry point. I've been silly and scratched too hard. The scars remained for months. I have very sensitive skin, and this is the first time in my life that I've been happy about how sensitive it is.

    How did I get them?: They may have already been in the apartment. I may have brought them in due to my dislike for buying anything at full retail price and preference for second hand clothing and furniture. Also bought a beautiful, old leather armchair second-hand when I moved in. Sitting down, I was bitten on the back of my thigh. I loved that chair so much and was in denial of the situation, so I held on to it for a few weeks longer than I should have.

    Amount of stress and anxiety: Extreme. Couldn't sleep until 5am most nights, incessant worrying and checking the sheets, checking every dark spot and every peice of fluff and debris in my vicinity. Hallucinations, both audio and visual. Feeling isolated. Feeling like a walking disease.

    Amount of days taken off of work: Two, due to extreme tiredness. I work in the medical field, with a lot of sensitive and confidential information, and I was making so many mistakes at work that I had to spend some time trying to catch up on sleep.

    Strategy:

    In the beginning, I did not know about DE. I would mop my floors with disinfectant every night and light incense before I slept and it usually worked. I believe the smell would keep them away?

    I put Diatomaceous Earth in a squeezy bottle and pouffed clouds of it everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. I'm lucky enough to live near an organic procery store and get the stuff there for quite cheap. Honestly, I havent used a dust mask. My lungs are probably wrecked. I got some brochitis for a few weeks, and I've never had bronchitis. at least not since I was very young, so I blame the D.E.

    Vacuuming.

    Washing and drying my sheets once a week.

    Fully enclosed mattress protector (expensive but worth it for peace of mind I guess?) I have the Protect-a-bed one, I like that it's locally made!

    Sleeping with the light on. (Debatable)

    Sleeping surrounded by a ring of thick DE like some kind of witchcraft act. This worked, but I was still getting bitten occasionally by nymphs that hatched on my sheets or I bought into the bed. Spent a lot of time thinking about bed bugs climbing up the walls, but never saw anything like that. I found blood-filled nymphs hiding at the sides of my mattress.

    Plenty of sunlight and air and vacuuming. Throwing away so much clutter.

    I did not wash all my clothes. Why would they be hiding in my closet or drawers when they have my bed and skirting board gap to hide in?

    I did cover every inch, every crevice of my closet, my walls in DE so they'd have to crawl through it to get anywhere, the bastards.

    Most of my clothes are delicate cottons and viscose, wool and silk. Drying them on high would MURDER them! I don't even own my own washing machine, so I go to the local laundromat.

    My advice: Declutter. And remember, they're just flightless mosquitos.

    The anxiety and the phantom tingles are slowly disappearing, everything is slowly returning to normal reality, it's been a while. I'm still going to thrift shop clothes and furniture and live life on the wild side like that - Peace. x

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Sep 9 2017 23:19:17
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    Treating your clothing is not always necessary. It's something a lot of pros put on their prep list as a precaution, but others go on a case by case basis and do not require it in every case.

    Note for others who may be reading this-- as our FAQs note many items of clothing which cannot be washed then dried on hot can survive a hot dryer quite well if they go in clean and dry. It's something to do with how fibers are affected by heat if wet vs. dry.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. bedpug

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    Posted 4 hours ago
    Mon Sep 25 2017 10:38:48
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    Hey thanks! Good to know


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