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This CAN'T be my life...

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  1. mebekaitlyn

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 9:45:55
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    Rewind to my boyfriend and I being ready to take the leap - "let's move in together" - "yeah"!
    We found the spot - a friend of a friend in the top floor of a house - beautiful, spacious, perfect really.
    July 29th was our move in date, but on July 26th we had a brand new bed frame, mattress, and couch delivered. It was wonderful - 3 less things to move!
    I would say maybe into our second night in the apartment, I saw a bug - I squished it and showed it to my boyfriend - we thought maybe it was a tick...though odd for it to be in the bathroom but hey, we were exhausted and somewhat delirious from painting/moving.
    The next day, I found another - in the bathroom - killed it, mentioned it again to my boyfriend.
    Later that night - we found two live one's in the bedroom on a large wooden picture frame - we knew there was a problem. The next morning we called our landlord, he promptly called a pest control service and they inspected. The inspection led to only 2 live bug findings and no real "infestation" but obviously treatment was required. At this point I had a few bites and already spent probably close to 20 hours on google - freaking out, literally.
    Now, they also inspected the downstairs unit which led to the real infestation - they're all over. Our landlord has been trying to evict this woman for months so this has really added fuel to his fire - she's not at ALL helping to rid her place of bed bugs, she won't bag anything or maintain any pre/post instructions so they won't treat her apartment. Now, we've since had our unit treated, washed everything, bagged everything, gone straight OCD everywhere. I am a neat-freak by nature so this is my WORST nightmare. I can't stress enough how clean/neat I am and how horrific this is to my mental state alone.
    Now, the pest control said we are in a good spot and not much to worry about - he even said we shouldn't need to wash clean clothes as long as they haven't touched the ground because we aren't "infested" and this sort of job is a "cake walk" for him.
    I wish my anxiety understood that.
    We did however bag everything, wash everything, keep clean clothes in bags and dirty in another - we are only wearing things once (which my boyfriend hates) and doing our best to eliminate contamination in areas. We do have a dog & a cat....so in theory, I suppose they can carry the hitch-hiking freaks from room to room?
    In any case - since the treatment, we've seen two dead bugs (yay!) and today (day 3 post-treatment) I found one live one on my sweater when walking into work (not yay!) - what does this mean....? Where did it venture from? Is my car in danger...?
    Is this "normal"?
    I am going home after work and washing everything....again. We have another treatment in 2 weeks so I expect some activity I suppose but how much is "normal"? How do you know if you are making progress?
    Also, how do we help speed up treatment of downstairs? I know we can only do so much to our place if they're not gone from downstairs and that makes me want to run for hills.
    Advice? Thoughts?
    I am having some serious impacts to my work as I can't focus, I feel itchy all day, I have been using aids to help me sleep & it goes without saying I think that this time when my boyfriend and I are supposed to be basking in - we are barely hugging. He's supportive and doing all he can - but i'm withdrawn and full of anxiety/stress. We can't have people over and i'm not telling anyone why....I know the stigma bed bugs hold and no matter how clean someone is - they're potential victims too, but alas, I just can't admit it to anyone.
    I would run away but those bastards would follow......ugh. Help?

  2. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 10:27:55
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    Hi mebekaitlyn!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, what a jagged pill to be swallowed, when you should be relishing in the new place, the new normal of togetherness and be allowed to fully enjoy it.

    I'm sorry to say though, if I were in your shoes, I'd be looking to vacate the place. It's great that your landlord is being responsive to your treatment, but given the fact the unit downstairs can't be treated because of someone resisting it, means it's only going to bring continual problems to your unit. It won't go away. You'll keep treating, yet there will likely be additional hitchhikers coming in. A vicious cycle. Unless your landlord is willing to put you up in a hotel while this thing sorts itself out, I'd be looking into local leasing laws and what your rights are in this situation. And you're right, these buggers will follow you so the prep it's going to take to make sure you don't bring any with you and spread them is going to be a big undertaking, but not impossible. Look into the PackTite, you can heat treat many of your items and clothes because sometimes washing just isn't enough. The water temp and/or dryer heat need to reach 120 degrees to kill bugs and their eggs. And then maintained for at least 30 to 40 minutes. PackTite recommends 90 min.

    Be sure to check back in on this site, many people have gone through what you're going through and have come out the other side, it got me through some of the worst anxiety ridden moments, I couldn't be more grateful, which is exactly why I'm here trying to share what I've learned with someone else.

    Sending you positive vibes and hoping you both find a solution to this awful situation soon!

    HifromChi

  3. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 14:47:20
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    Let me start by saying I completely understand how you're feeling. The timing exactly the same, I've just dealt with a bed bug situation myself and it's got me all messed up. I am scared to go to bed, and have also taken to sleeping aids or I'll sit up for hours laying awake, getting up, flashlight in hand, searching. I've thrown away my glider chair/ottoman and couch, put encasements around my mattress, boxspring, and pillows, and have gone through A LOT of 91% isopropyl alcohol.

    As for your 'neighborly situation', I am no expert by any stretch, but I'd agree with the previous comment. If the woman below is doing nothing to remedy this problem, nothing you do will keep them away. They'll continue to travel up via walls and small cracks, and your efforts will be essentially pointless.

    You asked about your car- from what I've read, a vehicle that is kept closed up (all windows and doors) in direct sunlight all day should get hot enough to help kill anything you may bring along, but I've yet to get expert confirmation on that. (I do hope it's true as I've got things that cannot be heat washed/dried in black trash bags baking in my car going on 3 weeks now)

    I wish you and your boyfriend all the best, because I know firsthand the strain it can place- I've been a wreck due to lack of good sleep and my 'I need to kill them all' blinders I've worn for almost a month. I am a little hesitant to say who/where I am due to stigma, but I'm glad to chat with you privately if there's a way I can contact you? I've learned, by telling 1 friend and my father, that being able to talk about it with someone does help me to feel a little better. 🙂

    I am, by no means, a pro. I'm simply a person that has had unfortunate luck, and somehow acquired the little guys.
    Any/all 'advice' I have to share is based on my own personal history and/or things I've read from the pros.

    Good luck to all, and please research anything you are thinking about possibly doing prior to doing it- SAFETY FIRST!
  4. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 17:49:25
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    I agree with posts above. I'd move ASAP. The problem may never go away. The landlord knew there were bed bugs downstairs and now he knows they travel between suites. He shouldn't be renting that place until he solves his problem.

    Anyways
    Best way to ensure the bugs don't come to your new home is to rent a moving truck and have all your belongings heat treated or vikane gassed. Then I'd send the bill to that landlord.

    Good luck!

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

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 19:34:37
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    Hi All,

    Thank you for the comments & support.
    The problem is that moving out would take them with is and we can't afford to handle the cost of a heat treated truck - if I could, I would have done that the first night I saw one. The other factor here is that the landlord was NOT aware of the problem and he has spent the last two months trying to evict this woman - now he has even more reason to evict her because she won't comply with treatment so once she's gone - it will all be treated so I suppose my fear is that if it takes months to evict her - it leaves us living like this for months. Which, moving is. Not really an option at this point so we have to endure it I suppose.
    The pest control said that the treatment should keep them at bay from traveling through walls and such for a few months, which if that's true, then it's enough time to get her out and treat the whole house. Is this unreasonable thinking? I'm not sure what to do...

  6. mebekaitlyn

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 19:36:18
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    psychologically_messed_up - 4 hours ago  » 
    Let me start by saying I completely understand how you're feeling. The timing exactly the same, I've just dealt with a bed bug situation myself and it's got me all messed up. I am scared to go to bed, and have also taken to sleeping aids or I'll sit up for hours laying awake, getting up, flashlight in hand, searching. I've thrown away my glider chair/ottoman and couch, put encasements around my mattress, boxspring, and pillows, and have gone through A LOT of 91% isopropyl alcohol.
    As for your 'neighborly situation', I am no expert by any stretch, but I'd agree with the previous comment. If the woman below is doing nothing to remedy this problem, nothing you do will keep them away. They'll continue to travel up via walls and small cracks, and your efforts will be essentially pointless.
    You asked about your car- from what I've read, a vehicle that is kept closed up (all windows and doors) in direct sunlight all day should get hot enough to help kill anything you may bring along, but I've yet to get expert confirmation on that. (I do hope it's true as I've got things that cannot be heat washed/dried in black trash bags baking in my car going on 3 weeks now)
    I wish you and your boyfriend all the best, because I know firsthand the strain it can place- I've been a wreck due to lack of good sleep and my 'I need to kill them all' blinders I've worn for almost a month. I am a little hesitant to say who/where I am due to stigma, but I'm glad to chat with you privately if there's a way I can contact you? I've learned, by telling 1 friend and my father, that being able to talk about it with someone does help me to feel a little better. 🙂

    Perhaps talking will help. I'm usually one to share my life and talk often about things so this is a new sort of battle for me and the stigma attached. I just keep crying and wondering how this happened in my life - to me.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 20:06:39
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    mebekaitlyn,

    I deleted your email address. Posting your email address on an Internet forum isn't a good idea. Not only are you opening yourself up to lots of spam, but anyone Googling your email address will find this in future.

    If you want to exchange emails with someone, you can click the link to "PM this user" to the left of anyone's post and send it via private message.

    Bed bug treatment using pesticides takes time. Did I read this correctly that you've had one treatment? The PCO should follow up in two weeks after first treatment and may need to treat a few more times. It's good that they're aware of the neighbor's issue and it sounds like the landlord is interested in solving it.

    Please seek professional support for your anxiety/OCD during this time. Bed bugs can exacerbate such issues, but just like bed bugs, the psychological stuff is treatable too.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. mebekaitlyn

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 20:10:44
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    Nobugsonme - 3 minutes ago  » 
    mebekaitlyn,
    I deleted your email address. Posting your email address on an Internet forum isn't a good idea. Not only are you opening yourself up to lots of spam, but anyone Googling your email address will find this in future.
    If you want to exchange emails with someone, you can click the link to "PM this user" to the left of anyone's post and send it via private message.
    Bed bug treatment using pesticides takes time. Did I read this correctly that you've had one treatment? The PCO should follow up in two weeks after first treatment and may need to treat a few more times. It's good that they're aware of the neighbor's issue and it sounds like the landlord is interested in solving it.
    Please seek professional support for your anxiety/OCD during this time. Bed bugs can exacerbate such issues, but just like bed bugs, the psychological stuff is treatable too.

    Thank you for this! I didn't even notice the "PM" option so I appreciate that.

  9. mebekaitlyn

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 20:13:58
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    Also, yes, we had our first treatment 3 days ago which feels like a lifetime but they're coming back in 2 weeks (from last weekend) for treatment #2

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Aug 8 2017 23:20:07
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    mebekaitlyn - 3 hours ago  » 
    Also, yes, we had our first treatment 3 days ago which feels like a lifetime but they're coming back in 2 weeks (from last weekend) for treatment #2

    Sounds very promising. Hang in there! You have. Landlord who seems to care. That's a very good sign.

    Re: PMs-- no problem, that's why I am here. The system is a bit klunky and will eventually be discontinued as we move to a new system (with new messaging system), so be sure
    and back up anything you need. There's a green sticky on this. I will try and warn people but if you're not heee continuously, you may miss that.

  11. mp7ski

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed Aug 9 2017 17:05:20
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    If I were you, I'd talk to your pco about using a cimexa(a very effective desiccant dust) barrier after he's done treating altogether in every Crack and crevice and outlets and along the bottom of the walls of any adjoining walls with this neighbor. It may help keep them at bay until your landlord can get her out of there and have both places properly treated. But again, make sure you discuss this with your pco and research how to use cimexa right or even talk to him about possibly doing it for you. Just an idea, don't do it unless you talk to him first cause if you do it without him agreeing, it may interfere with his treatment.

    I am not an expert, any advice I give should be considered as amateur advice and not taken as fact. I mean well with all my posts and try to give back. If you plan on using any of my advice, I suggest doing research into said advice to make sure it is in your best interest.
    Study on Thermal Death Points(pages 18-29 of pdf) : http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/REP_12221%20Efficacy%20of%20Heat%20on%20Bed%20Bugs.pdf
    Study on Cimexa: http://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0814-silica-gel-research-bed-bugs/
  12. SleeplessJuneBug

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Aug 10 2017 15:33:47
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    I definitely know what you are going through mentally/emotionally. It was a serious strain on my relationship in the first month because while we were both very anxious about it, my fiance responded to the stress by wanting to ignore it and pretend it didn't exist, whereas I went into super OCD/Bedbug Hunter mode.

    Just know that it will get better.

    While fleeing the scene would be ideal if you could afford a treatment truck, it sounds like the landlord is making efforts to evict the other tenant. Make sure there is a plan in place for the time between her vacating and her apartment being treated as well. Ideally they would treat all units at once ( as soon as she is gone) for as long as needed. Our infestation was most likely due to the fact that our neighbor who had a MAJOR infestation was out of his apartment for at least two weeks before they even came in to start removing the items he left behind, and then another week or so before they started treatment, and they didn't take any proactive measures to treat the surrounding apartments in the meantime. If they hadn't already began to spread before he left, I'm sure once he was gone they quickly began looking for new hosts.

    These things are a nightmare! Find someone you can talk to- if it needs to be a professional, then so be it. Your health matters:)

  13. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Aug 10 2017 16:16:58
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    "I definitely know what you are going through mentally/emotionally. It was a serious strain on my relationship in the first month because while we were both very anxious about it, my fiance responded to the stress by wanting to ignore it and pretend it didn't exist, whereas I went into super OCD/Bedbug Hunter mode."

    Yes! This is EXACTLY me and my husband! I was an overly OCD crazy person, and my husband was in the 'if I pretend it's not there because I don't respond to bites, it will go away' camp. Meanwhile I have purple, painfully itchy welts all over my body and I'm searching on my hands and knees with a flashlight, lint roller, and bottle of 91% rubbing alcohol.


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